Team Jules Expense Fund
$8,545 of $20,000 goal
I'm setting up this account as a way to keep you all informed as to my condition and treatments, as well as offering a way to help me out, for those that have asked.
I found a mass in my left breast a couple of months back (hereafter, the hateful thing will be referred to as "Left Shark" http://www.sbnation.com/lookit/2015/2/2/7961873/katy-perry-sharks-dancing-singing-sharks-jaws-dorsal-fins) and had mammograms, ultrasounds and finally a biopsy on Black Friday. I can tell you that I was not shopping for the results that I got. :P
The diagnosis of cancer came the next week and I began a round of doctor appointments, discussing surgery, chemo, reconstructive surgery, radiation, etc. I also had several tests including a PET/CT scan - did you know those make you radioactive and you can't be around people and pets for several hours? Visualize me sitting in my car in front of my apartment, using my wifi to work from 'home'. haha
The scan results showed the cancer has already spread past the breast and is in my bones as well. You can call it what you like.....Stage IV, Metastatic, etc. The doctors call it incurable. I prefer not to use that term, but I'm not living in a dream world either. I just prefer not to limit God's possible blessings in any way. :) Less than 10% of those diagnosed with breast cancer have an initial diagnosis of Stage IV, so I am continuing my life-long habit of not being the 'norm'. The goal with Metastatic Breast Cancer is extension and quality of life. My personal goal is that me not being the norm will manifest itself as being one of the few that live longer than 2-5 years past diagnosis. I'm here today, it's obvious that none of us know what's coming, so might as well hope for the best and pray for scientific advances that can change the situation.
For now, surgery and radiation are not on the table - no point in cutting out cancer in one part of the body when it's already moved somewhere else I'm currently receiving a chemotherapy and targeted therapy mixture of docetaxel, trastuzumab (Herceptin), pertuzumab (Perjeta), along with zoledronic (Zometa). These run about $55k for each treatment and I'm scheduled for 6 cycles in this first round. Thank God for health insurance. I went without it for a few years, and I am unbelievably grateful to have it now.
Once I'm done with this round of chemo, I'll have another PET/CT scan and we'll assess what effect the treatment has had and make plans for the next steps.
You know me and how self-sufficient I've always prided myself in being. Lots more than I should have been, but hey -- you live and learn. Right now, I am not eligible for short-term disability because I am still working too many hours. Which is what I want to continue to do and am so blessed to have managers that support me in this and are allowing me to work from home. Technology is a great thing. :) If you didn't know, I am working for a non-profit organization that provides mental health services to kids and their families that are at risk or in crisis. I hope I am making a positive difference in some small way and hope to continue to contribute as long as possible.
So shorter hours plus additional expenses make for slim times. If you would like to help me out, the best way would be through this fund, which I will use to cover medical and daily living expenses. If the fund overflows, and health allows, I hope to also be able to visit some people that I have not had the pleasure of harassing in a long time. You always need something in life to look forward to. :)
I love you all and wish you all the best that life has to offer, for however long we may be around to receive it.
God bless and keep you,
I'm continuing on with the chemo and bone med treatments. I had a rough couple of weeks, with a scare of congestive heart failure and heart damage possibly caused by the Herceptin treatment. Two echocardiograms later, they have found some fluid but no damage. I haven't talked to the doctor yet about the test results, but that just means they didn't find anything really bad. :)
Also during that same time, my red blood cell count fell into the severe anemia range, and I had to get a transfusion. 2 units, which took all day. They had to go slow because my blood pressure was high during the whole procedure and didn't come down as expected. In the last few days, the anemia symptoms (shortness of breath, heart pounding, no energy for anything) have returned. I'd really like to avoid any more transfusions, but I don't have a lot of hope at this point. The cancer zaps these cells and the chemo does the same. And taking iron pills doesn't help in this situation. I like when I have some illusion of control - eat this, drink more, etc. Lol
That setback means not much working has been happening, so I will be using your generous contributions to pay the rent and utilities and extra medical expenses this month. I am so very grateful for your kindness and hope you take comfort in knowing that you are making a huge difference in my life.
May God bless and keep you all,
And thanks Lebriz for being my chauffeur this week. Makes all the difference. I know I could get myself TO work, coming in early, but that drive home would do me in. Yay for the carpool lane!!