my mom

my mom
a picture of my mother first diagnosed in 2000

Friday, December 31, 2010

Mother's keeper

I finally saw the movie My Sister's Keeper, I admit I've been avoiding it because it would remind me of the pain my mother's pain. Which it did it reminded me of how my mother sounded yesterday after chemo. She tries so hard to be strong even when she's in pain. I'm glad I watched it. Lately I've felt as if I've been falling apart, because no matter who I call no one calls me back. The movie also gave me a glipse of what a donor actually goes through. I didn't realize the extent of being a donor, but 6 days to recover vs giving my mother more time to live is worth anything I would have to endure. At the end, the sister says she thought her purpose in life was to save her sister, but at the end she realized she was blessed to have had a sister. That line struck me so hard I had to rush into my bathroom, lock the door, and sobb uncontrollably to the point where you begin to want to throw up. After going through a box of tissue, I realized I am fortunate to have a wonderful, strong, confident mother. Which is why I refuse to let her go. I can't imagine living without her. You could say I'm Cameron Diaz' character. I refuse to stop trying. I know the day will come when my mom will tell me she's ready and its time to say goodbye, but until that day I will not stop fighting and trying. I'm my mother's keeper and I will have hope that a miracle will happen. A cure will be found and save her life. My mother's keeper I am, my mother's keeper I will always be.

Food for thought...

I had a conversation with my uncle from Kansas about cancer. His wife (my aunt) has breast cancer, my grandma and him couldn't understand how my mother could have gotten diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 33. All types of cancer run in our family history. But its hard to accept it when someone has it at the prime of thier life. I made the comment that our food has a lot to do with so many diseases in the world. We are what we eat. We eat food with steroids, chemicals, preservatives over the course of our entire life. I think its because of our food we end up so sick. I dont know if that is correct its just my opinion. But I learned some interesting facts last night from my uncle about slaughter houses, what cows, pigs, and chickens eat. But I'm happy we share similar opinions on how much the food we eat impacts us. I wish I could go more into details but I'm sure I'll offend someone, so I rather leave it as food for thought and for those who read this to make thier own opinion. Makes me grateful that I've changed most of my eating habits to organic, gluten free, vegan, and vegitarian. Still working on changing my mom's eating habits, but she's warming up to it. I can't reverse the damage that has been done, but I can do all I can to repair it. Wish I could go more into details about the food we eat, but I rather you decide. I'll post some links soon so you see for yourself as well as the dangerous effects of it as well.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Dear Santa

Dear Santa, I do not ask for much this Christmas. All I ask for is to give my mother a bill of good health. Please give us good news and let her be in remission so she can continue to live a normal life. I've done good deeds that I wish I could cash in if it meant it would make her cancer free. Even if it means I could never ask for anything else for the rest of my life. This is all I want. I want her live to be 100, which I know she will argue on that. Can't hurt to ask. Yours truly, Shelly Eli :)

God at work

I meant to post this yesterday when it happened but got sidetracked lol. It looks like both God and Buddha have heard my prayers and meditations. I met an older man while waiting at sam's club who have a wealth of knowledge about stem cell research and even attended seminars at UC Irvine. It was interesting because he gave me an inch of hope and something to look forward to. I can only hope it will be soon.

God at work

I meant to post this yesterday when it happened but got sidetracked lol. It looks like both God and Buddha have heard my prayers and meditations. I met an older man while waiting at sam's club who have a wealth of knowledge about stem cell research and even attended seminars at UC Irvine. It was interesting because he gave me an inch of hope and something to look forward to. I can only hope it will be soon.


When I was a teenager my momma always said "family is the most important and sometimes all we have to help us get through or bail us out of things". Of course being a miss know it all I didnt take her seriously. I assumed it was her way of saying she didnt like my friends. I realize now she was right. Moms have that way of always knowing. I can honestly say that one thing I am grateful for this Christmas is our family. They are arriving today to help us celebrate Christmas. My mom has been busy as a bee getting ready she has something to be excited about, something to live for and that makes me happy :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Are we living or are we existing...?

