I Was Diagnosed With Stage 3B Lymphoma

Posted in SEM Poetry Slam

HeartSo I emailed my friends and loved ones Friday, August 12, 2005 at 1:28 PM from Mayo Clinic. At 45 years old I was 6-weeks recently remarried, aimClear was a dream, and my 2 lovely daughters, Lee and Sylvie, were 12 and 10 years old respectively.

It was devastating news and we were crushed. Later in this post I hope you’ll l take a minute to read the full text of that day’s email bearing the difficult news. Now I’m OK, but even for me today the words provide eerie insight as to what it’s like to receive the heartbreaking Lymphoma diagnosis. Also, this post is a meme.

NYC Search Marketers’ Party During SMX to Beat Lymphoma
It’s not often I have a legitimate reason to talk about cancer survival in our search marketing blog. However, Next week Internet Marketers of New York (IMNY) is sponsoring a charity event to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The bash is sponsored by Best of The Web and SMX Social Media attendees have specifically been invited. Since aimClear will be covering SMX Social Media, I’ve changed my flight reservations in order to attend. The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, sponsors of Light the Night, was a critical informational resource and support structure for me and my family. Now it’s time to give back.

Link Love is as Good as Money! Please Circulate the Event URL by linking to http://www.im-ny.org/events.html and tag 3 other bloggers with outbound links. Ask them to pass it along to 3 bloggers, etc…. I am tagging Lyndon, FlyingRose, Danielle Winfield, Dana Wallert, Tinu, Brian, Andy Beard, Derek Semmler, Jenna, Nathania, Matt Keegan, Brian G, Andrew, Scott Clark, Lee Odden, Todd Mintz, Mu, SEORefuge, Michael, Maki, and all our treasured RSS and email subscribers. Everyone on this list is also a Stumbler…you know what to do!

Never Thought I’d Use aimClearBlog for This
2 years ago I had one hell of a fight on my hands. 7 months of intensive chemo, 3 weeks of radiation, and 18 months later I remain in “first partial remission” with a good prognosis for long term survival. I’m one of the lucky ones. Please help publicize this event by attending, donating, or passing along meme link love.THANK YOU!

The Most Difficult Email of My Life:
From: Marty
Sent: Friday, August 12, 2005 1:28 PM
Subject: Cancer

Friends and loved ones,
I was just diagnosed with lymphoma. Lymphoma is treatable in all stages, and I will soon know exactly what subtype of lymphoma I have. I have no symptoms other than a swollen gland though I have many masses in my body. I am at the Mayo Clinic with Laura. I had surgery yesterday.

Please center your prayers on hoping-for-Hodgkin’s, which is the most treatable type. Regardless of the type, I have a terrific fight on my hands. I am ready for it.

The rabbi tells me that most people waste a lot of time on a couple of nagging questions at times like these. I’m very lucky that I’m truly not caught up in such questions:

1: I am not mad at God. God did not do this to me. It is a simple fact that 3 in 10,000 people get Lymphoma. This is random. At worst, in my relationship with God, a challenge has been issued that I be the best I can be in the face of adversity. Therefore, I am blessed.

2: I do not question the fundamental fairness of the universe- we all know the universe is not fair-at least on a scale which humans can always recognize. There will be no “why me?” in this process.

I simply don’t have precious life energy to spend on either of these questions. Of all the people you know, I am the one who can beat something like this.

I’m in great physical and mental shape. The cancer is not in any of my organs. I am nearly fully asymptomatic. I’ve got a good shot. My friends and loved ones are AWESOME support. Cancer can take my time, health, body, and maybe even my life someday- but it can NOT take the happiness I’ve attained in my life. I intend to live until at least age 60. I will remain happy and faithful the entire time. I will increase that goal as I learn that more of a future is reasonable.

Next Weds or Thursday I will have the sub-type information and begin chemo and radiation. I’ll keep any of you informed if you want to know. Please include my family in your prayers. The Mayo Clinic is the best place in the word for me to deal with this and my team is incredible. I am also positioned financially and professionally to take this on with little risk to the reality of my life.

Regardless, I will be back at work on Monday morning.

Love,
Marty

  • Chris Winfield

    Marty –

    Thanks for sharing such a personal and inspirational story.

    I am so glad that you will be able to make it out to the IM-NY party and thanks for raising awareness of it. It will be a great time and even more importantly – it’s for a great cause.

    See you next week!

    Chris

  • Marty Weintraub

    Cool, thanks Chris. I can tell you that the folks I met in the chemo pod at Mayo all look exactly like you, me, our friends, and our family. Thanks to the NYC folks for hosting this event.

  • Tinu

    You can definitely count on me to help spread awareness. I’m going to write you a private note about why you are my hero today. Thank you for creating this post. And I admire that you’re a Survivor, a Thriver, even.

  • Marty Weintraub

    That’s so sweet Tinu. I’m glad you stopped by.

  • IncrediBILL

    Marty, sorry to see you have joined the lymphoma party.

