or die trying

I had prepared myself. Rehearsed the things I would say over & over in my mind, thought of new ones, carefully planning the appropriate metaphors and similes so that even as someone who didn’t have aliens slowly digging their way out of the front of his body as they gestated and came to full explosive maturity, my doctor would be able to clearly understand what it’s like.

If I started getting a bit too happy during the hours leading up to our appointment, I would immediately think of one of the “Lost Dog” fliers I’ve seen posted recently on light posts around my neighborhood, the last one I saw about a week ago having a picture of a happy, smiling Golden Retriever on it.

I swear, I could step over human bodies littered in the street with the only thought being that I hoped that I didn’t get some of the blood or decomposed flesh stuck to my shoe, therefore having to scrape it off on the tattered clothes or face of the next corpse I came across – but show me a picture of a dog who was lost, its home and warmth and everything it knows suddenly gone, and I would sit there staring at it, fighting back tears and memorizing every detail just in the off chance I actually did see it wandering aimlessly around the neighborhood, matted fur, a hungry, confused and terrified look in its eyes as it occasionally stopped, lifted its nose to the air and sniffed, hoping for the faintest scent of home or companion.

I had pictured going into a vicious, swearing rant the second the door to my doctor’s office was closed and we were alone inside, ripping off my umbilical hernia belt, violently lifting my shirt and dropping my pants. “LOOK AT ME! Look at… THIS, this monstrosity that has taken over my life and destroyed my hope, this THING that makes me mentally destroy any chance of a human companion before I even say the first word to a woman I could see myself with, someone to care for and to care for me, someone to give myself to, someone that will again fight like hell to stay alive for because I couldn’t stand the thought of them being alone. THIS DEFORMITY that I do NOT have to live with, do not have to accept, like having my legs cut off or being born with half a face or worse, no sense of style. The surgeon says he’s concerned that I would die if I had the operation, but doesn’t he understand that by NOT performing the procedure just to fucking put my insides back INSIDE that he is condemning me to an existence where every morning I look at myself, every time I wish I could go swimming, every day that it’s warm and I can’t even just wear a fucking t-shirt without having to put on the hernia belt and another shirt to cover that I feel that I would rather be dead? What right does HE have to play god, this spineless, ignorant, self-centered human-shaped Jell-O mold?

Et-cetera, et cetera. Fire & brimstone. The 15 minute scourge of Ward 86 at SFGH. Sure, there may be a bit of hyperbole in all that was said, but it wouldn’t be forgotten. John (my doctor) would cower in the corner, eyes wide and terrified and amidst the indiscernible mutterings of prayer for his safety and futile attempts to calm my tirade, swearing to me that he would relay every word I said to the surgeon, Dr. Mackersie, the second he felt safe enough to come out of the corner and sit at his computer to send an email.

Yeah, it didn’t really happen like that. At all.

The moment the door was shut to his office, he turned to me and with a sorrowful, incredibly caring look on his face said “I read the email you sent to me (see previous post), but… I didn’t know how to reply.”

Wait. What was I thinking? This is my friend, this is the guy who knows me, the guy who cares for me. I quickly fired the original mental director for this performance and brought out a new one. This needed to be a quiet scene, one where I played the much more realistic role of someone entirely drained of the passion for life, someone who, after so many years of holding on desperately to that last thin thread of hope, had finally let it go after John’s email to me saying that the surgeon felt the procedure would be too dangerous to perform.

Though the fact that I wasn’t really playing a role made it much easier, I still should win a goddamn Oscar for it. Sure, I overstated here, embellished there, and inflated some things quite a bit, but when you’re a generally happy person called on to act despondent & dejected so that the emotion of what you actually do feel sometimes is pounded like a stake into the heart of the person you absolutely, unquestionably HAVE to relay it to, a little bit of dramatic license is necessary. After all, HE doesn’t have a scrotum sticking out of HIS belly – but I think I helped him understand what it was like.

And I’m nearly certain that I saw him fighting back a tear or two at times.

