Sunday, December 23, 2007

Here's hoping to a great 2008!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Current mood: hopeful

Well the time is almost here, time to say good-bye to 2007 and hello to 2008. I have to admit I am looking forward to 2008 and putting 2007 behind me! This past year has been HELL, for the lack of a better word. I've had a lot of highs and lows. It seems more lows than highs but I try not to dwell on the lows too much.

One of my highs is when my little brother proposed to his girlfriend. I'm so happy for them and I'm really excited about getting a sister. The wedding is planned for June of next year. I just hope I have enough hair by then....haha.

Of course one of my lows, the biggest low, was being diagnosed with the BIG C. It's funny in the beginning I would hear people talk about how cancer had changed their lives and the good things that came from it. I thought these people were crazy! But looking over the past year, I can honestly say I wouldn't change a thing. Yeh, cancer sucks, but it's what you make of it that matters.

I've met some new friends, my cancer friends and I love them and thank God for them, cause they get it! They get me and can relate and know exactly how I'm feeling.

I found a great support group called i2y, or I'm too young for this. Alot of my cancer friends have come from this support group. I met the founder of the organization, Matthew Zachary, at a cancer conference in NYC and we have become e-mail buddies. His organization has been a blessing in my life. I've gone to some of their social events and even though I was going through chemo and wasn't exactly at my best, I enjoyed being among the "land of the living". Matthew has also been very encouraging and with out his encouragement this blog wouldn't exist, so thank you Matthew!

At one of the social events, I met the author of the book, Breastless in the city, her name is Cathy Bueti and it is an honor to call her my friend. After meeting her, she was so sweet and sent my a signed copy of her book. I read the book in just a couple of days and when I was finished I sent her an e-mail and as we say....the rest is history. She has helped me so much with my cancer crapness, I love you Cathy!

I also met a cancer friend in the chat room of The Stupid Cancer Show. The Stupid Cancer Show is a live web-cast that Matthew does on Monday nights. Check it out if you want, . There is a chat room there too and that is where I met Katie. The funny thing is, she lives one town a way from me, what a small world.

And then there is my dear chemo friend, Holly. We met at Holly's first chemo and I was already bald and a little over half way done with my chemo. We share the same fabulous chemo nurse, Helen and yes we share the same God awful oncologist, Dr. N. That first meeting, Holly had so many questions, when did my hair fall out?, what foods made me sick? It was so nice to help her with the answers to those questions. Looking back I wish I had someone to ask those questions to myself. The sisterhood of breast cancer, the club no one wants to join.

I love all my new friends and just think, I wouldn't have met any of them without cancer. So I guess good things can come out of cancer.

So here's my list of some of the things that I won't miss from 2007:

sleepless nights
people staring at my bald head

Good-bye 2007 and Hello 2008.

I can't wait to reclaim my life!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Finding out it's OK to cry!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Current mood: sad

I went to see one of my doctors yesterday, Dr. L. If you've read my other blogs then you know that I love Dr. L. She is my breast surgeon.

She was the one that told me that I had the BIG C and sent my world spiralling out of control. I know what you're thinking, and why do you love this woman? I love her for many reasons but yesterday I can add to the list....she told me that it was OK to cry and feel sad. She told me that I had been through alot in a short period of time and that the surgery I had was very traumatic and that it was normal for my hormones to be all over the place.

It seems like that is ALL I do lately is cry. I cry because my hand is still NOT OK. I still cannot feel my left thumb, index finger or middle finger. I cry because lately the pain shooting into these fingers is unbearable. Dr. L believes that the pain is a "good thing". It is a sign of my nerve(s) healing. I should be thrilled, but all I do is cry.

I cry because I want my life back!

I cry because I feel the world going on without me. I know I have to recover but.....

Maybe it's the time of year. Everyone is getting ready to enjoy the holidays and all I want to do is cry! I would give anything to change places with someone. You hear people complaining about standing in long checkout lines or getting stuck in traffic. I will trade anytime. You take my pain and I'll take the hustle and bustle of the holidays.

I try so hard to keep a positive attitude and a smile on my face, but sometimes it's really hard!

I also talked to Dr. L about my staging. She told me since there was NO lymph node involvement, I would be Stage 1. I told her, I should be thrilled and happy and relieved, but all I want to do is cry. She said it was my hormones and that it was OK.

I want to be happy! Hell, I should be happy, right? I've survived breast cancer! I should be celebrating....then why am I crying?

You know the expression....."this too shall pass" I guess I just have to wait and see.....

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Cost of Cancer

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Current mood: Outraged!

I'm sure you've heard the expression, "What do you think money grows on trees?"

I believe that the drug companies think this to be true.

Let me just start off by saying, I am one of the more fortunate ones here in the United States. I have excellent health benefits!

But what about the millions of others who don't.....

Everyday when I go to get my mail, there is always some type of doctor's bill or my health insurance sends me another bill of summary. This has been going on since the end of February, when my cancer crapness journey began.

Right now I'm just paying my co-pays. I met my deductible way back in March, so in a way everything after my co-pay is free shall we say....till January 1st and I have to pay my deductible again.

What gets me is the cost of some of my drugs. I get these bills of summary and it just blows my mind!

Over the summer while I was going through chemo, I needed a shot every other week to boost my white blood cell count. The cost of this shot....$3000. Now I needed 6 of these, you do the math.....$18,000. I can't even imagine having to pay this.

I just got another bill of summary and on this was the cost of a drug I need to take for a whole year. I get this drug through an IV every 3 weeks. The cost of this drug.....$6000. Figure that one out....52 weeks in a year divided by 3, we'll just round it off at 17 and then multiple that times $6000. That would be a whopping $104,000. I couldn't afford this drug if I didn't have health insurance.

I feel like I'm doing a commercial. Nuelasta shot: $3000. Herceptin treatment: $6000. Never getting cancer and staying healthy: priceless.

But seriously who the hell puts the price tags on these drugs! I can't even imagine not having health insurance and having to pay those bills. The sad thing is there are people out there that have to do this......I thought the United States was supposed to be the best country in the world? After watching Michael Moore's movie Sicko and dealing with my own cancer crapness, I'm really beginning to wonder....