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

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Jelly Beans and Other Thoughtful Thoughts and Realties

Just in case you're tired of my silly musings...
Here's some inspiring and thoughtful thoughts from others:

Our Lives Represented in 
Jelly Beans



And Thanksgiving diagnosis reflections
by another blogger diagnosed with the evil Myeloma:

Sean’s Burgundy Thread: Dear Multiple Myeloma-

 "Dear Multiple Myeloma", Sean writes, "Do you remember me? 
I am the poor sap that you decided to terrorize during Thanksgiving week of 2008... "

========================================================
 And so.............

Ugh! I've been sick more than well recently and I am not fond of not feeling well.
Everyone thinks I am so strong for handling cancer as I have, but honestly friends... I really am not that strong at all. I am strong when I feel well. I am not that strong when I don't feel so well. Suffering for days with a fever leads me down philosophical roads of unsettling realities...

These last 2 high fever viruses that attacked me have awakened NEW realizations of OLD realities... that my immune system really is compromised due to an "immune system cancer", and naive me, I really do have to continue to be ultra CAREFUL, make that PARANOID of all the germs out to attack me. Duh! Note to self!!

I've tried to trace the trail of my recent illnesses, and the only thing I come up with is that I slacked off on staying in my sterile bubble. I tried living life somewhat "normally" again...
I slacked off a bit and shook some hands, hugged some friends
I slacked off a bit and opened some doors without a protective tissue
I slacked off a bit and ate at buffets and restaurants and risked cross contamination galore
I slacked off a bit and threw caution to the wind and went places, had fun, commingled with people in public places.
I slacked off a bit and started scheduling appointments with random students.
I slacked off a bit by being "normal", and paid for it... dearly... with piercing pounding headaches which lead to high fevers for days on end, which lead to crazy viruses in my upper and lower body... I will spare you the details.

I felt awful and I don't do well when I feel awful.
Awful takes the helium out of my happy filled balloons.
Sorry, I really am not that brave and strong when I don't feel good.  
I have learned my lesson:
Hello stupid antibacterial cautious bubble life...AGAIN
Hello to being forced to accept I am not a well person and facing up to the reality that I won't ever be "cowgirl-well" again.
Hello to being sick of being sick, but having little choice in the matter.
I don't like not having choices
I don't like external factors controlling me
I don't like being sick and I don't do well not being well.
I have never been of the victim mentality and I don't like being victimized and controlled by cancer!
But, I am better now and I do thank what minimal immune system I do still have, for battling on my behalf!

Every other day, my sweet hubby Jim would pick
some of his spectacular roses to boost my spirits
and help me feel better!

Ugh! I haven't even begun my Dex steroid meds yet, but I will this Friday as I have an oncology check up on Nov 14 with my City of Hope oncologist, and then another on Nov 18 with my local oncologist (love them both!)
I think I should know by then, what treatment plan they have in mind for me...
Just in time for my November birthday,
Cheers! Happy November cancerous birthday to me!

So on a happier note, on Saturday when I could finally walk without being dizzy and dared being away from the bathroom, Scott said... "Mom, let's go for a drive in your bug! That will make you feel better!" and feel better it did! Here's to our first 5 mile road trip (to Coco's and back lol!) in the "baby blue tin can bug", with Scott driving and the rest of us praying we survive!


My bucket list baby blue bug makes me happy :)


And Birdie makes me so happy too! 


And of course!!! Everyone and Everything else in my life makes me happy!!!
I am blessed and I am grateful for so much
You can't take that from me stupid cancer!!!



3 comments:

  1. Julie,
    You are stronger than you think. All of your friends are here for you in any way that you need. I love you a lot and really enjoyed seeing you on Saturday. You are an amazing woman and your strength will get you through this! Stay strong and let others help you when you aren't feeling as strong as you'd like. You are in my daily prayers. Love always, Leslie

    ReplyDelete
  2. It IS hard to be happy when you don't feel well! So sorry to hear you have been under the weather...how quickly we forget when we're feeling well, how fragile the immune system really is! EZ is suffering from a cold right now and though he rarely runs a fever when he is sick, it's no fun and seems to take forever to get over! Glad Scott got you outside to enjoy the scenery from inside your Baby Blue Bug. Will be praying for your upcoming appointments and that you will tolerate the treatment and beat that MM back into submission...I know you can!! In the meantime, your hubby is the sweetest with those roses and I love your little birdie friend. Sure wish we could share a cup of coffee together!!

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  3. Thanks for letting us know you are feeling better and are out and about.Glad
    you are enjoying your bug.Jim sure does a great job on flowers!Let us all
    know on appointments.We are all praying.Stay strong.
    Ron

    ReplyDelete

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