The person I showed him truly was me, in every way. In everything said, in everything felt, in every tear that I shed yesterday – but as an adoptee, the very first thing I learned in life as I was taken from my mother’s arms, 15 minutes after I was born, was how to shut down and build nearly impenetrable walls that kept the pain away, so even I don’t know that it’s there, and even less seldom feel it. As least not most of the time. I’ve spent a large part of the last nearly 20 years working on getting behind those walls in a manageable way. When I first began, I went too far to quickly and had I guess what was some kind of break-down, where I was sent home from work & spent the next three days in bed, in a fetal position, trembling, wrapped as tightly as I could get my blanket around me.

Yesterday, I was able to carefully make just the most infinitesimal crack in one of my walls, and bring out only what I needed at the time. I’m not sure if that’s progress on my issues or not, but hell, it worked for what I needed it to, and he had sent an email to the surgeon asking about something he said, and also mentioned looking into a different hospital for the procedure if my insurance covers it. “I don’t want you to have your hopes shattered again if the other hospital also says no.”
“John… they already are.”

He was standing above me, put his hand gently on my shoulder, and sighed in a knowing but somewhat helpless way. I stood up, thanked him for everything he has done, we hugged warmly, and I left with the impression that if he could perform the surgery himself, he just might – knowing that it could kill me, but also knowing that I felt that if I died because someone was at least trying, that would be infinitely better than living the entire remainder of my life with the hernias and pain unendingly growing, knowing that all it would take is one fucking person. One person with enough courage to let me have the chance to live the life I fought so hard to create, then fought again to keep.

All in all, I think the appointment went pretty well – though I would have liked to have the chance to perform that scene where I ripped off my clothes and said “LOOK AT ME! OPEN YOUR EYES AND LOOK! I’M A MONSTER! YOU’RE DOING THIS TO ME!”
But then I would have to hire a completely undetectable camera crew, and I just don’t know where to find one of those for under $20.

Still somewhere inside.

I constructed a monotone voice, did my best to empty my heart. As I waited, I practiced. Tried to center. This time he wouldn’t get me. I wouldn’t let myself go. This time I wouldn’t.
I thought I was prepared. Hell, shutting off was the first thing I had ever learned. I was a quiet baby, they were worried I was “slow” because I didn’t cry. I know this game, written into my heart when they took me from her arms after only 15 minutes with my Mother… but that’s not what this is about.

A serious, somewhat grim look on his face as he comes in. I’m somewhat surprised he doesn’t even acknowledge being three hours late, but easily let it go. Running through my head is that this is the single person that can change my life and for now every thought swims around what I can do to convince him to do this surgery, to make me whole again, to stop the pain both outside and in my heart.

On the table he looks at it again, prying, playing, doing what I do al the time – tucking my intestines back inside of me and wishing they stayed there. It doesn’t work, I know without even looking.

Sitting back up we start talking, a subtle but sincere look of concern on his face as he again explains all that could go wrong and why. I notice that this time there are more reasons. Maybe he prepared.

“Surgeons try not to be executioners.”

“But I’m already dead. This is the one thing that could give me my life back.”

At least, that’s what I tried to say. In the first few words out of my mouth I felt my heart claw its way into my throat, blocking all coherent speech. Everything I wanted to say. I pause for a few seconds, try to talk again. Try to say what I’m feeling. I am frustrated, dismayed that I can’t control myself. Surprised that I hid this pain so fucking well that even I didn’t realize how deep it went, how much stronger than me it is.

I kept trying to talk, to say something that didn’t make me sound completely irrational & controlled by emotion. I kept failing.

But something must have worked. He told me that he would check with a colleague of his at UCSF, a hospital that is one of the best transplant hospitals in the country & much better equipped to perform the surgery. See what he says.

“I’m not saying no.”

Twice he said this, but all I could hear was how far away it was from “yes”.

 

As much as I had hoped to be able to talk, to argue my point rationally, and as much as I had gone over every point in my mind that I needed to bring up to him, I knew even if everything went perfectly he would still see me more as a series of tests and paperwork than as someone who depends on this surgery to get his life back. It’s through no fault of his. We have only met briefly three times, and his job is to judge by the evidence, not emotion.

Knowing this, I woke early yesterday to try to write something that might make him understand the person behind all the tests that scream to his rational mind that I have less than a 1 in 4 chance of living through this – that I am far more than a statistic.

