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

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

No Way! Can't Be Possible! I Have a Broken Rib!


What a day today! OMG! Getting my new bone strengthener Zometa IV, and then down to Urgent Care for consultation and Xrays on my painful Left side rib chest area, where I think I strained, sprained, tweaked, pulled, spasm-ed a muscle! I really didn't think I could have broken or fractured a bone from repressing, suppressing a sudden choke, cough, sneeze when driving home from my Darzalex infusion last Tuesday...

But what was I thinking this last week with all the crazy intense pain I endured for a week so far? Well I wasn't thinking smart, I was in denial. I really didn't believe, me cowgirl Julie, could "break" a bone. I always secretly think I'm Dominating myeloma, Not myeloma dominating me. Honestly, even with all my Myeloma damage, I really didn't think it was, or would be my story. Blame it on being "Blonde" or the "chemo fog" :))

Yes, just slam me with reality Xray results, as I do in fact have a Broken Bone! Never in all of my lifetime, broke anything. Even with all my outdoor sports, horse riding activities and events with my kids! Never ever had I broken a bone. Well I did, I broke, fractured a left rib with my crazy swallowing water the wrong way, then trying to suppress, repress the ensuing all-in-one choke, cough, sneeze, so I wouldn't blast water all over my car's dash! I broke my rib doing that! Seriously, laugh with me... I'm "dying laughing" here!!! :)) See my previous post for the ridiculous story. Next time, actually hopefully never another next time, but next time, I'll spit that water out all over whatever or whomever is near me :))

I shouldn't be surprised, right. I am riddled with Myeloma bone lesions, holes, holey tumors, lytic lesion tumors from my skull to my lower legs! Maybe to my toes? Holes to my toes. LOL. But the irony friends... Here I was at my very first Zometa IV treatment to Strengthen my bones, and then a few hours later, I find out I have bizarrely broken a bone, a rib! OMG, can my life get more ridiculous and ironic? Hello vicious myeloma complications.

Yep! The evidence!

When consulting with the Urgent Care Dr, I candidly tell my story as if I was talking about someone else. I still feel all this just couldn't be happening to me! He and others tell me they, "can't believe how positive, up-beat, fun, funny", and in his words" with amazing energy" I am, not to mention I "look "normal" lol. As he reviews my complex medical records, he says it just don't fit the person in front him. I Quickly Clarify that I took 20mg of Dexamethasone steroids much earlier, "so you're getting the extra animated, fully energized, "Dexified" Julie today". I even cheated and only took 20mg today, as all this muscle wasting, muscle pains and strains side effects are concerning me regarding the high dose 40mg Dex. Indeed, the external misrepresents the internal disaster...

Yes, last Tuesday, July 3, I was driving myself home from my Darzalex IV infusion, and swigged too much water in one gulp, causing me to choke, and need to cough, sneeze and spit out all at the same time, and unbeknownst to me, by suppressing this craziness, just to save my car dash I break a rib! Really this did happen. I broke a Rib, suppressing a monster choke! Never again, I've learned the lesson about my fragility.

Then for a few days, high on 40 Dex, I have fun on July 4th, feeling the pain buried under the false pretenses of steroids, but I was still able to carry on. Did I mention, I even scooped horse apples in the arena, took care of the other animals, did some watering of our yard, which involved pulling the hose around, took our 27+ year old Box Turtle to the Vet to have his nails and beak trimmed, and did a zillion other "normal" chores around our house, etc... Until suddenly, Dex, Advil, Tylenol and Flexeril wore off, and reality slammed me! Ouuuuchie... OMG I really do hurt, hence my Urgent Care visit today. Dex steroids dulled the pain, but Xrays don't lie! I have a stikn broken rib!

Yep, loaded up on "fix that rib supplies" tonight. My kind Dr asked me what kinds of meds he could prescribe to help me out, and mentioned all the "big dogs". I thanked him, but said no thanks, as I didn't want to add a new Rx to the mix, that may cause some new side effect. OTC meds have helped out to this point, with the lovely Wintergreen scented patches and good ol Bengay! Can you even imagine if I had an upper GI reax to strong pain meds, and my body wanted to vomit? OMG the pain in the ribs, muscles trying to retch! I don't even want to think about it!

So thanks to Dex steroids, I'll get thru the night, if I can ever get sleepy lol, and I see what tomorrow brings. Will be interesting to see what, if any, side effects I have from the Zometa... please "cancer angels", look out for me...

And thought you'd enjoy the shock and awe of my 21 days of Pomalyst invoice:

And I remember seeing the retail cost of my Darzalex infusion around the same amount. Thank you awesome Kaiser insurance for keeping me alive!

Super awesome chemo lab treats today :))
Just perfect for animal lover me!

