In January of 2017, I participated in my first endurance triathlon, the HITS 70.3 in Naples. This was swimming, biking, and running, in that order. It was a lot of fun, but after finishing, I promised myself that I would never do this again.
Two days after the race, I was doing a run in downtown Naples where I was stopped by a couple walking on the sidewalk. The man told me that he saw me in the HITS race, and he said that I had to do the inaugural 70.3 in Lake Placid to be held in September. He mentioned that the only way possible to get a bib was by making a donation to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation. I said ok without knowing anything about the foundation or disease, but it sounded like a good idea.
Training for the race was going great. In August, I had an appointment with an immunologist who was following up on frequent sinus infections and other issues. In the August visit, she told me that I needed to get some tests to screen for multiple myeloma. Two weeks later, the physicians at Moffit Cancer Center in Tampa told me that I have MGUS.
It’s now been 6 years since the first visit to Moffit, and my condition is stable. I know much more about the disease. I started doing the events for fun. They are still fun, but now it’s more personal, and I see the benefits of the Cure Cloud and other work being done by the MMRF toward making living with the disease less difficult and hopefully finding a cure.
Participating in endurance events and the training for them is part of my life every day. Fortunately, for me, multiple myeloma isn’t front and center, but I think about it frequently while racing, training, and living. I am hoping that my small efforts help in some way
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