Journal entry by The Clere's

Some of you know my Uncle passed away Memorial Day weekend.  I struggled with this greatly for many reasons.  A veteran, my God Father, many years of not seeing each other as we use to. So many pains. What I know, he had been suffering many years with his heart. His passing brings many regrets and I have to find peace that he was with family during his last moments. 

A few days after his passing was our cancer walk with Jodi's Race for Awareness. 

I have been volunteering for COCA, Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance over the last few months.  I have had questions about being a "survivor"

Mostly, because people don't believe you can be a survivor without chemo.

In speakng with countless doctors, survivors and nurses, not using Wikipedia to self diagnose, I have a screenshot of the clearer descriptor itof how it starts.

I struggled with "am I am survivor? " for these same reasons.  I happen to be more in tune with my pain and that is how my stubborn advocacy caught this quickly.  I am in awe of the woman who struggled with this tumor longer as it was tremendously painful

This disease comes in many silent forms. Mine was a painfully vocal tumor that grew red hair inside and because of my rapid response, It was 1.92 not 2.0 which was chemo ready.

I am grateful for the speedy hands, the poker hand   I dealt to gift so many amazing doctors.I survived not having chemo at 18 with cervical cancer cells when they froze my cervix.  I birthed 2 children, my uterus died.  I endured painful teritoma tumor which nearly had me on chemotherapy.  I get my dense breast tissue tested annually now.

If you have to ask of I am a surirvior of Ovarian Cancer? Yes. I grew a tumor larger than my uterus that was eating away at my body.

Did I have chemo? No. I caught it early by a few weeks due to its ramped up growth. 

Amen for 2 life scares and catching them early.

Does this mean I survived?

Hell yes!

My story of af advocacy will change lives! This is why I AM here!

As I crossed that survivor finish line, I knew I crossed that bridge for ME, for the women that overcame greater pain, for the women who couldn't fight any more and for my Uncle who I knew was a distant cheerleader for me. It pained him to see me hurting. 

Every single day I struggle with pains related to this surgery and hope that it doesn't come back ... I will fight and use my online platform to share.

I'm in pain daily. I don't talk about it, but the IBS I was diagnosed with isnt gone. I fall asleep often and my symptoms aren't totally gone. This is expected with this disease and I pray it disappears like it came.  I am not a number. I will make a difference. 

As I was hugged the entire day, whispers 
of support everywhere.  I heard one thing from everyone, " You aren't alone. Your journey is valid, you are heard and you are loved." I know these things, but to hear from strangers was powerful!

I have been showered on this way by friends and family, but 50+ strangers set me back.

I leave today with Katy Perry
If ever there were a victory song for my journey it is this.

As I grieve my Uncle, he gave me this treasure  ... what I heard him speak to my soul is this song he wanted at his service.  I remember he he loved my dance. I remember our dance together and how he pushed me to love on nature hard, love hard on family and always be the best me.

His song
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Journal entry by The Clere's

My sacred, seemingly sacred journey, I wouldn't share publicly (during my journey) has been set to open.
This .... is my journal.... my delicate shares about my Ovarian experience. 
I decided to open it up to benefit others who are struggling. 
I already have regrets.  Which is why I am sharing for a brief moment   
This is my intimate, year long struggle with advocacy, shame and pain. Stupid baby monster tumor .. became my worry, my doubt, my fear, my woman hood, my crutch, my connector, my debt, my everything for what it was worth. It was called Teratoma for a reason.  It was my "monster baby" eatting me alive. 
If you are open to not judge, you are welcome to my imperfect, totally vulnerable entries. 
My heart to yours, will be open for 3 days before I close it.

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Journal entry by The Clere's

Coming up on my anniversary of this journey. This year, I celebrate 40 years of life, 16 years of marriage, 10 years in social media and 15 years in business.

I am not the shiny new penny I was told I would be, but I am a brite new me that has a new respect for me.

This year hasn't been easy, hasn't been awesome,  but has been a year of strength and empowerment.

I have found new norms. I have hot flashes often, I have stolen this phrase from a friend and use it often, "I'm having my own personal summers." Pre menopause has been weird. Interesting moods,  hot moments in cold weather, waking up with wet hair. Interesting Charlie Horses in dumb places, like my back and abdominal area, while sitting still.

I still can't eat normal meals in one sitting . Grazing has become my new routine.

Stress lately has given new challenges, such as "zaps" or elecrtical zurts of shooting pain in the back of my head. Seeing a chiro, but found migraine treatment escalates them and sleep + water helps. Nothing threatening, just something to work through.

Our house had a terrible bat with the flu, as did many this year. I found a scary sinus infection along with respiratory issues.  Found some solutions but still coping since Christmas with a few minor things they say, "will just pass". So, I celebrate this recovery as well for our home!

My full hyster recovery ended up being 15 weeks. I don't have any of the same pains, but the med bills are just horrendous!

I am positive though . I am alive, I am healing emotionally and most of the weird cyst stuff has calmed down.  Taking some natural things and trying to be more in tune to when I need down time and soaks. I learned that my situation was further along than I knew. I was closer to needing chemo than I had thought. I am grateful for not having to undergo treatment.

