Monday, August 25, 2014

ovarian cancer awareness images



   


If you would like to use any of these images on your Facebook profile, please feel free to do so, but use them intact/as is. You can find them on my Facebook page Facebook.com/JoLoPe, or you can click any of them here for a larger size to save to your own computer and then post.

If I am inspired to create more, I will post them here, as well.

Thanks for your support. I hope you - and no one you know - ever has to personally meet ovarian cancer. But, if they do, it is my desire they be more prepared than I was









Sunday, August 24, 2014

I knew I was "Special"

I have always known how unique I am.

For a long time, it was a big problem. I never felt like I fit in. I never wore the right clothes. Never did the right things. Just never was like anyone else, especially the "Popular" kids.

Somewhere along the line I realized that it was OK to be different, except that I didn't necessarily want to let anyone know how, so I stifled my voice.

These couple of factors are interesting, given my current situation and state.

"Only" approximately 22,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. Compared to the population of women, compared to breast cancer, compared to a lot of things, that number certainly stands out. And it also makes me stand out to, by being included in it.

Of course if I was going to have to deal with a diagnosis of cancer, it would have to be one that was in the more unique range. Of course.

My mind has been going the last couple of nights, trying to figure out what I can do to utilize the fact that September is a month of "awareness" for this illness I am all too familiar with now. This part is an interesting piece, given that it is causing me to speak out in ways that would have been unfathomable only a few short years ago. There are many things I think I can do, but there is one piece that I am going to have difficulty with, and that is the one that has to do with statistics.

If I was on the outside looking in, or if I was years away from a diagnosis, it would be a lot easier looking at statistics. The problem is, I am neither. Occasionally I will stumble into some looking for something else, and it does me no good.

The fact is that ovarian cancer is one of the Top 3 cancers responsible for the death of women.

The fact is that it often goes undetected and misdiagnosed for way too long, which leads to later stage diagnosis, and in some cases a quick death.

The fact is that many women who have symptoms wind up going to the doctor repeatedly with symptoms that aren't treated, or are treated as something else.

The fact is that many doctors will likely never see a case of ovarian cancer in their practice, and therefore would be unlikely to recognize one if it showed up.

The fact is that most women when asked have no clue what the symptoms are. And men?

The fact is that many (including doctors) treat it like it's an "older" woman's disease. It just so happens that (if I remember correctly) approximately 50% of cases are women who are in their 60s. But that still leaves a range of women who don't fit that stereotype. In fact, it can be an illness much more detrimental to a younger woman because it isn't something readily considered.

There are other facts. I am not sure I want to know any others, and for that you will have to forgive me. I think I know all I really need to know at the moment because...

The fact is...

I am one of those special and unique women who makes up those statistics.

Another fact?

I am hoping that I can help others to be more informed so that if they become a statistic, it is one of the earlier stages, and they can find themselves getting what they need much sooner than if they had no clue what was going on, or what to ask the doctor for to take care of themselves.

I would love it if you would help me get the word out in September, or any time. Please visit http://ovcasymptoms.com for more info on how you can do that.

Thanks. And thanks on behalf of those you might just help.



Friday, August 22, 2014

ovarian cancer awareness


September is ovarian cancer awareness month. I suppose I should capitalize those letters, but to know me is to know I don't like giving cancer a BIG "C" status, ever. It's kind of ironic, really, as it really just calls more attention to it in some way.

But I am OK with that. At least for now.

I am also not a big fan of bandwagons. Sometimes I think they get hijacked in less than positive or helpful ways. However, for the moment, I am going to hitch a ride on the one in September, and see what I might be able to add to the conversation.

I will be posting the image to the left during the month. I will also be sharing a video I made earlier today. As I write, I am aware that I did not yet post it, as I had more work to do, first, which included securing the domain name, ovcasymptoms.com. I will get it posted, and come back and add it to this post.

Here it is!

I have this idea to stir up information about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and more importantly, what to do if you think you could be dealing with it. I had many of the signs, but even when I spoke with doctors, ovarian cancer was never mentioned. Even a visit to a GI doctor came and went without a mention. And that piece is particularly interesting, as ovarian cancer can masquerade as digestive issues, so one would think a GI doctor would know that possibility. Well. He never said anything about the possibility, and dismissed me after the colonoscopy he insisted I have.

