Sunday, March 9, 2014

About Me/How You Can Help

I want to thank anyone who takes the time to come by and see what I am about, and helps out. I know situations like this suck. I know all too well, unfortunately. I appreciate the goodness of people who are willing to help. Please know that every dollar really does count. So many people tell me they can't help because they think a little won't matter, and they don't have a lot to give. If 4,000 people saw this and each gave $1.00, I would have $4,000. Things have a way of adding up. 

A SPECIAL THANKS to Sandra Bearden for doing all that she is doing in an effort to help me. MANY, MANY thanks! And also to Olivia MacMillan who saw my urgent need and got the ball rolling.

Can you imagine how difficult a situation like mine might be? I am not married, have no kids, and have been self-employed for several years before my diagnosis. That means no spouse or spousal income to depend on, and no income from sick or vacation time, and no job to return to. Many of the stories that receive attention are those that have a hook, like kids who will do without, or a love story that is having to deal with an unwanted third-party of cancer. Or a story about how a person was hurt by their company while dealing with the illness. 

I manage to fall between all of the "hooks" that those who tell stories will tell. Some may even think because I have no kids and family I must somehow be fine. Well. Not so much. My blog tells my story, and tells you about me, and I thank you for paying attention if it speaks to you. 

While much of what I deal with doesn't relate to those hooks, it does relate to what many will go through, including the judgments that people come up with as to why things have gotten to the point they have - and that is just the beginning. My story is quite relatable, it is that many just don't know it yet because very few really know what happens to those dealing with cancer behind closed doors.

If you'd like to help, you can choose from:


Tax Deductible Option

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

for Elizabeth Alraune


For GoFundMe click the image below


Choose Your Paypal Option Below:
(There is a lower fee here)

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 :)

Even $1 Donation Helps!


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You give me the code, and the money registers in my Paypal account.


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Should you choose to donate in any way, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have been trying to thank each person personally, but I hope you will understand if my thank you to you slips. I can't do everything I want to do, and am extremely overwhelmed by just the basics. Some people have told me that they don't expect a thank you while others have not been as understanding. I really would appreciate you knowing that I am grateful whether you receive a personal thank you or not.

Some Questions Answered

What's up now?
I have been dealing with ovarian cancer since May 2012. I have been through chemo, and had a hysterectomy. Even though my ovaries were removed, you can still have a recurrence of ovarian cancer - which is what happened last year. It is very difficult to sum up everything, but I tried in this almost 45-minute video. It will likely (hopefully) tell you everything you need to know about where I have been, and where I am at (and more).

Why the video?
It is difficult to have to repeat myself over and over. If it was at least "good" news it would be one thing. But unfortunately the news is less than desirable. If you really want to know more about me, and how things are, there are a few ways you can do it.
*You can watch the video
*You can read parts of my blog (over 1000 entries)
*You can view my videos (250+) at GotStressGetRelief.com
*You can visit Relatingtocancer.com - a site I set-up when I received a clear scan - prior to my recurrence - to hopefully reach those who might need support in dealing with their own cancer situation.
*You can visit Facebook.com/Relatingtocancer My Facebook group page
*You can visit Facebook.com/JoLoPe My Facebook personal page
*You can visit Cedonaah.com to see my artist self
*You can visit JoLoPe.com which was my "business" self, prior to diagnosis

There is a lot to me. It is difficult to encompass every aspect of me and my experience in just a nibble. I am in the unfortunate position of having to feel like I need to market me/the illness I am facing, and quite frankly, it was never my favorite part of business. I have made every attempt to be as open as possible so that people can know where my heart is, and know the truth of my story.

What do the doctors say?/What stage am I?
They wanted me to come in for chemo treatment last October - which I have declined. How I am handling things doesn't quite fit their recommendations. I never talk about the stage. I know what it was after surgery last year, and quite frankly, I do not know if it has changed. I don't want to know. However, I went on a month long trip last year that they advised against.

I am still here, and when I returned, my tumor marker number had gone down (a good thing). Since then, though, I have been treated with Avastin, which is the only treatment I have been willing to do. I need help, regardless of stage. The chemo and Avastin have kicked my butt, and I find myself sleeping the better part of most days.

What is my financial situation?
In the last couple of weeks I got down to the last $2,000. I have been asking for help all along, sometimes even begging. It is not anything I have wanted to do. I wanted to stay private, actually.

But I needed help, and I thought (hoped) that if I openly shared about myself, put my face, my name, and my business name on it, people would get to see who they might be able to help, and why they may want to help me. If I had received the kind of help that I felt I needed when first diagnosed, I wouldn't be living on the edge of my financial precipice. However, due to the kindness of others, along with some savings I had in the bank, I made it a lot further than I thought I would.

I would rather not need it. Believe me. I have tried to get things going "business-wise." But I was essentially put out of business while I underwent treatment. I wasn't even working that much prior to diagnosis, as I wasn't feeling well several months before I was diagnosed.

Along the way I have had many side effects, not the least of which is sudden and extreme tiredness. I don't know sometimes if the fact that I am so open about my situation hurts me. Some people tell me that they don't want to bother me. Some people won't even talk to me because cancer is a part of my every day vocabulary. Working right now might not be as easy as it sounds for so many reasons.

In addition, I have filed for Disability. Why don't I yet have it? I had to wait for a recurrence to even be considered for it. Then, they said they never received my paperwork. As far as I know it is now in process, and I await to hear what comes next. In the meantime, I am hanging by that thread.

