Author: Beth

I was diagnosed with MM in January of 2003. I underwent various treatments, including thalidomide/dex, revlimid/dex, dex alone, a clinical trial of CNTO 328, and Velcade, Doxil and dex until late August, 2007, when I had an autologous stem cell transplant after high dose melphalan. I experienced what's known as a very good partial response (VGPR). Since then, my myeloma has been stable.

CancerCare Launches New Program to Help Multiple Myeloma Patients Cover Transportation Costs

A list member just told us about this. Thanks, Sandy!

CancerCare Launches New Program to Help Multiple Myeloma Patients Cover Transportation Costs

Help with myeloma treatment travel expenses‘Door to Door’ initiative offers individual grants to patients to help defray costs of transportation to and from medical care

NEW YORK, July 20 /PRNewswire/ — CancerCare announced today the launch of the “Door to Door” program for patients with multiple myeloma. CancerCare’s program will provide individual grants of up to $600 annually to multiple myeloma patients for covering transportation costs such as gasoline and taxi, bus or train fare to and from their medical care.

The program is funded in part by a generous grant from Millennium: The Takeda Oncology Company. CancerCare is a national non-profit organization based in New York City that provides free support services to people affected by cancer.

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of the bone marrow that is diagnosed in approximately 20,000 people annually in the U.S. Advances in the treatment of this cancer have dramatically increased patients’ life expectancy (an estimated 60,000 people in the U.S. are now living with multiple myeloma) and consequently lengthened the duration of treatment.

“Because of the nature of their therapies and the disease itself, many multiple myeloma patients may be required to visit their doctors several times a week over many months. Particularly for patients on a fixed income, these travel expenses add up and create a financial burden that may prevent them from keeping up with their health care,” noted Diane Blum, executive director of CancerCare. “The Door to Door program will provide much-needed relief to this patient population, and we are grateful for Millennium’s support.”

Founded in 1944, CancerCare has a long track record of providing financial assistance to people facing cancer; it is a cornerstone of its direct support services to help people cope with the emotional and practical issues of a cancer diagnosis. During fiscal year 2009, CancerCare provided over $4.2 million in grants to more than 24,000 people with cancer to cover treatment-related costs like transportation, child care and medications for side effects.

Last year CancerCare launched a separate foundation to help cancer patients cover the cost of their health insurance co-payments for certain types of treatments. To date, the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation has assisted thousands of people undergoing cancer treatments with grants of up to $10,000.

To receive a Door to Door transportation grant, patients must meet certain eligibility criteria and complete an application form. The form can be viewed on the CancerCare website at www.cancercare.org.

For more information about the CancerCare Door to Door program, contact Jeanie M. Barnett, director of communications, at 212-712-6137; or email jbarnett@cancercare.org. For more information about multiple myeloma, see CancerCare’s free Connect booklet, Advances in the Treatment of Multiple Myeloma, available to order or download from the CancerCare
website.

About CancerCare

CancerCare is a national non-profit organization that provides free, professional support services to anyone affected by cancer: people with cancer, caregivers, children, loved ones, and the bereaved. CancerCare programs – including counseling, education, financial assistance and practical help – are led by professional oncology social workers and are completely free of charge. Founded in 1944, CancerCare now provides individual help to more than 100,000 people each year, and has more than
one million unique visitors annually to its websites. For more information, call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or visit www.cancercare.org.

Kittenocity

Cute kittyKittens are the cutest things on the planet, there’s no doubt.  I could watch them for hours.  There are times when their kittenish antics make me laugh out loud. The kittens’ mothers are getting a little tired of their offspring though.  They want to be let out of their room to roam the house, and it’s harder to get them to go back in there than it was a couple of days ago.

I’d like to encourage those seeking companion animals to look for a local animal rescue group from which to adopt. They usually vet the animals and make sure they’re suitable for a particular situation.  In my case, I now know that the mother cats are completely accepting of other cats and dogs, and are not at all aggressive. They like children, too. None of the cats flinched when I turned on the vacuum cleaner!

Animal Advocates of Moore County is going to be having an adoption fair soon:

Where: Local Armory on Morganton Road

When:  July 11th 2009

Time:  Noon to 6 PM

Rabies Shots Given by Frank Ringleberg of Animal Control….$5.00
Nail Trim by famous groomer Karen Richardson……$5.00

Nail Painting by Karen Richardson……………………$5.00

The Lunch Box will be selling Hot Dogs and Drinks

Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe – No Eggs – No Cooking

I copied a friend’s recipe to spread around for people who’re making ice cream for the 4th of July.

Deb’s House Concerts

This is the easiest recipe I found. It uses no eggs. It requires no cooking. It’s super-easy! :) That’s what I like for my “Cooking for the Motivationally Challenged” posts. :) And, that’s what I like for myself, too! ;)

Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe for a 1.5 Quart Ice Cream Maker

Stir the following together and chill in the refrigerator for several hours, or overnight, before pouring into your ice cream maker. (The only variation I made is that my freezer wants only 4 cups of the recipe, and it expands to 6 cups while it freezes. I mixed the recipe below, then poured in 4 cups and saved the rest for the next batch.)

No-Cook Homemade Ice Cream
Southern Living , Aug 2004 by Dosier, Susan

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1 cup evaporated milk

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons vanilla

2 cups whole milk

That’s all. That’s it. It’s that easy.

