WARNING: Some of the Content here may be Objectionable to some. I have this blog labeled as "Adult Only" as a common courtesy for those who may easily be offended by Adult topics such as the Truth, Down to Earth topics, realities of living with Ovarian Cancer and/or any life threatening disease that goes along with it; Sexuality, Medicinal Cannabis, Profanity, and of course plenty of unpleasant body functions are also discussed here. This is a very tough battle for which I don't intend to hold anything back on what I am facing.

This blog is very personal and comes from the heart of a real fighting cancer patient who wishes nothing more than to live for all of those I love my own will to live, and my love of life. While sometimes I might be on heavy medication (prescribed by my doctor) and occasionally I might write about things or subjects that one may never even think about or consider; so please consider that as well. Yes; whacked out things might even be found here; but I mean everything in all good intentions.

This blog is not at all intended for the faint hearted, those who lack a sense of humor, have no idea what down to earth means, greedy mean people, and/or those who don't know how to share the world with others, and especially those who are unable to easily put themselves into the shoes of others. This blog is mostly about my journey of living my life in the best ways that I can under the Golden Rule and appreciating all of the GOOD KHARMA that comes my way! Never take anything in this world for granted; especially family and friends!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

All About Me...

Well I started this blog over a year ago (from time to time this page will need updating and I will certainly do so when I can!) and I never had any posts in this whole blog which told anyone all "About Me", just a link to my old website (it is no longer); so I might as well tell you a little bit about myself. Many of you already have read this story dozens of times and many of you have not. I thought I would update it just for my blog. It's old news, it might seem a little disorganized, but it's at least updated for now and I can use this in all links "About Me".

I am a 40 year old Advanced Ovarian cancer survivor who is very happily married to my very best friend and soul mate where we live in San Jose, CA with our Sheltie "Blue Belle" and our Manx cat "Tonto". My name is Charlotte Jayne, but I prefer to go by Jayne or CJ. Both names are short and simple and I am "Sweet Jayne" all the way! That's what my honey always calls me. I got so much hell in school for my first name and when I moved to California all the way from Spartanburg, SC; I wanted to start my new life and I did.

I am a very strong advocate for medicinal marijuana or cannabis as I prefer to call it and Good Kharma (karma with heart).  I feel that I would not still be alive nearly 8 years later (update 10/11/10) with out utilizing this very powerful medicine which has been used for 5000+ years.   I have had 7 major abdominal surgeries and lots of work done on my poor intestines which I'm not so sure they are working fully; I also have a permanent hole in my stomach in order to relieve pressure (sometimes I am unable to fart and that hurts greatly and causes extreme chronic pain); I also suffer from extreme nausea from radiation and so many past chemos that I can't even count.  And that is why I fight so strongly for the rights of others to be able to use this very powerful lifesaving medicine that so many patients are scared to even try.

I'm also very avid supporter of good karma and doing good things for others while promoting peace.   I live in the moment and I always question; what is the best way to spend this  very moment and I always lean towards making others feel better about themselves.  I don't pity myself in anyway; I just use my situation to make others more thankful for what they already have.   My main question about life is "Why can't we all just get along?".   I live very strictly by the Golden Rule "Treat others how you would want to be treated".  I can always imagine putting myself into the shoes of others I would expect others to do the same.

I feel that life is way too short to be disgruntled or to feel hatred towards others; so when you are sitting in traffic and the person in front of you drives too slow or just makes you mad; always remember that person's life is worth waiting for. You don't know them just by sitting behind them at a stop light. I also don't sweat the small things in life and I always love a good laugh, no matter what the situation. I'm always laughing at myself as I do and go through so many silly things in my life.

I also believe strongly in honesty (the truth shall set you free!) and I certainly don't believe in taking advantage of others. It's just plain wrong and not to mention; it's bad kharma.   I would never feel right if I were to even accidentally take advantage of anyone.   I have to admit that sometimes I feel guilty when others offer to help me and I'm not sure why.   If others are good to me, I must be good to them. I never, ever take kindness for granted; I treasure it always in my heart. We all need to carry our own weight and do what we can in this lifetime. You just can't sit back and let life just fly by; try to do something good for the world! 

