My beautiful wife Celeste Yarnall
was diagnosed with high grade, stage 3 Ovarian cancer in November of 2014. Sometimes ignorance is bliss as we did not know at the time just how devastating ovarian cancer actually is. Celeste had lost two friends to this deadly disease but didn't know just how scary the diagnosis was because just the word cancer in itself is such a traumatic diagnosis. One is never prepared for it especially when no one in her immediate family had ever had ovarian cancer to her knowledge.
In a recemt book called "Memoir of a Debulked Woman: Enduring Ovarian Cancer," the author, Susan Gubar writies, "There are many forms of cancer that offer a lot of hope but not this one." And further she goes on to say that there were 21,550 new cases of ovarian cancer in the US in 2009 and there were an additional 14,600 women who died from it. [In the UK, 6,500 women are diagnosed with the disease every year, and 4,400 die each year].
It used to be estimated that one out of 70 American women would get the disease, the deadliest of all gynaecological cancers, though recently the number sometimes cited is one in 55. There are very few published personal accounts for them to consult, since for decades, indeed for centuries, women have generally maintained silence about the silent killer."
Like the author above, Celeste underwent surgery which in her case was an 8 hour surgery, which included blood transfusions. She then completed 6 rounds of chemotherapy which we know is a controversial and extremely toxic course of therapy that last 10 hours each time it was administered. Because there is so little hope offered by mainstream medicine, Celeste has diligently explored supportive treatments from the alternative medical community which we both believe is a must for everyone to do.
Although Celeste has good insurance there is so much that is not covered and that includes a very special therapy that is at this time to be considered state of the art (more about this in a moment) and therefore I am asking for your help financially to help us pay the cost of this treatments since insurance won't.
It is our hope for Celeste that she can beat the horrendous odds she is up against with ovarian cancer, which reocurrs more often than not as she wants so very much to get back to what she loves doing best and that is helping other people in any way she can.
If you need to refresh your memory who Celeste is, you may remember her as a talented actress, who co-starred with Elvis Presley in the film "Live a Little Love a Little."
Many people also remember Celeste for having been the last elected Miss Rheingold back in 1964 where she garnered 20,000,000 votes to be the spokesperson for an Eastern Seabord Brewery called Rheingold. It was an advertising legend that the Mad Men of the day dreamed up to sell beer and Celeste was the 25th Miss Rheingold. Many notable actresses got there start with this contest but you may need to ask your grandparents about it if they lived in the area.
Besides have been being a model, spokesperson and actress and has been a part of 'show business' all her life Celeste is a devoted mother and grandmother who has spent her life in the service of others, through her work as a Holistic animal advocate and author. Below are the covers of her two latest books for pets which she co-authors with her writing partner and dear friend Jean Hofve DVM.
Most recently Celeste was one of the producers on a documentary film entitled, "Femme Women Healing the World," where she also appears with 100 women from around the world as a spokesperson. She loves empowering women and sharing the importance of gender equality, through her speaking, writing, producing and personal appearances .
Celeste was so excited to be part of "Femme," because it gave her the opportunity to share the importance of partnership with ones gender of choice, to help our world move forward to peace at last. She was very excited about the future and wanted and still hopes to continue to be a part of conscious film making.
However, on that fateful day, November 21, 2014 our world and plans were shattered as she faced all that would be in store for her for the forseeable future right before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Celeste had gone to her gynocologist for a pretty routine visit to discuss what she thought were some symptoms that seemed minor and couldn't believe what was to follow after being so healthy and after being devoted to holistic health care and wellness all her life. Bravely, she was steadfast and underwent that emergency surgery. We were blessed that Celeste had this amazing and excellent surgeon and surgical team to operate on her. It was like a miracle that one of the best women's cancer surgeons was available at our local hospital.
On November 25th, I waited for nearly 10 hours with Celeste's daughter and son- in- law to finally get the good news that the surgery was a success but far more complicated than expected. Her surgeon removed 10 pounds of cancerous fluid from her peritoneal area, along with performing two bowel resections and a complete hysterectory. He debulked the peritoneum as well getting rid of all the cancerous tumors.
After 4 grueling weeks in the hospital along and enduring a huge dose of antibiotics for an infection at the surgery site, living with all the drains and tubes and minor additional surgeries, she was finally released in time for Christmas with the family and me. Our prayers had come true, our beloved Celeste was able to open presents with the family by the beautiful tree her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter had decorated .
She went through all this like a champ and is grateful to be alive and have the support of her loving friends, fans and family.
The chemotherapy with all the side effects that come with it followed the surgery and this was rough on Celeste however with the help of holistic modalities which she does each day as she needed to build up her strength and her immune system.