Just be sure your freezer tub insert has been in the freezer long enough to freeze liquid on contact. And, chill your ingredients long enough to have it really cold before adding it to the freezer. And, after the ice cream is ready, put it into an airtight container and put it into your freezer (if you don’t eat it all in one sitting!). :)

Two Recipes of Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream

I made two batches today. Actually, I mixed up the recipe last night, and made the first run this morning. Then, I thought the freezer can was still cold enough, so I mixed more and poured it in. (I did not follow the instructions to chill the ingredients before freezing or to add them to the freezer can straight from the freezer.) The second time it didn’t work. So, at this point, the recipe ingredients are cooling in the refrigerator and the freezer can is in the freezer. Maybe I’ll freeze the second batch tomorrow.

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More kitteny goodness

More kitteny goodness
More kitteny goodness

It’s not all purrs and frolicking here.  Not for me, anyway. I knew it wouln’t be easy taking care of 7 kittens and their 2 mothers, but I wasn’t prepared for the smell!  In no time flat, the room in which I’m keeping the cats has taken on a pretty icky odor.  I’m off work tomorrow, so I’ll spend some time cleaning up in there. I’m sure I’ll discover some hidden surprises.

The cats have begun to hang out right by the door, so when I open it to go in to feed, scoop or play, they try to escape. The 2 mothers are the first to slip past.  The kittens are easier to herd back into the room because they’re still a little afraid of me. A few have gotten out, and presents a challenge.  They head straight for any piece of furniture or appliance they can hide behind. The heavier, the better. I have to plan a strategy for dealing with the escape attempts so nobody’s lost in the house and there aren’t any encounters with my cranky cat.

My nephew has been dying to come and help me with them, but he’s been sick and has had to stay home. I hope he’ll feel better soon.

If you know anyone in the area who could give any of these cats a great home, let me know.

Invasion of the kittens

Peeps
Peeps

The Animal Advocates of Moore County (AAMC) did a huge favor for me.  In February, a cat started hanging around my house. It was pretty cold, and I felt bad for her.  I started feeding her and tried to coax her into the house.  I finally tricked her into coming into the house on her own.  I called AAMC to see if they knew of anyone who was missing their cat.  She was extremely sweet and a beautiful cat.  Someone came to get her, and she was taken to a vet to be checked over.  She was such a great cat that I decided to keep her.

About a month after her arrival, Peeps developed paralysis in her back legs. I took her to a few vets to see what could be done for her. They had me convinced that she’d never recover and we’d eventually have to have her euthanized. It was heartbreaking. I emailed AAMC to find out if anyone there had any experience with paralysis in a cat. Barb, from AAMC, actually came to my house and picked her up to take her to their vet!  She then kept her for a few weeks while Peeps underwent treatment with steroids (yuck). Peeps was able to walk when she got home!  So, I owe AAMC big time.

Today I received a couple of mother cats and their litters of kittens.  I think there are 7 kittens.  I’d have to count to be sure. I’ll keep them here until homes are found for them all. Fostering these cats is the least I can do to try to repay the folks at AAMC.

Would you like to adopt a kitten?
Would you like to adopt a kitten?

Immunoglobulin Profile for June 1, 2009

GENLAB Immunology: Final    06/01/2009 15:03

IMMUNOGLOBULIN PROFILE
                                                             Reference
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN G                  *410         mg/dL       [588-1573]
          TEST REPEATED TO CONFIRM
            NOTE:  African-American reference ranges differ slightly from
                   those listed.  Please call the Immunology Lab at 684-6939
                   for race specific ranges.
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN A                  *432         mg/dL       [46-287]
          TEST REPEATED TO CONFIRM
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN M                  *26          mg/dL       [57-237]
  IMMUNOGLOBULIN E                   30          IU/mL       [4-269]

Serum Protein Electrophoresis for June 1, 2009

Lab Report: Final    06/01/2009 14:36

SERUM PROTEIN ELECTROPHORESIS
                                                             Reference
  SPE INTERP
   COMPARED TO 2/10/09, NO SIGNIFICANT CHANGE IN PREVIOUSLY
  CHARACTERIZED (2) IGA-LAMBDA COMPONENTS FROM 0.21 TO 0.25 AND
  0.14 TO 0.19 G/DL.
  "I have personally performed the interpretation".  Dr. S. Pizzo, MD,PhD

  SPE TOTAL PROTEIN                  6.8         g/dL        [6.0-8.0]
  SPE ALBUMIN %                      65.6        %
  SPE ALBUMIN                        4.46        g/dL        [3.97-5.34]
  SPE ALPHA 1 %                      2.9         %
  SPE ALPHA 1                        0.20        g/dL        [0.11-0.32]
  SPE ALPHA 2 %                      10.5        %
  SPE ALPHA 2                        0.71        g/dL        [0.40-0.88]
  SPE BETA %                         11.3        %
  SPE BETA                           0.77        g/dL        [0.60-1.02]
  SPE GAMMA %                        9.7         %
  SPE GAMMA                          0.66        g/dL        [0.53-1.37]
  SPE M-SPIKE 1 %                    3.7         %
  SPE M-SPIKE 1                      0.25        g/dL
  SPE M-SPIKE 2 %                    2.8         %
  SPE M-SPIKE 2                      0.19        g/dL