two chess pieces stand on opposite sides of a maroon ribbon

Chess Or Checkers

I’m sure many can relate and even say that blood cancer can be compared to some type of board game. Whether you’re playing Chutes and Ladders or Connect 4, you may get the analogy aspect of this. However, something about chess and checkers can indeed bring out the strategy of how we need to go about this word titled "cancer."

What’s in a board game?

Even if it’s a game that is silly and allows for a sense of camaraderie and bonding; a board game also allows for the end goal of one winner at the end of the game. Blood cancer can feel like a board game in some ways that you may not have considered:

  • Moving Pieces - The moving pieces of the multiple medications needed to play
  • Advancement or Not - Depending on how you land determines if you move ahead in your condition, whether good or bad.
  • Back to Beginning - In some cases, when and if relapse occurs, it’s back to the drawing board.


The game of chess is a bit complex as it’s a game of strategy and obtaining an opponent’s king. The game encapsulates taking a position, and that is the case of getting a handle on multiple myeloma or any other blood-related cancer.

How do I not only take control of this situation but also limit the possibility of advancement with this condition? Unfortunately, it’s not an easy game as it can take some hours, days, or months to sit and think through the next viable move that makes sense for that player.

Blood cancer holds this same outlook as treatment and leveling those numbers is not a sprint but indeed a marathon.

Checkers anyone?

The game of checkers seems similar but it can be less complicated, as chess gets caught up with the checkmate goal. Checkers is based on how to move across the board whether diagonally or up and down, while removing your opponent’s’s the last man standing.

The same goal of taking out cancer as it is with chess may be looked at easier to beat. The endgame of getting you closer to stable or remission, though we know the game isn’t usually so cut and dry.

Which are you playing?

It seems so trivial one versus the other, but I would have to say the chess game seems a more fitting analogy for fighting blood cancer. It takes a whole system of in-depth strategies to move along with combatting the diagnosis. In part, having a capable team ready willing, and able to assist in this long process is a must. Having the right specialist who is well-versed in the particular disease is a must. Determining which cocktails are aligned with your plan is our start, and clearly, we won’t know for sure if they'll be successful until we make a move, and then we go from there.

Checkers may be looked at as a quick route with - let’s do that -because we have to while playing it by ear to conquer.

I don’t know…I think I’m a chess gal!

 The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile...when you feel like it

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