Huge huge thank yous to my wonderful chemo nurses! 
Thank you for being a huge component to why I am still here :))
And huge thank yous to my wonderful Urgent Care Dr tonight.

One more point of gratefulness. I wound up seeing a bunch of my friends, colleagues, students, tonight, from my good ol college of employment of 35 years! Seemed more like a summer reunion today, tonight, then being at a medical clinic receiving jaw dropping news, say whaaat news!

Ok, Dex steroids, time to chill and let me go to bed... wonder what tomorrow and tomorrow will bring... May I please have a boring life for a while Myeloma...

Live happy, live well, and make a difference somewhere, somehow, 
with someone or something as often as you can!

No comments:

Post a Comment

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, 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!

Chemical Warfare...

January 2010 - May 2010:
My initial chemo regimen:

Pill form Chemo= Revlimid (10mg capsules)
Pill form Dexamethasone Steroids (40 mg!) paired with Omeprazole
Mepron (looks like yellow finger paint) Anti-fungal, Anti-viral, etc for my very compromised immune system
B-12- to build those cells!
.81 Aspirin to prevent DVT, Revlimid complications
Allopurinol- keeping the kidneys healthy
Acyclovir- anti-Shingles, anti-viral

June 2010:
High dose IV Cytoxan chemo
Neupogen to build up stem cells for Apheresis, stem cell harvest, which was very successful, as City of Hope was able to collect 9.5 million of my own stem cells

July 2010 Hospitalization:
Two days of high dose Melphalan chemo
Then July 5, 2010 = my Autologous Stem Cell transplant infusion!

And you can read my whole story from that point forward in this blog!

What is multiple myeloma?

What is multiple myeloma?

Cancer starts when cells in the body begin to grow out of control. Cells in nearly any part of the body can become cancer, and can spread to other areas of the body. To learn more about how cancers start and spread, see What Is Cancer?

Multiple myeloma is a cancer formed by malignant plasma cells. Normal plasma cells are found in the bone marrow and are an important part of the immune system.

The immune system is made up of several types of cells that work together to fight infections and other diseases. Lymphocytes (lymph cells) are the main cell type of the immune system. The major types of lymphocytes are T cells and B cells.

When B cells respond to an infection, they mature and change into plasma cells. Plasma cells make the antibodies (also called immunoglobulins) that help the body attack and kill germs. Lymphocytes are in many areas of the body, such as lymph nodes, the bone marrow, the intestines, and the bloodstream. Plasma cells, however, are mainly found in the bone marrow. Bone marrow is the soft tissue inside some hollow bones. In addition to plasma cells, normal bone marrow has cells that make the different normal blood cells.

When plasma cells become cancerous and grow out of control, they can produce a tumor called a plasmacytoma. These tumors generally develop in a bone, but they are also rarely found in other tissues. If someone has only a single plasma cell tumor, the disease is called an isolated (or solitary) plasmacytoma. If someone has more than one plasmacytoma, they have multiple myeloma.

Multiple myeloma is characterized by several features, including:

Low blood counts

In multiple myeloma, the overgrowth of plasma cells in the bone marrow can crowd out normal blood-forming cells, leading to low blood counts. This can cause anemia – a shortage of red blood cells. People with anemia become pale, weak, and fatigued. Multiple myeloma can also cause the level of platelets in the blood to become low (called thrombocytopenia). This can lead to increased bleeding and bruising. Another condition that can develop is leukopenia – a shortage of normal white blood cells. This can lead to problems fighting infections.

Bone and calcium problems

Myeloma cells also interfere with cells that help keep the bones strong. Bones are constantly being remade to keep them strong. Two major kinds of bone cells normally work together to keep bones healthy and strong. The cells that lay down new bone are called osteoblasts. The cells that break down old bone are called osteoclasts. Myeloma cells make a substance that tells the osteoclasts to speed up dissolving the bone. Since the osteoblasts do not get a signal to put down new bone, old bone is broken down without new bone to replace it. This makes the bones weak and they break easily. Fractured bones are a major problem in people with myeloma. This increase in bone break-down can also raise calcium levels in the blood. (Problems caused by high calcium levels are discussed in the section “How is multiple myeloma diagnosed?”)


Abnormal plasma cells do not protect the body from infections. As mentioned before, normal plasma cells produce antibodies that attack germs. For example, if you developed pneumonia, normal plasma cells would produce antibodies aimed at the specific bacteria that were causing the illness. These antibodies help the body attack and kill the bacteria. In multiple myeloma, the myeloma cells crowd out the normal plasma cells, so that antibodies to fight the infection can’t be made. The antibody made by the myeloma cells does not help fight infections. That’s because the myeloma cells are just many copies of the same plasma cell – all making copies of the same exact (or monoclonal) antibody.

Kidney problems

The antibody made by myeloma cells can harm the kidneys. This can lead to kidney damage and even kidney failure.