Unexplained back pain...
Fast forward to 13 December, 2017, tons of blood and urine tests; unexplained anemia, an MRI that revealed a compression fracture of my t8 which explained all the back pain, a CT, a bone marrow biopsy and PET scan in less than 10 days, I was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma bone cancer the day before my 48th birthday on 14 December.
The recommended treatment?
4 months of chemo cocktail
stem cell transplant in Southern California (2 month process)
hope for remission
With my young age and rather aggressive MM, my oncologist launched right into the cocktail of Chemotherapy for 2 weeks before Christmas. Ended up in the ER twice the weekend before Christmas for fever and chills from the chemo. The nurses didn't do a nice job with my veins and I looked like a drug addict and was bruised everywhere on both arms and one of my hands :(
My original chemo schedule was crazy... labs on Monday, shots on Tues and Friday, oral drugs with the shots on Tuesday. AND one of the drugs they wanted me to take in this cocktail was Lenalidomide - a relative of Thalidomide, the WWII Nazi developed drug that ended up creating horrible birth defects in babies all around the world! Uh... NO way!
Thank goodness this drug is so heavily regulated as a result of it's relatives horrible history that I had not yet started this one and at my next appointment with my Oncologist I asked "what else have ya got? I'm refusing the Lenalidomide, not going to take it." And I told her I was going to begin hands on body work/energy sessions weekly as well. (she didn't have much comment on this declaration.)
Blessed be she is willing to listen to her patients, even if it's not what she would like me to do. So, we change the Lenalidomide to Cyclophosphamide, which does make me nauseated for 2 days after taking it, but my schedule is now down to labs on Wednesday and 1 Chemo shot on Thursday with the Cyclophosphamide (11 pills) and the Dexamethasone (10 pills.) Whew! More days for my life and living NOT at the doctors office!
I am here to raise
Monies to pay for the finacial costs of Cancer
- Monies for my diagnostic past expenditures which are now $6375
- Monies for my 2018 insurance premiums which will be $6000 for the year
- Monies for the weekly traditional chemo treatments for 4 months and the weekly lab fees as well as the future diagnostic appointments to show that the cancer is going away and I am healing on the inside! :)
The money will allow me to have more ease with the financial costs of Cancer - diagnosis, treatment, and hopefully a long, long remission.
I know getting better each week no matter what it takes or looks like will ease any worry in my 81 year old father (we lost our mother to Ovarian Cancer in 2012 and she didn't desire to have any treatments, she chose to go home and have Hospice care and pass, but that's a whole other conversation on cancer and choice!)
May I extend and share my gratitude for you - friend, family, or stranger for spending the time to read this at the very least and should you choose to contribute financially, I am grateful for that kindness as well.
Aloha, Fiona Dempster
- Sarah Taylor
- Patty Bigelow
- Maggie Tu