Having said that, to honor their request I am writing this entry in the hope that it will provide what is needed. Some dates may be off, as I am doing my best to recall from memory, but the facts of what happened are accurate, even if the dates are not.
Initial Diagnosis Date: May 2012
Diagnosis: ovarian cancer
Stage: I do not talk about it
Surgery: full hysterectomy; spent 17 days in the hospital
Treatment: 2 different chemos for 3 months; became allergic to one of them, changed to another (third) chemo for another 3 months.
In December 2012 declared "cancer free"
By March 2013 told "trouble is brewing," suspected recurrence.
Treatment: Avastin (not a chemo, but supposed to help shrink tumors)
September 2013 told by docs not eligible for surgery, should get on chemo immediately, and that chemo would never likely take care of cancer fully again.
January 2014 told I may be a candidate for the high risk, potentially high reward HIPEC surgery. Told I should investigate ASAP so I do not miss a window of opportunity. At some point, I consult with docs, and am told that I need to get chemo as part of the package, but that it looks like I would be a candidate.
June 2014 begin chemo with 4th chemo. It is hell. Wound up in hospital with an allergic reaction. The closer I seem to get to surgery I find out I am NOT a candidate for surgery. I immediately stop treatment.
December 2014 cancer markers are elevated, and again, I am told I should get back on chemo so I do not miss an opportunity for treatment. It may get to a point that it is "too late."
January 2015 I reluctantly begin treatment on 5th chemo.
March/April 2015 what looks promising looks like it failed.
June 2015 began treatment with 6th chemo.
During this time I have been able to live with a friend, but will likely have to move soon. I have no I idea where I would go. I cannot afford to pay rent anywhere. I do not have a boyfriend or husband, and no children.
I have repeatedly asked for help, and at times even begged. Thankfully there have been people who have tried to help, but many have be discouraged by the reaction/lack of reaction of others. One person did a show for me (singing) and raised $80. $80 is $80, but I am sure they were hoping for more. Another did a show for me, as well, leaving donation amounts open, thinking they would be generous. Well. It did not happen the way she thought it would.
You may think that being by myself makes things easier, but being by myself means there is no one to depend on. Dealing with cancer and treatment and its effects is a full time job that is difficult for someone who can barely function most days. Treatment destroys me physically and emotionally. It also depresses me.
It is hard enough to try to deal with cancer, but having to deal with the myriad of other issues makes it all that much more impossible. There are days I can barely stand, much less go up and down steps, cook or eat.
I am grateful for the fact that I have made it this far, but several times I was almost down to my last dollar. More than once there has been a question about having to move. In the midst of this, I have had to deal with doctors appointments, scans, and trying to take care of even the most basic of things. Many days I wind up spending in bed and/or sleeping.
If I could just relax financially, and knew I had a place to live and take care of myself, it would go a long way in helping me help myself. All this uncertainty doesn't help. And, in fact, I suspect it hurts.
I have even tried to help myself during this time. Perhaps people do not want to "just" give money. I wrote a book (sometimesitsuckstobehuman.com). I put together my favorite recipes (greatfoodescape.com). I made jewelry and art (Facebook.com/Cedonaah). I have some recordings I made (relatingtocancer.com/mp3s.html). I have blogged extensively here (Relatetocancer.com) with content that people seem to appreciate. I have made videos (GotStressGetRelief.com).
To the best of my ability, I have really tried. It is getting a lot harder to do things, though. A lot harder. And it is really hard to be told I have to "market" myself better. How would you like to barely be able to function, and feel like you need to market yourself, when you really just need some help? When you really just need the kindness of strangers?
It is an incredibly difficult and stressful predicament to be in. And that is an understatement of mammoth proportions.
While I have attempted to convey my situation, it is nearly impossible to do it in just a few words. So much more is behind everything I have said here. There has been so much pain, many pills, steroids, chemos, heartache, tears, disappointment, disillusionment, confusion, uncertainty, and time spent in doctors offices and in chairs while receiving chemo treatments. There have been things I can't do, and amazing things I have done.
There is just no way to encapsulate everything. But maybe this will have given you a clue about what I have dealt with, and continue to.
There have been people who have had miracles happen. I have told others that I have "ordered" mine. I hope to be able to stick around. I feel like there is a lot I could offer the world. It is just really hard to do it worrying how to function day-to-day.
I have been very open about my life and circumstances. It was my hope that if people got to know me, they might feel better about helping me. In some cases I have found new fans and friends. In other cases, my words have only been used to support whatever negative impression someone may want to have of me.
I have learned I can't "win." The best I can do is be me, and as alienating as it has been at times, the reward of self has been great. The best I can hope for are more people who see themselves in my words and experiences, or at least value in my perspectives. After all, at the core I am as human as you are. We are more alike than most people ever think. After all, our world is full of conflicts due to an overwhelming focus on the contrasts.
Any help you may be able to offer is greatly appreciated. See links above, and Heartsgiving.com for details on Paypal, and how to donate in a tax-deductible way.
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