OBERLIN SISTERS CONQUER CANCER
Sad story. I know, I'm sad too. BUT if you want to help me, let's raise the money. I want to be able regularly to see a naturopath, acupuncturist, and, especially, a nutritionist, to supplement traditional medicine. Also, there are costly cancer medications. But these various things are not covered by Canadian public health insurance. And I can't afford it.
Please help us fundraise to meet these costs, please donate what you can. We are all sisters and brothers. We need to help eachother. That sounds so trite but it's true. I love you. Thank you.
UPDATE: APRIL 7, 2014, FROM SIMONE, KRISTIN'S DAUGHTER, AND WILLOW THE KITTEN:
Thank you to everyone who helped me over the past year. I am sincerely grateful. Yesterday, I received copies of records from my most recent oncology appointment, where I asked for my prognosis. The doctor states that, according to most recent data from the BC Cancer Agency, where I've been treated, women with my type of cancer who have had a complete pathological recovery to neoadjuvant chemo (chemo before surgery) have a 97% survival rate. I'm blessed. I have been quiet for months - really struggling with my health and side effects to chemo, surgery, radiation and tamoxifen - but I think I'm turning a corner now. I feel hopeful, and the grind of cancer treatment should end for me in August. Your donations have helped me with complementary medicine, vitamin supplements, travel and staying near the clinic when I couldn't commute daily, organic groceries, day camps and treats for my daughter who has endured my treatment, and much more. Thank you for being a part of my real, extended family. Love to you. Kristin
I had a bilateral mastectomy five days ago. I was discharged from the hospital on Thursday night, just in time for my daughter's 11th birthday party. I'm sore, numb, puffy, itchy, teary, and vulnerable. Tubes drain my wounds into bulbs that look like macabre Christmas ornaments. I had a reaction to the anesthesia in the hospital that made me very sick, but I beat it! This week, I'll try to call immigration to find out if I can stay in Canada or if I must return to the States due to Canadian law's "excessive financial hardship" law or something like that. Thank you for your kind words on Facebook and via email. I'm flat chested! I saw the scars on Thursday morning when my surgeon changed my dressings. It was a shock. I pray I'm cancer free now. I will get pathology report in two weeks. I'm grateful my mother and sister, Lisa, flew up from Missouri to visit me. It gave me strength. And they were able to connect with Simone while I was in the hospital. I need to allow myself space to grieve these amputations and accept my decision. Trying to take it really slowly as my whole body feels this change. Every muscle, especially my arms, back, and abdomen. Please continue to send me support. I need your help. My next surgery, to remove a tumor on my parathyroid, is October 14. That's really soon, but it will hopefully cure my hypercalcemia. Love to all.
Thank you for continuing to support through the scariest summer of my life. Fall is here. The teachers' strike is over. Simone is starting school. And I've finished chemo, barely, after a hard month of August, wherein I was hospitalized for chemo side effects and hypercalcemia. I was in the the isolation ward for 10 days. I woke up when St. Louis was burning. I've since finished chemo and I'm now due for surgery on Sept 30, which is still TBA in terms of procedure. It will at least be mastectomy removal of at least 16 lymph nodes, and maybe reconstruction if affordable. I've had appointments with surgeons, plastic surgeons, oncologists, radioactive heart tests, CT scans, X-rays this month, and I'm overwhelmed. One day at a time, as they say. Your support helps me so much. I cry every day, but I'm happy to wake up every day, before the nausea sets in. It takes a while for the chemo to take its course. The good news is I only need radiation to my lymph nodes, as the chemo skunked out the cancer in my breast and chest, so they say. There's a lot more going on. But I'm looking forward to the new Shellac album and listening to more music. When you flat on your butt puking, etc., you forget to enjoy just about everything. Do we have souls? Is there sometime or thing after all this is over? I don't know. But Maybe I had a message from my father from his corner of the universe last night in a dream. I conjured that I was in bed being held after going through a hell of some sort, and the hell was a disease called, "Jugs," not "breast cancer." My sister, Keily, told me that "Jug" was the name of the plane my father flew as a fighter pilot in France in WWII. I hope it was a message from him, and not just my weird sense of humor. My chin hair has grown back, while my freaking eyebrows keep falling out. Surgery next week. Glad to see so many old friends post photos of the climate march - there is more to this than just what's boiling in my head and cellular issues. You remind me of this. Love to all of you.