I also feel that the only way to judge anyone is by their heart and soul and most of all their personality. For example, someone's wallet or personal possessions will never make them a better person (you can never, ever buy your way to happiness); instead its how you treat yourself and others. Instead of being greedy, try sharing; it's a very, very good thing to do and it's what I've been taught as a young child; it's how I live!) It feels good to share with others!

You really do miss out on life when you don't get to know how wonderful so many others can be that you may have never met. You can't just categorize everyone into one slot. I have met plenty of people of all races, sexual orientations, religions, careers, etc. who had the most wonderful hearts made of gold and so many unique stories to tell about themselves. These individuals really fascinated me and inspired me at the same time. I learned something I never knew from each one of them. There really is a big open world out there where there is so much in life to learn about and to not just focus on all the bad; try to see all the good thing that you may be missing out on. You never reach a moment in life where you know everything.

OK now back to me, I currently have Recurrent Stage IIIc Ovarian Cancer and I am fighting it tooth and nail and with all the might that I have in my heart and soul. I was first diagnosed with this dreadful disease on Nov. 15th, 2002. What a nightmare that was to wake up to. That was by far the worst dream of my life or how I wished it had only been dream! I was only going in for a routine surgery to remove a cyst off of my right ovary. I had a panic attack just before that surgery and everyone around me told me that I had nothing at all to worry about; I'm young and healthy; nothing. Maybe a 5% chance that I might have cancer?  That was it!

Well, while I was slowly awaking from that surgery, I kept hearing nurses and doctors saying, "What kind of Cancer? it's Ovarian Cancer stage 3". I know it sounds selfish, but I kept thinking, "gee, I hope they aren't talking about me." I would go to sleep and wake up, hoping that it was all just a bad dream and that maybe it's just the person that might be sleeping right next to me that I've been hearing about. " I'm still healthy right?" or at least I kept trying to tell myself that.


When I finally did wake up, I saw this bright light in my face (I thought I had crossed over to the other side) and then as my eyes focused slowly on my finance; he was standing right over my bed smiling at me gently holding the engagement ring that he had given to me when he had first proposed to me nearly six months before. (I had to remove all jewelry before the surgery) He was asking me to Marry Him. I was being proposed to as I awoke from what I thought might just be a nightmare. The ring was placed neatly in the beautiful wooden box that it came in and it was open so that I could see it sparkling in the light. He kissed my forehead and he just told me that he didn't care that I would never bare his children and that he loved me more than anything. It was as if he already knew that he was in for the fight of his life. Just hearing those words made me feel better than ever about the dire situation; it really warmed my heart.

Instead of focusing on this horrible, horrible situation; I got to plan my very special wedding. My husband and I had originally planned to get married in April, of 2003, but that soon changed. We were married on December 3rd, 2002 just 2 days before my very 1st chemo treatment of Taxol & Carboplatinum and just 9 days after being released from the hospital. We felt the need to be strong together so that we could beat this terrible disease together, hand in hand; the way that it should be. What a roller coaster ride that was and it still kinda is.

We are what soul mates are often consisted of; parallel similarities in how we both grew up and the amount of fun that we always seem to have together. We have that special connection and it has gotten us through a lot in nearly 8 years of marriage. Our love for one another can move mountains; we really are a POWER COUPLE!)

I love it when I see two elderly people who love each other and take care of one another (like pulling out the chair or just helping assist) and I see us that way even though we are young (too young to be going through all of this); after all, I do have an Old Lady Disease! We went through 5 more major surgeries after that one, a few more handfuls of near death experiences, many, many trips to the emergency room, and also many trips to Tahoe for some nice deep powder, trips to the beach, concerts, and we even bought our first home together.

Despite having had those 4 major abdominal surgeries (well now it's up to 6), I still have a good quality of life and I sure love it! I still feel incredibly lucky and am so thankful for everyday that I am given. I was incredibly fortunate enough to have had 3 and half years of being cancer free. That was awesome!

