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Baseball great Mel Stottlemyre facing relapse

Home/Books, Caregivers, Inspirational, News, Side effects/Baseball great Mel Stottlemyre facing relapse

Baseball great Mel Stottlemyre facing relapse

Before I pass along information about Mel Stottlemyre, I wanted to follow-up on my post about daratumumab from yesterday; the companies involved have officially applied for FDA approval.

I noticed the Myeloma Beacon ran a story about it; glad they’re still relevant and on top of breaking news.  But for a slightly different business slant, here’s an excerpt from an investment newsletter about it:

J&J Initiates Filing for Multiple Myeloma Drug – June 8, 2015

A rolling submission will allow Johnson & Johnson to submit portions of the regulatory application to the FDA as and when they are completed.

The candidate is being evaluated for the treatment of patients with multiple myeloma who have received at least three prior lines of therapy including a proteasome inhibitor (PI) and an immunomodulatory agent (IMiD), or who are double refractory to a PI and an IMiD.

We note that the candidate was granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation by the FDA in May 2013. The designation will expedite the development and review time of the candidate.

We remind investors that Johnson & Johnson had entered into an agreement with Genmab A/S, whereby the former was granted an exclusive license to develop, manufacture and commercialize daratumumab. Hence, Jannssen is responsible for current and future clinical studies on daratumumab…

The analyst’s post goes to discuss approval of Faradyk (panobinostat) and gives some stock recommendations. I don’t get directly involved with any of that, although I don’t have any objection if my readers use information I provide on MMB and dabble with tech stocks.

I don’t; feel it’s a conflict of interest to own any of these stocks. Not doing that has cost me big time over the years, but it’s the right thing to do. Here’s the link:

Now on to the somber news that baseball great, Mel Stottlemyre, has relapsed.  A myeloma “ironman,” Mel had been doing so well for so long that most forgot he even had cancer.  Here are excerpts from a New York Daily News article about it:

Mel Stottlemyre, forever a Yankee and Met, battling cancer again

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS – Wednesday, June 3, 2015
By John Harper

SAMMAMISH, Wash. — When the ordeal began, Mel Stottlemyre was a vibrant image of inspiration for cancer patients everywhere, coaching the Yankees pitchers even with a chemotherapy pump attached to him, tucked inside a fanny pack he wore around his uniform.

That was back in 2000, a year after an oncologist first diagnosed Stottlemyre with multiple myeloma, an incurable blood cancer, and told him he had three to five years to live.

More than a decade later, Stottlemyre was happily retired here in his native state of Washington, after a career as the Yankees’ ace in the 1960s and then a championship pitching coach for both New York teams, fairly convinced he had slain the dragon.
“Yeah, there was a point where I thought I’d beaten it,” Stottlemyre recalls with a sigh. “I felt so good after a number of years that, even though there kicked its butt.”

This was a couple of days ago, Stottlemyre sitting in his favorite chair in his living room, no doubt thinking that he’d give anything to feel that way again.

The last few years, since the cancer returned late in 2011, have been hell on Stottlemyre, as well as his devoted wife, Jean. The chemotherapy treatments are manageable, but the side effects from various medications have caused heart and thyroid conditions, a form of diabetes and even a torn Achilles tendon for which he can’t have surgery because he gets chemo.
So now Stottlemyre is largely a prisoner to the disease, his body weakened from all the treatment, each new week revolving around trips for blood work and doctor’s appointments with multiple specialists.

“It’s been tough,” he admits, “because so much of my life is controlled by doctors, by the cancer. And the side effects of the treatment have been nasty, there’s no getting around it.

“But I’m determined that I can beat this thing. There are times when I have my doubts but it’s not going to get me down.”
From across the living room Jean marvels at her husband’s refusal to surrender mentally.

“He’s a fighter,” she says, “or he wouldn’t be here today, with everything he’s gone through…”

This is only about a third of the article. John Harper does such a great job!  Of course he knows Mel well; he wrote an autobiography about the great:

You should check it out; the book has been around so long you can buy it used for a buck; new for not much more.  Available as an e-book, too.  I haven’t read it, but I’m going to.

But first, here’s the link back to the article so you can finish reading about this hero–and I’m not talking about baseball.

MEL STOTTLEMYREHow inspiring; the guy’s been around and living an active life for 15 years!  Has anyone read the book?  Does anyone know what Mel did to stay in remission so long?  Must have had some sort of transplant; let us know if a reader has stayed up on his story and therapy.  Outliers like Mel should give us hope; we aren’t statistics!  He was an “outlier,” someone who’s “dot” lies far outside the normal range of survival on a sloped curve.  Why not us?

I can’t wrap things up without “tipping my hat,” (an old baseball term) to Mel’s wife and caregiver, Jean.  She sounds amazing; I’m sure Mel would agree he couldn’t have made it this far without her.

I’m sure I join all of my readers in wishing Mel good luck in his relentless battle.  Sounds like he’s up to the challenge!

Feel good and keep smiling!  Pat