Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Three olympic medal, one of which has the face of a clock on it

Making Olympic Sized Plans

In 1976, I was 15 years old and that was my first real appreciation of the Olympics. It was the start of Edwin Moses’s domination of the 400-meter hurdles. He’s in my top four of favorite Olympians of all time, along with Michael Johnson, Eric Heiden, and Cathy Freeman.  In 1984, the Olympics were in Los Angeles. My hometown. However, I was too busy being an irresponsible 23-year-old to pay them much bother.  The only event I saw was the marathon, where we stood at mile 19 and waved flags.

My fanaticism with the Olympics (summer and winter games) probably really took off in 1992 with the Barcelona Games. And it’s grown since then. In 2008, I took a week off from work to watch as many Olympics events in the Beijing Olympics as possible. And to be honest, I prefer the winter and summer games to be in the same year. That’s the tradition!

Planning for the future

In early 2011, I was talking to a friend and we were starting to talk about making the trip to London for the 2012 Olympics. Well…later in 2011 I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma and there went that plan.

My degree is in city planning, I worked as a planner for 30 years and I have always liked to have plans. It gives me something to look forward to and keeps me focused.  The myeloma diagnosis certainly changed that.  Over the past eight years, even when I am doing well, I haven’t really planned things more than a few months in advance. I’m trying to break that cycle and get back to being a bit more of a planner. But then, in my mind, I wonder (worry?) how far in advance can I plan.  In 2028, the Olympics return to Los Angeles. They’re already signing up volunteers. I’m pretty darn excited about this. I would love to be a part of the experience.

Making the most of my time here

I was actually thinking about the 2028 Olympics the other day and imagining what events I’d want to attend. But I stopped myself. We’re talking about something 9 years from now.  I’m a bit surprised to still be here 8 years into myeloma. 9 years from now feels like a lifetime away. And it basically is. If I’m still alive and kicking in 9 years, well boy howdy, that will really be something.  Fortunately, in 2020 the U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials are in Eugene, Oregon. I’m all over that. I feel comfortable and confident enough that I can pen it into my calendar. And before then, the Vikings play the Chiefs in Kansas City this November. I’ve got a friend with Chiefs seasons tickets, so I’m also penning this into my calendar.

The last thing I’ll say about plans is this, I wish when I was diagnosed that I was given an expiration date.  It’d allow me to plan and have a deadline for accomplishing goals and fulfilling plans. With myeloma, there is such an unknown. My treatment is working this week, but what about next week. My immune system is strong in May, but what about June. I think what I’ll do is simply move forward, plan on attending the opening ceremonies at the 2028 Olympics and work towards having that happen.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Blood-Cancer.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Deb Wesloh moderator
    5 months ago

    Love your positive attitude! And I like how you used the Olympics in this story, It is really hard to make future plans when you have cancer. But I think if you have something to push forward toward it helps.
    When I was diagnosed with breast cancer and polycythemia vera (the same year) and ultimately had to undergo chemo, a lot of my plans changed.
    I had to give away my tickets for Billy Joel that I had bought before I knew I had cancer. We also had season tickets to the Spurs (Go Spurs Go!). I missed most the games that season because I was either in a neutropenic state (probably the best idea to hang out with 20,000 people) or I didn’t feel up to it.
    Nobody really knows how long they have so I think it’s best to make plans and hope for the best.
    We’ll see you at the 2028 Olympics!

  • Carole McCue
    5 months ago

    Matt,
    You have a terrific healthy, positive attitude. Keep it going. Looking forward to your fun time at the future olympics🙏🏻

  • Ann Harper moderator
    5 months ago

    I agree! Having a positive attitude and something to look forward to will help you achieve your goals. Good luck to you.

  • Poll