Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Anyone can give up........

The past 3 months have put a damper on my photography passion, whether by means of pain, or lack of inspiration.  Tonight I took a night off and went to a photography seminar that I hoped would re-energize me and foster some creativity to jump start me.  :)  I had no idea.  The Power of Passion by Sandy Puc' and Jerry Ghionis was quite amazing.  A great seminar and sometime caught my attention in the form of a quote that just sums it ALL up.

Anyone can give up, it is the easiest thing to do.  But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength.
 - unknown

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Treatment 2, done and done

Shot of Neulasta in the arm, boy it sure stings going in.  But feeling great and ready to rock.  So this treatment has been put to rest, and ready for the last one set April 20th.  Got a little sunshine today, gonna be a great one I think.  :) 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Treatment #2c

So round two, done.  No problems, no side effects, feeling awesome.  So now the cautious part where I watch out for trouble cause my immune system goes out of whacks.  Saw my regular doctor about my sugars and got some insulin shots to take so that the drugs and chemo treatments don't give me too much of a sugar kick.  So all is good, noticing changes already.  This is a good thing.  So top of the mountain and crossing the peak to head down to the final and planned last round next month.  Time is moving very fast.

So glad the pain is still gone, definitely enjoy being able to catch up on the photography side of the house.  You never know what will happen to you when you cannot function day to day like you normally do.  It's a slow process but definitely making strides to catch up.  To those that have graciously given me time to heal, I cannot thank you enough.  And thanks for helping me focus on myself and not be stressed for being behind.  Priceless!

So, as I pass these 25 days til the final round, expect post that all is well, just like last time.  So for now, all is well, no complaints, except I saw some snow flurries today, where the heck did the almost 80 degree weather go.  I am so ready for that and some fun photography outings.  Thanks for the thoughts and prayers that my huge support group has sent for me.  That motivates me tremendously.

Have a great weekend all, and iBelieve!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Treatment #2b

In and out, it took like 30 minutes to get the bag and little bit of saline.  Feel great, and don't see any issues just like last month.  This is really going well, and expect the same tomorrow.  So nothing to report, just feeling great and going in to see my primary care doctor in a little bit, gonna double check things out of whack because of the chemo drugs.

It's tough seeing Facebook posts that more people are talking about cancer, like it is popping out of the woodworks.  I know what they go through when they are waiting to find out for sure if it is.  Whether breast cancer, lymphoma, leukemia, they all have a waiting period while test results are determined.  Then, the bills come in and you are overwhelmed at times.  I got one more bill today, and it looks like I have maxed out my out of pocket expenses, so guess that will be a good thing.  But either way, attitude is everything.  I won't let it get me down and the bills will be worked out.  Gotta stay positive and move forward, just wish the whole process would be easier and everyone could have things caught early.

So, one more hour day and a shot on Saturday and 25 days till round 3, rock and roll, here I come.  Thanks to everyone who supports me day to day, I could not do this without your help to keep me motivated.  So far I haven't really needed to reach out in times of need, but I know I can count on everyone if needed.  I thank you for that!


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Treatment #2a

So today started Treatment #2, this is the mid-way point if all goes as planned.  So today, a little stressed as traffic put me behind, and every road seemed to have a delay.  Getting there about 9:55 instead of 9:30 mean I got behind a lot of people.  So, checked in, ready to go, and because there was a few ahead of me, I got hooked up to the machine and saline going in in at just about 11am.  Bloodwork checked out and the first bag was in.  I started to play the Angry Birds, listening to Millionaire, and drinking the water.  That bag finished fast.  Had several wonderful visitors to chat with today that made the time go by way fast.  Mr. Smurf, came and went, and basically my Red shirt told him who is boss, so I own'd you Mr. Smurf.  Bag number three, good ole Rituxan.  This was the one I had the couple reactions to.  The bump on my head did not duplicate itself, which was something I talked to my doctor about.  That is good, he wasn't concerned over it, so all is good.  But the tightening chest and the tingling/itchy scalp did.  I also felt a little light headed, mostly when talking to the person to my left, and then to my right.  Wasn't bad, just noticeable.  Because they want to know any reactions, my wonderful nurse decided to back it off a little, and give me a shot of a steroid to help easy any discomfort.  This lessened all of the noticeable symptoms.

