Sunday, May 31, 2009

Thanks to Fellow Bloggers

I just want to thank all of my fellow bloggers, especially those who commented on my last post, for sending me support, prayers, and visualizations. You don't know how much it means to me to have your support.

My appreciation goes to Daria, Carver, Teri, Liz, and Doug! Thank you everyone!

I know there's a lot of you lurking out there who never comment on the blog, but who send me prayers, support, and love. I know you're out there because you send me emails or you say "I know - I read it in your blog". Because of that, I know I have your encouragement, too.

Thank you to all of you, too!

I feel very fortunate to have your support. A new friend of mine noticed that I seem to have a lot of people rooting for me. She said, "you must have a lot of things you still need to do because you have a lot of support" - her implication was that that I was getting all of that support in order to stay alive - and that encouragement was perhaps even healing me and that it was needed because I do have a lot of things I need to accomplish, both personally and professionally.

Two of my friends are going through some very trying times. Please keep them in your thoughts, too! Thank you everyone!


jmoore4you said...

I hope you do feel supported. I do take strength from your successes. It is therapeutic for me to know that you are kicking this...

I had my pet scan and it was "no further mets." I had "lung spots" but nothing seems to be coming of it. I take Herceptin and will take Tykerb when my persistent incision wound heals. (I have had a MRSA infection for about six months and is now probably gone.) The doctor thinks that the Tykerb might be interfering with my healing.

Incidentally, my insurance will not pay for Tykerb since research was only done with the protocol of Tykerb being paired with Xeloda. I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield and they denied me. I have to pay for it out of pocket. Does your insurer question the use of Tykerb without the Xeloda?

Joanna Moore

Daria said...

;) ... As cancer survivors, we all support each other ...

Dee said...

Hi Joanna,
I'm glad that you take strength from my successes - and I am working at kicking this thing.

I'm very glad to hear that your pet scan showed "no further mets". I'm sorry to hear about the MRSA infection and that Tykerb might be interfering with your infection and so you're off of it.

I have BlueCross/Blue Shield, too. I do not, however, take Herceptin and since Tykerb acts like Herceptin, maybe that's why my insurance pays for Tykerb because I'm not also taking Herceptin. I did take Tykerb with Xeloda for awhile and I may end up taking Xeloda again, so that might be another reason why they are paying for it. Is there a reason why you don't take Xeloda? Insurance is so fickle. Can you doctor argue with your insurance?

So, you seem to have lung mets (or at least spots), what other mets do you or did you have, if you don't mind me asking?

Hi Daria, yes, as survivors, we do support each other. It's important. I just like to say thank you to all those who do give me support. It means a lot to me!

jmoore4you said...

I had lymph nodes removed on both sides and the one lung spot showed up originally and then reduced in size after chemo. Because it reduced in size, it was deemed to be mets but I like to believe that it was some after-effects of a viral infection. It is not something I spend much time worrying about. So far, so good.

The difference between Harceptin and Tykerb is that Herceptin does not prevent brain mets and Tykerb does; it crosses the brain/body barrier. So my doctor wants me on both. She has not recommended Xeloda because of its toxicity (and I am guessing that Herceptin would probably be denied if I were on that regime.) I feel that I am lucky to be suitable for Herceptin. It is basically side-effect free.

My doctor tried to argue with the insurance company. Originally, they not only denied the claim for paying for the Tykerb but also for the Herceptin. They deny right and left and it is always a fight.

My best medicine is playing tennis. I played (albeit poorly) throughout chemo, and radiation. I played (with stitches ripping out) after I developed the abscess and the subsequent surgery to repair it. The MRSA has in some ways been worse than the mastectomy. But that is over with for now.

For the longest time, my oncologist refrained from using the word "mets" and it was shocking when she did. But it doesn't change what is. I had what I had before she used the word and I have whatever I have after she used the word. I just do not believe that is going to be of significance and I hope you can share the same belief for yourself.

Joanna Moore

Carver said...

Thanks to you too Dee. You are a very supportive friend and I'm glad to have met you both in person and through the internet.

Dee said...

Hi Julia,
You know, I haven't had any issues with BCBS. My partner, before he lost his job and thus his coverage, had more issues with BCBS. It depends on the policy that is negotiated between BCBS and your employer.

I know the difference between Herceptin and Tykerb, but since they are both treated for HER-2 positive cancers, the insurance may feel that it's double-duty. It really sucks that your insurance denied Herceptin for you, too! I don't know what to say except that my insurance does pay for the Tykerb/Xeloda combo. I just haven't had to refill the Xeloda one for awhile. I think if your doctor opted for Tykerb/Xeloda, then they would cover it.

Xeloda does have some toxicity - I had some nausea, some numbness and dryness of my fingers, dryness on my feet, and it interrupted my sleep. I had terrible acne, but once I dealt with side effects with the help of acupuncture, it was doable. Tykerb is much more doable for me. It does interrupt sleep and it gives me acne.

I hoped to get back into tennis but I think I should let everything heal after the reconstruction surgery four months ago. I am playing volleyball and softball. Tennis is just offered at a time that makes it difficult for me regarding childcare.

Yep, I figured the same with the lung spots - they were there before the CT scan found them. When I woke up the next day, I just decided that the only thing that changed was the knowledge of them. I'd been pretty happy before then. So, I'm back to happy!

Take care, Joanna. What state are you in, BTW?

Dee said...

Heya Carver,
Yes, I appreciate your friendship, too. Gosh, it was almost a year ago when I came to stay with you, huh? Hard to believe!

jmoore4you said...

I am in Colorado.(Littleton, a suburb of Denver)

I have not had reconstruction and probably won't for at least a year. I know that tennis will be on a back burner during healing. I only am planning on reconstruction because my surgeon says that the scar tissue that makes me uncomfortable will be removed during reconstruction.