One of my pet peeves: when celebrities don't disclose the type of cancer that they're battling. They could at least devulge it in their obituary. Most of the rest of us disclose it. Obviously I've done so much more. I'm not implying everyone needs to be as open as I am. But come on: inquiring
Ellen Stovall should be in the cancer activist hall of fame. I never met her; never even heard of her. But lengthy obits in the New York Times and USA Today was my first hint how special she was. Friend and fellow activist, Greg Brozeit, wrote a heartfelt post about Ellen and asked me to
These are the posts I dread writing. One of my closest myeloma friends, Sara Lathan, from Charlotte, North Carolina, lost her extended fight with multiple myeloma earlier this week. I first met Sara after speaking to an awesome support group in Charlotte. Was it three years ago? Four years? They all seem to run together
As often happens after I memorialize someone, I got several emails from others that recently lost their loved ones. One graciously thanked me for sharing my journey Friday, revealing that she had lost her husband after a short, six month struggle with multiple myeloma. Six months! How difficult it must be to read about so
Thanksgiving is all about family and friendships. I have made some amazing friends during my myeloma journey. Some I've never met. We've simply emailed regularly for years. Gary Shankland and I have been exchanging emails for three or four years. His wife, Jeanie, has battled an aggressive type of myeloma all this time. The couple
Writer Greg Brozeit reminds us that any myeloma patient that has ever taken dexamethasone owes Mike Katz a heartfelt "Thank you!" Living to Make a Difference: Mike Katz (Part Two) By Greg Brozeit I was a witness to the second great clinical achievement for which Mike was largely responsible. Every year at the IMF’s annual
I wrote briefly about 25 year multiple myeloma survivor, Mike Katz, earlier this week. But I didn't really know him; we only spoke briefly when our paths would cross at receptions, or when he was working in the IMF's exhibition booth at ASH or ASCO. If it wasn't for his work on behalf of the
Mike Katz was the longest living myeloma patient I've ever met; I believe it has been 25 years since he was first diagnosed. I met Mike at my first ASH six years ago. A mainstay at International Myeloma Foundation (IMF) events, Mike worked tirelessly for the group, pressing on even when he wasn't feeling good.
A number of readers from the Western U.S. emailed me about author Ivan Doig's passing. The popular and well published novelist from Idaho died last week from complications related to his ongoing battle with multiple myeloma. Ivan Doig dies at 75; writer captured the American West April 13, 2015 - Associated Press and the L.A.
I'm disillusioned this morning. Waking up to our favorite am news show, CBS This Morning, I was bombarded by stories about corrupt politicians and others that only seem to care about themselves. I know all too well that none of us are perfect. But here's a radical thought: Why can't people just be nice? It
I was devastated to learn that another close friend, Jim Byrd, died this week. I met Jim while speaking to a support group in Columbia, SC. He was interested in helping others by speaking to groups, too, so I helped him get started in Millinnium's Patient Ambassador program. Our paths crossed a number of times.
In July I ran a pair of Patient Snapshot posts about multiple myeloma patient, Don Hamilton, and his wife and caregiver, Joan: Patient Snapshot: Don and Joan Hamilton from Ohio (Part One) Patient Snapshot: Don and Joan Hamilton from Ohio (Part Two) If you recall, Joan was having trouble caring for Don as
What a nice surprise! Last night I received an email from an old friend, Joan Liedl. Joan was wife and caregiver to a good friend of mine, Loren, who passed away back in January of 2010. It seems so long ago! Loren was the first myeloma patient I even met. I knew him before my
I learned yesterday that Arnie Goodman had died. We were exchanging emails until a few days ago. He let me know he was hospitalized at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa and wrote, "I'm sicker than I've been in a long time." I just flew home and haven't had a chance to speak with Arnie's wife,
Major League Baseball's annual All Star Game was played last night at Target Field in Minneapolis. My dear friend, Karl Vollstedt, was a huge Minnesota Twins fan. As I leaned over to pick up the phone to congratulate him and chat during the game, I was jolted back to reality: Karl died in April. For
The joy I felt from yesterday's fun, frivolous post quickly gave was to an overwhelming wave of sadness. My dear friend, Millennium Patient Ambassador and broadcast myeloma support group member, Sandy Hirsch, died earlier this weekend from complications associated with her high risk multiple myeloma. Sandy was kind enough to travel down to Florida from
One of my closest friends died Thursday night. Karl Vollstedt was the most generous and positive person that I've ever known. I met Karl--and his lovely wife, Lorraine--at the first multiple myeloma support group meeting I ever attended in the summer of 2007. Karl had founded the Stillwater, Minnesota group three years before. Don Wright,
For the past two days I've shared details about Neil's allo transplant recovery from hell. Pulling his story together has caused me pause; I can't imagine putting Pattie through something like this. But things were looking up. Hopefully the worst was behind them. Neil's wife, Pat, emailed me this update a few weeks later: Hi
The myeloma community has lost a dear friend, Laurie Arnn. I first met Laurie online a year or so ago. Despite enduring an unfair number of serious myeloma related side effects, she was always upbeat and positive. I have mentioned Laurie and Phillip on MMB several times. She was still in rehab, hoping to go
I want to thank everyone who has kindly commented, called or emailed me after reading yesterday's post. Your compassion and empathy have lifted my spirits and helped me cope. So far, so good! One of the reasons the news of my relapse hit me so hard: I learned that a friend with multiple myeloma had