Jessica's Medical Fund
Jess and her devoted husband Dan are very proud, hardworking individuals, and are only allowing us to ask for two months’ worth of donations for immunotherapy treatment. Please join us in blowing this Go Fund Me out of the water!
Jessica Oldwyn was diagnosed with a diffuse astrocytoma tumor in April 2010. Since her devastating diagnosis, she has had three brain surgeries and is scheduled for another in October 2016. Jess has had an incredibly tough journey since 2010, yet she has fought with determination and a smile since day one. Here are a few words taken from her blog:
"Knowing my diagnosis comes with a death rate of 99%, and having watched the tumor come back so quickly, I knew I had to do something more to save my life. I have since researched, and risked everything to travel to Europe for treatments. I have been injected with engineered viruses, I have snorted treatments, I have sublingually ingested treatments. I have swallowed hundreds of thousands of supplements and off-label drugs. I have combined things. I have worked to boost my immune system, to heal myself. I do all of this, spending almost every dollar we earn on my health as 99% of my treatments are not covered by insurance.
I want to live. I want to live like most people want a new car, or a baby, or a vacation, or a new house, or a boyfriend, or husband. I want to breathe this sweet air. To feel the cool breeze. To hug. To laugh. To smile. To ride my bike with the sun on my face.
This journey has not been easy. I am scared every single day. As my spirit soaks up every minute of this beautiful life, I am just as terrified with each second. I don't sleep well because I never want to miss anything, but when the lights get low, and the world calms, there are few distractions. That's when my heart hurts from the pain I've endured. It's when the uncertainty of survival is loudest.
I have been told many contradictory things by doctors, nurses, specialists, therapists, books, documentaries, and I have shared as I have evolved. So please do both of us a favor, do your own research. Be true to yourself. Follow your instincts. Don't rely on what I say as fact. It's hard to navigate a brain tumor diagnosis, or any diagnosis for that matter, but I have tried to provide resources that should help."
We recently found out that after six years of paying for treatment out-of-pocket, Jess and Dan have exhausted their life savings and she has quietly ceased immunotherapy treatments. She is beyond courageous in sharing her story publically to inspire, but very private about asking for help. We as her friends have taken it upon ourselves to share this part of her story and we need your help.
Monthly out-of-pocket expenses ($7,500):
· Immunotherapy Shot from Europe (administered on East Coast) $5,700
· Flight from West Coast to East Coast $600
· Hotel stay on East Coast $350
· Vitamin supplements/off label drugs $400
· Brain scan monthly bill payment $450
We hope that her story inspires you, as it has inspired so many already. If you are in a position to help support Jess’s care costs by donating, please do. A $5 donation or a kind note will make a difference. As Jess’s friends we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Please check out Jessica's blog and this trailer from her upcoming feature on the CW “My Last Days” to learn more about her journey:
Blog - http://jessicaoldwyn.blogspot.com/
“My Last Days” –
Past The Meridian (two of two)
During the surgery, my mom has offered to do updates on the blog to share information as they receive it in the waiting room. I'm sure, though, someone will post the surgery time the night before (which is when they will notify us), we'll post that info for those who may be moved to pray or send healing thoughts to my surgical team, and to me, and the family. For me, I ask you to unburden my family during that time. If you could please turn to the blog for information, instead of hitting up my family's cell phones, it would mean a lot to me. I want them to have the least amount of stress as possible. There are so many of you amazingly wonderful people that care so much about us, and we are all very grateful, but if they're on their phones during the whole surgery, then they won't get the chance to be in the moment, to take care of each other, to support and love one another. I hope for them to have some semblance of calm, and know that I am being healed. These are special moments when we get to come together, and focus on what's right in front of us.
I really do appreciate your support, your kindness, and your understanding for what we're all going through. I hope to write more again before surgery, but if not, truly know that your love and positive energy is tangible in my life, especially in these days while we're dealing with so much. I have such a huge amount of gratitude to all of you. Thank you for sharing your prayers, and for entering me into your prayer circles, and for sharing my journey with your friends, because I can feel their love and prayers too.
