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

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Chemo, Radiation, Labs, Radiation, Myeloma Raging


So much going on...

Dr appts under the influence of  high dose Steroids and 50mg IV Benadryl. So funny. My mouth and brain are outside my body talking, and I make little sense. I have to learn to just chill, sleep and let the conversations go... Love the extremities of the meds. Never did drugs, alcohol before, so all this is a fun, crazy ride for me. If only I wasn't being killed inside by Myeloma.... Thank goodness I tolerate so much, so well. Don't know why, but I do. Maybe because all my organs were in good shape when I was Dx Dec 2009? Except why are my Platelets now crashing. They cooperated for years? Is it because Myeloma has munched all it can inside my Bone Marrow, and things just don't do what they're suppose to do now? Will have to read up on that. Dr wants to do a Bone Marrow Biopsy soon. I vigorously shook my head NO, not now!!!... just too much to handle. I haven't even had the time to appropriately mourn my dear Jim, even tho I talk to him in house all the time. So much of my life right now, is JUST ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER, TRYING NOT TO FEEL, NOT THINK, NOT PROCESS... JUST DO WHAT WILL SAVE MY LIFE... 

So I'm on Darzalex IV, Velcade shots, Pomalyst pills, Steroids, and now, Zarxio Neupogen for 5 days, Acyclovir, Vitamins, antacids, tums, Zofran for the Abdominal Alien Radiation for 5 days, more if necessary...  and more things I'm not remembering now, LOL... Would love to have coffee for my early drives to Radiation, but terrified of GI issues on the Freeways. How do "normal people" communte long distances, without a pottie in the car. Well I have to remember I AM NOT NORMAL ANYMORE, AND MY SYSTEM TOTALLY CHANGED WITH THE STEM CELL TRANSPLANT AND ALL THE CHEMO MEDS FOR 11 YEARS. So when "biology" needs to happen... oh boy, I better be near my bathroom or another CLEAN ONE. I just hate gross public bathrooms, and if I pulled off the freeway, I'd never make to the bathroom in a restaurant or hotel, or wherever. I do have "funny stories" from back in the day of early treatments, winding up in a Porta Pottie, etc.. I'm bringing a little trash can in my car the next few days LOL. 

I woke up around 3:30am in anticiaption of my crazy day and days ahead,,,, then decided at 4am to just  wake up, take the Steroids, but then I couldn't get back to sleep (set my alarm for 6am) to begin the "cleanse" process before I get on the freeway. HOW DO ALL MY MYELOMA PATIENT FRIENDS DO THIS? OR DO YOU NOT HAVE HAVE "LOWER GI" ISSUES LIKE I DO???  Monday my Radiation appt is at 8am... might as well never go to sleep, or I'll just be even more "Anorexic" than I currently am, so I don't have to worry about Freeway Biology Drama!!!!. It's a losing battle for me. If I eat, then GI drama. If I don't eat, Myeloma wins. 

Here's some screen shots for you, and then off to the Freeways for Radition this morning and then Blood Transfusion later... Cancer, at least for me, is a Full Time Job... If only I could get back to who I was with out all the complications of Tumors, Masses, Extramedullary, etc. How about "just chemo" you smart, mutating, angry, take over my body and life Myeloma? How about giving me just a little a break so I do little things around here with the Critters, the House, my Family and Friends? How about giving me my belly back Myeloma, so I can eat and not feel 6 months preggo. Oh, just shut up Julie, you're being eaten alive by Myeloma, and Myeloma's just laughing at it's success in this Host....  


And so, I make another day! I used to think of all this as a "challenge" and I'm gonna beat Myeloma. Now, I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I'm beat up. I'm not brave anymore, altho everyone I meet is amazed I've lasted 11 years with Myeloma, Drs, Nurses, Patients, etc... I just want a bit of my life back. No pain, No Masses, No Fractures, No drama... Myeloma, you are very very smart, and I underestimated you...

Thanks for reading and caring as you do... more to come... So many "adventures" in Julie's Myelomaland... 


  1. ♥️♥️♥️♥️

    1. Thank you "Unknown" for reading and caring as 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, 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, 15mg capsules)
Pill form Dexamethasone Steroids (40 mg, 4 days on, 4 days off!
Omeprazole for steroid acid reflux
Mepron (looks like yellow finger paint) Anti-fungal, Anti-viral, etc for my very compromised immune system
.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.