Elise Fights Cancer: We Got This!
We Got This Campaign.
UPDATE 1: Elise Fights Cancer
A recent biopsy indicates Elise has a diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer.
This is a highly aggressive and abnormal breast cancer for which there is no targeted treatment yet.
This community sourcing of resources is our way to help ensure we have all the necessary tools in our grasp to pave the future forward for fully funding Elise's complete treatment to tackle her cancer.
We are exploring all types of available treatment options, with full health as our goal, your support is incredibly appreciated and our gratitude for you is boundless. We appreciate every token of consideration and intention healing vibes and want to offer our sincerest thanks.
As is Elise's very nature, others before self is a constant mantra which has guided her through this life. Despite an intimidating diagnosis, her first thoughts were to continue helping others and her dreams of creating a scholarship as well as continuing her work with her magazine The Jamwich. A magazine dedicated to the uplifting of the grassroots music and arts community. We would like to accelerate the timeline for her goals and to do so requires financial assistance that we are seeking through crowd funding. Ultimately, her cancer treatment and travel requirements of 3 hours drive time will create a financial strain as well as the more typical costs of months long medical treatment.
From our original post with the announcement of the cancer diagnosis:
"An open letter to our family, friends and community.
What I have to say at this moment is incredibly difficult. Some of you already know, but most of you do not. This past October has been one of the most trying and unfortunately, the next twelve months are going to make it look like an easy month.
After Resonance Elise found a lump in her right breast. She had a gyno appointment coming up at the start of October. Her gyno then set up a mammogram which led to a sonogram which led to a biopsy. We received the results for the biopsy on Tuesday and consulted with a surgeon and oncologist yesterday afternoon. She has been diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. This is a highly aggressive and abnormal breast cancer that refers to any breast cancer that does not express the genes for estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2/neu. This means that there is no targeted treatment for this type of cancer but there are still numerous treatment options. They took a blood sample so they can test for the BRCA1 gene. Determination of this will result in a clearer picture of which treatments we move forward with.
The other night I asked her to make a list of goals of which she would like to see achieved in the following 12 months. In true Elise fashion, those goals had nothing to do with her and everything to do with others. The first goal is to fully establish our non profit scholarship fund JAMMA. I will be establishing a go fund me in order to fast track this process as well as to raise funding for hiring additional staff and resources so that we can keep the magazine, The Jamwich up and running while she is undergoing treatment. There will likely be numerous financial hurdles moving forward, and that’s my responsibility as her husband. However it will be difficult to handle the massive increase in duties and finances.
Life changes in an instant. All the plans we make mean nothing when fate steps in. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue to say it, do more take less, love is an action word so get busy. You never know when your time will end and how much will be taken from you at any given moment. Hug your loved ones, assess your priorities, be vigilant and always do the right thing, you may not get a second chance.
With love in our hearts and hope in our thoughts, we will continue to move forward in trying to lift up the community. We will be attending a few shows prior to treatment. Try to come out and spend some time with us before we get started down this trying road.
11.3 Lettuce Feat. Waka Flocka Flame & Marcus King w/ Turkuaz
11.8 Content Coma Tour: Papadosio W/ Litz at The Underground
11.9 Content Coma Tour: Papadosio W/ Litz at the Lincoln Theatre
11.10 Content Coma Tour: Papadosio W/ Litz at 9:30 Club
Taco and Elise
#domoretakeless #loveisanactionword #getbusy #cantstopwontstop
Though I have finished the chemo treatments it seems the chemo is not finished with me. Some days are better than others, and my aches and nausea are slowly starting to get subside, but the brain fog is really getting to me. I can't remember things, can't focus, and even the smallest tasks make me cry with stress. Yesterday every time I sat down to the computer I burst into tears because of the overwhelming amount of tasks and how difficult they are for my brain to process. It's one of the reasons why I have been a few days late on just about everything this month. So thank you for being patient with me. I feel so dumb compared to how I used to think, and worry that others think I'm dumb as well. On a positive note, though, my eyebrows are coming back.
A couple of weeks ago during an MRI they found a lump in my other breast :( I had to stay in Morgantown longer for them to run tests. As I waited for a biopsy a nurse told me that she had breast cancer when she was 40, she's in her 50's now. I ask her when the brain fog went away and she laughed and said "Oh it never did, I still can't remember things. We take a lot of notes." She comforted me as I cried while they tried to take the biopsy. I was very grateful for her that day. Though they weren't able to pierce the lump, they were positive by its behavior that it wasn't cancer.
On Thursday I have my surgery to remove any remaining cancer and make sure I had a "complete pathological response" to the chemo treatments. I am lucky in that I am able to opt for a lumpectomy instead of a complete mastectomy, though the option was considered. They will have to remove and test some of my lymph nodes too, to be positive it didn't spread. I will also be receiving another MRI and biopsy as part of the clinical trial I am taking part in (not fun at all, but will benefit others in the future). Though I have to stay the night before, Taco will be able to drive me home the next day. Thank god for my husband, the hero and white knight escorting his bald headed princess back to the kingdom. Humor aside, that's how I see him, valiant in his strength and protection, keeping me safe every step of the way. He is a blessing and the light of my life.
I will be recovering for a couple of weeks and will still be moving at a snail's pace, so thank you for continuing to be patient with me. I have been trying to run a business at 100% while working with 50% (or less) health and cognitive abilities, so it gets frustrating, but as long as I keep trucking and keep the love and support of all of you in my heart, I will persevere. The financial, emotional, and business related support we have received through this has been such a blessing and keeping us afloat, and we appreciate all of your help through this next phase of our fight.