What I'd like to create is an awareness campaign of specifics. If you are a woman, or know a woman,* I'd like to ask you to take a picture of yourself with one of the two images just below, and post it online. If you're really enthusiastic, you could even make it your profile picture for the month/part of the month. As you can tell, they're very different approaches. I have seen how many will get scared seeing this "stuff," so I tried to make a less scary version. However, it is fear that will prevent women from seeking out the type of information they need to take care of themselves.

When you post, please ask those who see it to go to the link (which will be this page) for more information/explanation. Having been someone who has been in the place of fear, and having seen how a delay makes a big difference, it is very difficult to walk the line of informed vs. allowing fear to run the show.

I get how we don't want to get stuff in our head. I am good about being careful about that, too. But it is wise to be aware of the types of things that could possibly impact our own life, or the life of someone we love. Ignorance in a case where ovarian cancer could be at play is anything but bliss.

(If you click on the image, it will take you to a full-sized version) You can send it to me on Twitter (@JoLoPe) and tag me on Facebook.com/JoLoPe. You can also share it, if you like on the Facebook page Facebook.com/Relatingtocancer

Alternatively, you could post one of my images on Twitter or Facebook. You can see the images I have created here.

There is no challenge, and no ice involved :P,  but perhaps you could ask others to do it, as well. Ovarian cancer can be really sneaky because people don't know enough about it to be better able to take care of themselves.

You may think ovarian cancer is an "older women's disease." Well, many doctors also likely believe that as some women's stories include the fact that they were "too young" to get it. I even heard a story once about a young girl diagnosed with it. If you're a female, you may have a greater risk level with certain parameters, but there is a risk at most any age.



CLICK IMAGES ABOVE TO SEE LARGER GRAPHICS


If you would like to contribute to an organization that will help the people who are dealing with cancer, CancerSupportFoundation.org is a wonderful organization headed by Cindy Carter. Many people do not realize that most organizations that support cancer related issues do not help the individuals with their great needs. Cindy is on the front lines helping with so much. If giving money to a worthy cause speaks to you, please consider the organization.

At some point, I would like to have a better way of providing this info. But for now, this is a place to start. Anyone want to help put something more official together? Just let me know. In the meantime, please help me get the word out. Thanks!

So...will you join me? I'd love to see you in a picture like this. Just click here to get the paper that I am holding. See you in September?!






















*yeah. I know. That pretty much covers everyone, doesn't it? :P

PS Please feel free to give me feedback about how it goes. It might help me to better craft an empowering approach. Thanks.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Heartsgiving

This is a page that has been requested that makes it Super Duper Easy to donate to help me. Odds are if you found it, you came to it through Heartsgiving.com, through myself or someone who told you about me and my situation. 

Ultimately, I would love for it to be a domain address/destination that is helpful to people in many kinds of situations. But right now, I am in the needing help place myself. So thank you for coming, and for being willing to help.

If you'd like more options, or would like to know more about me or my situation, please also visit this page http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2014/03/about-mehow-you-can-help.html.

Thank you!

Tax Deductible Option
CancerSupportFoundation.org

You can send a check or donate via Paypal on their site.
Just be sure to DESIGNATE your donation

for Elizabeth Alraune


Choose Your Paypal Option Below:
Even $1 Donation Helps!


As an alternative, you can click here,
and enter the email address ThankYouATJoLoPeDOTcom
(spelled that way to try to avoid spammers - use regular @ and . symbols)
and enter whatever number your heart desires :)


Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
View My Vlogs
About this (relate to cancer) Blog - Click Here
Would you like to be a guest blogger?

Recipe Booklet Update (10 New Recipes)

If you know you would like to buy the booklet, but don't want to read what follows, please scroll down to the bottom for the PayPal links.

Back in April, I published a rough draft of a recipe booklet because I wasn't ready to have a final version. I also thought it might be kind of cool to have something that was continuing to evolve. Funny thing that happened along the way: I got offers to "finish" it. I guess it comes as no surprise, as we often want something to be so perfectly finished and polished. We are used to that.

The problem is sometimes it is just not possible. Part of the reason I wasn't willing to have a kind someone make it all purdy for me is that I would not be able to do what I intended, as it would have been in a format that would not have worked for me to make intended edits.

It must be a part of my stubborn nature to want it to go a different way, even if it's not "right," according to other people. But, here's the thing that I have thought more than once: many people don't do anything because it can't be as immediate and perfect as they think it needs to be.

What if some could actually see a work in progress? Might it be helpful?

It might just be me. I might be totally wrong about it. At the same time, it feels right to take this chance and to do it this way. The book also doesn't yet feel done, and if I wait until it is done, then the opportunity to get some much needed financial help falls by the wayside.

