KELLY BURROWS TALKS ABOUT HIS FIGHT WITH CANCER

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viagra sales malady times;”>kelly_burrowsMy story

viagra times;”>June 19.2015

In the seasons of life i have had more than my share of summers. A long run of sunny days and adventures night filled with lucky stars, uninterrupted by great personal calamity, rewarding in ways i could not have imagined in those formative years growing up in nassau. That was never clearer than when in my late fifties making no attempt to prepare me for what was coming. There were those fleeting moments of wondering, is this payback for having a good life? Despite imperfect behavior and decisions from time to time? Retribution from whoever or whatever has the power? And that power comes from god.

As many of you know, i was diagonozed with multiple myeloma in 2006, a disease of the blood and bone marrow a degenerative bone cancer that was in very good partial remission. Due to early detection. My oncologist dr jose lutzky, from the oncology centre of mt sana’i then put me on a high dose chemotherapy called (revlimid) @ a cost of $8634.00, a month. It is all very expensive. One revlimid pill alone is more than $500 and they are not easy to acquire, only seven pharmacies throughout the united states. Ship the poweful drug. And to become a customer requires a detailed background check and hospital authorization. Developed from thalidomide, the drug banned in the sixties when it was found to cause birth defects in women being treated for morning sickness. For someone who had been taking only a regular aspiran and vasatec, within a few weeks i was taking seventeen pills a day.

Drug therapy for mm is advancing rapidly. Mm is a complex cancer, as all are, but this one has a daunting entry in any medical reference book. Myeloma as a description has its origin with the greek medical genius hippocrates, who did the earliest known work on cancer, which he called karkinoma (carcinoma) in ancient greek.

My doctors tell me “yes” said i’m going to beat this – and i know it’s true. But that’s the current estimate for your condition. There’s been great progress in treating this. We’ve learned fifty percent more than we knew before. People are living with this well beyond the estimates.

Mulitiple myeloma may be a small-population cancer representing only 1 percent of the cancers recorded and affecting twenty thousand people a year, but angela, my wife and i keep encountering others who have the disease or who are related to myeloma patients.

Being told that you have cancer. Cancer has its own calender and insidious rythem, the very word cancer – has no redeeming qualities. When given the diagnosis it felt like a death sentence was passed on you. It is a dangerous and mysterious condition. It is not a “mind over matter” disease. Nor is it a disease that has succumbed to the declarition of war against it. “the truth, uncomfortable and inconvenient as it may be, is that medical science has never faced a more inscrutable, more mutable, or more ruthless adversary. It is a unique disease. Cancer is, in a way, the body’s war on itself” on leaving mt sana’i, back to ft lauderdale airport. After getting the results from a battery of tests over a 6 month period.

Was the darkest moments of my life my thoughts were on dyeing, i called my wife and children with the news, i kept checking my emotions. I was approaching 151st street on i 95 around the miami gardens area, i then pulled over to the embankment to collect my thoughts.

This silent voice came to me, with the question, no “why me god”? If not you, why not you? From that moment i came to grips with my condition. I’ve always been a fighter, and with all the prayers and support, a winner.

And told god right there and then, whatever is your will, let your will be done. God only gives us what we can handle and that it helps to have a good sense of humor when we run smack into the absurdity of life.  And to this day, that’s where i left it. It was no longer my problem; i put it in god’s hand and left it there.

These are the dilemmas for cancer patients. Who and what to believe? A particular treatment is not foolproof, or, as many medical experts remind us, it is not math, with a fixed and certain outcome. I quickly learned multiple myeoloma would dictate the terms of my life, from physical fitness to summer schedules to appetite to energy to appreciation of my sorroundings. Patients with complicated conditions would do well to adapt the “trust, but verify” reminder.

I hoped that as time passed i would be able to raise the cancer shade and allow more light into my daily life. Until then it is cancer every waking moment and the realization that it will be with me until the end, by whatever means. And a reminder of the mortality zone i now occupy. We had the glory years, and then were ambushed by the cancer years.

This cancer ordeal has reminded me again of the mental and physical dividends of good health. Every morning i awake longing for the days not so long ago when i would go for my five mile run. I am seldom at a loss for words, but no comments in passing would be worthy. Cancer is such a vicious disease that it can rob us of even small moments of humanity. For my part, with the exceptional support of my family, medical team and friends, i am very optimistic about the future and look forward to continuing my life.