As I prep for saving for my 40 year colonoscopy and mammogram, I am excited for them to give me a good bill of health and claim success on the end of this chapter!

I am connecting to local Ovarian Centers for awareness. I am excited to support them in their efforts!

We are getting ready to celebrate the first year anniversary of this new me!


You are in my constant thoughts and prayers. Thank you for being here to support me.


Keep you posted on my tests later in the year.


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Journal entry by The Clere's

For the last 24 hours I have been dealing with a new pain. Tossed and turned all night before. Felt like either kidney stone, intestine charlie horse in right side or my remaining ovary twisting. Soaks, Aleve and drinking water hadn't helped. Neither did oils. I called the docs and they wanted me seen. After our appointment, they urged me to go to the hospital. There, they gave me anti nauasia meds and pain meds. CT scan and ultrasound. They didn't find a stone passing, no appendix issues and nothing with the bladder or intestine. They found a cyst on my good ovary apx 3 mm and ovary inflamed. The good news is the weight of the cyst was keeping it from twisting and cutting off blood circulation. They sent me home after that. Last night I slept hard which I needed. Pretty sore today. The cyst on my remaining ovary is pretty large and the ovary is inflamed. But I have yo wait for it to either go away or burst. Do they gave me pain meds and stomach ease so I dont feel nacious. I'm glad to have an answer, but not thrilled they couldn't do more. They said this is a common thing and there isn't anything I can change in my lifestyle to keep the ovary from growing random cysts or inflaming. I'm pretty frustrated about that. I feel void of any control. I'm happy to have tools but I'm not satisfied with the answer. I believe I need to explore some alternative med. Prayers appreciated. *** Update: Oncology appt at 345 Doc isn't happy with the ER visit. Post more after

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Journal entry by The Clere's

Proud to say, girls got checked today. No matter the outcome, no matter if insurance covers it, don't base your personal health on "the system" time table. Do you. Own you. Get answers if you need them. Your health is top priority. I had a challenge today. So, it was something inside me, needing to get done. Heck, we checked everything else, right? I don't have results for about a week. If they see something, I will get a call. If they don't, I will get a letter snail mail. At the end of the day, I just want to be sure. Here is the alarming part. Bear with me. With ovarian tumors, unlike others ... That grow on nearby organs, these pass through blood stream. They already removed polyps on colon (believed to be a result of this tumor), lesions on kidney and liver (that are blood clusters but also could be spurs from this tumor). The highest probability for another growth from this tumor is breast tissue. Feeling uneasy about not knowing an answer, I asked for s mammogram. Who asks for these? Seriously? But the doc understanding my worry, approved a screening. Knowing it will cause more anxiety and for oodnrsd sakes. poked and handled in all other ways it made sense. So, made appointment. I got 3 phone calls on my trip about my procedure. Asking me not to proceed due to my age. That insurance "may not cover it". I had known this already. Why were they working so hard to keep me from getting answers? It wasn't just my doc, it was the screening location. I arrived, filled out docs and the document to state that I understand it might not be covered. Then, had a consultant talk to me about the same thing. I said, "Do you honestly think it would be wise for me to wait till I am 40, just because of insurance or do you feel that my right to have this knowledge, with all that I have been through should wait 2 years?" She looked at me and couldnt answer. My eyes welt up, "You know, more than anyone, what can happen in 2 years if we dont get it checked and something is found." She quietly whispered, "I dont know what to say" "Unfortunately, they are changing the age from 40 to 50 soon and I wish it was 30. We could save more lives" Just pause on that. I have high probability for a growth in my breasts. They are trying to turn me away because I am not 40 and are wanting to increase the required age to 50??????? WTF????? I changed my clothes, waited in the lobby with a dozen other scared women. This woman at least 8 years younger walks out of her exam, "F$$$ .... Sh F$$$ so inconsiderate" Nervous, I just wanted to hug her. Then, I get called in. I was hit with drill Sargent questions, crossing out of responses on my documents and another consultation about how my choices to request the mammogram were unwarranted due toy age. She finally did the procedure, but is was much shorter than my last one and mildly less painful. That could be the Aleve I've been on. I felt unheard, unwanted and a burdon. For the first time in this journey after I got introduced to the right people. I hope and pray for negative results. I hope that letter comes quickly. I'm done with this healthcare system. I felt like they wished I was sicker and that my knowledge of my body was an inconvenience. Knowledge is power. My health is first. Screw the insurance system guidelines. It shouldn't have been this painful to get an answer. It makes me feel like they didn't want to do it because they want us sick. Everyone else in my journey has helped and guided. I am grossed out by this experience. I am sad for my brothers and sisters that need answers. With all of the road blocks, they weren't turning me away. I felt so alone in our system. It needs to change. We nerd wellness preventative care more than anything. We need to stop the madness. I vote for helping people before they get too dick to fix. Can we all jump on that one?

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Journal entry by The Clere's

Oh my goodness, what a difference does week 6ish make! Back to work and caught up!

Excited to share that the hubster has some news. DANCING!  Check FB for the news!