It's one thing to think you have endless tomorrows. It is another to be faced with something that can bring everything to a dead halt much quicker than you would like it to.

Of course, I hope I get to be here for a while. But the thing is there are just so many questions right now, and what appears to be a non-ending plea for help. I think what it comes down to is the fact that we can only do what we can do when we can do it, and there are times it just isn't as nice looking as we'd like it to be. There are times it is even quite ugly.

I share all of this with you because if I just simply try to sell you on a recipe booklet, you are likely to YAWN. Why would you be interested? Perhaps knowing that it is something that I am doing with a purpose and with an intent to help myself, perhaps knowing you can help someone and get something in exchange, perhaps seeing someone doing things imperfectly, but doing them any way, will in some way interest you enough to want to buy a copy, and let others know about it, too.

If any of the above could be your experience, it would be amazing for me. I would also hope that it would be amazing for you, too. The recipes are quite delicious. The feedback I have gotten so far has been awesome.

The following is a list of the included recipes. The additions since the first edition are in BOLD. If you already have a copy, you also know where to go to download the newest file. If you have any issues, feel free to let me know.

Individual Thin Crust Pizza
Pesto Sauce
Pizza Casserole
Chicken Parmesan
Fried Cheese Sticks
Baked Ziti
One Pot Pasta and Veggies
Oven Fried Chicken
Chicken Fajitas
Fried Chicken Sandwich
Homemade “Hamburger Helper”
Cream of Potato Soup
Sloppy Joe Seasoning Mix
Homemade Bouillon/Seasoning
Sauces
Cole Slaw
Bread and Butter Pickles
Trail Mix
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ginger Snaps
Chocolate Meringues
Drop Butter (Sugar) Cookies
Snickerdoodles
Coconut Balls
Easy Waffles
Blueberry Sourdough Pancakes
Homemade Pancake Mix
Deliciously Rich French Toast
Pumpkin Bread
Banana Bread
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
Apple Crisp
Mini Cheesecakes
Pumpkin Pie + Crust
Fruity Pie
Chocolate Pudding
Whipped Cream Icing
Chocolate Sauce
Frozen Chocolate Covered Banana
Caramel Popcorn

You can buy it for $5 through this pay button and Paypal.



If you would like to donate more than $5,
you can use this drop down menu to choose an option:



Thank you so much for any assistance you may offer. If there is ever anything I can do for you, please let me know.

With much Love,
Elizabeth

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Update, of Sorts

Every part of me is not happy at the moment. I feel compelled to share things I don't want to share. Quite frankly, the only reason I am writing this is because I have asked, and continue to ask, for help.

If it wasn't for the fact that I needed help, what I am going to share would be no one's business, but mine. It really is no one's business, any way, quite frankly.

But, for various reasons, people think it is. I understand the logic behind it, but it makes it no less difficult to be the person feeling like she is in a corner.

Yesterday I shared a metaphor with someone about my experience. I feel like a flasher, exposing myself to people, and as exposed as I am, many choose to not pay attention, and keep going.

I do not want to be a flasher. Quite frankly, I want to bundle up. But the times I have seemed to get the most amount of help are the ones in which I am the most exposed, vulnerable, hurting.

But not always.

There are times I need help, and silence prevails.

I am constantly conflicted about how you perceive me and my situation. If I look, and sound good, and am not being treated, well, then I must be pretty OK, right?

If I look and sound the way I feel most days (tired, scared, irritable, unstable, pale, with hair loss, and so on...) then I give you an image to pity or cheerlead.

The fact is, all images of me, visual and otherwise, are me. Each and every one. We are all multi-dimensional and yet we try so desperately to put things into one dimension so we know how to label and interact with it.

It is something that likely has helped us to survive as a species, but it also is incredibly limiting, limited by our perceptions of the labels and boxes we choose.

This morning I keep thinking about how much it would be nice to be able to tell others how and what to think, and how much nicer still if they would listen.

But more times than not, people go wherever they go, and little, if anything, will stop them.

Why should I care what you think? I have gotten so much better at not caring, to the point that I have been called "mean." Am I truly being mean, or am I just at the point that I am clear about the things I feel, and unwilling to play games any more? Or is it the fact that I won't play the games inherently mean because that is the expected norm?

I have so many emotions and feelings right now that I just do not know what to do with. I have things I have yet to sort out or figure out, and the last thing I need is to add the stuff of others. But the need for help and interaction from others makes a commingling of sorts inevitable.

