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Cancerbro - My story of fighting multiple myeloma and running marathons after bone marrow transplant
boneheadkenny Multiple Myloma
Posted on Oct. 15, 2018, 10:50 p.m.
My story of fighting multiple myeloma and running marathons after bone marrow transplant
In January 2015, after nearly 30 years of endurance sports, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma. Though my organs don’t seem to have been hit too hard, I had a lot of bone involvement. I have lesions throughout my upper body and back, a 3 mm hole in my left hip, and 2 compression fractures in my hip. All this amounted to a staging of stage 2 (out of 3 stages for MM), and a plan for a bone marrow transplant in August 2015. I was no longer permitted to run and I immediately started chemotherapy and a weekly infusion to help my bones recover. I started walking and then jogging in the months following my transplant. At the end of January 2016, I ran my first 10k road race after my transplant. By the end of 2016, I had run 16 races, including 3 1/2 marathons and an 18 mile point-to-point trail race with 5,000 of elevation gain. I decided that I wanted to give back and affect positive outcomes for other patients and their families that were undergoing the same disease. We learned a lot from our experience. Staying healthy and active through treatment leads not only to faster recovery and better opportunities for healthcare providers to treat patients most effectively, but also continuing to move gives patients a better quality of life. They feel better, they manage pain better, and their mental outlooks are healthier. Beginning on April 1, 2018, I started running West from the Outer Banks of North Carolina along the Mountains to Sea Trail. I ran 54 days and covered 1175 miles all the way to the opposite end of the state to Clingman’s Dome, on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. My goal to raise awareness of multiple myeloma, but also to encourage other patients with what they can accomplish despite obstacles. Throwing Bones is a patient-focused registered 501(c)3 non-profit for patients and caregivers of patients with Multiple Myeloma. Its mission is to support and inspire patients to healthy and active lifestyles before, during and after treatment and to issue small grants to patients and caregivers for non-medical financial needs through its Patient Assistance Fund. I finished the run at the end of May, but Throwing Bones’ mission is still strong and we still have a goal of benefitting Myeloma Patients and their caregivers.