Joining Jessica's Journey

For: Jessica's treatment for ovarian cancer
Omaha, NE
Organizer: Jessica's Family
Joining Jessica's Journey (Jessica's treatment for ovarian cancer)
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Raised by 229 donors
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The Story

At 20 years old, Jessica – our daughter, sister, aunt and friend – was diagnosed with a tremendously rare and highly aggressive form of germ cell ovarian cancer. The malignancy was found by chance, when Jessica had surgery to remove what were thought to be benign ovarian cysts. In that moment, no words could express the fear we all felt of the indefinite road ahead.

However, in the face of her shocking diagnosis, Jess has maintained a pure and genuine optimism. To devote her life to making the necessary changes, Jess has put many of her ambitions on hold, including completion of the final semester of her undergraduate pre-chiropractic program. And as she begins her fight, we ask for your help.

In Jessica's words: “December 19th is a very monumental day for me. As a term that is used so broadly to describe many different circumstances had become prevalent in my own life for the first time: ‘Cancer.’ I had experienced many health issues in the past few years and was working on finally feeling whole again. Although I thought that after the surgery on December 12th to remove the “benign” ovarian cysts, that the most invasive part of my journey to restore my health was over -- it had just truly begun.

However, something I NEVER thought I would say is: although this is the scariest adventure I have ever encountered, being diagnosed with ovarian cancer may end up being the best thing that has ever happened to me. It has forced me to take a step back to look at what I truly cherish in life and make some major health, lifestyle, and relationship changes. When I reflect on myself as a person, I have realized that I am a person who needs other people - especially now. But I also am a person who loves lifting others in return and sharing my experiences with them. I give a lot of credit to my family, as they have shown me that moments of physical or mental weakness are not associated with humiliation. They have taught me that what makes strong people so courageous is not necessarily a lack of tears or putting on a tough face, but allowing yourself to lean on others for strength when necessary, and returning the favor, which is exactly what I plan to do. My focus on this journey is not on my sickness, but on my ability to use this experience to become the healthiest version of myself and to be an advocate for my own body. I long to grow in mind, body, and spirit. My emphasis is to use my energy to change the fear associated with cancer into a higher faith. And to use that faith to strengthen my body, my family and my genuine relationships with others – because that is exactly what I need to fight this

I trust that it is up to us to determine what meaning the pain in our lives will have, and who we will become as a result of it. I personally believe that the only concrete thing we can cling to in this world, other than our faith, is our genuine relationships with people. I have learned that prayer is about asking God to align you with His will, rather than asking Him to be aligned with yours. He has aligned me with His will and I cannot wait to share this beautiful journey He is leading me on with all of you.

Thank you to all who are graciously joining me on this journey. You are sincerely wonderful.”

As a family, we spent most of the holiday season attending several gynecologic oncology appointments at University hospitals, local hospitals, and Mayo Clinic. Outside of appointments we spent our time reading, researching, and reaching out to a variety of medical professionals-educating ourselves.

Unfortunately, due to the rarity of Jess’s diagnosis and her young age, there is not a strict standard of care for her cancer type that oncologists can reach complete agreement on. The only consensus is that all of Jessica’s scans, tests, and blood work have come back with no evidence of disease left in her body. However, due to the aggressiveness of her cancer type, oncologists are not comfortable monitoring Jessica or delaying intensive treatment. They suggest potential removal of her ovary, fallopian tube, and abdominal lymph nodes followed by BEP chemotherapy; one of the harshest chemo regimens available, which can be vastly detrimental to quality of life at her age. Possible side effects of these treatments include infertility, menopause at age 20, loss of natural hormone function, pulmonary damage, kidney damage, liver damage, nerve damage, and secondary cancers such as A.M.L. and A.L.L. leukemia’s. The last thing Jessica wants is for quality of life to be deteriorated with surgery and treatments to remove a disease that is only possibly still left in her body, but she also knows that something has to be done in order to fight and prevent this rare and aggressive cancer from ever coming back.

While it has been a complicated and at times frightening path, Jessica has expressed her inner peace and deepened faith with all of us. She describes this diagnosis using an analogy she heard from her doctor in Arizona “it is like a tap on the shoulder from God, saying that some changes needs to be made. Something isn’t allowing the body to do its job properly the way it was designed to.”