The Curse returned officially returned in April of 2006. My honey got me an amazing dog for my birthday (we got her a little earlier than that (May 6, 2006) in June 2006 which I started training right away to become my service dog.     I started back on Chemo in August of 2006 and was told that I would remain on chemo indefinitely (for the rest of my life or as long as my body could take it). I was very lucky to be on new drug called Avastin which is made by Genentech. It didn't make my hair fall out but it deprived those nasty horrible tumors of a much needed blood supply. In other words those nasty horrible tumors were shrunk nearly to death and my CA 125 decreased. In May 2007 I was taken off the drug due to some internal bleeding and some painful bowel blockages. I was even hospitalized a few times, but we avoided surgery then. It was  quite dramatic but we got through it!)

I got to have a whole 15 months of parole (no chemo) and believe me, I loved every minute of it. I was able to donate my long beautiful hair to "Locks of Love" back in May 2008 (all 16"). Later that same month of 2008, I was hospitalized with another bowel blockage and it was apparent that my break of having chemo would soon be over. I lost all the 40 lbs that I had put on; all my happy fat; gone! It sure was fun getting fat! I loved it!) - Can't wait to do it again!

In August 2008, I started some really heavy duty chemo (more Avastin and a pill called Etoposide) that was accompanied with some heavy duty side effects; nausea, some hair loss, cramping in the abdominal area (sometimes it felt as if I had razer blades in my stomach trying to digest), and a nasty metal taste in my mouth. (the pot helped get rid of that taste and it made me so very thirsty that I drink lots and lots of water which I feel saved my life). I was having horrible constipation on that drug and the large of amounts of water I drank helped moved things through.

  I had already taken 3 and half months off of work and mostly focused on healing. and going through the horrors of more chemo. When I wasn't so sick, I was enjoying every waking moment of living even if it was just walking my dog outside. I eventually returned to work in December of 2008 and everyone at work was so loving and supportive to me.  I had missed my co-workers so much and even got to go on a snowboarding trip with one of them.  I had an absolute blast and every time I'm sitting in a cold dark hospital room; I think of those days I had the most fun!  I was actually having lots of fun working and getting my mind off the cancer and stuff. I got to go snowboarding the day after Christmas (with my sweetie) and it was a blast.  Those days I will never forget and they keep me going when I think of happy places; it's almost always enjoying a nice smooth run down a mountain. I feel that's where heaven is!)  I recovered  from a few stints in the hospital and then for a small brief period, I got to go snowboarding a few times in February 2009. It was such a blast each time!)

Well here is the tumor that was removed on 3/15/09. I had this alien (tumor) trying to get out of my tummy. What a trip!) I had plenty more hospitalizations and ER run after that!; NG tubes and so much more; I even had to have a pee bag (nephostomy tube).  I did get a small intestinal rupture from the Avastin and then after
While I am still recovering all of those surgeries; I now have a permanent hole in my tummy with a tube; otherwise known as a G-tube for releasing gastro intestinal pressure. for which I got a serious infection while in the hospital, my bladder and kidneys also got infected. My right kidney got blocked (it's actually blocked permanently because I do have a stint in there) by either the cancer, scar tissue, or from stitches from the surgery. The good news about that was on June 18, 2009, we had a successful surgery to remove the nephostomy bag and insert and internal stint on my right ureter! Yeah!  Check out my nephostomy bag fashion! I didn't want anyone just checking out my pee; that's kind of personal.  Pee and that bag felt horrid on my skin; and many asked why not just put the bag under my clothes; well "Hell NO!"  I covered that bag with one of my many scarves!

Yes, I have spent much time in the hospital  healing and praying that I would get over all of this. This disease is very ugly.  Then I had my 6th major abdominal surgery on July 27th, 2009. That's just the reality of living with this horrible disease and making the most of it. You can either feel sorry for yourself or be an absolute blast to be around.    I personally like to laugh at myself and cannabis kind of helps me do that and therefore others get to laugh at me as well? What's the harm in that? .  I clean the house sometimes and sometimes I do  and say the most outrageous things that no one else has to think about in being in my situation.  What's wrong with that.?  I am definitely one who needs to laugh every once in while.  No one really likes to have  to hang with those people who play victim and complain about life.  Life is awesome! It's so very much worth me fighting for. I have the most loving husband I could ever ask for.

