Saturday, April 18, 2009

Marley and Me...aka, Maddy and Me

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Current mood: Sad

OK, I finally got a chance to see Marley and Me and let me just start off by saying, THANK GOD, I didn't see it in the theatre. I would have been so embarrassed. I not only cried but I was doing that whole hyperventilating cry.

It was a good movie and we all know how it was going to end but man I was not ready for that.

As you can see from the picture, I have a Bichon Frise. Her name is Maddy and she will be 10 years old next month.

Maddy and I have been to hell and back. I always tease and say that her sodium level must be through the roof because of all the tears that she has licked over the years.

She was there for me when my Mom died and then my Grandmother. And then of course came my cancer. She has always been there for me. And yet again today, she was there for me. As soon as I started to cry she came up on my lap and put her two paws on my chest and just started licking my tears away. There goes her sodium level again....

I can have a horrible, crappy day, but when I turn my key in the door and see her all excited to see me, it changes everything. She loves me unconditionally...what more could you ask for?

Maddy and I do everything together and I take her everywhere permitted. I can't believe she is going to be 10 years old next month. My baby is getting old. I noticed it the other day, her extra bounce in her step is slowing down when I bring her for her walks. She used to be able to power walk with me. That's OK, I'll slow down for my Maddy.

When the time comes and I have to make the decision to put her down, you better put me in a padded room for awhile cause I'm definitely going to lose it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

They're Back and Stronger than Ever!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Current mood: Flirty

I am soooo psyched! My eyelashes are FINALLY back and stronger than ever!

One of the things I hated most about going through chemo wasn't just losing my hair but losing my eyebrows and eyelashes.

Don't get me wrong, losing my hair was devastating but I could wear hats and scarves to try to look "normal".

When I lost my eyebrows and eyelashes, is when it really set in as to how sick I was. I now looked sick. Sure you can try putting makeup on and I did the whole penciling of the eyebrows, yeah right. I had no luck and thought I looked like a little old lady with fake lines above my eyes.

I was so excited when my eyelashes started to grow back. I was already with my fancy mascara. And then, they fell out again. I was devastated! What the hell...

I remember one of my fellow chemo buddies saying that her eyelashes had fallen out again too. I thought, OK this must be normal. I talked to my chemo nurse about it and she reassured me that they would grow back and that they might not have been strong enough.

Good news, they did grow back and yes, they did fall out again. WTF!

I patiently waited and yes again they grew back and yet again fell out.

OK, three is a charm, right?

Well, I am happy to say they haven't fallen out again and they look fabulous. I really noticed them the other night when I was getting ready to go out and was putting on my mascara. There they were fluttering back at me, nice and long. Welcome back, I've missed you.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Revlon Run/Walk for Women

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Current mood: Determined

Hey Friends and Family!

Hope this letter finds you well. I’m doing well and loving my new job and of course living in NYC is awesome. I’m living my dream.

I have decided to participate in Revlon’s Walk for Women’s Cancer on Saturday, May 2nd. It starts in Times Square and ends in Central Park.

This is a cause that is very near and dear to me, not only because I am a breast cancer survivor but because Revlon is a company that helped fund Dr. Slamon in his quest to get FDA approval for a breast cancer drug called Herceptin.

Herceptin is a drug for women that have HER2 positive breast cancer. This only accounts for 25% of breast cancer however it makes the cancer much more aggressive.

I was HER2 positive and I had Herceptin treatments every 3 weeks for a year.

Without Herceptin I’m not sure where I would be.

Needless to say, I am very thankful to Revlon for helping to fund this great doctor/researcher and I’m even more grateful to Dr. Slamon for his continued research in fighting for us cancer survivors.

So please help with my cause and sponsor me in my walk.

If you would like to sponsor me, please go to I am registered under the NYC walk (Jill Ann Zocco) and my bib number is 11252. Or you can go directly by using this link

Thank you so much! I love you guys!

Breast Cancer Survivor

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Do you have $340,358.35?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Current mood: Shocked!

Well I finally did it. I added up all my bills from my cancer and got this outrageous number.

The cost of my cancer that was billed to my insurance company was...can I have a drum roll please...$340,358.35.

That's crazy!

All I have to say is, THANK GOD I had insurance!

I haven't really added up my costs. I know my deductible was $600 and each office visit was $25 and of course all my drugs, they cost me $10 a prescription.

Here is the breakdown of my cancer bill that was sent to my insurance company:

mammogram, ultrasound, biopsies, consult with breast surgeon, pathology reports and lab work $6,678.22

Breast Surgeon office visits $1,951.

MRI $3,613.93

Pre-op physicals $467.

1st surgery to remove lump $12,223.16

Consult with Plastic Surgeon $590.

Genetic Test $3,120.

Oncologist Consult $360.

Blood work $122.42

Pathology reports $98.65

Body Scans (full body, pelvic and heart) $7,913.50

Surgery to implant my port $6,281.13

Chemo Treatments, this includes office visits, blood work, chemo drugs, injections, IV therapy and of course supplies $84,221.07

The chemo drugs by themselves were $58,355.

Herceptin Treatments, this includes office visits, blood work, Herceptin drug, injections, IV therapy and once again supplies $128,919.68

The Herceptin Drug alone was $108,426.

Breast Surgery/Bi-lateral mastectomy with DEIP tram flap reconstruction $83,668.59

Holy Shit! That's alot of money. The operating room alone was $29,696. I guess that seems fair enough, after all I was in surgery for 15 hours.

Visiting Nurse $130.

Grand Total $340,358.35