Gonna Keep a-Swingin’, Baby, I’m a Real Wild Child

Woohoo, these last two months have been great!

I’ve managed to fit in some amazing experiences considering my current chemo schedule of one week on & one week off.

My week on chemo looks something like this:

Two days of fasting, which means only drinking water, whereby I slowly descend into my cave with growing fatigue. On the 3rd day of fasting I drag myself up to the hospital. The nurses access the port on my chest to administer pre-meds including anti-nausea medication and steroids. My mouth feels dry and I start to feel sick then the chemo is hung and slowly dripped into my body for around three hours. I stretch out on my reclining chair, cover myself with my blanket and cover my face with my floppy hat. I doze and avoid communication as the steroids make me feel really weird. I then have a pump attached to my port which will administer more chemo into my body at home. My dad picks me up and takes me home where I go straight to bed and lie there In a vegetative state, like slowly waving sea grass, until the pump starts beeping 24 hours later. This is my signal to start drinking juice. My mum juices fruit for me and, with the sugar waking up my cells and system, I quickly ascend out of my vegetative state, ready to face the world and rejoin the human race. I quickly feel stronger I am taken back to the hospital whereby the pump is removed and I am free! It takes another two to three days of juicing, eating fruit and salad before I can eat normally and then, over the next week, I get stronger and I am able to enjoy my life. My week off chemo allows me to do all the things I enjoy, as well as my chores, only to descend into my chemo cave again the following week. It surely is a gruelling schedule..

This is where I got the inspiration for my combined fasting and chemo method from: https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/

This month on my week off I flew to Melbourne where I met up with dear old friends and saw the one and only Iggy Pop! He has been an icon for me since I was a teen and the concert hall reverberated with explosive excitement as he cavorted around the stage like a 20 year old. What a legend! Here are some snaps and footage from the weekend.

This month has also seen me getting together with a wonderful photographer https://www.jasondeplater.com/ in order to take photos for my new album campaign. We had a great time making use of locations in and around my parents house in the south of Sydney. The new album is a very personal work with much of the inspiration stemming from experiences in childhood, so we thought the locations should reflect that – and, of course, I have had immense inspiration from living in my van.

I continue to amplify my healing using meditation and enjoyed another weekend retreat with the Brahma Kumari in The Blue Mountains north of Sydney. I can’t express my gratitude at the opportunity to unwind in such a beautiful location and spend time with wise and generous people.

I was recently asked to give a talk at a fasting seminar by Greg and Dawn Fitzgerald at http://www.healthforlife.com.au Greg asked me to explain to his audience about my experiences in combining chemo and fasting. The audience of around 100 people cheered as I announced that my most recent CT results showed no sign of the rectal tumour. It seems to have vanished!! Woo hoo!! I GOT THE POWER!!

And of course no blog post would be accomplished without a trip to the hospital.. I’ve had a further infection in my liver from the operation so here I am making use of my time by writing to you all.

love and warmth from the bottom of my ♥️. Chat soon.

Eliza xx

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Feeling Better

Hello & welcome back 🙂

This is the lookout where I go running near to my parents house in Sydney. I’ve been coming here all my life. My infant school is only 10 minutes walk from here through the bush. Isn’t it lush.. ❤ ❤iSF603-g.jpeg

I hope you are all well and enjoying our beautiful and complicated world. I have been feeling much better over the last couple of months. It has taken me a few chemo cycles to get on top of things but, as you can see, I’m back on track!

I have continued fasting with my chemo & am feeling some good results. The nerve pain from the rectal tumour has almost completely subsided and I am no longer on pain killers and, on my week off chemo, I am bushwalking and running in the National Park. I have started back on my yoga and resistance training and continue with daily meditation. I went to a meditation retreat in the Blue Mountains last weekend. Here are some snaps:

And LOOK! NO DRAINS!!

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Unfortunately, as I explained in my last post, I have 4 new tumours in my liver which are inoperable. My surgeon explained that because of my strange liver anatomy due to the surgery there’s no way he can know where the bile ducts are and so would not feel confident in being able to avoid them during surgery. My best option at the moment is to remain on chemo and continue to support my health with good food, relaxation, rest and exercise and of course love & hugs ❤

Buying veggies at the local organic market:

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In hospital getting hooked up to chemo today:

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I am currently making plans to release my new record. Keep your eyes out for the next post with more exciting details!

Massive love Eliza xx

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A Complicated Xmas

Hello dear friends,

I am receiving lots of correspondence from you guys asking about how I’m doing so I thought I’d give you a pre Xmas update. Its wonderful to feel so loved ♥️ thanks for all the best wishes, prayers, support and contributions to my fundraiser.

https://chuffed.org/project/eliza-jaye-cancer-treatment

Sometimes the amount of correspondence can be overwhelming as I rest and recover from my op & multiple procedures & manage my current treatment plan. My sister Anna has stepped in to be my PA recently & field questions. Please understand if I can’t reply personally. I am practicing surrendering my anxiety and trusting that everything is as it should be. I hope you guys feel you can do the same.