    I was diagnosed with stage 4 small b-cell lymphoma in 2001 and there is no 100% cure, it almost always comes back eventually. What I have is the same thing Mr. T was diagnosed with back in 1995 and he’s still kicking as well. After a couple of rounds of chemo I have had a clean bill of health for a few years now.

    After reading up on the disease for a couple of days I decided not to sit around and have a pity party for myself, went out and played poker for a couple of days just to keep my mind off the problem and have never looked back.

    As a matter of fact, my wife was researching all these support groups and and telling me all about them and finally I told my wife if she needs a support group, fine, go join one but I don’t need one. I think my resolve to move on with my life like it was a splinter helped her get past the fact that I wasn’t dropping dead anytime soon. We all have to go sometime, it’s just a matter of when, and someone appears to have moved the dial forward on my clock when I wasn’t paying attention.

    I had a different spin about God and such and one day someone in the infusion center said “Thank God the treatment is working” and I had to say “No, thank the DOCTOR because God got me into this crap but the doctor is getting me out of it!”.

    They didn’t disagree with my perspective.

    I grew up in farmland and many experts are starting to speculate that my version of this disease is often caused by exposure to pesticides and fertilizers.

    BTW, I didn’t lose my hair at all during treatment, YMMV.

    Good luck and keep us posted on your progress.

  • Kat

    It was exciting to hear about the charity event to spread awareness on lymphoma. I don’t know if you know this, but my dad has chronic lymphoma. Fortunately, it was detected early, and he is healthy. I’m glad you’ll have the opportunity to be a part of the event.

    Also, thanks for sharing your personal email from August 2005: It’s cool when you look back and 2 years have passed and now you’re a healthy survivor. Hooray!

  • kat

    Marty-
    just wanted to say thank you for sharing your personal story. Your positivity, strength and personal story are inspirational to so many others who fight this disease as well as their loved ones. My husband Lars and I keep you in our thoughts and prayers and will send some link love your way.

  • Marty Weintraub

    IncrediBILL, Thank you so much for the intensity and wisdom in your comment. I actually won’t ever forget your contribution to this thread.

    Thanks to those participating in the meme to raise awareness for the NYC event during SMX Social NYC. m

  • Mike Marshall

    Marty, you are a living testament to the notion “That which does not kill you only makes you stronger.” That’s a truly inspiring story.

    Thank you for helping me to put things into perspective on a stressful Monday morning.

  • Marty Weintraub

    It is a busy one isn’t it! Thanks Mike-my regards to the ClickPath folks.

  • Andrew Shotland

    Hey Marty,

    As I may have mentioned at SMX my father was diagnosed with Lymphoma about 15 years ago. Thanks to some very smart doctors and cool technology he has been able to totally eradicate it from his body. Thanks for mentioning the fundraiser. It’s important to keep the progress that is being made against Lymphoma in the spotlight as both an encouragement to those who have it and as a beacon for those who want to beat it.

    Andrew

  • Marty Weintraub

    Andrew,
    Thanks for sharing the story about your father in this thread. My conversation with you @ SMX Local & Mobile was important to my comfort level coming forward here. Will you be in NYC?

  • Anthony Kirlew

    Marty, thanks for sharing openly. First, I pray a speedy recovery for you, and peace for your family. For the past 8 months, I have walked through a very difficult season of ill health with my wife, and sometimes we really didn’t know which way was up and which way was down. I was tempted to be angry at God “who has the power to change all”, but in the end, I was thankful for the good that came out of it (which makes me appreciate your perspective). By God’s grace, she is much better and is expected to fully recover. For us, one of the worst parts is that most of the time the doctors didn’t even know what was wrong with her.

    I am happy to help in any way that I can. I know you are not anywhere near to AZ, but if you want a referral to a doctor who helped his son beat cancer (even if it’s just to get another perspective), let me know. He is my wife’s doctor and he has worked with cancer studies and treatments done by Mayo Clinic, and most of all, saw his son cured of cancer after he had basically come home to die.

    Sorry, I will not be able to make the SMX event as we just relocated to Arizona about a month ago to get some support from my wife’s family as she recovered. I will certainly spread the word.

    Keep the faith, stay positive, and try to thank negative people (including doctors) for their input but don’t let it dampen your spirit (we had to fight a lot of this along the way).

    Godspeed.

    Anthony Kirlew (a.k.a. OldSchool)
    Web Traffic Team
    anthony @ webtrafficteam.com

  • Marty Weintraub

    Anthony, thank you for the lovely comment. Our thoughts and prayers are also with your wife and family. Let’s have a cup of java next time I get down AZ way. :) Marty

  • Scott Hendison

    I’ve also had some personal experience with cancer very close in my family and I wish you nothing but the best.

    I’m especially glad to see you writing this over a full two years past the original e-mail, and I only wish I was going to New York, where of course I would attend.

    I will of course do the next next thing and spread some link love.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Thanks Scott. The reaction to the post has been amazing. I’m grateful to meet you here in this thread.

