My name is Keith Stava and I live in Norfolk, VA. My family and I have been here for the past eighteen years. Before that, we were raised and lived in Orange County, CA. Needless to say, moving to Norfolk was a little bit of a change! I have spent most of my life in show business as a producer, manager, fundraiser, and early on as a stage manager.
Sixteen years ago I was diagnosed with a full-blown case of Multiple Myeloma (bone marrow cancer). My treatments included a stem cell transplant at Duke using my own stem cells. The treatments were successful and I have been mostly Myeloma-free since then. Unfortunately, Multiple Myeloma is one of those nasty cancers that eventually returns on everyone so I have been keeping myself busy living and loving my life.
Eighteen months ago I was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. Not good! To make matters worse (if that is possible), it was likely caused by the drug I was taking to keep my Multiple Myeloma at bay. Nice, huh?
I went through some pretty tough treatments including another stem cell transplant at Duke, this time using my brother’s donated stem cells. But I am glad to say I have come out the other side of that meat grinder and am truly now living and loving my life.
As most cancer patients who are undergoing treatments know, “See you in thirty days” is usually the time between doctor appointments. You have thirty days to worry about if the other shoe is going to drop, or you can try to live your life. Learning how to live your life in thirty day increments is a process and it takes a while to get to the point where you can accept your situation and strive to make the best of it.
I hope this blog can be of some help to other people going through cancer or just trying to live their life the best they can, and maybe even getting a few laughs from my crazy life along the way!