JULIE BREAST Cancer fund

$12,315 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 188 people in 35 months
Julie has been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer. She has a long road ahead of her beginning this week with her first round of chemo. We are raising funds to help her with her daily expenses and the medical expenses. Being the mother of a 16 year old son she could use a lot of help. Thank you for donating.
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Cancer update: Not sure where I last left you, so I'll start with August, the last full cycle of the clinical trial. Side effects were brutal all summer, but August was the worst. Struck with epic vertigo that made life really difficult. I feel for people who have chronic middle/inner ear problems. It's like being a bowl of water on a rickety table. As long as you don't move, you're good, but if you vibrate in the slightest, it's like a shitstorm of misery. That finally cleared up, for the most part. Still a little wobbly now and then, but much, much better. Doctors decided in light of the vertigo, another set of scans was in order, and so I underwent the usual CT, bone scan, etc. There were signs of progression, enlarged lymph nodes, some other things, most of it pretty minor, but the slightest sign of progression, and I was kicked out of the study. Before I could even register the disappointment, the study was shut down completely. Turned out the risk/benefit analysis wasn't worth continuing the trial. So, I turned my attention to investigating other options, planning my next move in treatment. My team and I discussed remaining on the Keytruda alone for another couple of cycles to see if what looked like progression really was, or was an immune reaction. I was happy to stay out of the chemo chair, so I thought this was a capital idea. Right around that time, about four months into the trial period, I began to have stomach pain. Sometimes sharp stabbing pain, sometimes nausea, sometimes cramping. If I was really lucky, all three at once. It was bearable at first, but progressively became more and more excruciating until it culminated in one long night where I just lay in bed doubled up, trying to decide whether or not to go to the ER. Called my doctors and demanded some kind of action, so....MORE scans and tests. Got the news last week that my immunotherapy has turned on my colon, and I have autoimmune colitis. It's a fairly common occurrence with immunotherapy, and if it's going to happen, it usually happens right about this point in therapy. Bottom line, Keytruda just isn't the right drug for me. Not controlling my cancer, and causing misery all around. That's the catch-22 with immunotherapy. It's a wonderful thing, and I'm still a huge advocate, but when it's not working for you, it's a really unpleasant situation. So now we are treating the colitis, and the next step is another clinical trial using targeted therapy, which kills only cancer cells, ideally. This drug is so new, it doesn't have a fancy name yet, so it's called ONC201. The reported side effects so far seem fairly mild, so hopefully I will be able to work during treatment. Not being able to work has been a real source of stress this summer. I guess that's why they call it a trial, right? Lol. Still keeping my chin up, anxious to get started on the new study and see if this drug holds any promise for me. This has been a rough several months. Thanks for listening, and keep those good vibes coming!
Love, Julie
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Julie's update:
Okay, cancer update. This one is tough. Saw my oncologist today...no biopsy results yet, and still waiting on tumor markers from bloodwork, but there is definitely cancer. The good news is, it's not in my bones or organs. It's in a few abdominal lymph nodes, and of course the ones in my neck. He is 80% (his estimate) sure it's a recurrence of the triple negative breast cancer, but there is a slim possibility that it could be either estrogen receptive or herceptin-2 receptive, either one of which would be a far less hairy beast to deal with. But probably not. It's a very early recurrence, so it's not easy to get a good look at it. To that end, I will have a PET scan that will further confirm what we already suspect. Bottom line...this is now a chronic condition. I will very probably begin a long term type of chemo that will always be a part of my life one way or another. I won't lose my hair again (whew!) and it's much less toxic than what I went through last summer. It has some unpleasant side effects, of course it does...it's chemo. Hopefully, I'll be one of the lucky ones that tolerates it well. I certainly hope so, if it's going to be a lifelong proposition. I really don't want to accept the prognosis that I will always have cancer, so to that end, I'm going to explore some alternative treatments alongside the conventional ones. If anyone has any brilliant ideas, I'm open to suggestions! So, that's it. Not great news, but could be far worse. My fear was that my joint pain was indicative of disease in my bones, or my asthma flaring up meant disease in my lungs, so I'm VERY grateful that it didn't turn out to be either of those things. Silver linings, silver linings. Thank you all again for all the love, support, messages of concern...it all really helps. Time to begin a new journey...not what I expected, but I'll make it work. And again, please get yourself checked!
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Julie is going through testing to see what an abnormal lymph node means in her journey. We will know more in the coming week but for now I'm extending this fund to help her out with any stress she may be experiencing.
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Julie has proven breast cancer cannot beat her but now she needs help for her pup. Sophie just had a procedure that cost $530 plus had to get her car fixed. She's a couple months away from returning to the skies again so if you can spare a few bucks it would help tremendously.
Sophie's meds
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Susan Bisesi
35 months ago

Please donate. Simple acts of kindness

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$12,315 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 188 people in 35 months
Created July 16, 2015
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$25
Anonymous
7 months ago
PP
$20
Peter Pellegrino
7 months ago
1
1

You are a remarkable person. Love you.

$50
Anonymous
7 months ago
NS
$50
Nancy Shoemaker
7 months ago

Keep fighting! I love you and am so amazed by your strength every day.

Susan Bisesi
35 months ago

Please donate. Simple acts of kindness

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