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.


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


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!

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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
Cole Slaw
Bread and Butter Pickles
Trail Mix
Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ginger Snaps
Chocolate Meringues
Drop Butter (Sugar) Cookies
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,