Had a convo with a bestie and tagged a few old pics loaded in 2009, fun to see the responses!

Great song loaded here, many similar feelings. But alas, still an old hippy.  Talked to the neighbors today about National Naked Gardening Day, they giggled, but were happy I didn't. So, they are moving. I had no plans to touch the yard this summer with all of the surgeries with me, possible Jer, my Dad's surgery, my uncle ..... I invested zero in my garden, which is weird for me, but I justified my surgery.  I am literally cringing inside with the garden, but I have such little strength.  Trin lifted a step stool for me that I couldn't lift.

I found 2 geocaches today though,with her help.  URG!  Motivation with strength is getting old.

So, check FB for the hubster update.  Shared some great pics of his new store in construction!

As I sit here, on my patio, the darn mosquitoes have come. I pray I don't get eaten alive. I have even a special candle.  They suck. I hate them.  They have no purpose but to make people itch!   Melatonin had no sleep benefit tonight.  I could do without the melatonin nightmares anyway.  But alas, the personal summers are still here, every night.  My hair is thinner too. Sucks balls honestly.

I am still sittinf on ice packs for my vaginal birth feeling, which only comes with the pressure of standing or sitting too long. That will pass, I hope? I would rather have birth. the JJ pressure only lasted in the moment.

My Dad had surgery on his foot for his arthritris, my uncle had surgery to remove his colon, big stuff. Looking forward to no surgeries next week and total healing for all!

Great song!  attached

Journal entry by The Clere's

First, I will say, I am grateful I took some time to clear out email the last few weeks. It made me feel like a contribution to the world again! Sorry, I unsubscribed from a bunch of newsletters. It was literally to clear the inbox. I love supporting you, but over 1500 emails in a few days, had to stop asap. I had a successful first week back. I didn't push it, but stuck to allowing my boundaries to be in place. I am grateful for the time away. I miss it deeply. It is nice to be back though. I ended up sending out 7 proposals and had 2 contracts Signed so far. I had my team start the next bit if 8 touch last week which made a huge difference! Thank you Katie for teaching me this strategy! So blessed. I found that although I still have struggles, each day still has challenges. The last few weeks opened me up to a solid awareness of my body and energy. I celrbr this as a victory! Funny story ... I shared with my work bff and decided it must be shared to the book of faces. Lol This morning was moderately "spring-ish", I wasn't feeling great, do decided to put myself in spring mode by wearing a skirt. Wait .... What? A skirt!!!! I picked a flowing skirt I haven't been able to wear for a few years, I got in Mexico. Flowing, with multiple slotted pieces. very pretty. Turned out to be a very windy day. I showed full montey to a variety of passer byers at the work parking lot. Pretty sure pics are floating Facebook of my bright purple undies. Lolol Another highlight, I grocery shopped. Those carts are dandg heavy! And nasty. Are you like me, where you don't move with the cart till you have wiped it down? I was he girl who waited 20 min to get wipes. Yup! My bff in NY used to laugh at me with my hands covered in my sweater because they had no wipes. Won't tough it! Not gonna do it! Petri dishes. Lol I was able to get groceries for the month and it felt great! Heavy ass cart though. Not gonna lie. Saw an old friend, Cindy from High School and Pastry Mike scared me ... Almost peed my self. Thanks Pastry! He is called Pastry because Trin adores his work and can't call him Mike. So, Pastry instead of Pastor it is. I could do without the nasive "man belching" I constantly struggle with, the constipation, that is all tied to anesthesia residue and pain meds. I am eating again! I can have normal portions of food without feeling like I need to throw up! I don't urgently have to go to the bathroom after a few bites of food! I am feeling a newer me! I also didn't have period crap! I feel emotional (Yay so they say) but no pain there. Yay! Life changing! I have more frequent personal summers. Urg. It was 50 today, felt like 80, then snow. So, aching from shopping cart, but I don't cringe when I drive! Milestones! Celebration sauce! I wish I was traveling the world during this break for healing. Still have 5 more weeks. But goodness! I count my blessings daily!

Journal entry by The Clere's

Dr said he doesn't get to be my OBGYN because I have graduated and am healing well! My internal stitches are healing, but I'm a slow "absorber" so even though I am now off most restrictions, i still have hubster restrictions till mid June. All else going well, I won't need another pap for 2 years unless I have issues. I meet with my family practice doc next week to discuss the last few things. I am dancing! Literally!! Guess to can soak now!!! This giiirrrrrllll!

Journal entry by The Clere's

So, hey. I've been asked for updates in a single place and since I will be documenting this journey, you can choose to view when you can. I've found my truated network of prayer warriors would really need a place to share comments and prayers for others to see. I'm using this platform to also document this weird journey, to remind myself in the future of my journey, in hopes to benefit others. ***Please don't share this link unless asked to. Please don't share anything here with anyone else. Each of you were invited into this space for confidential information, to help you support me on my journey and in prayer.****

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Hollie’s Story

Site created on February 19, 2017

Welcome to my CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting. Please don't share this site. I've added and will add only selected people as I choose to speak with them.