Final Chemo Update & Second Hospital Stay
" All that you take with you, is that which you have given away" Pa Bailey from "It's a wonderful life"
Good Morning everyone! It's a wonderful day :)
I had my FINAL chemo treatment on Dec 18th 2017. All went well with the treatment. I will find out if I am in remission on Jan 11th 2018 - when I will get another PET and CT scan.
I am so happy to be finished with chemotherapy! As many of my friends and family have witnessed the life altering side effects that I have been dealing with. Can you imagine being sick 5 months!!?? It's been awful.
I've got all the " pony power" going in this one!
"final treatment" picture with my oncology nurse. There are several who did my treatments for me, but Sarah did most of them. She's super sweet and was a fabulous nurse.
Speaking of awful.... I got to spend Christmas eve and Christmas Day in the hospital this year. I had to go to the ER at 3am on Christmas eve for once again a fever and excruciating bone pain. (the bone pain is from the nulesta injection, it's meant to stimulate my bodies white blood cell production) and let me tell you.. it HURT. The pain was impossible, thankfully I was treated for both the fever and the terrible bone pain.
I was released on Wednesday after my fever and pain were under control. My Mom made it special for me, since I missed actual Christmas. :)
Leaving the hospital, we "jingle belled" all the way out!
One is never too old for toys. Look what Santa brought me!! I think I was really good this year. <3
I just wanted to thank all of you and say Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!! I love you all.
My fight is not over yet. I hope to return to work in the month of January after being completely cleared by my doctor that it will be safe for me. (remember the type of work that I do)
So I still will be battling this month before totally getting back on my feet, and now new medical bills are on the way from the hospital stay. (yay).
Thank you all again for your help! It means everything to me this holiday season.
Update 11-28-17 please click the updates tab to read the new updates :)
Hello friends! It's long over-due time for any update. As some of you have seen, I have shaved my head at this point. I am glad that I did, because after my second chemo my hair started to clearly fall out. It would have been traumatizing to let it fall out in big pieces like that.
The second treatment has been much more difficult than to the first. To make matters worse, I have gotten a secondary pneumonia infection. I have been in the hospital today is the 5th day. I am finally starting to feel a bit better I can sit up and share a few things with you. I know I am not the best at keeping you all updated! I also want to say thank you 100 million times over.
I have received many cards and gifts in the mail and just have not been feeling well enough to respond individually to each of them yet. However, I wanted you all to know that I will and thank you very much for your generosity and kindness.
This has been the most difficult time for myself and for those close to me. It is not easy to just stop living a normal life and surrender to being sick. I have been praying for strength for those around me. I have been praying for my body to continue to fight this evil out of my body. I will not feel sorry for myself, I have not stopped hoping and praying for a full recovery so I can return to life.
And still thank each and every one of you! It is because of your support that I am getting through this. Thank you for your love, kindness and support!
Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. ~~~ Melody Beattie
in the ER 102.8 temp
The lady who took my x-ray gave me a sticker.
every Veteran knows those PT caps are useful
tasty hospital food? :D
<3 Praying Chapel in the Hospital
My Mom, camping out on the couch
hey this filter isn't hald bad on a bald girl....
Hello all out there who are following my story! I have much to share with you and I am sorry I have not been the best at keeping up with this. I have to give myself a pass as I just had 4 painful outpatient procedures in the past 3 months, while I was still working full-time to the best of my ability.
Here are some of what happened:
I completed a procedure for a port to be placed, this is where I am receiving the chemotherapy treatment.
8/10/17 egg retrieval procedure THANK YOU to all of you wonderful people this procedure was able to be completed!! As I had mentioned before, this procedure (basically freezing my eggs for future use) is NOT covered by insurance. I was able to save 8 mature eggs for the future! For those of you unaware, chemotherapy kills your fertility, since I am almost 35 (on 9/3) the chances that my fertility would return after chemo is very unlikely. So THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart!! My dream of mother hood is safe and secure. I have all of you to thank for that!!
I would also like to give a big big thank you to the LIVESTRONG foundation, because they covered 1/2 the cost of the procedure.