I don't feel like a victim at all; I'm a fighter who just wants to live!) Live it up each day that you are given ; I know I do no matter what! I really enjoy the kindness of others and I certainly appreciate the friends and family that are willing to help me get me through this. All those prayers and good thoughts and especially all the love always make a difference.

I certainly hope that none of you feel bad for me at all because my only wish is for you and others is to be happy for what you do have.  Feel blessed. Just be thankful for all the things that you probably don't think much about but should.   For me, it's just the little things in life that make up the big picture.  Please realize just how lucky you are if you do have children or even a family or just someone else that loves you unconditionally. None of us know when our time is up and we really have to make the most of right now. Please, don't fret or even stress over the past, instead just concentrate on what you can do in the present that affects the future. As soon as I am better; I will volunteer my time and talents to helping others. It's just been very hard lately as my health has been so unpredictable.

My own mother was an alcoholic; and often times (when I was just a teen; maybe 13-16) she would often forget and leave me places where the only way that  I could get home was to hitch hike; I got into some dangerous situations where I could have easily been killed or raped (thank GOD it never happened and I was a little street smart fighter).  I was lucky enough to have a guardian angel watching over me.  Oh how I wished so much that my mother had been smoking pot rather than drinking alcohol.  She could have only been getting the munchies and making me a nice meal to come home to rather than her passed out in puke and having to clean her up and then deal with her hangovers or black outs and sometimes beatings.  I am really am all for the legalization of cannabis.  There really have been no deaths in all of history from this plant and it really is a miracle plant.  I am shocked at how fast it gets rid of some of my worst symptoms.   Hell I got to have 8 years with my honey instead of just 2 years and I do have Cannabis and my persistent sweet husband caretaker to thank!)

I sincerely hope that my honest true story has inspired you. If you happen to know of any cancer patients that you feel could benefit from my experience, please feel free to give them my email address (shoppingkharma@gmail.com) or just send them to this blog (only if they are not so easily offended = I can be brutally honest and yes I tend to use profanity at times). I feel that all patients should be able to take care of one another; especially the strong ones; I feel that I am strong enough to at least warn others of the symptoms of this disease and do demand a CA125 and /or Vaginal ultra sound if you have any suspicions that you have this horrible disease.  The key to surviving is catching it early and not late as in my case. . An American life is lost to cancer every 21 seconds, that's over 700,000 just in the US which is far more than terrorism. Priorities really need to be reevaluated because we really do need to focus on this terror and to find a cure in this lifetime.

The Big Question: So what is this Shopping Kharma all about.? Where in the hell did I come up with such a stupid name? Well, I started a website (www.shoppingkharma.com) several years ago in hopes that my bright spirit might just make some peace in this world, raise some money for all the good causes that I believe in, and I just had to shut it down.  Well I didn't make a dime on anything; but it sure was fun.  I lost quite a bit of money but making others feel better about themselves is priceless! Everything on the site; gone.  All that hard work; for nothing; but I did start this blog so I guess some of it wasn't all for nothing.  I got to save some horses too which I am such a lover of!

I have always had this dream of helping others in this big world of ours just through my writings. or from my website, you could shop for ways to give good kharma in hopes they could feel the warmth of helping others or just being a good person with a warm soul. Perhaps I could make people who feel violent and hopeless; cheerful and appreciating life once again. I could stop violence with my spirit. It really does feel wonderful when you make someone else's day by just helping them out or just giving them your time.

Why do I spell Kharma with an "H"? The "h" in Kharma is for heart. When you give good kharma you must really mean it and you must have heart. I also noticed that when I pronounce the word "kharma" is almost sounds to me like it has an "h" (it could be my southern-ness) especially if that person giving it has a heart of gold. I recognize good people and I am so thankful that there are good people in this world. I just hope I inspire others to learn to compromise, work together, get along, and for more Peace in this world. OK there's the hippy side of me coming out!)

