Survivor Stories / Tributes

C.J. Armstrong

Personal Description:

Personal Description:

I am a 38 years old cancer survivor who is very happily married to my very best friend and soul mate where we live in San Jose, CA with our Sheltie “Blue Belle” and our Manx cat Tonto.
Most people would consider me to be a hard headed modern hippie; a very avid supporter of good karma and doing good things for others in life while promoting peace. I live by the Golden Rule “Treat others how you would want to be treated”. Life is way too short to be disgruntled or to feel hatred for others; so when you are sitting in traffic and the person in front of you drives too slow or just makes you mad; always remember that person’s life is worth waiting for.

I have Stage IIIc Ovarian Cancer and am fighting it with all my might. I was diagnosed with this dreadful disease on Nov. 15th, 2002. What a nightmare that was to wake up to. I was only going in for a routine surgery to remove a cyst on my right ovary. While I was slowly awaking from that surgery, I kept hearing nurses and doctors saying, “it’s Ovarian Cancer stage 3″. I kept thinking, “gee, I hope they aren’t talking about me.” I would go to sleep and wake up, hoping that it was all just a bad dream.

When I finally did wake up, I saw this bright light in my face and then as my eyes focused slowly on my finance; he was standing right over my bed smiling at me gently holding the engagement ring that he had given to me when he had first proposed to me nearly six months before. The ring was placed neatly in the beautiful wooden box that it came in and it was open so that I could see it sparkling in the light. He just told me that he didn’t care that I would never bare his children and that he loved me more than anything. It was as if he already knew that he was in for the fight of his life. Just hearing those words made me feel so much better about the dire situation; it also warmed my heart.

Instead of focusing on this horrible, horrible situation; I got to plan my special wedding. My husband and I had originally planned to get married in April, of 2003, but that soon changed. We were married on December 3rd, 2002 just 2 days before my very 1st chemo treatment of Taxol & Carboplatinum and just 9 days after being released from the hospital. I still had on my special surgical tape from that innitial surgery as the staples were taken out just the day before the wedding. We felt the need to be strong together so that we could beat this terrible disease together, hand in hand. What a roller coaster ride that was and it still kinda is.

We are what soul mates are often consisted of; parallel similarities in how we both grew up and the amount of fun we always seem to have together. We have gone through a lot in those nearly 6 years of marriage. We went through 3 more major surgeries after that one, a few handfuls of near death experiences, many, many trips to the emergency room, and also many trips to Tahoe for some nice deep powder, trips to the beach, concerts, and we even bought a home together.

Despite having had 4 major abdominal surgeries, I still have a good quality of life and I sure love it! I still feel incredibly lucky and am thankful for everyday that I am given. I was incredibly fortunate enough to have had 3 and half years of being cancer free,.

The Curse did return in April of 2006. I had started back on Chemo in August of 2006 and I was told that I will remain on chemo indefinitely (for the rest of my life or as long as my body can take it). I was very lucky to be on new drug called Avastin which is made by Genentech. It didn’t make my hair fall out while it deprived the tumors of much needed blood supply. In May 2007 I was taken off the drug due to some internal bleeding and some painful bowel blockages.

UPDATE: I just finished some more heavy duty chemo (more Avastin and Etoposide pills) for which I started in August 2008. I took 3 and half months off of work and just focused on healing.

I am still enjoying every waking moment of living! Granted my hair was and was expected to fall out and it didn’t; just thinned out just a little bit. I was able to donate my long hair to “Locks of Love” back in May 2008 (all 16″). I’m still fighting!

Right now I am on a chemo break and we are trying to find out how much damage has been done to my intestines. So yes, my key to life is “Right Now”. If you are up for finding out more about my daily adventures, please feel free to visit my blog often (http://shoppingkharma.blogspot.com).

Warning: my blog is not meant for the faint hearted as it does come from my deep within my heart much like this website; however it does describes in great detail the pain that I often suffer from, politics, and much more. It might be too controversial for most, but it is honest and real.

Last updated on: 03/10/2009


Comments:

Thank you for sharing your story. You are indeed amazing and I am so glad that you won’t give up and give in to this dreaded disease. I am praying for you and all the others on this website. I too am a survivor of fallopian cancer and diagnosed last year. Chemo is not fun but it does keep your life ongoing. Thank you for your honesty and your authenticity. I hope you will win this war against oc and pray that God will give you the strength to endure it.

Sue Sears – 06/03/2009

how was your cancer classified was it low grade serous carcinoma my daughter was diagonosed stage#3 please e mail delisdn@aol.com

denise delise – 09/01/2010

That’s really thinking out of the box. Tanhks!

Hester Hester – 06/02/2011

That takes us up to the next level. Great poistng.

Spud Spud – 01/23/2012

First you should call to see if she needs ayhintng . . she probably will say no . .but than offer to bring her a meal or buy groceries or even do yard work for her. Tell her that you have been reading her journal and want to make sure that she has nothing else to worry’ about for the weekend . . if she has children offer to babysit . . . also . . sometimes the only thing someone in her situation needs is to hear that you care . . so hand deliver or send her a beautiful card or note. She will appreciate your attempts . . and that is all you can really do.

Brenda Brenda – 03/29/2012