We didn't realize how chemo demolshes the cancer patients immune system rendering the person vulnerable to every germ out there. Because we didn 't know how serious this could be, Celeste didn't want to miss out on speaking at her favorite conference and thus sje made an appearance at the Conscious Life Expo in February 2015 the LAX Hilston. Because her immune system, unbeknownst to us was so weak she caught a horrific flu bug, which went into bronchitis and she landed back in the hospital. We now know all to well that when you go through chemo it truly wipes out your white blood cell count and with this bug she had become what is called neutropoenic.
Celeste needed to be put in isolation at the hopsital and all the nurses were masked, gowned and gloved when they entered her room. Her coughing was so severe she got a very large hernia internally below her new surgical incision. This is called an incisional hernia. Like all hospital stays Celeste expressed that she was getting worse being there but was finally released to continue healing at home but still had to complete the rest of her chemo rounds for a total of 6. And chemo just makes everything take forever to heal.
Celeste bravely faced the struggle to move forward and together she and I went into full on survival mode.
Celeste completed all 6 rounds of those grueling rounds of chemo however Celeste she need to face another surgery on July 24th 2015. Her PET and CAT scans thankfully did not show any evidence of cancer however it detected two blood clots (DVTs) which required placement surgically of an IVC filter in her Vena Cava vein to prevent the migration of the clots during surgery when she would not be able to have her daily very painful Lovinox blood thinning injections which is pretty routine now during hospital stays and also for DVTs.
Celeste had this repair surgery which also revealed what is called a lymphocyst the size of cantaloup, this was removed by a wonderful surgeon, then a second amazing surgeon stepped into repair her huge incisional hernia using polypropylene mesh to repair it and then a third surgeon stepped into to close and repair the damage that all this had done to her abdomen. Keep in mind this was a secon opening for the very same incision that was done in November for the first cancer surgery.
Celeste's first surgeon being a man of vision who does not simply accept the standard of care, had the foresight the night before that first surgery to ask if we could come up with a very large sum of money to store the tumor tissue at a facility called storemytumor.com as he would be removing that tissue for future use and we, having no idea how we would come up with that money simply said yes to what the universe might have in store for Celeste.
This tumor storage was prepared and banked for later use for a special personalize medical protocol at a facility off shore in the Grand Cayman Islands called PerseusPCI . You may have seen lately in the news perhaps on 60 Minutes some of the exciting things that are being done in personalized cancer therapy and then of course the treatment former President Jimmy Carter had. This new personalized immuno-therapy involves a series of 4 injections which have been made for Celeste from this stored tumor tissue and her own blood.
Celeste and I traveled to the Cayman's this past December 2015 to make her vaccines and receive the first in the series which are done intradermally..just under the skin on top of each thigh. Upon arrival they review your blood work, give you a Nupagen shot to boost your white count and then go to work in their state of the art FDA lab to make the series of special vaccines only for Celeste. There are no other ingredients like you hear about being used in traditional vaccines. Here only ones own biological material is used and this is unique to PerseusPCI's patented delivery sustem. Again insurance doesn't cover any of these costs and it is a cost that must be incurred. The percentage of people surviving past 5 years who just do chemo and surgery are only about 2% and this new treatment option is our hope in extending Celeste's life expectancy. Here is a bit more information for your perusal in case you or a loved one would like to also explore this option:
What is a cancer vaccine and personal cancer immune therapy?
"A cancer vaccine is designed to awaken the immune system and activate it to fight the cancer from within. The patient’s own tumor is used to vaccinate the patient making each vaccine personalized. These treatments are experimental, extend the patient’s time in remission, and have relatively no side effects."
The cost of this treatment alone has eaten up all that has been raised by the fund thus far as prepayment is required at the onset of treatment and we must travel back and forth to the Caymen's every 30 to 45 days for a total of the first four vaccines and then there will be two boosters at 3 month and 6 months. See http://www.perseusPCI.com for more on the treatment protocol Celeste is doing presently for immunotherapy in the Cayman's.
Of course, Celeste is utilizing all the holistic and alternative options you would expect someone with her knowledge to do such with advanced neutraceuticals, CBD Rich Hemp Oil, Moxxor Omega 3, special arromatherapyl oils and an advanced cancer protocol with state of the art supplements, but as most of you know insurance doesn't cover any of these protocols and treatment options.
Here is a bit more about Celeste's career"
Live Long and Prosper!
Celeste, besides co-starring with Elvis was also in many other films and TV shows but she is still well known for having been on the original Star Trek series in the classic episode entitled, "The Apple."