I would also like to thank Columbia Fertility, who performed the procedure. http://www.columbiafertility.com Dr. Abbasi is amazing! She is a US Army Veteran herself , and she generously gave me a 25% off military discount on top of the already discounted priced. Thank you, Dr. Abbasi <3 <3
Before I was completely knocked out!
Monday 8/14 I received my first dose of R-CHOP chemotherapy. My brother stayed with me the entire day and I had two other close friends and my boyfriend stop in to see me, that helped a lot not to do this alone!
The View from the Cancer Center --- life continues on while one is sick.
The infamous F*** picture!! #fuckcancer I will get this evil out of my body!
My lovely Oncologist, Dr. O'connor
My port is ready, let's get this show on the road.
"red devil" the ruxtinmab hurt a lot! This was much easier to take.
A few of my supports for the day. Still trying to keep that smile, no matter what!
The side effects have been #rough. My bones hurt (they gave me a shot to stimulate my immune system in the bone marrow) I have to take medications to keep the nausea and other unpleasant mentioning under control. If I do not keep these things under control (ie if I stop eating/drinking) or I get a temperature, this treatment is no longer out-patient but becomes inpatient and no one wants that. I would rather be resting at home than in a hospital!
On that note, my doctor has advised not working, especially in my line of work. As of right now, my immune system is very weak and it would not be safe for me to work due to secondary infections. In fact, most people have complications from secondary infections because they don't listen to their doctors when they tell them not to do things.
So, as of right now I am on un-paid FMLA status. They are basically just not firing me. I have applied for short-term disability (not full pay) but from what I have heard it is not reliable. Most who received the short term disability benefits, don't receive a check until they have already gone back to work!
I also just received a $14,000 bill from my insurance company they have so gracefully said they will not cover. Now, I have to fight with them.
I am still asking for help, I am not bringing in an income but I still have to pay all of my regular expenses while I am being treated.
WOW, you must really care to have read this far!!! :D Thank you, thank you so very much for your time.
Your prayers, your thoughts, your love, just everything <3
I enjoy staying on social media because I feel like it give me a link to the outside world. I will give more updates as I can! <3 :) Love you all
Hello, first off thank you for reading this! I am very thankful <3 I was recently diagnosed with grade 2 stage 4 follicular Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. At first, I did not want many people to know, but I have come to terms that I need support to get through this. Asking for help is not something that comes easy for me.
I have had an outpouring of support and prayers from my friends and family. However, the financial strain is overwhelming.
The emergency lymph node biopsy and bone marrow biopsy was $3,250. As most of you know, even with health insurance medical care is still expensive. I am also out of paid time off at my job, and have taken many hours of unpaid FMLA leave for appointments.
My treatment plan is R-CHOP chemotherapy, via IV infusion (through a port). Starting August 14th, I will have chemotherapy every 3 weeks, for 6 total treatments. I will need to take off an extensive amount of time from work for this treatment. Some hours will be FMLA unpaid hours and some will be at 60% of my pay (taxed). I will still be responsible for rent and bills during this time of decreased pay. I also just had a surprise $825 car repair bill.
This treatment will be damaging to my fertility, especially at my age. I have been offered an amazing gift through the LIVESTRONG foundation. They have offered to help me get fertility preservation at half the cost. The medications I need for this procedure are free, however I will still be responsible for $6,000. Fertility preservation is not covered by insurance. The egg harvesting procedure is scheduled for Wednesday August 2nd. Payment required prior.
Most of my friends and family know that I have always talked about having children of my own and starting a family. I do not want to let cancer win and take that dream away from me! Please consider helping me achieve this dream. Even $5 helps!
I am so appreciative of the kind words, support and prayers even from complete strangers. It is tough times like these that reveal there are still kind people in this world!
Thank you, for the bottom of my heart <3
My Afghanistan deployment 2[phone redacted]
my weapon and bestie for the year "peace"
The view out of Afghanistan July 4th 2012
My Little Pony Fair Staff (yup I am that serious of a collector!)
I was even Princess Twilight --- shhhhh :)
Need a fair exclusive pony!?
Also a lover of social dance! Bachata <3 mostly but salsa and I really want to learn zouk and kizomba!
quick snap shot of some of my faboulous dance friends! <3
- Karen Siatras
- Erin Barnes
- Leandra Grimm
- Bruce Borer
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