This, along with some words from friends that follow, is what I wrote:

Dear Dr. Mackersie,
Since even before I made another appointment with you last month, I’ve been trying to figure out what to say when we met again. Though I’ve thought of many things, I still have no idea what will actually come out of my mouth. I’ve never felt talking has been one of my strengths – but writing has, so today I give you this in addition to all the emotional blather that I’ll try to say.

When I was only 17 years old, I received a call telling me that I was HIV+. As I’m sure you remember this was at a time when nearly all people who contracted the virus were dead within an average of 18 months.

From that moment on, I lived my life expecting to get sick and die at any time, knowing that it was more than likely that I would. I figured that I would enjoy life while I could, and any future I thought of having – any goals, dreams, school, or anything that would take longer than a year was out of the question. I erased any hope of one day becoming something more, having no choice that I saw but to find a thin contentment in floating from job to job, only working to be able to eat & enjoy whatever time I had left. I eventually made my peace with dying very young.

After over a decade had passed without any health issues, I realized something was wrong – but it seemed too late to do anything about it. It’s difficult to simply change the thinking that you will die any day into understanding the possibility that you might live.

Fast forward to 2004. I was laid off from a job, and at that point decided to find out what would happen if I actually lived a life that I wanted – a life that might mean something, a life that for the first time might have value – not only to me, but perhaps others as well.

It wasn’t easy by any stretch of the imagination, but I refused to give up – and eventually found myself not only loving the life I had fought so hard to create, but for the first time ever, truly loving myself.

Had I not experienced that incredible life, I have little doubt that I would have given up like so many other people in the hospice. There were two primary things that kept me fighting so hard: finding my Birth Mother who I had been searching for most of my adult life, and returning to become the person I loved again – performing, sharing myself, inspiring & making others happy. There is no greater gift I had ever been able to give, and it is, literally, what I lived for.

The way you are able to improve people’s lives with your hands & knowledge, that’s what I did with my dreams, creativity, & body.
Now imagine if (gods forbid) there was an accident, and your hands were hurt. There was an experimental operation that you could have performed, but it was risky – it would either restore them so they were of use again & you could continue helping & saving others, or they would be completely dead & useless at the end of your arms.
What would you choose to do?

Many years ago I made complete peace inside my heart with death, and that holds strong to this day. That, however, was a physical death. I didn’t count on a situation that would eventually blacken my spirit & heart, and over the past few years, gradually but steadily, that is what has been happening to me. The immense & beautiful love for life that I had is slowly being extinguished, as I can’t live the life I fell in love with anymore – or be that person.

A couple days ago I asked if there was anyone willing to write a few words to you so you might see how important this is to me in case I didn’t get it right. A couple of old friends wrote the words below.

I need to get my ass in gear now if I want to make it to our appointment on time, so I can’t read over what I’ve written – but please take it for what it’s worth, and I trust that you will hopefully understand how much this means to me – and the power you have to change my life entirely.

Thank you for reading.
With respect, hope, and a bit of groveling,
~ Casey Porter

~ ~ ~

Hello…
My name is Carolyn Jepsen and I am here to write about Casey Porter.  I know that you and he are meeting soon to discuss surgery and I would like to say a few words on Casey’s behalf.

Truthfully, I am not quite sure where to begin this note.  I cannot imagine the decision that sits with each one of you and do not envy either position.  I can only tell you what I know, which is that I trust Casey.  I trust his instinct, I trust his strength and his will.  I trust his creativity and his unbelievable capacity to fight.  Casey is someone who knows better than to live as fully and beautifully as possible.

I met him back in 2004, oh-so-briefly, as he spearheaded the performance end of a Dresden Dolls DVD shoot.  He was vibrant and full – I had never met such a force in my entire life.  A professional artist wrangler, stilt walker, fire-breather…simply put, an outrageous tornado of art and joy.  His example stayed with me and remains to this day.

In the last few months, I have read and listened to Casey’s words as he has detailed a sort of spiritual and creative death.  For an energy such as his, there could be nothing worse.

As I’m sure you already know, the miracle of Casey is that he lived through death.  He walked out of that hospice on his own two feet, then went out into the world to keep right on living vibrantly, passionately and fully.  He healed himself as he lives – on his own terms.