After I recover from the surgery, I will have 3-6 weeks of radiation, depending on the pathological response that was determined. After radiation, reconstructive surgery will be considered. Though the reconstructive surgery is optional, I just want to be whole again. Be myself again. Though through all of this, I am so grateful that things have gone well. The tumor shrank, I didn't have too many complications or hospital stays, and the surgery will be less invasive than previously thought. Gratitude is the attitude that I am trying my best to vibrate, and I urge you to also sit and thank all of the limbs that you currently have and the health that you have powering your body. We don't know the amazing everyday strength and vitality of our bodies until our health declines.
So as I continue to fight one day at a time, thank you so much for being patient with me. Sometimes it's not just one day at a time, it's one hour at a time, or one moment at a time. So much has changed and shifted within me and I'm waiting for the pieces to settle and fall back into place, but for now I am ivory tiles in a velvet bag, being carried in your pocket to the next destination. Thank you for sharing the journey with me.
I know it's the steroids that make me sensitive but it was still a good cry, a grateful cry. I laid this morning in bed shortly after sunrise, anxious for today and craving comfort. Today is my next round of treatments with a set of different meds - one of them that has the dubious nickname "Red Devil" (Adriamycin) and the other not sounding great either - Cytoxan. I cuddled in close to Taco to ease my mind, then sought a hot shower, then while I got dressed put on The Werks "Wide Awake" and sobbed my freaking eyes out.
The family, the memories, the countless nights of dancing without abandon as Chris Houser's crescendo of guitar licks rises my heart into my throat and the cymbals sparkle like a million stars...the gut wrenching moments before an event you're struggling together to make happen and the heart wrenching moment when it all comes together and you breathe in the misty fog of a thousand hearts pumping for the music. All of this I have experienced with you, and never has my faith faltered. My faith in myself pushing through and doing whatever I want to do, and faith that the universe shines on us like blessed children because our love is pure.
The tears come again. I know that I'll make this through and I'm on my last leg. 2 more months of chemo treatments then planning for surgery. Only after surgery will I know if we killed all of the cancer, but I am keeping the faith. All of your support keeps me hopeful and I am still integrating my traditional chemo treatments with RSO, turkey tail mushroom, organic juicing, and other nutritional supplements that we have consulted with our doctor about. We are really lucky to have an oncologist that is open to alternative or holistic medicine and helps us navigate the waters.
With hopeful eyes I look forward today, and my mom and my husband with me holding my hand, and all of my memories and friends with me in my heart as well. I love you.
" When you know, you’re finally wide awake.
And you know that only love can light the way.
It’s true, that you can still save the day. "
#fuckcancer #loveisanactionword #domoretakeless #warriornotworrier
I hope in 2019 that you find unconditional happiness and love. These things come from within yourself, never forget it. We think we need the money, or the marriage, or the this or the that... "Well, I'll be happy once I get the job I want," or the car, etc. We even put too much emphasis on "living the dream" thinking we'll be happy if we live our dream of traveling the world.. or being a full-time artist or musician, etc. But even that, is a conditional happiness.
Why do we want the money or the dream? Because we think we will be happier in the having of it. But we can be happy right now.
I have been thinking a lot about time and how I've changed over the years... and it's so funny how time is short and long at the same time like an optical illusion. Life is long enough to allow us to change and grow, and heal. But it is also too short to waste our time being unhappy. We have an unlimited source of love and joy in our hearts already, we just need to let it shine. I don’t think I need to re-iterate but I will anyway...what goes around comes around, so remember our love and happiness will beget more in return.
Stop waiting to enjoy all of the abundance and joy you have in your life already. My new year resolution is to act with more ease, more gratitude. I want to move slower, enjoy the life I live with the love of my life @Taco Olmstead. they say “Work smarter, not harder,” well I also want to work more mindfully. I’ve been sending out some thank you cards gradually but I am taking my time in the writing and sending of them so thank you for your patience :) I want to be sure to personally thank everyone who has reached out to me in any way. It might take me all of 2019 but your generosity is so appreciated. Let’s be happy in 2019, let’s start where we are and be happy right now.
I will be taking the time to respond to every Gofundme donor, please know that all donations were noticed and appreciated and so very helpful. Besides the chemotherapy and doctor’s bills, your donations have helped us with travel money, food, and alternative treatments. I started Rick Simpson oil a couple of days ago which I’m excited about, as well as a Turkey Tail mushroom extract. My platelets were low last week which was scary, because they’d have to postpone my chemo if I didn’t get them back up. After lots of research and troubleshooting I’m excited to say that they were back up enough for me to get chemo this week. Taco has been making me some really delicious green organic juice that I think is helping.
My hair took longer to fall out than I thought. Today it is falling out in clumps. It’s been a hard decision whether to just shave my head or to wait. Yesterday Lacey LaPlante took me to get a nice wig from a store in Winchester. I like my purple cosplay one but I’d like something for everyday too. It will be good for this weekend when I go to the LITZ show at The 8x10 on Friday for a short appearance. I had a great time yesterday getting the wigs but was so tired out by my trip I slept as soon as I got home and then all through the night.
I’m sorry if this update is lackluster, I’m not feeling so shiny today. The lack of energy has been getting to me. On Monday I was pushing through my headache in order to work and it brought me to tears, not just the pain but the frustration. I will remember these times in the future and be more grateful for my energy and mobility. Yesterday when the doctor told me there would be more pain these week because I was getting a dose of a different chemo med, I couldn’t help but cry.
But time flies, and this will be over before I know it. And I will be more grateful for everything than I was before. Today I hope you revel in every tiny moment with gratitude, revel in the moments as simple as drinking a cup of coffee and walking around in the fresh air. Every day is a gift, and every moment is a miracle. Have a great weekend, and happy holidays!