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Sunday, January 31, 2016

MMRF Boston 5K Walk/Run

Brian, Pam & Logan - 2015 Pittsburgh Marathon
Something very wonderful happened this weekend!   My son, Brian, and daughter-in-law, Pam, have recently spent the first Sunday in May running in the Pittsburgh Half Marathon.  Pam, along with her sisters and cousin, are all avid runners.  Last year, I went to Pittsburgh to cheer them on and to hook up with my family in the area.  This year, however, the Pittsburgh Marathon is on May 1, the same day that the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF) is sponsoring its annual 5K Run/Walk Team for Cures event in Boston.  Here is a link to the website:  MMRF Boston Team for Cures.  Last year, I attended the 5K event (as a spectator) and supported our friend Anne Riskin's team, Jeff's Juggernauts, in honor of her late husband who succumbed to MM.  I decided that I would stay in Boston this year to support the MMRF Team for Cures event again.

Yesterday, I found out that Brian, Pam, and her sisters have all decided to forego the Pittsburgh Marathon this year and run in the MMRF 5K instead!  More remarkably, Pam and Brian have created a team to raise funds on my behalf!  I was overwhelmed.  The team is called Team Epic for Bill.  Here is a link to MMRF team website:  Team Epic for Bill. They plan to enlist additional family and friends, including Pam's cousin, Guy, who will come up from Houston!

Doin' my job at the 2015 MMRF 5K
I have already joined the team and signed up to walk the 5K.  Last year, all I did was hold up one end of the finish line.  I know that is an important job, but I'll let someone else do that this year.  I just started going back to the gym after a long hiatus, and I have been using the treadmill.  I now have a goal to get myself in shape for this event.  If my right knee holds out (torn meniscus, arthritis, etc.), I might even consider running (or slowly jogging).  Dammit, I'll crawl if I have to, but one way or the other I'm going to do that 5K!

Dr. Richardson is the honorary chairman for the MMRF Boston 5K, and he also runs in it.  I emailed him about Pam and Brian's new team, and he is delighted.  As a coinkydink, I have an appointment with him tomorrow at the Farber for my monthly checkup.  I suspect this topic just might come up.

Team Epic for Bill has set a very ambitious goal to raise $10,000 for Multiple Myeloma research this year.  We will have to work hard to achieve that goal, so you can expect to hear a lot from me about this over the next 3 months.  Don't be shy...sign up now!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Still in Remission

Monday I went to the Farber for my monthly checkup, and everything is still good!  I am now on Cycle 43 of my Revlimid maintenance therapy that began in August, 2012.  I have now signed all the paperwork that extends this transplant clinical trial for another 3 years until 2018.  If I am lucky and stay in remission, I will still be a part of this trial until then.  What's really good news is that my Revlimid will still be cost-free to me as long as I am on this trial.  I can't believe how fortunate I have been so far with all of this.  What would have happened if I hadn't found Paul Richardson back in 2011 when I first got diagnosed with Smoldering Myeloma?  Where would I be today?  I don't even want to think about that!

The holidays were wonderful.  We spent Christmas at Brian and Pam's in New Jersey and got to watch Logan open his presents from Santa.  That was special.  The magic of these days will soon pass, but it's great to see it while we still can.  My bro, Terry and his wife Sherry came up for the week over New Years, so it was a really nice family holiday season.

I have signed up for us to go to Pat Killingsworth's beach party for MM patients at Amelia Island, Florida on April 1-3.  This will be the first time we have been able to go, and I am really looking forward to meeting Pat in person for the first time.  He has been through an awful lot lately, having tandem cell stem transplants, with all the associated complications, but he seems to be doing quite well now.  I hope to meet a lot of fellow MM survivors at the beach party.  Here is a link to his daily blog:  He continues to be a font of information to those of us in the MM community.  He's amazing!

After that, we plan to visit my college roommate friend, Steve, and his wife Sue in Coral Beach, Florida for a few days.  I hope this winter is a lot friendlier than the Snowmageddon of last year.  Maybe by the end of March we'll be glad to get out of Dodge.

May the Force be with you!