I feel like my words are just as anything else in the world... empty. I created this blog to help my mother fight against ovarian cancer, yet it seems as though we are the only ones out there with this disease. I recently heard someone say are we living or are we existing... and my answer to this is, I wish I was living life more often, but I've managed to settle into this comfortable routine where I simply just exist in the world. If it were up to me, life would be perfect. But we all know that's not the case. The truth is I'm not proud of just existing. It seems that when I was a teenager, I lived more. Once I entered into adulthood, that youthfulness left me and reality made me conform to just existing. We never know when our time here on earth will end, but one thing in life is certain; death. With each passing day, I realize that I should be a better daughter, mother, and friend. I only wish that my mother could enjoy life more, when she's in treatments all she does is sleep. Luckily, when she's not in treatments, she's all over the place. If only there was a way to make it all go away... maybe since Christmas is around the corner, I should ask Santa to help me out.... just maybe. Wishful thinking if it was really all that easy. For now I'll just have to keep reminding myself "Am I living or am I just existing?"

The search continues...

Trying to track down doctors is not the easiest especially when they are big wigs. I finally tracked down my mom's previous doctor. He was honored as one of the best doctors in america. His work in oncology has been remarkable, always setting the bar for new procedures. I finally tracked him down and am awaiting a phone call from him any day now. I also hunted down the doctor who orinally diagnosed my mother. Dr. Marc is an angel to my mother, who always shows him how grateful she is for saving her life December 25, 2010. Recently she baked him her famous carrot cake, thats my mom's way of making sure he gets his daily intake of veggies and fruits. Not that Dr. Marc cares, he loves her carrot cake. So in a nutshell, she spoils him with food. Both doctors are from USC, and Dr. Burnett actually was Dr. Marc's teacher. Funny how things work out. Now its just a matter of waiting for calls back. For now, the search continues to save my mother's life.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Let me start by saying that I started this blog because I want to save my mother's life. I need to save her life. My mother was first diagnosed December 25, 2010. I thank God and Dr. Melnik for saving her life that day. We have been fortunate and very blessed to have had some of the world's best doctors in my opinion. They are part of the reason she is alive today. I admit I'm not the one to show emotion around her. Lord knows my mother and I argue that I should express my feelings, cry, scream, etc when her condition doesn't get better. This coming from a person who doesn't like to show how much she's suffering inside, always the tough attitude. You know what they say like mother like daughter. I am definately my mother's daughter. And Lord knows she will kill me for writing this blog, but I guess I'll deal with it when the time comes or until she finds out about this blog. But the bottom line is that I love my momma. I am I guess like most kids, we take our parents for granted, never give them their due justice, and believe they will always be there for us. I guess yesterday was my final straw. I called my mother to tell her I was coming by to visit and the sound of her voice scared me. I have never heard my mother in so much pain two days after chemotherapy. Her moans of pain gave me a heavy dose of reality. It was time to face the truth that I had been running away from. She's sick and I can't do anything to help. The feeling of helpless didn't sit right in my stomach. I knew I had to do something. I couldn't just sit there and pretend everything will be alright. Not after seeing her the way I did last night. My mother calls it hibernation to get ready for the Christmas party. I call it, something is not right and something needs to be done. Thanks to technology, I googled on my phone all night looking for ideas. Then I remembered my coworker's ex husband has lukemia and got stem cell replacement and it's working. So I thought why not? I researched all night for stem cell research and ovarian cancer. I realized is soooo much being done to help find a way to stop ovarian cancer. And then I thought, could it be possible since I have a similar DNA pattern to my mother, could I give up some of my stem cells to help repair her damaged cells? Yale University has been doing a lot of ground breaking discoveries with stem cells and ovarian cancer. They may have discovered what causes the cancerous cells to massively reproduce and return. Two kinds of proteins produced. The lightbulb went on inside my head, why can't my mother and I be test subjects. If they take that knowledge and stop it, could my stems cells help produce clean and cancerous free cells. I realize there may be more complexities, but the point is, is it possible? Most would say just be there for her, be supportive, that's all you can do. I don't accept that. Granted this may sound crazy, but honestly, what would any of us do? What would you do if your mother was sick and there was no cure? Would you give up? Or would you fight? If there was an opportunity to save her life would you do it? What would any of us do to save our mother's life? The way I look at it is this, my mother has always been there for me. When I went to the Army, she put up yellow ribbons on every tree on our street to show her hope and love for me while I was away. She didn't have to do that. She chose to do that. As I'm choosing to do this for her. As long as there is hope, I will continue to fight alongside my mother until her heart stops beating.

P.S. I will post up the articles I have found so far soon.