BY RICHARD HITE
On July 27th I celebrated my one year mark of receiving a stem cell transplant. It has been a year of learning about my new capabilities. I feel like I missed last summer due to treatment, which has left me felling like I need to make up for lost time. I often find my self over-scheduling things far beyond my capacity. I try and do too much and end up paying the price. My wife reminds me that I don't have to do it all at once. I get tired and don't always get the necessary rest that is needed.
My big goal this September is to complete the LOTOJA 206 mile bike ride from Logan, UT to Jackson, WY in one day. I realize that there are many that are not able to get on their bike and ride, or do much exercise for that matter. I am extremely fortunate and this is a big part of why I have chosen to ride. I ride for myself, for my family, and for those that are not able. Completing this ride is a big stretch of what many around me tell me I should do. It would be so easy to just tell myself that I have Cancer and use that as an excuse to not push myself. I'm not willing to do that. I may not have control of everything relating to my myeloma, but I do have control over whether I give in or keep going.
Training has not been easy. I have been sick way too much and seem to catch other sick people's germs without much effort. Every time I get sick I feel like I fall backwards in my training, making it harder to catch up. Despite a few setbacks and a much lower energy level, I plan to complete the full 206 miles. I feel that I am lucky to be alive. It I can push myself a little each day, possibly someone else with multiple myeloma will feel that they can do the same.
I'm riding for Muscles for Myeloma to help support myeloma research. If you'd like to join me in riding in your local race, you can buy a jersey (click here to see what they look like) for $200. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested, and I'll help you get one ordered.
Wish me luck!
about the author
Myeloma survivor, patient advocate, wife, mom of 6. Believer that patients can help accelerate a cure by weighing in and participating in clinical research. Founder of HealthTree Foundation (formerly Myeloma Crowd).