  • GO! Smell the flowers

    Hi from Dubai,

    We’ll be posting about this over at flowers this coming weekend.

    Thanks for sharing this true story of inspiration.

    Healthy Regards,
    Jim & Emma Wheat
    AKA GO! Smell the flowers

  • Marty Weintraub

    Jim & Emma,
    Thanks so much for the kind words…and stopping by.
    Marty

  • JJ Loch

    May God Bless You in ways you never thought possible, Marty!!!

    You’re an inspiration to us all. :D

    Hugs, JJ

  • Marty Weintraub

    That is SO sweet. Thank you.

  • NY SEO

    Hang in there Dude!

    Your positive outlook gives you the advantage, and you have many people pulling for you.

  • Anna

    Marty, I been tagged to spread the news about the The Internet Marketers of New York sponsoring a charity event benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, however I missed the date. Well I felt bad, because your story is very touching, so I still posted a little post leading to this post. Hope it is okay. Anna :)
    Here is the link: http://myonlyphoto.blogspot.com/2007/10/marty-weintraub-story.html

  • Marty Weintraub

    Thank you so much Anna. All of the good energy counts!

  • Richard

    Hey I was Diagnosed in 2004, do not worry you will be fine. it is a major pain but your family is your spirit. It was devastating for me and my family also, many times I thought what the heck, but my wife and kids get me through each day. One day at a time. I found that writing was an excellent release for anger and worked great just to get it out. I guess from your blog that you already know that. Again just take care of yourself and don’t get down, remember your family. make sure you eat even though you don’t want to and it taste bad. get a lot of rest but walk as often as possible, make short walks a part of your day, does not have to be far, just down the road and back. again take care, and if you are comfortable with your doctor then do what they tell you, Mine was great, I trusted him and he did not let me down.

  • Marty Weintraub

    Thanks Richard,
    I’m living a mostly normal life and having fun. Thanks for the encouragement.

    Marty

  • Clickfire

    Marty, somehow I just saw this post. I admire your attitude and would like to offer my encouragement along with the others.

  • Marty Weintraub

    @Clickfire: Thanks! I’m still clean. Next checkup is in January.

  • fred

    I lost my brother at age 46 to lymphoma and feel it was caused by
    the treatment, he was only stage 1. He felt great after his 4th treatment
    just B4 thanksgiving in 04 and Dec. 20th he was gone. Anyone else
    have bad expereince w/treatments?

  • Marty Weintraub

    @ Fred: I am so sorry. I have not seen similar results stem from treatment-in my small little world. GodSpeed.

  • Kris

    Dear Marty i came across ur story as i was researching lymphoma. A friend of mine was lastweek diagnosed with hodgkins lymphoma stage 3b. I hope your story inspires her to stay strong :)

  • Marty Weintraub

    Your vote could mean over $10,000 for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Please take a minute and VOTE .

    If you’re attending Search Engine Strategies New York or you happen to be in the area, you won’t want to miss this special annual event. All are welcome. The third Internet Marketers of NY Charity Party takes place the evening of March 18th. But WAIT, Best of the Web (gracious sponsor) has invited community members to vote which charity gets the money.

    I’ve been designated as the advocate for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society a cause very close to my heart. I survived stage 3B Lymphoma a couple of years ago and this organization helped save my life with support and timely information. Their lymphoma information discussion board is an incredible resource.

    Internet Marketers of New York have raised over $10,000 for charity with this event . Please go now, get the details, and VOTE for one of the charities listed. “Whichever one receives the most votes through March 5th will receive all proceeds generated from the event.”

    aimClear will be there along with luminaries from the search marketing industry. Literally, social media careers were launched there last year and important friendships/business relationships were made.

  • Mike Foxworth

    Marty,

    Having just discovered your story, I am not up-to-date on your progress, but let me share mine:

    I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of mantle cell lymphoma in April 2006 and had a successful stem cell transplant from an unrelated donor in August 2007. You can find more of the story at my blog or GOOGLE: MyJournal by Mike Foxworth.

    I hope all is well with you and that you will share with others my success story.

  • Marty Weintraub

    @Mike Foxworth: Congratulations on your 60th birthday. I’m doing quite well myself. Thanks for sharing your story with our readers.
    Marty

  • May | Article Writer

    Hi,

    Your story is very inspiring. I have a friend who is suffering non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I will forward her your story so she can gather strength from it. It’s also nice to know the bloggers are making a way to help a good cause. I do hope this event will be replicated this year.

    • Marty Weintraub

      May | Article Writer: I’m glad to hear that the post resonated with you. It’s been 5 years now and things are still going well :). Please have your friend contact me if she would like to talk about anything [Marty]

  • Heather Bragg

    Hi,
    I have been diagnosed with hodgkins stage 3b.. They thought it was gone but less then 3 months later after chemo and radiation it has returned.. I am now dealing with this all over again and I am terrified! I am facing more chemo and stem cell transplant now .. I need some encouragement .. Please , I am only 26 yrs old , thanks and bless you all

    • Marty Weintraub

      Hang in there. You can beat this.