Well another sad update is that I am starting hospice care soon and hope to be around for a while but if that doesn't happen at least you found this page and hopefully it will help many lives!)

I guess some of my dislikes in life include those who are greedy and selfish; they really need to learn to think of others who really need it. Also, there's nothing at all wrong with sharing with others.. I also don't understand pure laziness or those who play victim in most situations rather than taking responsibility for their own actions. Life can pass us by but it's up to us to cease the moments and to make a difference in making this world a better place to live. You really don't loose anything when you do; if anything you gain friendship and good kharma. That all.  I also believe very strongly that what comes around goes around! Peace and Love to all!o)

Digg!

18 comments:

l'optimiste said...

CJ - I was diagnosed with stage 3b - yuck!! But, like you I hope I am helping someone, somewhere with my blog.

Your blog is AWESOME. Like you and your amazing attitude! :o) Keep on keeping on sweetie
x

Wenko said...

Hello CJ. I am a mother of 3 from a 3rd world country called the Philippines.I feel your pain and I would like for you to discover that healing cancer can be simpler and more attainable without all those drugs and surgery. There are more natural alternatives and I do hope you will have an open mind to give these methods a chance to work for you. Check out these websites...
http://www.curemanual.com/diseases-and-tweaks/cancer
http://www.myhealthblog.org/tag/cancer-cure/
http://www.curemanual.com/blog/2009/03/curing-cancer-with-raw-pancreas-raw-liver-and-enemas-by-dr-jaime-e-dy-liacco-pitahc-oic-director-general/
http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/cancer.htm
I admire your courage and I will pray for you and your family. God bless!
Love,
Wenko;)

Frances said...

C.J., My heart goes out to you, and I will keep you in my prayers. At first, I was hesitant because of your Adult Only status, but you are amazing. God be with you.

Andrea said...

You have a wondrous spirit. You are an inspiration more than you will ever know. I will keep you in my prayers and in my heart. Your authenticity is breathtaking. Take care of yourself and be blessed.

Anonymous said...

You are truly inspiring! My mom died March 1st after a 3.5 year battle with ovarian cancer. Your story is amazing and I wish you all the best. I want to do everything I can to support research for this disease. I think it's the worst possible cancer out there. It is a terrible illness. You can beat this! I have faith in your fight. I am going to keep checking your blog to see how you are doing. God bless. -Melissa

Aroma Fields said...

CJ, you're truly an inspiration with your wonderful attitude and beautiful spirit. I read your blog and will continue to come back. Thank you for commenting on mine. You and I will be going through radiation/chemo about the same time. Together, we'll kick butt! Keep fighting...keep the faith. Hugs to you, brave lady!
Marilyn
:-)

mentalmiss said...

Hi,

I don't think I ever met you but I have met your husband through a mutual friend. The friend sent me the link to your blog. It makes me so sad to see anyone with such a horrible illness as cancer--any kind of cancer. I've seen some people close to me struggle with various forms of it, and my mother died of ovarian cancer, which took her life almost as fast as it came to her, in 2004. I am an avid supporter of ovarian cancer awareness.

I am amazed at your optimism and spirit despite your hardships. We could all learn from you. Thanks for this blog. I will continue to read it and donate to the cause.

with much respect,

k

Julia Gifford said...

Hi CJ, I love reading your blog. You are such a vibrant lady. I love your attitude and outlook on life. Keep on smiling and may God be with you. You are in my prayers daily. Take Care, Julia from TN.

Rae Macklyn said...

AWESOME blog, you're terrific at communicating your feelings and I'll be back often to keep up with you. I'm a scientist and have been involved in cancer research for around 15 years. I really should read more of your blog before I pester you about stuff regarding what clinical trials you've looked into and so forth, so I won't do that for now (but am SO willing to do some digging for you if you're interested)!

peace,

Rae

Anonymous said...

whatever jayne ...everyone she is ...you why do we do it. no frosty mornings no trees blue black red, just one jayne blowing down from rock face siding where blue birds drink cherry cola down from sky downwards

shamballa9944 said...

I'm so grateful to LinkReferral for highlighting your blog. More accurately YOU! You are awesome!! I don't feel sorry for you (cold as that may sound)because I KNOW that you will be alright, no matter what twists and turns you experience.

