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, my daughter and I went for our annual and very routine physicals.
Surprise, surprise... my routine blood tests revealed extreme Anemia, significant 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 of his referral appointment to the Hematology Dept until the end of the Fall academic 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 surprise 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/Hematology team's plan and began my "New Normal" as a cancer patient.
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 did well on my initial pill-form Revlimid Chemo, "roid-rage" Dex 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!
My treatment 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!
We love you too!ReplyDelete
Listen Woman, If this means that you are going to push more buttons and poke harder....... well, I guess I will just have to toughen up!! Julie, I always knew how much you have overcome in your life, and the day I met you, I knew I was attached, rememeber our conversation??? Well, again you have changed my life. As of yesterday, I am smoke free 2 months. Thank you for continuing to inspire me. (plus piss me off :p Love youReplyDelete
Wow! Love how fast your hair grew in! So glad that you ventured out! And more thrilled that you are feeling more and more like you're old self (but new and improved and myeloma free) ;P ...ReplyDelete
I can eat m & m's again... hehe!
Love you so much!
PS - I appreciate YOU, dearest!
Love you Jewels! xo Linda RiosReplyDelete
It's so good to hear you're doing well and feeling better. Keep taking care of yourself and I can't wait to see you on campus.
Hey Lady - I think you look smashing and your new "...do" is perfect - just like you! Love and light to you today and every day:)ReplyDelete