I recently finished a fascinating book on Hado, specifically, The Secret Life of Water, by Dr Masaru Emoto. He analyzed water crystals forming in different environments (during specific music, or words, or emotions, etc.), and what he found is that the crystals formed beautiful, symmetrical shapes during [many] times but specifically of prayer. My prayer, and my hope, is that all of your beautiful prayers, and love, and my deep gratitude, may bring my body and spirit beautiful symmetry, beautiful wholeness, as well. May I be blessed with your Hado (Baha'i, Catholic, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, agnostic....etc.) healing. I'm very very grateful for your kindness, and your love.
Thank you, as always, for reading.
Past The Meridian (one of two)
There's something about the middle of the night, that awakens my soul. It happens every night, almost always around 1:27 am, when I arouse as if morning. Astutely alert. It's become a time of prayer and meditation, and deep reflection.
I'm down in LA early, focusing on healing my body, my mind, and my soul/energy from the stressors and factors that I believe threw my body out of alignment which has facilitated the accelerated tumor growth. Which, ideally, should help me prepare for the March 3rd brain surgery, which lands on Dan's birthday.
I arrived, on my own, extremely late Saturday night, and by Sunday, early evening, I found myself huddled in a ball on the bathroom floor riddled with food poising. I had asked my father for a few days by myself before he arrived, to give the illusion of independence - knowing that long periods of solitude in high stress/fatigue ridden periods, lead to seizures, and that my ultimate solitude would be a burden on Dan and my family/friends because they would worry - so I had ended up asking him to join me as a guardian. Anyway, Tuesday afternoon, my dad arrived, and by that point I was long past the ability to hold down water. I was delirious, and weak, so he ended up taking me to the hospital. Between the care I received there, and some amazing care from my friends here in LA, and some badass tinctures, within 24 hours, I was back to feeling human. I'm still on a broth diet, but last night we were able to add sautéed vegetables and tempeh, so that was a pretty awesome success.
I'm here to work on evolving my mindset, and removing negative factors. I've learned recently that in life, and relationships, I have taken on the role of a screen/filter. So when people come to me and unburden themselves with the negative/emotional things that go on in their lives, I process that information, and although, often, people feel better releasing their heavy buildup, I end up getting stuck with the sediment. No one does it purposefully. No one wants to hurt me. I just can't seem to take those things in stride. They weigh down my soul.
When your soul is weighed down, it effects your hormones, especially your stress hormones. Recently, a doctor told me that she believes that my explosive tumor growth (3 tumors, one enhancing), is because of the amount of emotional stress in my life, and that tumors actually secrete growth hormones, strengthening the cancer. She mentioned some sort of tumor growth factor - I can't remember the exact term though, perhaps one of you awesome blog readers know what I'm talking about. I'm not going to research it though, because I don't want it to stress me out. I don't want to focus on the negative. I don't really need specific proof - I can viscerally feel that it's the truth.
Anyway, I recognize that my environment is paramount to my success in achieving true health, and that means protecting myself from negative influences. Even perceived negative influences - whether or not they mean me harm. I am the only person who can make the decision to put my health first. To make the hard choices to separate myself from situations and people and energy that will not serve my healing. It's incredibly hard to pull back and analyze these things, and focus, truly, on what I need to evolve and grow.
So for now I have pulled back from almost everyone in my life, because I need a true period of time for reflection, and reconnection with my intuition. To truly understand what will serve me, and what kind of social load I can realistically maintain.
Yesterday afternoon, I had an epiphany. I felt like my whole life, including this cancer journey had lead up to this moment, but that I had crossed a meridian, and was now a tiny speck on a new journey, with immeasurable growth to attain. A Universe full of insight and development, full of lessons, if I so chose to embark, to listen, and to absorb. And I do! It feels so right, so true for me. It's one of the most natural things I've ever felt, to finally find what "healing" means to Me.
I believe I needed those days huddled in a ball, guts cemented in torture, to bring my body, my mind, and my soul, back to a rebirth. A new kind of evolution. That everything in my life brought me to that bathroom floor, in a loving ground level apartment in Marina Del Rey, full of the sounds of birds, and fresh breezes, carrying the scent of jasmine from the front door. Less than two weeks from a brain surgery, at a time when I would typically be overextending myself, I found myself forcibly aware of the necessity to really recognize my role in my own healing. That if I couldn't start to pull away from the demands of this world, which was creating a proliferation of cancer, and put myself first, I was going to aide in killing myself.
