Thanks for checking in and following my Myeloma cancer blog, which I originally began June 2010, to document my "summer vacation" at City of Hope Hospital for my first Autologous Stem Cell Transplant.
I hope you enjoy reading my musings, treatment updates, cancer challenges, and on-going medical adventures. Feel free to comment so I know you've stopped by to read my blog! I generally update once or twice a month, depending upon how newsworthy my news is. Thank you for reading and caring!
Cowgirl Up!!! ... Does Horse Poop Cause Cancer??
Thursday, October 10, 2013
Brief BabyBlue Bucket List Bug Blog update
Miss Baby Blue arrives a day earlier than expected!!!
Just after sunset on Sunday
all the way from sunny Florida!!
She sputters, spews smoke
sputters again, spews more smoke, stalls out
and I'm just way tooooo excited to
even remember how to shift!
Whew! son Scott gets us home safely :)
And the next day...
Bucket List Baby Blue Bug and I
meet and greet in the neighborhood!!!
WHAT A WAY TO FEEL
all at the same time!!!
And perhaps Miss BabyBlue replica inadvertently has helped me solve the "Why did I get Myeloma" riddle:
Driving a VW Bug
as a Young adult
Exhaust fumes... contributed to my body's immune system mutation!!!
Do you recall the connection between Myeloma and Petroleum?
I just did...
Perhaps this wasn't the best Bucket List idea after all?!
HA! Sorry Myeloma, you're not going to spoil my fun!
Miss BabyBlue is going to the "Doctor" herself for some much needed "treatments and medications" !
New gas = new blood
New oil = cleansing chemo
New parts = a stem cell transplant
Looking under the hood diagnosis = bone marrow biopsies and skeletal scans
Continued maintenance for her system = continued maintenance chemo
for my system
Ahahahhaaa too funny!!!
And speaking of FUNNY
here's Jim trying to figure out
how to take a picture on my new phone!
Did I mention the color of the cover Scott chose for me?
You guessed it!
Next blog =
October blood test results and
Treatment plan decisions
SINCERE THANK YOU's FOR YOUR CONTINUED INTEREST IN MY MUSINGS AND MYELOMA STATUS. I wish this blog had the "Like" button as Facebook does, so all of you would know how much I "like", make that LOOOOVE, all your comments on each of my blog entries!!! Thank you so much for caring!!!
Most of my life I was VERY presumptuous about being healthy, taking my (mostly) GOOD health for granted...
I was committed to annual check-ups for all of us, and so late October 2009, Alissa and I went for our annual physicals.
Surprise, surprise... my routine blood tests revealed Anemia, White and Red Cell issues, low Platelets, and a variety of other CBC red flags! I was (stupidly) not worried when my GP doc left repeated phone messages to contact him and when we did speak, I (stupidly) requested postponement his referral appointment to the Hematology Dept until the end of the Fall term.
Arriving for my first appointment Dec 14, 2009, I was confronted with the check-in sign that read: "Hematology/Oncology"! What?? Nooooo! not me... I must be in the WRONG place!
And so my diagnosis journey began with vials and vials of blood drawn "stat", urgent Dr consultations, a suprise and painful Bone Marrow Biopsy, a full body Skeletal Scan, more blood tests stat, and then... on 12.30.2009... THE revealing meeting... the "huh-what" moment ... the confirmation diagnosis that I, Julie, have CANCER!!!
Happy New Year to me, I just learned a new vocabulary word:
Multiple Myeloma!!! MM, Multiple Mye-what-loma!!!
January - June 2010
My medical metamorphosis began.
I read, and read, and read and researched and researched MM. I trusted my expert Oncology team, Dr Lee and Nurse Jalee at Kaiser PC, and Dr Spielberger and Dr Kogut at Sunset Kaiser/City of Hope hospital.
I began to formulate a new reality and accept my "New Normal".
My treatment plan was developed to include powerful Dexemthesone steroids paired with Revlimid chemotherapy, with the plan to be hospitalized for an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant July 2010.
I began living "one day at a time" like never before.
Jim was a wreck. Alissa and Scott were stunned; family and friends shocked.
Me... Cowgirl Up! I got back in the saddle and knew I was in for the ride of my life!
I've done remarkably well these past months on my pill-form Chemo, "roid-rage" Steroids and other supportive meds. I am forever deeply grateful and appreciative for all the love and support from everyone in my personal and professional life! I thank all of you for working along with me, and allowing me to continue to lead a semi "normal" life!
YOU have helped save my life!
And now... the trail ride forks to City of Hope hospital as I will saddle up beginning June 9, 2010 for a new rodeo called an Autologous Stem Cell Transplant!
Ye-Ha, let the adventure begin!
January 2010 - May 2010:
So you've all wondered why I still can lead a semi "normal" life, with more good days than not-so-good-days.
It's because I've been on the following chemo regimen:
Pill form Chemo= Revlimid (.10mg capsules), and I still have (had) hair
Multiple myeloma is a cancer of your plasma cells, a type of white blood cell present in your bone marrow. Plasma cells normally make proteins called antibodies to help you fight infections.
In multiple myeloma, a group of abnormal plasma cells (myeloma cells) multiplies, raising the number of plasma cells to a higher than normal level. Since these cells normally make proteins, the level of abnormal proteins in your blood also may go up. Health problems caused by multiple myeloma can affect your bones, immune system, kidneys and red blood cell count. Although the exact cause isn't known, doctors do know that multiple myeloma begins with one abnormal plasma cell in your bone marrow — the soft, blood-producing tissue that fills in the center of most of your bones. This abnormal cell then starts to multiply. Because abnormal cells don't mature and then die as normal cells do, they accumulate, eventually overwhelming the production of healthy cells. In healthy bone marrow, less than 5 percent of the cells are plasma cells. But in people with multiple myeloma, more than 10 percent of the cells may be plasma cells. Because myeloma cells may circulate in low numbers in your blood, they can populate bone marrow in other parts of your body, even far from where they began. That's why the disease is called multiple myeloma. Uncontrolled plasma cell growth can damage bones and surrounding tissue. It can also interfere with your immune system's ability to fight infections by inhibiting your body's production of normal antibodies. Researchers are studying the DNA of plasma cells to try to understand what changes occur that cause these cells to become cancer cells. Though they haven't yet discovered the cause of these changes, they have found that almost all people with multiple myeloma have genetic abnormalities in their plasma cells that probably contributed to the cancer. For example, many myeloma cells are missing all or part of one chromosome — chromosome 13. Cells with a missing or defective chromosome 13 tend to be more aggressive and harder to treat than are cells with a normal chromosome 13. ~ From the Mayo Clinic