Bob Stamp: Putting CLL in the Rearview Mirror

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Topics include: Patient Stories and Living Well

Is it possible to put your CLL diagnosis behind you and move forward with your life?  A 10-year CLL survivor, Bob Stamp, says an emphatic “Yes!”  On location in Phoenix, Arizona, Patient Power Founder Andrew Schorr and Bob discuss ways to live well through exercise, self-advocacy and finding support.  Andrew and Bob both agree: “Don’t let your diagnosis dominate your life!”

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Transcript

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

Andrew Schorr:

Andrew Schorr on location in Phoenix, where we always try to meet people along the way who we know from online. This is Bob Stamp, used to be from San Diego now here in Phoenix and living with CLL, and your past 10 years.

Bob Stamp:

I’ll be in remission 10 years this September.

Andrew Schorr:

And those of us who follow CLL, he had fludarabine and rituximab, or Fludara and Rituxan. I had the F and the C and the R, adding cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan). How you doing?

Bob Stamp:

I feel great. I’ve had 10 years, I’ve never had any issues, zero issues.

Andrew Schorr:

Okay. Let’s talk for people who may be newly diagnosed or feeling down in the dumps, what’s my future? Tell me about your activities, because you’re an active guy.

Bob Stamp:

Well, I’ve retired the past two years, and now I can be full-time. I bike, I run, I lift weights, bodysurf when I get back over to San Diego. I play golf. We walk regularly - about as much time as I have doing all these sports. 

Andrew Schorr:

So would you say you’ve put the CLL in the rearview mirror, if you will, just went on with your life? 

Bob Stamp:

You know, I have. And what’s kind of remarkable is my numbers have kind of been getting better as I’ve gotten into my length of 10 years in remission. They’re the best they’ve even been now at the 10-year mark. 

Andrew Schorr:

So what would you say to somebody newly diagnosed who says, oh my God, my future’s uncertain, kind of woe is me, and the family may be feeling that too? 

Bob Stamp:

Well, that’s a typical response, because I’m sure Andrew and myself both had that. When they told me I had CLL, I told them I didn’t have it, because I didn’t know what it was. And it’s scary. But once you get through treatments, and you have so many more treatments now than you did when we had it. I don’t know. I guess I’m pretty lucky. I don’t hardly think about it now. I still follow ACOR and Patient Power, but I don’t do a lot of research anymore on it, just because the numbers are still good.

Andrew Schorr:

You live your life.

Bob Stamp:

Mmm-hmmm.

Andrew Schorr:

So a little bit of commentary, first of all. So he mentioned that he’s involved in a list, the ACOR.org CLL list. Many of us have been members of it for years. He follows Patient Power, which is great. So that’s how we sort of know each other. He recognized me coming in here. But the point is there’s a lot of support for you. You don’t have to feel alone.

Bob Stamp:

Well, the list is always providing folks—that’s sort of how we sort of hooked up. It’s an opportunity to meet people who’ve had other experiences and know the latest and greatest and to help increase our knowledge and kind of do a check of where we are in life. 

Andrew Schorr:

One thing I’ll say is that Bob and I have been visiting before we’re recording this interview. So did we talk about CLL? Yes. Do we talk about kids? Do we talk about our lives? It is not all of our lives, even though we’ve made a connection this way. And I think what’s important for people is don’t let a diagnosis dominate your life, right?

Bob Stamp:

True. Well, it’s everything medically. It’s kind of you deal with it and move on. And ultimately, eat right, live right. You’ve got to continue those variables to maintain your health.

Andrew Schorr:

Right, absolutely. So Bob has said next time we’re in Phoenix, we’re going on a long bike ride, right? 

Bob Stamp:

Right. Take him mountain biking. 

Andrew Schorr: 

Right. If my wife will let me. But I think a happy story of people connecting with a diagnosis that for both of us was very scary but now just going on with our lives and hope that’s for you too. On location in Phoenix with Bob Stamp, I’m Andrew Schorr. Remember, knowledge can be the best medicine of all.

Please remember the opinions expressed on Patient Power are not necessarily the views of our sponsors, contributors, partners or Patient Power. Our discussions are not a substitute for seeking medical advice or care from your own doctor. That’s how you’ll get care that’s most appropriate for you.

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Page last updated on March 18, 2016