Thank you for this, Claudia at 2:45, in your show. http://denverartrock.com/pages/LiveRecordings.htm
Thank you for continuing to help me through this journey. Chemo is cumulative, and made me weaker and foggy. I switched to Taxol a month ago and it's an ass kicker. My fingers are numb, my gut is unhappy, and I'm beat. Tylenol with codeine didn't help but a cannabis salve I rub on my insanely painful joints, bones and abdomen works surprisingly well. It's topical, not psychoactive. So two more chemo infusions - 6 hours each - (I'll probably sleep through August) and then I must make decisions about surgery on my breasts and parathyroid. Good news is I might be able to avoid radiation if I opt for more extensive surgery. But now, rest and meditation and continued connection with friends old and new. I'm happy to say I've reconnected with so many friends from different eras of my life. Forgiveness and love are powerful motivators for my fight. Thank you to my friend, Jaime, in Chicago, who shaved his head in solidarity. I look like crap but waking up every day is a blessing. Thanks to all of you, and Simone says I look like Nefertiti. Ha!
If anyone is experiencing technical difficulties with donations, feel free to contact me directly, via Facebook or via email: [my name one word with no spaces or punctuation] AT gee-mail DOT com.
Thank you for all the support that continues. My chemo was delayed for 5 days due to low white blood cells, but I got the goods last Wednesday. This completes my final cycle of "AC" the chemo combo derived from mustard gas that is most commonly given to treat breast cancer. I have learned over the past few weeks that I also have a 2.5 cm tumor on my left parathyroid gland and on Wednesday I will have a radioactive scan to determine if it is cancer or not. I remain positive. I've also researched online and there is a link between parathyroidism and breast cancer, so I'm not surprised. In fact, I learned about a medical condition related to my parathyroid almost three years ago when I was living in Seattle, but I was unable to afford treatment. Now we move forward without regrets. I'm not especially productive right now. I'm fatigued. But the breast tumor has shrunk to an estimated 1.5 cm. I look forward to switch chemo to the less-taxing Taxol and Herceptin and Pamidronate for the parathyroid. I could become a greatly productive and dynamic woman after all this, and after years of illness - breast cancer and parathyroid are two whammies that basically totally kill your élan vital. These are the rough days. I will get better. Please keep sending me notes et al. Otherwise, I start starting at the walnut tree outside and hearing things. XO
I'm not great at expressing love, but I tried in this column, which I wrote to everyone who has helped me along this mother-of-god hell highway so far. You can read it here, and then you can subscribe to CounterPunch. I could say more but read instead. Thank you. http://issuu.com/counterpunch/docs/vol_21_no_5_partial
Apparently, all is OK with my Canadian health insurance, butI'll find out on Wednesday when I go for my next chemo prep. … Chemo Cycle 3 kicked my butt but probably in the same way as Cycle 2. I've learned this week that I also have a tumor on my left parathyroid gland, but it's probably not cancer. Also, that's the "good cancer" to get because it's "just" surgery. Meh. Whatev. … Thanks for continuing to support me. Cancer is a long, lonely and slow journey. I except most of you know this from personal experience, otherwise why would you be so freaking generous? You are making the capitalists among us so confused!!! XO
Thank you for $30,100. I am truly grateful. The BC government made a mistake - admittedly theirs - on my health plan and it is set to expire on May 31. So we will need to pay out of pocket and get reimbursed by the government a a time TBA for all health care until they fix the expiration problem and I get my new health card. I'm not letting this bother me. But the fund is a godsend. Hopefully, they will resolve the problem swiftly. The oncologist, through feeling my breast, has estimated that the tumor has shrunk 2 centimeters in a month, and my lymph nodes are less inflamed. According to her clinical notes, "this is good." I agree. The cancer is Stage 3, not stage 4 as they initially thought. Hopefully, the cancer will continue to die off and not spread. Thank you for your warm wishes, your articles and advice, your gifts, and your thoughts. Love to you.
