Site Updates, Events, and My Myeloma Diagnosis

Hey everyone! I’m sorry haven’t blogged or posted on social media in a while. It’s been a rough few months. Last year pretty much all of my waking hours outside of work (when I wasn’t studying for certs or taking training courses) were spent on my blog/website and related social media. I was staying up all hours of the night actively looking for events for the events blog posts and calendar, training for the training site, discounts for the discounts page, manually scouring job ads to keep the job board populated with jobs that met the posting criteria, and responding to messages. I was also adding even more things to my plate because I had a hard time saying no when I felt like I was already trying to do too much (even though I loved what I was doing). Then one day I started crashing. I literally couldn’t stay awake no matter how much coffee I drank or how hard I tried to fight sleep. This went on sporadically for a few months, then it became every day. I would struggle to get through work and fall asleep immediately afterwards. I also had constant back and hip pain. It ended up getting so bad I had to get a walker to get around the house. I lost my Cisco Cyber Ops certification because I couldn’t stay awake to finish the CE credits, and missed out on taking the eCMAP exam when the voucher I bought expired. I even missed a Trace Labs CTF! After a bone marrow biopsy, PET/CT scan, and blood work, I was diagnosed with Smoldering Multiple Myeloma, an early form of Multiple Myeloma. Multiple Myeloma is an incurable blood cancer affecting the plasma cells that make up the immune system.

It’s already affected my immune system, but aside from clinical trials, there isn’t any treatment for smoldering myeloma until it turns into full blown multiple myeloma causing end organ damage. I’m currently being monitored every few months until that happens. After joining some myeloma support groups, experimenting with supplements, getting enough sleep every day, and changing my diet, my fatigue from anemia and the bone pain aren’t as bad anymore. I think I finally got myself into a healthier routine and will be carving out time in moderation to start working on my websites and posting on social media again. I’m also seriously behind on messages, I apologize for that.

Monthly Events Blog Post and Calendar Changes

One of the things I decided to do was remove the deadlines I previously placed on myself because I still deal with fatigue some days and don’t know when things are going to get worse. Instead of a monthly events blog post, I’ll be continuously adding events to a single calendar. I removed the calendars I was previously using due to the expense but I’m hoping I can get the same filtering with the new one I’ll be adding. I also plan on sending event updates to subscribers whenever I add events.

Get Your Start in DFIR Job Board

The job board is currently empty. Keeping the job board populated has been the most time consuming task. As anyone searching for entry-level jobs knows, you probably have to read through 20-40 “entry-level” postings before finding one that’s actually entry level. The job board only allows DFIR job postings for people who have never worked in DFIR before. That being said, anyone who knows about a job like that can post it for free on the Get Your Start in DFIR Job Board. I make sure it meets the posting criteria and that the link to the job is good before it goes live. I’ll also start looking for jobs to add again.

Forensic 4:Cast Awards

Thank you SO much for the Forensic 4:cast Award nominations. I’m honored to be included. Voting for the awards is currently open and winners will be announced during the FREE SANS DFIR Summit in August which brings me to the next topic….

Upcoming Virtual Events

Here is a list of a few upcoming virtual DFIR related events which will also be added to the calendar as soon as I get it up and running. I’ll post a link to the calendar on social media and send it to subscribers when it’s complete.

July 21st – The Future of MDR: Reimagining the ‘R’ with Unlimited DFIR (Free)

July 27th – It’s Getting Real & Hitting the Fan! Real World Cloud Attacks (Free)

July 29th -30th Belkasoft DFIR CTF (Free)

August 11th – Learn Incident Handling & Response in Under 40 Minutes (Free)

August 15th & 16th – SANS DFIR Summit (Free)

August 15th-18th – Getting Started in Security with BHIS and MITRE ATT&CK ($30 – $575)

October 3rd & 4th – SANS Blue Team Summit (Free)

October 8th – Layer 8 OSINT Conference ($25 – $50)