Better, Battling Forward

Hello 8/13/16
Surprise surprise I am posting 3 days early, as so many have asked how I am after my most recent awful fever bug. I thought 13 would be a lovely date to update my status :))  Thank you everyone for caring about my crazy myeloma life as you do! Deeply appreciated.

As yucky as I still felt this past Monday, I pushed myself to show up for chemo. I had already missed the previous week, due to being so sick and feverish. I kept thinking about the irony of missing chemo to get better from this awful fever bug, yet myeloma was probably diggin in deeper without the chemo. I knew I’d better not miss another chemo week, if I could manage to go. So I went. I was quite surprised when my nurse took my temp and I still had a slight fever. Good thing I didn’t check before I left home, as I probably would not have gone. Turns out that they don’t really consider a fever a fever until it’s over 100.3(?), and mine was 99.7, so they were ok with going forward with my treatment. I was somewhat dehydrated too, as who drinks enough when you feel so lousy with a fever?! And to top things off, it wasn’t easy finding a good infusion vein, so I had several “sticks”, but my expert nurses finally succeeded. Fortunately, good ol Dex steroids propped me up a bit, so I finally felt better by Tuesday. Not great, but ok! Whew, 2 more chemo treatments down.

But here I go again, trying to figure out how to live life while in continuous treatment. I’m supposed to have my chemo “make up week” this coming week, but I also have my 35th anniversary recognition at my college. Previously, (prior to getting sick) it would have been my chemo break week, so no problem attending 2 events without having to worry about post chemo/steroid side effects. But now, as a result of being sick, and missing a treatment week, I will only have had 2 weeks of Kyprolis, rather than the regular protocol of 3 this month. I know I should do my 3rd treatment week, but seriously, it’s not possible to attend “normal” events close after treatments and with yucky crashing side effects. Who wants to show up to be honored and celebrated, feeling half dead and sick! Ugh, the conflicts of Treatments vs Living Life. I just can’t let cancer can’t steal all of my life, so I opted out of my chemo “make up week”. Yes my numbers will probably Not be good this month, (due to my illness and minimal chemo), but these are the choices we have to make having incurable cancer, being continually treated. Icing on my cupcake, this 35th recognition will be my “last big hurrah” at my college, as I’ve finally reckoned with accepting that myeloma has stolen my career, and disability/retirement is just around the corner…

So I last left off several posts ago, that I made the decision to cut my hair. My poor little pony tail was thin and lifeless and I knew it was time. Ironically, my hair grew full and fast on Revlimid and Dex steroids, but I guess there’s something about Kyprolis that thins the hair, so I knew it was time to accept a change was needed. I always had fun with my short sassy styles after my stem cell transplant in 2010, so it really wasn’t a big deal to me to go short again. A a matter of fact, it’s exactly 6 years ago that my hair really really thinned from Cytoxan and Melphalan. I cut my pony tail off June 2010, prior to admission to the hospital, and then I fully buzzed late September 2010.

So here’s a fun Then and Now:
Pony tail chop June 2010

Pony tail chop July 2016
It’s so thin and tiny,
it’s hard to see me holding it here
2016- It was really really thin and tiny
June 2010 make over

July 2016 make over

2010 full buzz!

2016 mini buzz

So I’m enjoying my new hair, and great timing too, as it’s really been hot this summer. Interesting, as my hair now is not as thin, and not falling out as much, and some waves are developing. It’s even longer now than this pic from a month ago. I don’t have a current one, as it wasn’t long after this I bit the dust with my fever illness. I sure have gotten beyond my “vanity”, as I’m posting goofy, not so flattering pics of me. Oh well, my life now.

Right before I got sick, my daughter went with her friend to a local “Clear the Shelter Day”. She wasn’t “planning” to adopt, but this little gem “picked” her, and now we have another amazing rescue that has joined our pack. Poor lil girl had been a stray on the streets, and not treated well either in her previous home, or while a stray, as she was thin and scared and timid and showed signs of abuse. The lack of love and consideration of living beings by humans, will always mystify and anger me…
She is safe with us now, and it’s been a delight to watch her darling personality emerge as she learns to trust and be a happy puppy. We doggie-sit while our daughter is at work, so she’s been with us a lot these past few weeks :))

So here’s our new little family member: Nala!
 At the shelter, meet and greet! 
What a lil darling she is!
About a week later with us
Poor lil girl, didn’t even know about “treats”
This was just after our daughter left for work
and little Nala climbed into her bag! 
How adorable is that!
And here she is being fully introduced to “ranch life”!
Anyone living with dogs and horses knows 
you can’t keep dogs from snacking on horse poop!
No matter how we try, they sneak “apples” like 
humans do chocolate. Look it up! 
And lastly, remember the lil chickies we raised? 
They’re almost full grown chickens now,
and happy happy in their “grown up” coop!! 
Thank you for reading and caring about my crazy story and life. Hope all is well with all my fellow patients and you’re winning the myeloma battle and enjoying life in all ways you can. Truly, it’s one day at time, one treatment at a time, one blood test result at a time. Life is so unpredictable, but so grateful to still be here! Cross your fingers for me, myeloma hasn’t marched forward too much this month, and I’ll post my labs when I have the results after 8/22.

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