Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Running with myeloma - my inspiration

I wrote this article for www.myelomacrowd.org. I am so inspired. This is week 2 of running and training for me. I feel so much better. Walking is not the same as running. I feel so incredibly wimpy on power walks. Sure, they're great but running feels better for me. I hope to get better and stronger -- just a little bit every day. Wish me luck!
Celebrating what’s possible: Myeloma survivor Brian Helstien completes 1,000 days of running

Celebrating what’s possible: Myeloma survivor Brian Helstien completes 1,000 days of running

BEFORE STARTING ANY EXERCISE ROUTINE, CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR AND LISTEN TO YOUR BODY.

As a myeloma survivor, one of the things I miss most about pre-illness is running. I used to lace up my shoes and run five miles a day, four to five days a week. But with anemia and treatments and side effects, I don’t feel that I can anymore. One day I was reading through Facebook posts and I saw a fellow myeloma survivor, Brian Helstien of Southern California, share that he had just completed 1,000 days of running continuously. Add to that, while he was in the hospital doing his auto stem cell transplant, he walked the halls and stairs, oftentimes carting his IV along with him, until he had walked the equivalent of an entire marathon over an 18-day period.

I was so inspired and excited! I had to talk to Brian. Maybe he could coach me into being able to run again! So one evening, Brian and I spent quite some time on the phone and I found him fascinating. Hopefully you will, too.

Brian’s story
Brian was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in February 2011. For many years before getting sick, he was an avid runner. From 2004-2009, he literally ran every single day until an intense flu left him bedridden for three solid days. After that, Brian stopped running daily but he chalked it up to lack of strength, stamina and motivation on his part, nothing bigger. Several months later, he went skiing and was winded just walking up a staircase. He knew something wasn’t right. When he got home, he went to a doctor, who ran tests and discovered an M-spike. He was then referred to an oncologist who conducted a whole host of tests where myeloma was discovered.

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