Tuesday, 28 October 2008
Julie started the group Inflammatory Breast Cancer Mothers. She intended that this would be a small group of women who could share their stories and talk about their children.
When I joined Facebook Angelique found this group and thought it might be one I would like, she was right.
There are a few special ladies in that group and Julie, of course was the most special of them all. She gave me an ear when there wasn’t one to be had.
Only nine days ago Julie and I were having a conversation. Julie said her hair was about ready to fall out again and she was looking puffy from fluids and steroids. She also said she just needed to get through “this.”
“This” being a stem cell transplant because after all her treatment for Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC), rarest and most aggressive form of breast cancer which affects 1 in 200,000 people, she was diagnosed with leukemia caused by her chemo which affects only 2% of people. Julie was then given more chemo and than was diagnosed with Myelodysplasia which only 1.8% of cancer patients get after treatment. This is where “this” comes in.
I told her that she was going to get through “this” nothing else would be acceptable. I told her puffy and no hair can be dealt with. I told her that she was an incredible person and the cancer had nothing to do with it.
Only six days ago Julie posted on the IBC Research site and I want to share with you what she wrote about reaching her four year anniversary of being alive after being diagnosed with IBC.
“It was yesterday!! I knew it was coming up but I did not look at the calendar until today. I was a little less than 100% aware on the 21st as I had just started a morphine drip. I am on day +5 in a stem cell transplant protocol for Leukemia (AML).
All things being what they are...I am doing quite well! My difficulties include mouth sores, "bottom" sores and my blood counts are nearing the transfusion stage. Not easy but very do-able!
At the last minute my transplant protocol had to be changed and delayed because they retested my heart and found it was too damaged from previous chemo. Instead of 5 days chemo I had one 5hr chemo, than 3 days of radiation (20min each side/2 times a day).
Its hard to know what each day will bring. I know that sometime near the end of November I will be home and happily recovering and celebrating! I also know that I am very well supported in love and I feel safe.
Take care Ladies, you are my inspiration.”
Four days ago Julie had the stem cell transplant, her sister was a perfect match.
One day ago Julie died.
Julie you were really the one with all the inspiration; rest in peace.