Well, more than a month into remission and aside from the bills (most of them) still waiting to be paid, things are progressing. My hair is coming back in quickly and thickly! Still too hard to tell what the color is though.
Neuropathy and pain in my feet is still a very big issue though, unfortunately. Today I'm meeting with a pain management specialist to discuss a possible clinical trial to target just that issue.
In the meantime, I've gone back to school! I'll be studying to receive a certificate in Digital Photography (exciting, right?!) in a year or so and am currently limping my way through 2 different actual photography classes, thanks to help from family and friends!
Other than that, not really much to report. Lots of hoping for pain to stop and hair to grow.
As of December 13th, I have been declared Cancer Free! 2 years of pain, confusion, answers and treatment are finally behind me.
At the dawn of the New Year I make not resolutions but wishes:
1. A year (and subsequently many years) free of Cancer
2. That my medical bills can be paid off by year's end.
3. An end to the lingering nerve issues and pain
4. A new job to replace what was lost
5. Success with my art.
My thanks to everyone who has donated, and to those who continue to do so. Every small bit helps so very much, and I am so grateful for everyone's continued support!
Today was officially my last Chemo Session. Relief is palpable around here.
The session itself was pretty heavy, walked away much more exhausted than I have in the past, and if the last few cycles are anything to go by, it's likely the neuropathy and bone pain will take awhile before they finally dissipate.
I was blessed to visit facebook and see update after update after update from my dearest friends, proclaiming their happiness that today is my last chemo, and asking their friends and loved ones to keep me in their thoughts and prayers.
Thanks to recent donations, I've finally enough in the bank to start paying back a few of the medical bills that have stacked up in this process. Not many, and not the big ones- but it will be a relief to start chipping away at it all piece by piece.
I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all of the support over this last year, both financial and emotional. Many of you I know and love and can appreciate in person... but there are a lot of strangers on this list too- helping to restore my faith in humanity, and reminding me that the world is still populated by people who care. Even about someone they've never met.
There's still a long road to hoe. Recovery, bills, eventually job-hunting. But I am so grateful to you all who have helped throughout all of this, who will help as the process of recovery continues.
I have scans scheduled in the next 2 weeks. And 2 weeks later I see my Oncologist again for a follow up- at which point we hope to hear the "Cancer-free" declaration.
For now, I prepare as best I can for the holidays, let my hair start growing back in, and enjoy the knowledge that I'm done with the poison part of it all.
Blessings and thanks to each and every one of you.
Thursday was Chemo number 3 of 4. Thankfully this round we seem to have sorted out the bone pain issues with gabapentin which should keep me from being quite as... nonfunctional as I was the last time.
My next treatment is scheduled for November 15th, and assuming the scans that occur after that come back clear, it should be my last. I'm a little disappointed that Thanksgiving will be right in the midst of my pain/side effect cycle... but on the bright side- I should be in a much happier, healthier place for Christmas.
Bills continue to come in, bills that I still can't pay yet. Although the recent few donations have helped take care of some of the smaller day to day things.
To everyone who has donated, either recently or in the past- your assistance has helped me keep afloat these past months. To those who donate in the future- my thanks in advance. Someday I hope to be able to start paying for the big bills- the ones that are already calling in collections. 3 surgeries and 2 hospital stays don't come cheaply--- even with insurance.
For those that send prayers and good energy- thank you. I firmly believe that is worth just as much as any monetary donation in this battle. You help keep me strong and determined.
Chemo was deferred today. I've been fighting a cold since Monday, and after labs... during my appointment with the Oncologist, she felt I was too sick to receive treatment today. She's concerned that taking treatment in my condition would make things much worse. So, deferred for another week. Next session is set for Oct. 4th. She has said that if I am still ill next week, she'll re-evaluate and may treat anyway, but she would feel best giving me time to fight the cold at my "best" before zapping my immune system again with more chemo.
I'm... disappointed. Not that I was particularly looking forward to it all. But that we're adding another week to the schedule. I should still be done before thanksgiving, but it is frustrating to have to extend this process even by just a week.
Tired and ready to be done.
On September 6th, I started round 2 of Chemo, and as a consequence spent the last week watching my hair fall out. I shaved my head on Friday and am up for my 2nd cycle of this round again on Thursday the 27th.
Otherwise, side effects have been minimal outside of some fairly severe bone pain.
I did get word that my supplemental insurance claims were denied which means all the holes in my regular insurance will come from my pocket. It will probably not be until after the new year when I'm healthy and strong enough to go back to working.
In the meantime, I focus my energy on fighting and getting healthy, mitigating side effects and finding more fabulous hats and scarves to wear once the weather in Texas finally gets cooler.
Thank you to all that have donated in the past, and all who may in the future. Just because my income stopped, doesn't mean my bills have, unfortunately. And I'm grateful for any and all help- monetary, emotional, or otherwise.
My last chemo session should be November 8th. At which point I can rest, and then celebrate and then, hopefully, start all over. A fresh beginning.
Thank you so much to those who have donated in the last few days. It's been a rough week or two around here. My dear canine companion had to be put down just before my birthday, side effects from the radiation are still a bit of a plague (albeit less and less so every day thankfully), and my camera (which is a major part of my actual income generation right now) is currently being repaired to the tune of... an amount of money I don't even want to think about.
The latest on the Cancer-fighting front is that I have the rest of the month off from treatment. I go in for a CT scan on the 30th, then begin my 2nd (and hopefully last) round of Chemo on September 6th.
