My story can be found under Veterans Against Myeloma (VAM). I was diagnosed at age 41 with Stage IIIA Multiple Myeloma in January 2003. I had 2-stem cell transplants in 2003 at Walter Reed Army Hospital.
I take no medicine and run Marathons in the qualifying time of 3-hours and 30-minutes or an 8-minute mile pace. I accomplished this in 2008 and went to Boston in 2009 and 2010. I am currently training for a Marathon later this month and another one in early May.
This past weekend I did a half-marathon (13.1 miles) trail race and actually led the entire field through the first hour and 11-minutes and ended up finishing 3rd overall. In November 2013, I ran the Memphis Miles for Myeloma and finished 3rd overall and ran the majority of the race in 2nd place. In 2013, I also won my age-group in the Memphis 10-race road series covering distances between 3.1 miles (5K) and 13.1 miles (one-half marathon).
I try to work out for an hour or so everyday in aerobics and core training. I currently log 200+ miles per month and have averaged about 1500 miles per year (since 2006) as it took me about 3-years to recover muscle strength and getting the stamina to run in competition with the Tidewater Striders in Virginia Beach. In 2008, I was able to win 2nd place in age-group in their Grand Prix which consisted of 12 races ranging from one-mile to 26.2 miles. In 2009, 2010, and 2011 I won 1st place in age-group before moving to Memphis. Prior to
the last several years, I suffered from severe shin splints and repeated stress fractures (which I contributed to the chemo), but have since been free of this pain.
I was told at Walter Reed to continue to exercise and I contribute exercise to keeping me possibly in better physical condition now than I was when I was first diagnosed. I also find that being around other active folks helps me to stay positive in much the same way I felt in the confidence shown in fellow patients during or two of follow on maintenance chemo at the Portsmouth Naval Hospital.