One month ago, I was freaking out. The night prior, I had been told I have breast cancer. It has been both the most horrendous and most life-affirming 30 days since then. Old friends and colleagues, readers, complete strangers - many CounterPunch readers - and a few family members have joined together (427 people!) to help me fight breast cancer, raising an amazing $28,860. Your support has kept me going through the darkest days of my life so far, and inspired my 10-year-old daughter. I've started chemotherapy and will be under its spell for at least the next six months. WIth your help, I now go to acupuncture regularly at a well-reputed clinic specializing in cancer. I have consulted with a Traditional Chinese doctor, bought a juicer and lots of organic fruits and vegetables to grind and drink, paid for some costly drugs - one immune system booster has a sticker price of about $2,000 for 5 milligrams - that supplement chemotherapy, and more. I'm being very cautious about how I use this fund, but so far, everything I've invested in has been a great benefit to me. Thank you for your generosity and warmth. Thank you for your friendship. I will beat this stupid cancer.
There is cancer in my boob, my lymph nodes and, possibly, my liver. I start 5 months of aggressive chemo in three days. I just bought my first cancer drug, to boost my immune system and sticker-priced in the four figures! We are reupping the fund drive! Please continue to give what you can, friends, family, loves. And all messages are welcome and needed. Love to you
My daughter, Kristin, has breast cancer. We are asking for your help. Judith Fester Judicats Persians
Thank you for continuing to support me! All of the comments and donations and notes are keeping me going. I feel strong knowing there are so many out there who care. Today I have the CT scan of my body - to look for cancer in the rest of me. I'm scared but your support is like a force shield. Many of you I don't know personally. But you can contact me via Facebook or note that you would like to send a note to me when you donate, as I have email addresses of all those who have donated. I will have time during chemo to write to all of you, if I haven't already. You've inspired me to fight as hard as I can and you've encouraged me to see the good in humanity, not just the war and selfishness, the pestilence and harm. Thanks for that gift.
$25,000: And an Oberlin sister, Erin Herlihy, takes us to the goal line: So, here's a moment to talk Oberlin, which I have openly criticized many times. That was my year at Tank Co-op, I had a dove as a pet, her name was Masha (so Chekovian) and read a lot of Derrida. Now I have breast cancer. WTF. I don't know what to say! I'm incoherent! I'm crying! Thank you! Thank you to all the strangers and CounterPunch (official) readers. Team CP has a big heart: Jeffrey St Clair, Joshua Frank, Becky Grant, Nathaniel St. Clair, Kimberly Willson-St Clair. Simply unbelievable amount of support from this, my second family. Thanks to my BoCoMo friends, like Ramon Salinas and Bob Downing. Thank you, my Jeff City high school friends and acquaintances and teachers, like the powerhouse duo Timothy Roberts and Iris Roberts - the two best teachers I ever had. Thanks to my former colleagues and interns (like Erin Ralston - who told me to do this project) and writers at In These Times, and colleagues on the Left. Thanks to most of my ex-boyfriends. Thanks to my friends from my year at Bard College at Simon's Rock. Thanks to everyone - there is literally a death match ahead. And I will fight with every fiber of my noncancerous being. I might call on you again in the future for help. $25k is but a drop in the sea of cancer. I will keep you updated. Please talk to me too. I want to be friends with all of you and I want to write about my experiences to help other women. I feel like I'm in a Mad Rush, but if a curmudgeon like me can gain the support of 354 people - a hundred or so more counting messages and shares, then my prognosis is good. Screw the statistics! Fuck cancer! I love you all. Two weeks ago, I loved only a few. You find out who your true friends and family are in the trenches like this. Time to start writing.
I want to thank all of your for helping me. This has been both the worst week of my life, and the most life-affirming. In 8 days, old friends, colleagues, CounterPunch readers, and complete strangers have given me a nest egg to be able to not cower at the cancer in my body. Your comments, notes, and calls to fight have pushed me through nightmarish moments, sleepless nights, panic attacks of vomiting in the toilet, bitchy surgeons, lonely subway rides home, pulling my hair out because I'm afraid I'll never see my child grow up, and more. Without your help, I don't know where I'd be now. I'm determined to claw and fight my way through this, no matter where it is in my body now. Your support has kept me alive this week. And it will continue to do so. Thank you. And thank you for reminding me that humans are loving and compassionate. I'm astounded by your grace and warmth.
My first grandchild (six months 4/24) is June Simone so you had me at hello. is June Simone
I'm withholding funds due to the Princess Margaret comment.
My second family, CounterPunch (official), made a link to the fund drive on the web site's home page. Then read! Check it. http://www.counterpunch.org/