After weeks of research, Jessica has decided that integrative cancer treatment is best for her. Next week she will begin treatment at An Oasis of Healing in Mesa, Arizona working with a doctor there who specializes in gynecologic and pediatric oncology. He is willing to take on her case, and is very optimistic about her outcome. Oasis will treat Jessica for roughly six weeks with low dosages of the recommended BEP chemotherapy administered with Insulin Potentiated Therapy, which allows the chemotherapy to target specific cancer cells, while preserving the body’s healthy cells. Jess will also receive therapies that focus on building immunity, preserving quality of life, and ensure continued healing. After six weeks of impatient care she will hopefully return to Omaha to continue the treatment plan in order to alleviate some of the finical expense. She will then return to Mesa, Arizona once a month for low dose chemotherapy and monitoring until treatment is finished. They will also develop a plan for her to implement as part of a lifestyle to assure that she continues the healing process. The philosophy of this cancer center is exactly what she has been searching for: finding the imbalances in the body and removing the burden from the body in order for it to function optimally, warding off any cancer on its own.

The cost of treatment, travel and follow up care will be substantial due to the fact that most of the care will not be covered by insurance. Please consider joining this journey with any support you can offer. Whether your support be financial, emotional or spiritual we find peace and comfort in all your love and encouragement!

With all our love,
Jessica's Family

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Fundraiser Updates

Posted on February 25, 2015

Posted on February 25, 2015

Each week I set a personal goal. This week my goal is to focus on being in the present, rather than dreaming of what could be in the future.My whole life, I have been guilty of consistently looking ahead at the good things to come and ways to improve. And while that is not necessarily a bad thing, it can sometimes be a wasted opportunity to be grateful for what already IS wonderful in the present and what already HAS improved.

"Wherever you are, be all there."

I have to remind myself that there was a day in my past that I dreamed of a future day like today. That at one point, I could not hardly sleep until I had a plan to heal my body. Now, I have that plan and I am truly living that plan, but I find myself dreaming of the next step, rather than giving thanks that this day has come. What I am forgetting to do is realize that each of these days (no matter how big or small, difficult or simple) really do matter, and each of these days are days that I will reflect on the future and see as such a blessed time in my life.

Society teaches us to always want bigger, to always want better, and to never stop reaching for more. But in the midst of all of the reaching and striving, we can really lose a sense of just how beautiful life is in the now.

Today, I am utterly thankful for the gift of today. I am thankful for the place I have reached in my journey. I am thankful for the struggles that each day has brought thus far - I see life more clearly because of them.

Day 2 of IPT has come and I tackled it like a champ, which is not something I could have done (with a big smile on my face) without God's immense love and the continous support of all of you. Today I am extremely grateful that God's plan is not in my hands, because I have come to realize that life is so much more amazing when I let go of control.

I also want to express my sincere grattitude for all of the wonderful gifts of the "now" - including everyone currently reading this and supporting me. I still cannot believe the immense amount of support in various forms that I have received. No matter where this road ahead leads, that is something I will truly wake up and cherish each and every day of this journey.

Sending love, sunshine, and gratitude your way,

Jessica Lynn

Posted on February 19, 2015

Posted on February 19, 2015

Hello supporters!

I apologize for the lapse of time. I have revisited my blog a couple times today, thinking that I would have posted by now. I have typed and re-typed multiple ways to thank you all, but nothing seems to do justice as to how sincere my gratitude is. I still feel so genuinely lucky to be able to receive this treatment and I am appreciative of every little thing. It is truly remarkable to see the power behind me with each step that I take on this journey.

A little update about the past week:

  • First of all, it has been insanely busy with a lot of adjustments, both mentally and physically. I feel that I have finally reached the point of acceptance and I am ready to move forward tomorrow with my very FIRST IPT/chemotherapy! I’m not going to sugar coat it. It has not been an easy adjustment from college life into this new lifestyle, but it has forced me to push myself beyond my comfort zone. I grow more and more fascinated each day of treatment at how well the therapies are ALREADY working. Some of the chief therapies that I currently do are IV drips of: vitamin C, vitamin B17, ALA, and blood ozone therapies that oxygenate your blood and rid it of bacteria and fungi (cancer cannot survive in an oxygenated environment). I also do lymphatic drainage, manual lymphatic therapies, colon hydrotherapies, myofascial therapies, and so on. (But I won’t bore you with the explanations of each. Sometimes I have to realize not everyone is quiiiite as fascinated as I am, but when you feel it and see it first hand it is insanely powerful). I am also eating completely raw vegan. Everyone in from the midwest reading this is probably choking at the word “raw” or “vegan” right now haha. I will be the first to admit, it isn’t easy to do when you grow up on meat and potatoes. But I am learning quickly and my body is thanking me for it already. They are great here about teaching you how to prepare the foods and how to incorporate what you love in order to make it a sustainable lifestyle after impatient treatment. (The wildest thing I’ve seen yet might be that even my dad has been eating raw and vegan with me while he is here. Talk about crazy!)
  • My port surgery went well. I have no doubt that it was due to all of the encouragement and prayers I received – thank you for that! I was very afraid of the unknown, but it went well and it is making daily treatments much MUCH easier.
  • We also recieved the results from my PET scan last week. We were pleased to find out that my cancer has NOT metastasized to anywhere else in the body!! Which made me feel like I could really take a deep breath again. However, they did find some metabolic activity in the ovaries. Annnnd suddenly that whole “deep breath” thing went out the window. When I first heard that it was as if my heart had dropped to the bottom of my shoes. But, once I stopped being stubborn and I forced myself back into reality to listen to the doctors, I realized that the activity could be due to a lot of different things, such as healing from my previous surgery to remove the tumors, menstrual activity, or a possibly remaining Recnac. Amazingly, the Insulin Potentiated Therapy/ low dose BEP chemotherapy will target the areas with highest metabolic activity and are they are specific to my recnac type. In addition, all of the lifestyle changes as well as minimizing internal sugar, maximizing internal oxygen, and making my body an alkaline environment are all going to be essential weapons in this fight.
  • Tomorrow is Day 1 of battleand I am armed and ready to attack! I’ve decided to declare my IPT (chemo) days as Insanely Positive Therapy days to pinpoint my recnac cells and get them out of this body ASAP. I am a little nervous, but any unfamiliar thing is a scary at first, simply because you don’t know what to expect. But, I’m convinced that my doctors and nurses have some of the kindest souls around. They do a really wonderful job of keeping me at ease and making each day about furthering the healing process. My greatest asset in this battle comes from above. The big man upstairs and I have become the best of friends and I tell ya what, He really brings a lot of peace into my heart. I remind myself every day that He is the Almighty healer and with Him NOTHING is impossible.