Your tough fight is combated with a strong, loving relationship and an attitude that only an old soul can maintain. I applaud you and your honey for your will to fight, and for your commitment to be real, open and honest to the world!

I too woke from surgery to "remove a cyst" at age 41 after having a moment of precognition the night before, what if they do a hysterectomy? I am very fortunate that it was caught early. But cancer changes everything.

The last 2 years my husband has been dealing with colorectal cancer.

So I understand about not being a victim, not wanting pity, and using your experiences to catapult you forward in your life, to appreciate every moment and find joy in the weirdest things!

I'm behind you CJ and I will certainly be popping in for time to time to say hello :)

Hugs and ESPAVO!

By Gerry said...

Your Great...

Pateeta said...

Hi CJ. Stage 3C here, just gearing up for my 3rd round in 18 months. grrrrrr. Thank you for your blog! I find it inspiring, insightful, entertaining, and horrifying all at once. I thought MY situation was. . . . never mind. You are much stronger than me! I wish I could meet you. My prayers are with you daily. Keep smiling, CJ.
peace,
Patty

djohnson30 said...

CJ Thank you for you honest words you are an inspiration! I was diagnosed stage 3C on Sept 30,2010 and have just completed my second chemo treatment. I am very fortunate no bowel or intestine issues were located during surgery. Continue to fight the fight and know that you are loved and supported even by those that only know you through your blog and fight their fight as well. Take care and may you and your soul mate spend many more happy years together. Debi from Ohio

Susann Akers said...

Bless you sweetie and all the best

SatAtmaKaur said...

I found your blog absolutely inspiring and awesome! Me whining here about "underactive thyroid" and high cholesterol don't really feel like worthwhile causes for getting all upset and let them turn my world around. I was diagnosed with thyroid ca in 2006- for the first time my thyroid function tests have come back showing severe hypothyroidism, but it's really just a minor inconvenience... increase Synthroid dose and that could be all that's needed.
I found a link to your blog from "Being Cancer Network"- right place, right time, your blog was exactly what doctor ordered :-)

I am also an avid horse rider and love dogs too! Your dog looks gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

Hi Jaynie! Kimberly, Xaiyne & I send our love & prayers in big warm waves, hoping upon hope you overcome the hell that cancer will bring. Take care of yourself, tell Jimmy hello & know that you're in our thoughts. Miss you, girl. xoxoxo G&X&K :) <3 <3 <3

Nick said...

I've been using LinkReferral.com for a few years now and I love it.

Not only does it build traffic to my website, but I have found that by having to read and review the links (people's websites), that I have found a great deal of useful informaton that I can use in both my personal and business life. The "Add Favorites" button gets a lot of use!

Movie & TV Show Preview Widget

Disclosure

My techniques and treatments work simply for me and may not produce the same results for others. Cancer is a very tricky disease in which it is very different in everyone it touches. No two cancers are the same just as we humans are not the same. What works for me may not work for others.

I love life and expect to live for as long as I can. I intend to use those treatments that do work for me which includes medicinal cannabis. I'm still alive with this disease over 7 years later because of this miracle plant and as long as I have my medicine available; I intend to survive many more years. I hope one day the Federal Government will eventually grow up and be led by true leaders who represent the people and not just coorporations; real people who live by the Golden Rule "treat others how you would want to be treated". I also hope the Government of the US can finally learn to admit that it has made a mortal mistake in making this life saving plant which is provided by GOD and does indeed have the ability to provide all of us with food, fuel, clothing, shelter, and medicine; a mistake that have made is that it is illegal. Yes, it was a mistake out of greed, ignorance, and racism that this miracle plant is illegal. This is a confirmed fact and we should all know and face it.

Cannabis is not at all harmful and in fact quite the opposite. Perhaps our economy can once again grow as it has in the turn of the century by making this life saving plant legal once again.

The contents of this blog including all images, (except images from third parties) and the name "Shopping Kharma - what comes around goes around" belong and copyrighted to C. Jayne Armstrong 2008-2010
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