I tell people this is about more than just me - and here's why:

I have the freedom to talk because I am "out." What I have been going through is no secret. My blog entries and videos talk - in detail - about what I have gone through. Much of what I have discovered is not talked about. Those who enter the cancer experience are often unpleasantly surprised by how things are. It is certainly no secret to those already there, but those there often stay within the bubble. Those outside think they know something, but if they know anything at all, it is often only how things seem to be. If I didn't have such a desperate need for help, it is likely I would have joined the silent contingent.

But the fact is is that it is good that I haven't. The types of things I talk about NEED to be talked about. There is an urgency. I have a theory that things would be a lot better for us all if we could as a whole get a better comfort level with the cancer conversation. I have heard statistics that say 1 in 2 people will be affected by cancer. I have also heard 1 in 3 women and 1 in 2 men. For that many to be affected, we need to do a better job of understanding the needs of those in need.

Despite the fact that many think there are countless ways people coping with cancer can be helped financially, it is just not true. Just ask Cindy Carter of The Cancer Support Foundation in Maryland. My life has become a lot about bringing the topics of this blog to a living forum, but it is difficult to do when any available energy I have might need to be spent trying to figure out how not to run out of money. I would much rather focus on others, and how I might help others in a more universal way with whatever time and energy I have available.

If the end of the road is coming for me, I want to go out living life. Am I doing the right things? None of us really knows if we are. However unhappy I will be if my time is coming to a close, I will have known I made the right choice by making the (many uncomfortable) choices I have during this journey.

Halting life and going on chemo right now does not offer me any assurances, so there is no way to know that that choice is the best one to make. There are miracles that happen all the time. There are also deaths. Time will tell which side I will be on, and I hope to be among those who have a miracle story to tell. But, even if I am not, I do have a story to tell. I hope, too, to find a way to write a book. However, if that never works out, at least I leave behind my work through the various media that I have communicated through.

What are you going to do with the money?
Pay bills. Stay afloat financially. I have also considered taking another trip like the one I took last fall (The Living Life Tour). Some people are astounded that I could even consider using money that way. It seems frivolous, and a whole lot of other things, none of them positive. I would like to think that it only seems that way to those who do not fully understand the idea behind the trip.

It is not a "vacation." It is not even anything easily explainable. (There's that marketing issue again). It isn't about me "finding the meaning of life." It is about me sharing with others my experience of life unrelated to cancer, and of life in a cancer context. It is about talking about the things that people don't talk about. There is a lot of silence around cancer, and many of the reasons make a lot of sense because of the bias we have around the subject. I often tell people that my message is more about life and living than it is about cancer.

During my last trip I talked to so many people along the way. I chronicled the trip here, and in my video posts, as well as with pictures. I also spoke about it on my radio show (WorldofPerspectiveRadio.com). I had cards that I was sharing that talk about the symptoms of ovarian cancer that I handed out. I met many people who almost seemed relieved to be able to open up and talk about someone they loved who dealt with cancer. Someone who might have even been themselves.

I experienced some incredible things along the way, and had a few unexpected openings for places to stay that didn't cost me anything, as well as some free meals, and received a few spontaneous donations. My biggest expenses were the car rental and places to stay. It was more about meeting people along the way than doing anything in particular or seeing any particular tourist attractions. It was about living, listening and connecting.

But the only way I will take the trip at this point is if I can get to a point past survival. There is no way I could consider it, if I can't pay the bills I need to pay - including my health insurance. That is, unless I found someone or some organization willing to sponsor me.

What can you do to help?
Money is the first and obvious answer. Above are the options on how you can do that. You could also help me find sponsors or people who could support me in this venture in some way. You could alert various people in the media, reporters, talk shows, whoever you think could be interested in my story.

If you send something out on Facebook, please know that most people do not see 80% of the statuses. You may need to send something out several times to have people see what you want them to see. Many people, including yourself, may say they'd love to help, but can't. Do you have $1 you can spare? You can help. Please do not underestimate the value of $1. It all really does add up. If you got your 600 Facebook friends to contribute a $1, that would be $600. Not bad, right?

I would appreciate it if you would reach out on my behalf. it is not possible for me to do all that I need to. If there is some way that you think you can help, it is not only welcome, but appreciated. So often people will offer suggestions that would be just wonderful. The problem is they're not easily implemented, and even the littlest of things these days feel overwhelming to me. Putting this entry together has taken me days. Many things don't get done until they absolutely have to be done.

Sandra Bearden has offered to spearhead several fundraising events in the next few months, if you could share the event page on Facebook, and/or partake in some way, that could also be helpful. If you could create something in your own neck of the woods, that would be good, too.

If you are a Reiki practitioner, or energy healer, your efforts on my behalf are welcome and appreciated. During this time I have met some wonderful, sweet and generous people who have been supporting me outside of the medical profession.

I also would ask/suggest you watch this video with Gregg Braden. It shows a miracle in 2 minutes and 40 seconds, and he explains how it happened. If you are inclined to do what they have done on any kind of regular (or even one time) basis, I'll take it! It might also be of benefit to you or someone you love in some way.

Here were a few things that will tell you more about me. One is a video interview with Subira pre-trip. You can view it here.

Here are two of my WorldofPerspectiveRadio.com radio shows (I will try to make the other ones from the road available, too at some point)

(features Sherri Robbins)

This, as with many of the other things I am doing is taking a lot of time and energy. I hope that I somehow, though, answered the main questions being asked. If I missed anything important or obvious, please let me know.

with lots of JoLoPe,

Contact Me (Elizabeth Alraune)
View My Vlogs
About this (relate to cancer) Blog - Click Here
Read about where things are currently
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