I don’t know the odds that this surgery holds, but like I said earlier, I do know that I trust Casey.   I believe him when he says that he understands the potential consequences.  I believe him when he says that, for him, this is more than worth the risk.  He sees this surgery as his best shot at reconnecting to his heart and spirit – to the self that he fought so hard to fall in love with.  I believe he has earned that shot and as you consider whether or not to give it to him, I hope that you will consider this: Casey Porter knows what to do with a chance at a greater life.  He won’t waste it.

Thank you.

~ ~ ~

Dear (Dr, Mackersie),

I understand your hesitation with my brother’s surgery and the complications that may arise. I work as a surgical tech for LAC+USC trauma and I know the risks. But this beautiful man has been on deaths door and spit in its face. He has the miraculous spirit that will not give up, and that is why it’s been so painful for me to read his posts over the past year, watching his spirit fade. Casey is strong and tenacious, and I know you can work miracles to vastly improve his quality of life.
Please. I believe in him, and you.

Warmly,
Cat Colegrove

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In writing this, I’ve come to an understanding. A remembering, so to speak.
Since I started walking this life of dreams, I have never let anything get in my way. I never let anything stop me.

Though the circumstances are different, I need to remember that through it all, and as well as I may hide it – I’m still that person who will never quit.

 

Far more than one life…

They didn’t think it could be done. That I could live.

They tried, though. Gods, how they tried – but after the drugs that didn’t help, all the lotions & prescriptions & visits from some of the Nations best specialists, all there was left was changing the dressings, tons of morphine, and the sadness & frustration & saw behind their smiles.


– Then, we took over. Me – and all of you. Not willing to die, having so much more I dreamed of doing, I decided to fight – but knew there was no way I could do it alone. I found friends who believed in me, who kept me fighting even during the numerous times I wanted to give up.
When I was up to my nostrils sinking in the thickness of the swamp, you threw me a rope – and we all pulled as hard as we could.

The financial support you sent so I could afford the herbs & nutritious foods I needed was always SO much more than that to me – far more than just money. It was a gift of love, of belief that I *could* win, and every single contribution I have received from that time has never failed to fill my heart & renew my spirit. Every single gift was another strong pull on the rope to help release me from the pit that, without you, I would have died in by now.


I can never thank you enough for what you have done, and gods, we have come SO incredibly close to pulling me free! The fight now isn’t to pull me through the molasses-thick sludge of the swamp, but with a few more pulls finally lift me on to solid land – finally *curing* the cirrhosis – and with it, all of the symptoms I’ve been fighting from pulling me back down…

But the fight has been going on a long time. I’ve been pulling like hell, as you have – and we’re both tired, I know… but it seems as if nearly everyone who was helping to pull decided that it wasn’t worth the effort, dropped the rope, and walked away – except for a couple people, and of course, myself.

I’ve fought like fucking hell, every single day for six years & one month to get this far – and as exhausted as I am, solid land and *health* – and finally after all this time being able to live a nearly normal (for me) life again is within reach, and closer than it has EVER been – but the fight is still as hard as it was in the beginning, and I still need your support – otherwise all the effort we have put in will have been for nothing.
WE CAN STILL WIN, and it’s SO incredibly close – but I still need you.
So again, I plead with you: pick up the rope, and pull for me.

won’t let go. I can’t. It’s my health and my LIFE that I am fighting for

Thank you so VERY much for all you have done so far – we’ve done what the Doctors didn’t believe was possible already by cheating death – so let’s show them how strong we REALLY are, and reverse my cirrhosis. When we do – then I can show others how to do the same, and save their lives.

Paypal: ksea@culturefluxmagazine.com
PLEASE.
Love,
~ Casey

A decision that could either kill or heal…

(Five minute read.)

Something needs to change.
There are many nights, laying in the same room, same bed for the past four years… many nights, after I close my book & turn off the light, before I shut my eyes and I give myself over to randomness of thought, it’s at these times when it all seems so unreal and it feels as if I’m only a rough sketch, indiscernible, an extra in the life I once starred in.
I seem to have forgotten who I am again. Who I was. Who I want to be.
The fight drains out of me, the passion for life I once had has been lost along the way, replaced by the fight not to die. They’re not the same in any way, I’ve found.