I have already been treated differently because of cancer and its stamp on every aspect of my life. Some of it has come from within, some of it has come from where others choose to go in relation to it.

Like much of life, it is nothing as simple as we would ever like, or at times pretend it to be.

One could possibly argue that what is is a creation of my own making, that I have created what has become my experience. While I cannot negate that idea in totality, my experience has shown me many of the prejudices the "living dead" face.

There are many aspects of a cancer situation that those diagnosed come to face that are remarkably similar because of how cancer is interacted with in the world-at-large. It is a stark and unwelcome reality that many dealing with it seem to be able to escape.

I got news this past week that I am not eligible for HIPEC surgery. How things got to the point that they have is more annoying than anything at the moment.

I do not feel up to explaining what happened, but found myself wondering how many people might make all kinds of assumptions about this turn of events from whether or not my situation is valid to what this means to my life and recovery.

On one hand, if I tell you how things really are, you might just want to help me; you might also think I am going to die. On the other hand, if I don't say much, then you may feel like I am fine, and feel no compelling reason to help.

Imagine, if you can, how awful a dilemma situations like this are for people. If they feed into your picture of cancer-death-dying, how must they feel, especially if they want to live.

How would you feel? Could you easily paint a picture of life and hope when you were painting a picture for others to potentially want to interact with sympathetically, and to offer some form of help?

The two images don't work together. For many who have no clue about cancer, there is a disconnect. The illness cancer needs to look a certain way.

Oddly, perhaps, for many cancer screams death, but there are many these days who get to "live" with cancer, creating the idea that cancer is able to be treated and survived. As a result, some barely blink with a diagnosis.

A woman I met at some point had been treated with chemo for 5 years. Those around her seemed to appreciate it. She looked amazing for what she had been through, but I could tell she was weary.

There is so much to dealing with cancer that is difficult to comprehend in the existing culture. Those who wind up understanding it the most are those who are indoctrinated into The Club. A close second could be the people closest to them, but I have found that even they won't always be able to understand what is really happening, and will at times have their own ideas of how things are or should be.

I need help. At this point I need help more than ever, as I need to explore options outside of the medical norm. I have barely been able to pay bills, and the idea of adding $300-$400 a month in alternatives just is not feasible.

I hate to think that my ability to keep living would come down to this, but it just might. I really do not want to leave this life any time soon, but I have considered that I might not have much of a choice.

For months now I have tried everything I can think of to help myself. Despite being in treatment and having surgery and dealing with all kinds of issues, I have tried to find ways to sustain myself, and have hit all kinds of blocks.

I don't know how much more I can do. I broke down into tears one day this past week. No one should have to struggle for survival on so many levels.

I wish money wasn't an issue, much less such a significant one, but it is, and while I have to focus on getting money, I am unable to focus on what I need to to get well.

Is this how my story is going to end? I certainly hope not, but I just don't know how I can survive without being able to interact with the world in a way that can sustain me in all of the basic, human ways.

It is easier to deny or ignore things when you aren't enmeshed in them. Odds are you can't identify with what I am talking about, and I hope you never will.

At the same time, my reality is a reality of all too many others that is all too often denied. I do not know if the words I say will ever make any impactful changes, but for as long as I can speak up, I will.

I may very well die trying.

PS if you'd like to help, please see previous blog entry about my book and the entry below, too...Thanks!

http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2014/03/about-mehow-you-can-help.html

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sometimes it Sucks to be Human

Hello, and Welcome!

My first book, Sometimes it Sucks to be Human is ready to be released, in Draft Form. While I would have loved to have a final version to share at this time, it involves more work than is possible at the moment. In addition, I would love to have a print version for sale, but I would not only need the final version to make that happen, but also the funds to create one. The good news is that is my ultimate intention, however it will possibly take a time to make that happen.

If you are interested in reading my book, I hope that will not stop you from acting on getting an electronic, PDF copy at this time. With your purchase, you will be able to receive free PDF updates as they become available.

I am doing things this way out of urgency. My financial situation is desperate, having dealt with ovarian cancer and the effects of treatment the last two-plus years. So many times, too, we hold back on doing things because they aren't in that perfect, end stage. I did not want that to happen. Quite frankly, I could not afford to have that happen.

Tomorrow is an assumption that we make that may never be given to us. Among other things, I thought it might be interesting for some to see "behind the curtain." So often the standards that we subscribe to are polished gems that started out as anything but that. But while we think that the perceived standard is what was started with, we can often feel stymied in making our own progress.