A few of my favorite things about this past week:

– Although this Valentines Day was different in plenty of ways, it was surprisingly the best one yet. Kim, Deek, and I took the day to completely relax in the sun and we went out for (a raw vegan) dinner that evening. I felt so loved the entire day. I received valentines and heart cut outs from Lexi, Jude, and Miles, beautiful flowers from the Bohlke family, an amazing present from Jeremy.

– Having my dad here has been absolutely hilarious and so fun. He adds a whole new dynamic to the treatment center. (Those of you who know Deek know exactly what I am talking about). It’s been awesome to see how involved he is in my healing and also to have some quality father daughter time – even in the kitchen. (I caught him chugging and loving his green smoothie, but he doesn’t know about that yet).

The other patients at treatment often wonder how someone my age got to be in this position and the story of how I got here makes me smile. I tell them how lucky I am to be able to have this opportunity for integrative treatment and how all of the amazing support I have received back home and through social media is part of what got me here. I’m fighting my hardest and I cannot wait to share this vision of health with others in my future.

Sending you my deepest thanks and warmest regards,

Jessica Lynn

Posted on February 6, 2015

Posted on February 6, 2015

Hello my incredible supporters!

We have made it to Mesa! The sunshine and environment here is healing in itself!! Yesterday we spent the day searching and found our new "humble abode" and ended up settling in at a nearby extended stay. The people here are very accomodating of our situation and the energy here is incredible - everyone is so happy :)

Today was the start of my healing journey. I honestly didn't think it was possible to feel any more at peace with my decision, but I was proven wrong when I met my doctors and nurses face to face. They are AMAZING. I also got a chance to meet some of the other patients who were very welcoming and so at peace with their care. 

Tomorrow we dive in a little deeper. I am quickly learning how to channel nervousness into excitement for the road ahead! Tomorrow morning will consist of time with Dr. Lodi, then we will do more therapies, immune IV's, and also get my port placed. If all goes as planned (fingers crossed) I begin the low dose IPT and BEP chemo treatment Monday, which would make Monday technically "Day 1" of treatment! 

A couple of my favorite things about my journey here thus far:
  • I've adapted a new term called "Recnec"- it's just cancer spelled backwards,  the word cancer makes people turn their heads and is associated with so much fear so it's just a little something to take away that power 
  • My RN Steven is hilarious. He pops in and out of my therapies and he has the same sense of humor as I do, he reminds us all of Jeremy and that makes me feel really comfortable. 
  • The concierge at our hotel's name is Jordyn, which reminds me of my roommate Jordyn because she is every bit as friendly. We address each other by name already and she told me we can be Arizona BBFs 
  • Most importantly: Having my mom and my sister here with me has been the biggest blessing for so many reasons, but especially for my spirit. We find every excuse we can to laugh our butts off and enjoy the time spent.
I just want to genuinely and sincerely thank each and every one of you who have joined me on this journey. I am so so so entirely grateful. It is truly incredible to see all of those that have supported me by either sharing the link, reaching out, donating, or writing lovely messages for me. I often reflect on all of the support I have and it keeps me going. This process is incredible and I feel so blessed to have you on my side :)

With love,


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