One keeps the mind engaged, excited, learning how to get past the challenges and constantly growing, becoming more, creating anything out of nothing.

The other is just fighting to stay well – being reminded that I’m sick every single time I need to ask for help, seldom being able to escape that as the focus of my primary existence.

Each morning and night I do a meditation, one that focuses on repairing my liver & giving thanks for another day. This meditation helps – I am certain beyond doubt that is what played a large role in surviving when I was in the hospice…
Yet each time I have to ask for financial help to get herbs, it rips that apart and I need to spend days building up the nerve to ask again, all the while thinking of what will happen if I don’t ask.

But having to ask, having to focus all my thoughts on what is killing me, is perhaps the main reason that it’s taking so long to get better, to get *well* – so after this, I won’t be asking anymore.

There’s a vicious battle inside of me each time the herbs begin to run out and I want more than anything to simply be able to throw them all away or give them to someone else, and as I begin to die again I have this vision, this dream of finally being able to live life, even if only for a short time. No research on what would keep me healthy because it wouldn’t matter anymore, finding the passion I once had to LIVE and make every minute count, knowing that they were quickly ticking off…

But I can’t do that. I made commitments – to myself, and a very few of my older friends – the people that shared parts of my life besides just occasionally, accidentally seeing me “out”…
Now, the battle is with myself. I need to figure out how to make life feel real again – and I know exactly where to start.

The cirrhosis is what is killing me – the cause of every symptom, from the swelling to the anemia to the severe lack of energy, and all the pain & discomfort those bring. There are herbs that, if taken regularly, will be able to reduce the cirrhosis to the point where my liver does what naturally comes to it & rebuild itself, repair itself – but those are the herbs I can’t regularly afford.
I’m slowly dying for one reason and one reason alone – I can’t afford to live.

But – I can’t ask for your help anymore either.

In no way does this mean I won’t continue to need the herbs and your help just as much – but I also know the power the mind has over the body, and my mind has to think thoughts of getting well again instead of describing over & over to you what will happen without the herbs I need in hopes to inspire you to help me.

To put it simply, one last time – without the herbs to keep the cirrhosis from getting worse, without the herbs taken on a strict, regular basis to help heal it – I will die.

unconscious for nearly two weeks. Hooked up to All of the fancy machines, and the one that goes "BEEP!"

unconscious for nearly two weeks. Hooked up to All of the fancy machines, and the one that goes “BEEP!”

SnapShot(3)

I will still desperately need your help – it’s what HAS kept me alive this entire time – well, that and the shitload of will I have inside of me *not* to die – you just aren’t going to hear about it anymore.
I can’t expect to get better when all I do is whine about being sick, in pain, and terrified… so I leave it up to you now. You won’t hear anymore from me regarding being sick after this. I’m putting myself in a fragile position, but I can’t help but think it is for the best. For all of us.

One more time, My Paypal address: kSea@CultureFluxMagazine.com

The GoFundMe page a friend set up is at: https://www.gofundme.com/fightingkflux 

So finally, I will be writing about other things again. The things I used to write about. The beauty I see, the magick all around us, and yes, silly observations about daily life in general.
I’m looking forward to that.

I love you – be well…
And PLEASE, Share this – and if you can, support this goal I have of getting well, not just… not just not dying.

Until again,
~ Casey

P.S. – To those who have written me privately or commented on posts saying that I inspire them to fight through their illness, please keep doing so. Continue to ask me questions, continue to stay in contact, and above all, continue to fight – but the above is the best advice I think I can give to anyone; focus on your LIFE, not what is preventing you from living it in the fullest way you can.

 

Enough is Enough/The Scourge

(PLEASE take a minute & read to the end to realize how far we’ve come. Thank you! ~ C)

I would much rather be talking about something like my book sales (soon!), amount of people the book has helped, or Bernie’s lead in the polls when I say “It just keeps getting bigger!” – and I have little doubt that soon I will be able to say it about those things, but unfortunately in this case, I’m not. I’m talking about something so revolting, so unnecessary, and something that could either continue to be the scourge of my existence, haunting my every moment with it’s curse & making every possible romantic interest run away screaming in revulsion – or simply be fixed in a couple hours, letting me live the life I (we) have fought so hard for over the past years.

