Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Living two lives

So much happened between my first and second transplant. I had some healthier years as I recovered from the first but it wasn't long before the cat came back summer of '04. I began a barrage of treatments including everything available for multiple myeloma - some worked for awhile but sooner or later it would be time to try something else. My quality of life would fluctuate depending on the treatment and its side effects. I'd be in and out of hospital -sometimes daily visits were the norm other times it might be once a month. I've had hundreds of blood transfusions over the years to keep me going and I take this moment to encourage everyone to donate blood regularly as so many people out there are dependant upon it. I've been on and off steroids sometimes ballooning up like I'd been eating fast food for a month. This disease has been a part of my everyday life for almost nine years and I've had to embrace it and have always considered it my job.....except I don't get paid. Despite it I've done my best to maintain a normal life away from it working as much as I felt comfortable, staying in the best shape I could at whatever stage I'm at. I've rehabbed my body countless times and have always measured my health by the quality of my workouts. I watch my diet although tough at times from nausea, steroids, drugs in general-just eating is a good thing.

What's normal anyway- I suppose for me it's going out for beers with friends, playing tennis , travelling, working and enjoying life. I've managed to do these things whenever possible and can't wait to continue with it. I've tied one on here and there although it's been awhile and I suffer ten fold -- worth it. I've made my way back down south to visit friends, been to Mexico several times and New York for the 2008 US Open. My biggest travel accomplishment to date was making it to Europe six months after my last transplant but I'll get to that later. In the summer of 2006 I was off treatment for a few months so my buddy JJ and I played the men's open summer tennis circuit. It felt so good to compete and we managed to do OK reaching a few finals and finishing as the number 3 doubles team in BC for that year. I've enjoyed my nights out playing poker with friends and dinner nights in watching our favorite HBO shows. I have a good life and would never take it for granted...........I just don't want it to end!

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