Cowgirl Up!!! ... Does Horse Poop Cause Cancer??

Monday, October 28, 2013

Deja Vu 2010 - RoidRage Rerun and other Treatment Plans

Hello again my Myeloma munching Dexamethasone... you are coming back into my life...
Paired with your friends Revlimid? Velcade? Cytoxan? and all those other cancer chomping chemos...
Ugghh... here we go again...

Hey body that has failed me ---> I'm not looking forward to feeling yucky again!
I played being well for about 9 or so months while in remission and chemo free, until reality hit me again too soon.
Everyone says I am soo strong for handling this crazy cancer situation as I have
Honesty, I really am not that brave... 
I just do what I have to do, to gain additional years on my ever so shortened clock!

And so I am sick AGAIN!!!
Have had the delightful intestinal virus (lower GI) with a fever over 102 for days
Been off work for a week slowly recovering my strength, trying to reintroduce food, but we are not best friends right now (not that we ever were anyway)!

I was really sick in August too
Now really sick again in October
Can't I get a break??
Body betrayal status here!

I feel I am going downhill fast... and not on a horse or in my cute VW bug... but downhill on the cancer is winning again slide...
Just not fair to just SEE my horses out my window, although they're happy just hanging out... and I think about my cute lil Bug in the driveway, just sitting there... such ironic torture I can't go out and play as I seem to be always too weak or too tired to do much of anything anymore.
Yes I know... I am very blessed to even have them in my yard to be able to see!!!
Not to worry, I am very grateful for everything in my life (minus cancer!), I'm just a little pissed off right now and little beyond frustrated!!! ggggrrrrrr

And so, I've had to postpone taking my new crazy Dex steroids as the first leg of my Deja Vu pommel myeloma back into remission treatment plan... that's ok, I wasn't looking forward to that anyway!
But I will behave, and begin the cycle in a week when my body is stronger.

Uugghhh, can't a girl get a break!
What is all this really about?
I just don't get it!!!!!!!!!!!


  1. Nobody knows what this is really about, Julie. It's random. It happened. You're not going downhill - you're hitting bumps. I've hit a number of bumps over the past four and a half years since ASCT and have forged ahead. You will too. Lovey

  2. Radar, just know that I think about you every day and am praying that you feel better. I know this isn't easy, but life itself isn't supposed to be easy, is it? Life is about the wonderful people in our lives - and LOTS of people are so lucky to have YOU in their lives. Especially me. XOXOXO Russ

  3. Julie,Really sorry you are not feeling well.Why things happen to good peole
    nobody knows.You and I have talked about that on other subjects.You have
    been so strong and continue to help so many others.I still believe in miracles
    and know you will bounce back.Thanks for all you do !


My Story... How my MM was diagnosed

October/November/December 2009...

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!

Chemical Warfare...

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
Pill form Dexamethasone Steroids (20-40 mg!) paired with Pepcid
Mepron (looks like yellow finger paint!)
B-12- to build those cells!!
.81 Aspirin to prevent Revlimid complications

What the Heck is Multiple Myeloma?!

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