Healing myself is a choice, and I have many wonderful guides and teachers, both western trained, and others, and with the combination, I am finally finding my stride, my raw self. Once you're cut down to your most vulnerable self, you can build a new sturdy foundation, and that, my friends, is exactly what I plan to do.
Thank you for being patient with me while I revel this process. If I don't respond to your text messages, or emails, or communication on any level, it is not personal, it is not about you or anything you have done or not done. This is about me, and about me allowing myself the privilege to work on my own healing. I'm not sure if I will post another blog before surgery. And in the same vein I might write many. I'm going to feel things out and be true to my inner voice and do what feels best.
(Meghan here I needed to break this post into two emails as Jess wrote too much : )))
UCLA Update 2017
I hesitate to talk about it, because I don't want to exploit the beauty, but on Saturday, because of the Skid Row Carnival of Love, I had the opportunity to meet a man who lives on The streets in LA.
Dan and I on our way to Skid Row Carnival of Love
We're down here for medical reasons, and I was supposed to spend this weekend relaxing, finding my truth, maybe soaking up some sun, following my intuition, making decisions on what to do for treatment, but when I realized I had an opportunity to connect, for life to not be about me, my own issues, I knew it would make me happier than spending time reading a book, or thinking about life or my own issues.
Yep, again I realize retrospectively, I'm not taking care of myself. Or am I? I mean, each day we make make decisions, each moment, depending on the pace, on what fulfills us, that which can also heal us.
I wanted to do for others, for Mike my new friend from NC, what I have done for my own grandma, what Dan does for me, I wanted to wash feet.
There's this raw humanity of touching feet. It's vulnerable, and raw, and for people to open themselves to that private pocket of their life, it's incredibly endearing. That Mike trusted me, and that I could give him human touch.
My god we laughed!! I couldn't deny his quarterback, Cam Newton (who I always refer to as a transformer - have you seen him???), and he kept hollering toward Dan, "Blue 42 - Blue 42. He's a big boy!"
It has been an insane weekend of connecting, and loving, and until last night and today, I was worried about others, and trusting that the universe had my back. That's a wonderful thing, but also dangerous, because we are the only ones who can take care of ourselves. No one can tell me what to do, no one can tell me what is best, I have to find my inner voice, I have to reconnect with what feels right in my soul.
This morning we were told that the areas in my brain are most likely resectable. My god that is GREAT news. Regardless of the reality of a brain surgery. (No small potatoes.) In every moment when I receive complicated news, we immediately spin it. I have lost so many brain tumor friends because their tumors were inoperable, and I recognize the good fortune in my life.
For now we will focus on removing negative influences, drains, and we will be enforcing a fabulous new protocol that includes a multi-focal awesome new set of rules that focus on laughter, fresh air, connecting, and loving. Sometimes you have to bring it back to the basics, and heal before you can help others. It feels horribly uncomfortable, but I have work to do during these next few weeks until surgery.
I want to live. I want to learn. I love to love. And to make that happen, I have to focus.
Thank you for loving us, for supporting us, and I am so sorry that I'm not able to respond to everyone - the amazing comments and FB posts, or IG posts, my phone - the texts, calls, emails - they mean SO MUCH to me, they lift me up, which lifts up Dan - because honestly, Dan gets the brunt of carrying the weight. He is the silent hero. I know you see it, you have to. I would be a completely different person without his strength.
And thank you for sending your prayers, and love, after that last post, I swear your love was absolutely palpable! I couldn't even believe it! When I receive that love, it overwhelms my body in a way that I finally calm down, and rest. I laugh more, I feel that energy. So thank you! I just need to heal so that I can give it right back to you, to everyone.
Well Babaloo/ Dad/ raiser of Magical Jess, you have spread your fairy dust on my tear ducts! I'll take your 5 gallons and raise you to six! It's no wonder why Jess lights up a room. She clearly IS a product of you and your bride. I hope I get to meet you one day soon. Love, CJ
I just saw Jess's story online and noticed how sweet, kind and loving this gal truly is. Cancer doesn't discriminate. It always seems to attack the best of the best this planet has to offer and Jess is definitely someone that should be here to light up world a whole lot longer. I wish you all the best and want to thank you for allowing the cameras into your life. Had you not, I would have never known anything about you. You both hang in there. There's a lot to be gained from all of this. Figuring out what that is may not be clear right away, but it's there. You'll know when it happens. Much love and luck to you two.