So I took 7 hours today, but it went by so fast it was great.  As I gathered my things to leave today, I thought, damn, I feel great.  No noticeable pains or nausea, but I did start to notice the voice being hard to talk, coughing like I had something in the throat.  But, thats a side effect and the throat thickening and/or the tongue, speaking gets harder sometime, messing up on pronouncing some words.  So thats okay.  I got that last time too.  So for right now, I kicked its butt again.

Best news is, STILL NO PAIN IN THE SHOULDER.   Singly, that has given me a lot of hope that this is going very well.  If you haven't read all the way back to the long first post, I had an MRI expecting news of a torn rotator cuff.  Instead it showed a possible tumor in the humeral head.  LOTS of pain, coming and going, which made sleeping miserable.

So that give me great hope and expectation that my onc (oncologist) is RIGHT and that Three Strikes and your OUT!!!  For my birthday in May, I plan to be in remission, and continue to spread my motivation and enthusiasm as long as I need to, because all you can do is iBelieve!

Tomorrow is a one hour, more then.

 Gifts from my teammates.  PRICELESS!
 Mr. Smurf, I own'd you!

I can't take a good iPhone good photo, but the smile is genuine!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Here we go!

Okay, so in another two days and a wake up I will start my second treatment and am ready to roll.  If my onc is correct, I am midway and that is a great feeling.  I have been busy catching up on my photography, which has been a huge improvement from the beginning of the year.  Definitely doing good, and still no pain.  Thats awesome.  It will be Wednesday before I know it, so expect more of the same I hope. :)


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Just WOW

Less than one week away from round two, motivated!  A friend thinks that Mr. Smurf is gonna make me bleed blue, but thats not gonna happen.  Go Cards, let's kick it in the tourney!

Got two of the big bill benefits statements.  Like the markdown, but yikes, one is just under a grand.  Not bad in the bigger scheme of things, but that was a big OUCH kinda.  :)  Still motivated, it will all work out.

Found out two friends are joining in on this dance, my thoughts and prayers go out to them as they get more information and options.  Next weekend, 26 Mar, there is a Walk for Cancer at EP Tom Sawyer Park at 10am.  If my chemo goes well, I may try to get out for this great cause.


Monday, March 14, 2011

Keeping track

So dang, this week has been a flood of bills.  And a bunch of Explanation of Benefit forms to match up.  But I keep trying to figure out which go with which, and it's kinda hard cause some are only a couple of items.  Dang, this has been a tough one, and I am giving up for tonight. :)

But, the big one came in.  Two appointments, and 3 days of chemo.  $24,365.25.  Bada Bing.  So that means my total with the 5 big bills recently comes to $65,798.25.  Now thats a lot. :)  Waiting on the EoB's to see what is covered.  Trying to figure out what to pay out and get ready for.

Still smiling and feeling great!!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Feeling Awesome and ready for the next round!!

So I have to say, I feel awesome.  There have been very few things that have given me any reason to think I have gone through one round of chemo.  No major illnesses, just a bit of a runny nose and cough.  The best part, knock on wood, I have had ZERO pain in the shoulder.  This has been a huge setback and I am so happy that I can feel normal again especially when sleeping.  So yeah, I feel AWESOME.  Less than two weeks and I will be fighting ole Mr. Smurf, so I can prove to Angie that I won't be bleeding blue. :)

On a different note, today I found 4 bills in the mailbox.  Seriously, you gotta wait and send me 4 at once.  Ha.  So, $13,029, $8,205, $10,297, and $9,902, thats a lot of dough.  Not bad for one day, $41,433.  Yeah I won't owe near that, thank goodness for insurance.

Alright.  So thats it, feeling good, no major concerns, and to top it off, my oncologist left me a voicemail just checking in on me to see how I was doing.  I can say, LIFE IS GOOD

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One week almost over

This week hasn't been too bad, work has flown by and kept me busy.  Still no pain in the shoulder, no significant side effects, overall feeling good.  Just trying to stay clear of the possible sicknesses so my immune system doesn't suffer.  So, still doing great, just passing the time till the next treatment is due. :)

I got the bill for the biopsy of the mass in my abdomen, it was a little over $10K.  The good news is the provider statement covered all but $165, so I was excited to see that I don't have a huge bill for that one.  I am sure more will be coming, but for now, not to bad.