Celeste has bravely trekked through the taxing medical reality of ovarian cancer treament, healed from the 6 rounds of chemo, survived the stress of the extreme costs of her care, much of it, as I mentioned is not covered by her insurance.
Celeste wants very much to see everyone again at autograph and media shows in the future and we have even made a trip to Germany together this past March for a wonderful Elvis event in Bayreuth Germany. We also were able thankfully to attend the STARCON/STICCON convention in Bellaria Italy to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek with none other than Bill Shartner, Captain Kirk himself. Her professional travels thankfully included all expenses being paid for us to attend.
Celeste's writing career as many of you know has been devoted to the service of people and animals, and supporting causes to make this world a better place.
This she does through her work in television, film, books, speaking engagements and all things wellness and anti-aging, for which she has been a tireless advocate all her life.
Being struck by this thunderbolt in Celeste's 70th year has been huge and has led to major upheavals within our lives.
Any financial support, even of $5 at this time is very much appreciated and tremendously beneficial in aiding her recovery, helping her get these amazing treatments in the Grand Cayman Islands where just the travel costs itself are astronomical is so very needed as she wants very much to continue to be of value to others.
We send our love and thanks to all who can help her at this critical time.
Please share this site with others as the symptoms of the hard to detect ovarian cancer are listed here in several of her updates.
Celeste wants all women to be vigilent and not neglect any symptoms that seem suspicious. Ovarian cancer is very sneaky and standard diagnostics don't catch it soon enough.
Celeste works tirelessly at her Facebook group page called Holistic Cancer Care and you may request to join and feel free to share it with others. Celeste hopes to do a book for women on Holistic Cancer Care and share what has worked so well for her thus far to get her into remission. Do keep in mind that we can't ever say that cancer is cured but we can say there is no evidence of disease and the purpose of immunotherapy is to prevent reaccurences.
Celeste needs to build up her strength as she had a set back with an infection and was hospitalized again over the 2015 Christmas holiday however she recovered beautifully but a chronic condition of bone on bone degenerative hip disease was exacerbated to such a degree we must now explore hip replacements for her as walking and standing have become so painful and difficult for her.
In 2017 Celeste experienced a recurrence which they caught early and needed a second series of 6 rounds of chemo, this time with Doxil and the Carboplatin again. CBD Rich Hemp Oil helped her to not take the
drugs for nausea and pain however insurance doesn't pay for this and it is several hundred per month.
Celeste completed the 6 rounds over 6 months from spring of 2017 to November on the Carboplatin and
Doxil and all looked great. CA125 was normal, CT scan looked good but the following month, December,
2017 everything started to look like another recurrence was taking place as the CA125 starting going up
and up. Celeste received in January 2018 and again in April her two and final immunotherapy boosters from PerseusPCI which did not work at all this time as we got the devastating news on the May CT scan that
the ovarian cancer came back again in the peritoneum but also hit a lot of lymph nodes and spread to her
lungs, and two other places. They still even though the cancer moves to other places still call it ovarian cancer.
Celeste's oncologist put her on a new drug called a PARP Inhibitor (Lynparaza) for 3 months at the
beginning of 2018 and this too did not work as her CA125 started to soar and this was not good and very scary.
So she was put on a daily low dose chemo pill which she takes each night and then we go into Cedars every
two weeks for an IV infusion called Avastin which is an
anti-angiogenesis drug meaning it targets the vessels that help to feed cancer! The CA125 came down after 4 weeks and has dropped since then but no where near the normal range but at least so far it has not gone
up but Celeste developed a
horrendous cough in May of 2018 with bronchial and diaphramatic spasms that after 4 months of various
holistic and allopathic
medical treatments have not made it to go away...no infection, just the nasty cancer making it feel like she
needs to cough something up and there is phlegm but the cough just won't stop. She has seen many doctors both
traditional such as a wonderful new integrative physician, a naturopath who supports the Western medical
options and side effects with holistic things and a new fantastic pulmonologist...however, so far nothing has helped and she is very worn down and worn out and also short of breath. But she and I both remain positive and optimistic that something will work soon and she will be feeling well again. For now...we do the best we can!
Celeste and I thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your love, compassion, prayers and support...we
couldn't have gotten this far without each and everyone of you and we do consider this fund to be an
answer to a prayer to simply stay alive and live another day.
Please share this page with others of course because we so need your help but also because we hope that
what we share here will help others, too.
Please visit Celeste's business website as she loves to pay the things that she has found to be helpful forward.
- MICHAEL TODD
- Thomas Gough
- Sean & Taki Kenney
- Dawn Zuill
- James Hiltz