To follow is information that will tell you what you may need, or like to know, as well as some options you can exercise if you would like to buy the e-book. You can choose an amount to pay for the book alone, or you can choose an option that gives you a few things in exchange for your purchase.

My hope is that it all makes sense. If you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask.

Sometimes it Sucks to be Human

Thank you for jumping into the middle of my story. Someone once told me that I could not write "my story" in dealing with cancer. Apparently there are already too many of those.

The fact is that my story with cancer is really My Story - with cancer. There is a big difference. My story is really about LIFE and LIVING, about the things that have happened in my life that countless people have found fascinating enough to ask me when I was going to write a book.

Well. For better or worse, here is "a" book. It was written during a relatively short time in my life, but talks about many different parts and aspects of my life. It is about so much more than the "c" word.

It is about pain, fear and love. It is about relationships. It is about aspects of life that make life worth living, and it is about aspects that are times when it sucks to be human.

To read the first 20 pages, and to get a feel of the book and writing style, please click here, JoLoPe.com/pdf/book-sample-sometimesitsucks.pdf

To Donate please choose amount below. 
You will be able to get all PDF updates 
for free as they become available.

**THE BOOK IS A LARGE FILE (75K+ words), and
Paypal will take you directly to download the PDF. 

Please be patient for the download to begin.**

Choose Donation Amount
You will be able to read the book on your Nook, 
and on any device that allows for PDF documents.

If you would like a gift in exchange, I am working on getting the pages together to allow for that to happen automatically. In the meantime, I will list what the levels will be, and if you'd like to take advantage of the gifts offered at a specific level in the meantime, please choose your donation amount, and email me at my Paypal address, and let me know that you'd like to redeem what is offered at that level.

While I would like everything to go smoothly, my guess is there will be blips. I am still having foggy issues due to chemo treatment, and will be administrating this mostly by myself at the moment. I am still actively dealing with issues around the cancer diagnosis. Even creating this page has been a challenge, so please understand that there may be some hiccups.

Ideally each level will have its own Buy Now button and administration, but until I can make that happen, the above "BUY NOW" will serve that purpose. If you would like to redeem the items at a level listed, PLEASE BE SURE TO EMAIL ME and let me know that is what you would like to do, and we will make the appropriate arrangements. If you do not email me separately, I will take it to mean that you are uninterested in a reciprocal gift. If you do not hear a response from your email, please assume that I did not get it, and follow up with me again.

Above all, please be patient. This is an ambitious undertaking for me at this time, and I am going to to my best to have things run as smoothly as possible. My apologies in advance for any problems or issues. I am going to to the best I can with any redemptions.

So...

To be clear, unless I hear from you after your purchase, you will NOT receive any of the following for your donation. To receive any of the following, you will need to send your payment and then contact me separately at my Paypal address to redeem the items being offered.

Your patience and understanding is appreciated. I am greatly challenged at the moment, and will do the best I can to make everything right.

Thank you for for your interest, and for helping me get the word out. A few early comments have been positive, so I am hoping the trend will continue, and that you will find what I have written to be of interest and valuable in some way.

The following levels are available. Please just be sure to contact me separately to make arrangements to redeem. The print will need to be mailed. All others items will be delivered electronically. The book will be delivered with your payment, all other items will come separately, and upon request ONLY.

$10
Sometimes it Sucks to be Human Ebook (free PDF updates)+Recipe Ebook+Pure Love:The Gift MP3

$25

1 Cedonaah Heart Print 8x10+Sometimes it Sucks to be Human Ebook (free PDF updates)+ Recipe Ebook+Pure Love:The Gift MP3

$35
2 Cedonaah Heart Prints 8x10+Sometimes it Sucks to be Human Ebook (free PDF updates)+ Recipe Ebook+Pure Love:The Gift MP3

$50 (or higher)
Sherri Robbins Good and Plenty Album (via MP3s)+2 Cedonaah Heart Prints 8x10+Sometimes it Sucks to be Human Ebook (free PDF updates)+ Recipe Ebook+Pure Love:The Gift MP3

Thank you so much for your assistance in any way you feel you can help, even if it is "just" to get the word out. You can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/JoLoPe, or comment below, or contact me via my contact info here http://anewme515.blogspot.com/2013/02/contact-me.html.

Thank you for your support.

PS If you have read it, please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on it below, as it may help others to decide if they would be interested in reading it as well. While I would love for all comments to be wonderful and supportive, your perspective is valued, so please feel free to share your perspective, as long as it is honest and respectful. I would also appreciate if you would also consider the context of the work and its status within your range of comments. Thanks.