Yeah, I’m talking about my godsdamned umbilical hernia. It grows. It laughs at me. Even the old beat up truss I use can’t contain it anymore. (It keeps slipping down.)

20160322_113013[1]

It now has a new addition – a permanent “band aid”. Due to the constant chafing on my shirt, regardless of how tight I make the truss each morning, I have an open wound the size of a dime that simply refuses to heal… but there MAY be good news, just around the corner.

In 6 days, I FINALLY go in for a surgery consultation, and this is the point where they decide if they will perform the surgery necessary to make everything right again.

It’s absurd how (I’ve let) something as dumb as this has taken so much control over my enjoyment of life.

There are a few reasons that they wouldn’t agree to perform the surgery as far as I know, which are too much fluid in my abdomen, platelets so low that they would be afraid that I’ll never stop bleeding until the pump shuts down, or they’re curious to see what it looks like when a person’s guts come popping out of his belly like one of those “party popper” things with the streamers that we shoot in people’s hair.
I’m pretty sure we can cancel out the later though, as hell – this is SFGH, and I’m SURE they’ve seen their fair share of guts not neatly tucked into the body where they belong.

In order to have the best chance of not having either of the other two make them deny my surgery however (brief pause for AWWWwww! Ruby’s having a tail-wagging dream right now!)

Anyway, as I was saying, in order to have the best chance of getting my intestines back where they belong so I don’t have to deal with the daily physical pain & all the other stuff – I need your help. Again.

I’ve been taking over twice the dose of the herbs that will help (due to my poorly functioning liver & mal-absorption of everything, it’s necessary) and ran out, just a couple days ago. Already, the fluid is building up, my abdomen & legs are beginning to swell, and the pain and pressure builds.

As I’m sure you can imagine, even if you’re on of the few who haven’t been there, it’s horribly demeaning to still have to ask for help. Through most of my life, as broke as I’ve been, I’ve almost always – ALWAYS found a way to make it work out, save for a few past emergencies. Even though each time I feel like I take every bit of my dignity & throw it out the window – I have no choice other than to plead for you to help me in this fight again.

My paypal addy is ksea@culturefluxmagazine.com

The good news is that we ARE winning! There are quite a number of herbs that I’ve been able to cut down on or quit altogether, and the physical difference in me from just a couple of months ago is incredible. I have more energy, can put my shoes & socks on without needing to contort myself in strange ways just to reach my feet, and no more pools of blood or fluid from scratching off the tiniest scab. You ARE making a HUGE difference in my life, and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

So please, if you can, I need your financial support to get rid of this damned hernia! We’re getting so incredibly close to what you’ve all been helping me reach for – let’s keep on making this dream come true – and THANK YOU!

That address once again – ksea@culturefluxmagazine.com

Love love love,

~ Casey

20160322_112919[1]

More To Do

(I know – this is a bit long for the anti-attention society these days – but I would appreciate if you read it & got the *whole* story. Far too often I talk with people who only know a little – because they only read a little, yet think they know all that’s happening. Nearly the whole story *is* in these pages, but you only get it if you take a couple extra minutes to read the posts in their entirety.)

I first heard of it 15 months ago. Some amazing new drug, with almost no side effects and a 95% success rate of curing Hepatitis-C.

This was a far cry from the Interferon therapy that we – John (my doctor) Val, my Hep-C advocate & I – tried a few years ago, long before the 18 months I spent in the hospice. That was one of the worst nightmares I have gone through with any drug – not only effecting me physically, but as an added bonus some very serious thoughts of cracking the head open of anyone walking too slow in front of me… and frequently of suicide.
I had given up on you. All of you.

I used to wonder how long it would take someone to find me in my motorhome, if anyone would even notice I was dead. None of my “friends” ever called or checked in just to say hello, and my thinking was twisted to feeling as if I already was dead – it was difficult to find any reason not to make it just a little more real. At least the pain in my heart would likely be gone…
Thankfully, after three straight months of this they weren’t getting the results the wanted, and I was taken off the Interferon – otherwise it would have been another year & three months, and deep inside, I knew that I wasn’t strong enough to make it through. Every time it entered my mind, ending everything made so much more sense. If they were too busy to call, they didn’t have the right to miss me… but I couldn’t let John & Val down. They had cared so much over the years, tried so hard – and now it was time to try again.

