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

Friday, January 1, 2021

Hello to Posting on the 1's - And The New Treatment Plan Revealed!

1.1.2021     January 1, 2021     1.1.21                                                        

Happy Happy 2021 Friends and Loyal Followers! It's Good Bye and Good Riddance to drama filled 2020!

It hit me this morning that with my 11 years of Myeloma Survival, it's time to roll from posts on the 0's representing my 10 years of survival, to now represent my 11 years of survival with posts on the 1's! Yes I've become quite the symbolic numbers girl, and it's fun for me to notate my life in symbolic numbers! Sorry if this confusing to you, but if you've been following my blog for a while, then you get it :))

So for 2021, I'll be posting my crazy life updates on the 1's, 11's, 21's and 31's. Ironically today, is the 1st day of 2021, so here I am, posting my first 11th year of survival post of 2021, and I actually have treatment update news for you! 

After all the medication and fear options I wrote about in my last 2010 post, my Dr called me late in the day yesterday, New Year's Eve 2020, to discuss what my next plan of action will be, starting next week! I had sent her an email with all kinds of chemo combo options, and she was so kind to call me before the office closed for the NYE holiday. Yes, I am now "looking forward" to getting started on a new chemo/immunotherapy option fast, to get this dang Myeloma, and it's tumors, masses, fractures, etc, under control. I've done a lot, and I mean a lot, of thinking, forced myself to brave up, and put my fears aside now. I've have had to psychologically process so much in these last several months of 2020, it's like a movie script. So now it's time to get going on pummeling Myeloma in 2021!

We discussed all the options and combos of treatments that I have done previously, and all the possible options I have not done yet. We also know I need to be on a combination of multiple meds, that target Myeloma from several angles. So here's to hoping I don't have a HORRIBLE REACTION to the New chemos, immunotherapipies, like I did with killer Elotuzumab-Emplicity. 

And the plan is.... Xpovio/Selinexor...
 Nope that was changed as of 1.4.21  LOL

Paired with our fave Dex Steroids, possibly paired with Darzalex, and or Ninlaro, and or Pomalyst, and or all of them together LOL! Xpovio-Selinexor was one of the meds I was wanting to avoid lol, as it causes Upper GI reactions :(( but I have to accept yucky side effects to kill off Myeloma, before it kills me, right. So I've braved up, and I'll start taking this 3 or 4 drug regimen beginning next week. 

Pomalyst, been there, done that before, caused very low CBCs
but has good success previously
Nope, that was changed on 1.4.21

Darzalez... Yes!! Began 1.5.21
Been there, done that, and with good success
until the study protocols recommended going from weekly to 
every 2 weeks, then to monthly. My stikn "high risk"Myeloma requires
continual treatment, no matter the recommendation of the clinical trials.

New to me, and in the Velcade class of meds
Yes, this was prescribed to me along with the Darzalex! 
Will take 1st pill after Darza infusion 1.6.21
Read too many possible side effects of Nausea vomiting
so I don't want to do that after my first Darza infusion 1.5.21
and possibly not make Day 2 on 1.6.21

So we will see which 3 or 4 combo of IV infusions and pills my Dr and the Myeloma Specialist from the SCT BMT Kaiser COH Dept recommends.

Here's the link to all the FDA approved Myeloma drugs we discussed:

Here's the link for Xpovio Selinexor:

And ironically, on one of the Selinexor links, there's study-trial of how it may fight Covid 19 also!

I asked her to start me on a lower dose to begin with, so I'm not living in the bathroom 24 7, but we talked about so much, I'm not sure what dose I will be doing with which. When I found the pictures above, I didn't realize there were so many dose options for each medication, so I will contact her and find out what RX she is planning for me. 

Any of you out there that have done the combo of of any of these? If you have, please let me know how it went for you. We will also plan for anti nausea meds too, for sure. I do always keep melt-away Zofran pills in my stockpile, but rarely ever need them. So we'll see what this 3 or 4 combo brings me. The side effects from all are pretty intense, but I've done a multiple drug combo many times before. I just hope to build my Platelets, Hemoglobin, Reds, Whites, etc, back up, so I don't feel so completely Fatigued and physically beat up and worthless all the time. I have had periodic nose bleeds in the last few months, but not as intense as I did before diagnosis in 2009. 

I've also have more pain, pressure and breathing problems in my R side Chest, Lung area, and Abdominal areas. I feel so bloated and full all the time. Guess these masses are taking up a lot of real estate in my body cavity now. Ugh, the Lung Mass feels like something is putting pressure on it, or a rib is puncturing it. Dang, I just can't catch a "break".  LOL Julie, maybe something there did "break"??  And I feel a pain where the Abdominal Mass is, above the Kidney, Liver, Adrenal is. It's a weird "fullness" I've not felt before. Darn it, when I start to feel relief in one area, I get sabotaged by another. I just don't understand all this suffering the Universe and my body is challenging me with :((

Soooooo, Cheers to a better year for all of us, and let's hope the world can move forward to a better situation than 2020 was! Germs, cooties, viruses, bacteria, cancer, illness, etc, is such a powerful and smart saboteur in our lives... 

I may post sooner than the next symbolic 1... as I'm sure I'll have plenty of news to share this month! But for sure, I'll be back on the 11th, 21st, and 31st :)) Thank you for checking in and caring about my journey. Be well, stay well, and most importantly, LIVE YOUR LIFE HAPPILY and GRATEFULLY EVERY DAY!


  1. Crossing fingers, toes and anything else possible, that this combo knocks the crap out of the myeloma! Hang in there, Julie!

    1. Hi Ellen, so good to hear from you! Yes, I go tomorrow for round #2 and actually my Drs may add in a 4th to the mix. Just got to pummel these nasty cells so I can have my life back! Hoping you and your family are doing well and best wishes for 2021 to be a better year for all of us xoxo

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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.