Much to my dismay, the 2nd round will not progress as quickly as the first, and I am slated to finish Chemo shortly after Thanksgiving. Putting me out of commission for much longer than I'd originally anticipated.
Your continued support (both monetary and emotional) are so greatly appreciated.
Hopefully it means I won't spend the rest of my life trying to finish paying for my year with Cancer.
Got word from the supplemental company. There is still no decision on the disability claim, but my Cancer claim has been denied.
Hopefully a decision will be made soon on the second claim. If it's denied, I'll have to fight it. For the moment, no money coming in.
The good news is I only have 9 radiation treatments left and 2 Chemo sessions. Then I have a month off, then another month of Chemo only.
I should be able to start job hunting again in September.
Today was the last day of my FMLA leave. I thought I had another 2 weeks at least, but evidently the Federal Regulation requires that paid time off be used concurrently, not consecutively.
This means that as of this month, my insurance will go to Cobra. It means that if I want to go back to my job when I'm cleared to work again, I will have to re-apply and hope an opening will be available, which in my company is fairly unlikely.
I still have medical bills that haven't been paid yet, and more will be coming, especially now that my insurance will be 100% on my shoulders via Cobra.
I am lucky to have friends and family support, but I still have another month before I have even tentative clearance to work again, and then another month of treatment after that even.
Anything that comes our way in the means of help would be so incredibly appreciated. I've a feeling things are going to get quite tight before they get better.
To those that have donated, helped, supported in ANY way- THANK YOU. It hasn't gone unnoticed or unappreciated. Blessings to all.
Today marked the end of the first full week of treatment. I've now had 7 days worth of radiation, and 2 chemo sessions.
Surprisingly, the radiation is actually the more exhausting of the two.
The Chemo port has healed well, and the last chemo session it only took 2 tries to get connected instead of 3. Alas, it's not all sunshine and roses I guess.
However, side effect wise things are going alright. Obnoxious, but not too terrible and the meds take care of a lot of them!
Waiting still on my supplemental insurance to kick in- so to everyone who continues to donate- THANK YOU. Still needed, and still so very appreciated.
For those who have given (or are giving) more than $50, I WILL be contacting you (probably in August) to get you the print of your choice!
And now, it's time for a weekend of rest.
Well, the port went in on Wednesday morning. Definitely was the right decision, as confirmed by the fact that it took 2 very painful sticks just to get the iv started for the port surgery. On Tuesday, I went in for the markers to be placed for radiation treatment... that was a 4-stick ordeal.
The port will mean no repeated and painful sticks for chemo days which will be nice, and since it's a power port they can actually use it to draw blood for MOST of the bloodwork they will need during treatment.
Right now radiation starts (tentatively) on the 19th of June, and Chemo on the 21st. Then it's 5 weeks of both treatments, followed by (I think) 3 weeks of 1 day chemo infusions.
Still waiting on news from the Supplemental insurance plans... and trying not to worry about bills in the meantime as much as possible.
My thanks to everyone who has donated so far, and to those who continue to support me... via donation, or love, or good energy.
Today was the big Buzz for my hair. Didn't shave it ALL off but it's mostly gone.
Surrounded by supportive friends (from all over!), I feel a little bit more ready to face Chemo in the next few weeks... without the trauma of watching my hair fall out in chunks.
Came home to a sudden plethora of donations too... Thank you all so so much. I just don't even have enough words to express my gratitude.
Got the call this morning to schedule the chemo port. On June 14th I'll be back at St. Paul at 7:30am for 9:30am "day surgery."
This is, in theory, simple and easy and I should be out of surgery and recovery within a couple of hours.
After the LAST incision I got though, I am (I think understandably) nervous. Hopefully the 2 incisions they make for the chemo port will heal better than the incision from the hysterectomy.
Saw the Oncologist today and made final treatment decisions. Will begin Radiation AND Chemo within the next few weeks.
Was able to get my wound-vac removed which frees me up a lot, and am once again allowed to drive myself places!
On Sunday, in preparation for Chemo effects, a group of dear friends will be getting together with me while I get my hair buzzed off. Pictures will be posted online for folks to see.
To those who've donated, anonymously and not, large amounts and small: THANK YOU. A few more and next month's bills will be completely covered.
I am so grateful to you all for donations, for good wishes, for love. Thank you for being a part of this fight with me.
I am so grateful to everyone for their donations (big AND small). After talking to my supplemental insurance company, I may be able to disband this page next month... in the meantime just from the small amounts that have been accrued here... I am able to fill the gaps in my bills for next month.
I appreciate everyone who has and will donate here... Hopefully this page will be unnecessary after next month!!
Many thanks for the well wishes, prayers and goodwill. Thank you to everyone who chooses to contribute. It will not be unnoticed or forgotten anytime soon!
Just opened my GoFundMe page... here's hoping that with the generosity of strangers I don't drown in bills before I'm able to go back to work Cancer Free!
After being diagnosed with Uterine Cancer in March of 2012, I lost my job because of the time I had to be off for surgery, recovery... and treatment. In the process, I've stacked up almost $10,000 in assorted medical bills- to say nothing of the day-to-day living expenses that happen every time you turn around.
I'm now in remission (as of December 2012) and trying to get back on my feet! The bills are still there, and now that a new fiscal year has started- they're piling up yet again as my deductible is slowly chipped away.