After 6 months of battle with the insurance companies, I was finally authorized to try this new drug, Harvoni. Six months, one pill a day, and I made them swear – minimal side effects.

They were true to their word.

After six months on Harvoni and another three to make certain it was effective, I got my final blood tests back this past Wednesday – and I am officially cured of Hepatitis-C.
When John called to tell me the news, I didn’t have the heart to tell him what I really feel – that this is an empty victory. That the damage has been done. Being cured of Hep-C at this point means nearly nothing. While the virus caused the problems, they are their own entity. Hep-C was the gun – but the bullet caused the destruction.

I still need to take the herbs daily, still need to watch my diet & eat the best things possible – but now there is a new fight, a new goal. One Western Medicine says isn’t possible – but Western medicine also calls me a “miracle” for coming out the other side of the hell I went through, and should be dead.

I’m alive because *you* didn’t give up on me.

I’m not a miracle more than anyone else is – I just chose to believe that I WOULD live – and now, I choose to believe that I WILL reverse the cirrhosis, and have a healthy liver. No ascites, edema – and when I accomplish that, I’ll be able to inspire others to know that it IS possible – and show them how *I* did it. Even if what I do doesn’t work for them, at least they will know that it is possible – and if they let me, I intend to be there for them as LIVING proof. As I didn’t have anything like that, they will already have an advantage over me, and because of that, I am ecstatic.

But at least for now, I still need your help. You’ve kept me alive this long, and because of you (& that “being alive thing) I was able to finally find my Birth Mother – and now, the book is in high gear and I’m fucking THRILLED.

Thanks to a dear friend in Amsterdam (who I have never met – yet) I was able to afford some critical things I needed for the creation of the Kickstarter, help building an author website, and of course, herbs & good food – *even* one of the most important things for my spirit, which was getting out and being around friends and a trip to visit my Mother.

Now, I need *your* help again, if you can. If you’re still willing, if you want to see just how far I can take this. I am GOING to reverse the cirrhosis – but I need the specific herbs to do that with.

If you can – please help. My paypal is ksea@culturefluxmagazine – and I will be grateful for anything to help me achieve this – to conquer the final thing that they say I can’t.

Thank you again, & again.

I love you.

~ Casey

To do it right…

I’ve been playing a dangerous game. Cutting corners, taking far less than I know I should in order to stretch it all just a little bit further, keeping a close eye on it all, noticing everything that was okay or about to go wrong, and hoping it wasn’t too late to fix.

I watched my legs begin to swell, and instead of taking more herbs to fix it I opened them up, draining the fluid that way. A tiny hole in each ankle a couple hours before I went to sleep, that’s all – but the fluid that was built up continued to flow all through the night, saturating the towels I had stacked underneath. Even when I was woken up with my legs cramping I let them continue until the morning, when I finally put a small drop of super-glue on each to staunch the flow. It’s the only thing that works, when the skin begins to dry & wrinkle & feel thin as paper.

It’s a foolish way to achieve what I needed to, I know that – but it kept me from needing to ask for help at least a little bit longer.

Now, I need to. Nearly ALL of my herbs are down to the last, and I have no money to get the foods I need or more coconut water for effective hydration.

Again, I need help – but hey, even though I did it the wrong way, at least it’s been over a month since I last asked!

Meanwhile, I’m continuing to work diligently on what I can give you – my book. Right now, it’s the only way I can repay the energy you share with me – but I AM getting better, and as I continue to – as I continue to work on getting my strength & health back, there will be more & more things I will be able to offer…

So if you can, please help. That leaky-leg crap – well, I’d like to avoid it in the future & do this *RIGHT.

I can’t thank you enough for all of your help – but I’m sure as hell trying, even if it’s simply passing it forward by giving old clothes & boots & blankets to the people who need them in my neighborhood… I do what *I can.

My paypal addy is ksea@culturefluxmagazine.com – and whether you can or can’t help, that doesn’t matter – I’m still going to love you.
To your health! (& mine),

~ Casey (kSea flux)