Day after day, friends are saying,”how you doing” by the way, “you look great!” Huh? I look better with cancer than i did without?

When i read that someone has been diagnosed with cancer or died of it, i will know there was nothing routine about his or her experience. The charts showing the improved survival rates for various forms of cancer are instructive. If not always comforting, until the day your physician declares you healed, and even then it is not money – back guaranteed.

My cancer is manageable, after having 2 stem cell procedures, in june 2009. At the regional memorial cancer institute, in pembroke pines, where i had a to remain for 5 months. Under the capable and professional care of dr. Lyle feinstein and his capable team. But remains incurable. However many stories i hear of patients resuming normal lives while keeping muliple myeloma in remission, the numbers, not the anecdotes, tell the hard truths. It’s estimated that 24, 050 mm cases were diagnosed in 2014, and in the same year 11, 090, died of the cancer. The much more encouraging news is that the five – year survival rate has been improving steadily, from just over 26 percent of mm patients in 1975 to approaching 50 percent now. As the eternal optimist i intend to hang around for longer than five years, having already, with god’s good grace passed that survival rate. Having been diagonosed from 2006.

Has cancer changed me? Am i a better person? That’s for others to judge. All i know that having a supportive family, access to excellent care, the resources to pay for it. I remain a lucky guy.

It is this uncompromising reality that should motivate every cancer patient, and patients afflicted with any kind of coimplicated condition, to constantly ask, “is this the right approach? Am i making the progress expected?” Most important, are all the parts of my treatment team working together?

“aging sucks” born in 1946, i am not a boomer, but the tailwinds of that generation swept through my age group as well. And we became part of the “always young” cohort. Aging was not in the game plan. I have learned that when friends and relatives have cancer you can be sympathetic but you cannot be truly empathetic until you have it yourself. Cancer is an unwelcome companion to the so-called golden years of life.

George thompson. A former reporter at the new york times wrote a widely praised book called the “cancer chronicles” and followed it in the “sunday times” with an article “why everyone seems to have cancer” he reminds us that age becomes the catalyst for cancer. “as people age their cells amass more potentially cancerous mutations. Given a long life, cancer will eventually kill you – unless you die of something else”

Your concentration on the disease is the weapon that will do more harm than good. If you dwell on your condition, it will do more damage than the cancer itself. These are the trials that test a family and define the character of the individual members. My profound trust and faith in god. The support of my wife angela of forty “40” years. Now i am endlessly intrigued by their distinctive strenghts and instincts, my children, in the weeks, months and years ahead i would need the combined, they represented as each played a distinctive role.

Prayers of my family and friends. And good wishes sustained me. Personally, i never drifted from my prayer life, but i was deeply touched by friends, who kept the faith in a quiet way and offered their prayers as well gave me such hope and played a major role in my recovery, in facing this new challenge during this diffucult period of my life. I ask humbly for your continued prayers and love.

Nowadays, my life is troubled free. Of which i have earned that right to just relax, do as i please, i go out occasionally for a cocktail and have some fun.  I look forward and treasure, the times

I am able to spend with my children and grand children. Life goes

On, i have always, and still, enjoy the quality of the finer things i’ve become accustomed to. That life have to offer in all its fulness, and i intend with god’s help to enjoy every day, as though it is my last. I subscribe to the lord’ s prayer “give us this day”.

These days, with god’s grace and mercy, after going through the stem cell procedure, every so often the treatment for cancer can cause other serious problems.  My last 6 test results over the last 4 years, were negative, with no trace of the cancer and i can certainly say that god is good. To him i give the glory.  I am feeling and doing extremely well.

 however being on daily medication, i go to the gym 4 times a week. My lifestyle has been altered a bit, but god has been good to me over these last 69 years for which i am grateful. I have enjoyed a good life with no regrets or complaints. I have done everything that my heart desires; traveling extensively, and continue to do so at every opportunity. Knowing, this to shall pass. So far the early reassurance about my condition is holding up. I will die someday but it is not likely to be the result of multiple myeloma.

I do think about mortality in ways i did not before the diagnosis. It no longer seems a faint, distant reality, in part because i’ve experienced the ruthless nature of cancer. Simultaneously, at age sixty nine “69” i’ve moved into the neighborhood of life where there are few long-er leases. It is not enough to “rage, rage against the dying light” it is also time to quietly savor the advantages of a fortunate life and use them to fill every waking moment with emotional and intellectual pursuits worthy of the precious time we have.

Life, what’s left?

Bring it on.