Stem Cell Transplant Reflections: 4 years ago today

July represents so many things to me now as I reflect back, 4 years post Autologous Stem Cell Transplant and mega doses of multiple types of chemos. I’m ALIVE 4 1/2 years since diagnosis of deadly Myeloma! I’m pretty amazed with, and proud of my successful medical journey.

My July anniversary brings so much to mind for me. I still marvel at what I have been through and endured, and all the treatments I have survived! It all still seems like an out of body experience, or like I was a participant someone else’s movie. And it’s still hard to fully comprehend I have incurable cancer…

Looking back, I have zero regrets about any of my treatment choices and I am forever grateful for all the amazing care I have received through Kaiser and City of Hope. Truly, my Doctors, Nurses and staff members saved my life! Even though Myeloma returned a year ago, and I have been back on chemo and steroids ever since, I am so much healthier than I was in 2009! Sure, I have daily physical challenges, but in the BIG picture of things, cancer doesn’t stand a chance with me :)  I realize I will be on chemo and tackling some sort of treatment plan for the rest of my life, and I’m ok with that… as long as it’s buying many more years of life for me!

Interesting to re-read my thoughts 4 years ago, July 19, 2010, midway through my hospitalization at City of Hope. I was struggling through the middle of my battle, both physically and psychologically. Being sick and isolated in a hospital room was indeed very challenging for me. I felt broken, and wondered if I would ever be “me” again:  http://juliesmyelomamoments.blogspot.com/2010/07/good-bye-juliehello-julie.html

But I recovered and successfully reached full Remission from all that I endured!
With the help of maintenance chemo for a year and a half post transplant, Remission lasted until Summer 2013.  I’ve been back on chemo since mid last year, and will be for the remainder of my life. But for what all this is, and what I have been saddled to battle, I am so grateful for the quality of life I still have!

So happy 4th Stem Cell Transplant Birthday Month to me! I’m still here Myeloma, and you’re NOT winning!

July 2014 is VERY different than July 2010!!!
The other day I felt well enough to groom a few of my horses
Here’s my beautiful once wild Mustang
“Sissy of the Siskiyous”
She’s so beautiful, so sweet, so kind, 
and has never known anything but love and kindness

 And then….
Ugh! RedBear had several “Code Blue” Colics this month!
Thought we were going to lose him…

He’s been diagnosed with ulcerative colic
and is now on Ulcer Gard which is a horse version
of what I take with my Dex steroids (Omeprazole)!
Can you believe that!

Fortunately he’s doing much better 
and back to itching those itchy spots
with his “wifey” Sunny

So take that Myeloma!
I’m living life as fully as I can 
on the days I can!

Live happy, live well, and make a difference somewhere, somehow, with someone or something as often as you can!