For today’s Mission Monday, we wanted to share with you a write-up about honoree Rodney Gluck. Rodney signed up for the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon that just happened yesterday. This write-up was done prior to the event, so we’ll have to check in with him and see how the race went. Stay tuned for that! Meanwhile, read on for his story!
Rodney Gluck might be one of the only people in the world who found being diagnosed with “B” cell Malt lymphoma a relief. That’s because originally he was misdiagnosed with rectal cancer, a diagnosis with a much shorter survival rate. “I had a week of thinking I had rectal cancer and that my life would come to an end very quickly,” Gluck says of this incident.
After his correct diagnosis of lymphoma in August of 2009, Gluck decided to join the Silicon Valley and Monterey Bay Area chapter of Team In Training (TNT), an organization that trains people to complete endurance events and fundraise money for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). He signed up for his first ever endurance event, the San Jose Rock and Roll Half Marathon, which will be taking place on October 3rd. “I probably chose this because it felt safe,” Gluck admitted. “It was close to home and seemed to be a good goal for my first marathon.”
In an effort to treat his lymphoma, Gluck’s doctors put him on Rituxan, which caused quite a bit of high anxiety and was ultimately unsuccessful in treating the disease. So next, he was put on antibiotics. These had no side effects but were also unsuccessful, so finally he underwent radiation, which he completed six weeks ago. According to Gluck, “the radiation was the worst, causing severe pain for about a month.” He’ll find out if this third treatment was successful when he is tested in November.
Meanwhile, he is training hard with his team, where he serves the dual purpose of participant and honoree (a blood cancer patient who provides TNT participants with a connection to the cause). “The training in no doubt has given me a focus,” Gluck says. “It has helped me get into better shape, which will help me be strong to beat the cancer.”
Gluck first heard about Team In Training when he saw someone wearing a TNT sweatshirt and asked about the program. Before this, he had never thought of doing an endurance event. “My perspective immediately changed when I looked into TNT,” Gluck says of his decision to sign up. “It gave me a goal I would never have had. It is helping me focus, focus, focus.”
As someone still waiting on pins and needles to find out if his most recent treatment has been effective, this focus has helped Gluck stay calm in the face of his fear. “To tell the truth I’m scared as hell, especially at the moment while I am in limbo, waiting to be tested again. I want to live!” Gluck insists. Still, being a part of TNT has reassured him that no matter what, he is helping others in the fight against blood cancers. “Even if things go the wrong way, I know that I will have made a mark in the improvement of treatments and the road to beating this and all other cancers,” he says.
As his event draws closer, Gluck is already looking ahead to his next event with TNT in the Spring. Meanwhile, he’s still keeping his hopes up and his attitude positive. “My first doctor once told me when I was diagnosed that it’s either 100% or 0% of living or dying; you need to make the choice.”
Gluck has made his choice, and he has this to say for anyone else in his situation who is thinking of joining TNT: “Stop thinking and just do it! Especially for people who have been diagnosed with lymphomas or blood diseases!” He has made it one of his goals to reach out to the Oncology departments to make sure the patients are aware of TNT and the benefits associated.
Interested in meeting amazing honorees like Rodney and training for your own endurance event? Team In Training’s Winter Season is just around the corner! Find out more at a local info meeting, or you can contact us, call us at (408) 490-2672, or email SJTNTInfo@lls.org for more info. Go Team!