In my last blog post in September i explained about the liver operation and about how my bile duct had been damaged during surgery. Unfortunately, after five repeat procedures to fix the damage the specialists are still scratching their heads as to how. Apparently the damage is extensive & so plugging up the leaks is complicated. As I write this I am nil by mouth, in a hospital bed. I’ve been in hospital for a month. In fact I’ve been in and out of hospital since the liver op three months ago.

Despite this I feel confident with my team of physicians & the hospital facilities. The op was always going to be tricky due to the location of one of the tumours & I feel grateful that my surgeon agreed to do it.

The problem with my situation is that, in order to keep the cancer from growing & spreading, I should be on chemo. Unfortunately this has not been ideal because of the risk of infection associated with having an external drain for the bile leak from the liver complications. During these three months of repeat procedures and waiting the cancer has progressed & there are two new tumours in my liver. My rectal tumour has also grown & is causing neuropathic pain down the back of my legs. I can only walk for a couple of minutes before needing to sit down because of the nerve pain. I am actually looking forward to getting back on chemo as last time it shrunk the tumour & sorted out the nerve pain very quickly.

Great News! Finally!!

My doctor dropped by a couple of days ago & my wish has been granted! Chemo starts today. The bile leak has not been resolved but the specialists have reached a compromise whereby I can have a more gentle chemo whilst being monitored in hospital. I have fasted for the last two days, and will continue fasting for the duration of the chemo. Looks like Xmas is going to be spent fasting and in hospital this year.

https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/

Regardless, I am still in good spirits, surrounded by loving family and friends & I am looking forward to better times ahead.

I am excited to say that I have been offered a position to study a bachelor of music/composition next year at The Sydney Conservatorium of Music. The degree focuses on avant-garde classical music which I feel will expand my music practice wonderfully!

Here’s a selection of recent snaps:

Merry Xmas everybody! I wish you much joy, warmth & merriment. I’ll update you again soon.

Eliza xx

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Liver Surgery

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 William Shakespeare

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Dear friends,

I have no more tumours in my liver! Isn’t that amazing?!? I’m so happy!!

I arrived home last night after spending a few weeks in hospital. I have had several procedures, starting with a liver resection and ablation. My surgeon opened up my abdomen from my sternum down to my belly button and horizontally outwards to my right creating a neat incision. He was then able to lift out my liver and, using his scalpel, remove segment 1V containing a smallish but growing tumour located towards the centre close to blood vessels and the main bile duct. This tumour was removed as a matter of urgency as it grew ever closer to these arteries and bile ducts and became life threatening. After the ‘resection’ there were two other tumours burnt out using a technique called ablation. Ablation is performed by a radiologist who locates the tumours using ultrasound and inserts a burning hot probe into them, burning all visible cancer cells. I spoke to the radiologist afterwards and he said that both tumours had been ‘well ablated’. Good news! I awoke in the intensive care unit with a tube down my throat. I couldn’t breathe properly or speak. I pleaded with the doctors to remove the tube but they were concerned that I had sleep apnea and would not. The next 10 hours were the most unpleasant I’ve ever experienced as I struggled to breathe, my lungs filled up with fluid and they occasionally poked a tube down my throat to suck out the fluid, making me gag and causing excruciating pain at my operation sight. I wrote several pages pleading with them:

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The staff arrived in the morning at 8am and removed the tube, shaking their heads at the   unnecessary traumatic experience I’d had. They gave me a bed bath with lavender oil and I started to feel human again:

I returned home after a week in hospital but was taken back by ambulance with a high temperature. Subsequent tests showed that the main bile duct had been damaged during surgery and I had bile pooling inside my liver and an infection. I was put on IV antibiotics which cleared up the infection and the fever and a new drain was inserted through my abdomen into my liver (under local anaesthetic only and without pain killers) As the local anaesthetic wore off the pain became unbearable as I waited for the doctors to give me some pain relief. It has taken me another week to feel more comfortable with the drain and be able to breathe properly. I have since had another procedure whereby a camera was inserted down my throat and up through my small bowel inserting a stent into the damaged bile duct in the hope that it may patch the hole and provide an opportunity for it to heal. It seems to be working and the fluid output is going down slowly but surely. Lets cross fingers that it has resolved the issue! I need to repeat the procedure this coming Tuesday to remove a stent that they have placed in the pancreas.

Apart from these challenges I have had some lovely experiences in the hospital. I got some beautiful flowers, received friends and, on occasion, took a wheelchair into the sunshine and the fresh air. I have been so impressed with the professionalism of the nursing staff. Thank you everybody for your kindness and for looking after me so well.

The next step, when I have recovered more from the operation, is to embark on three months of chemo.

I am accepting contributions for my ongoing treatment costs on my fundraiser page. Massive thank you to everybody who has already contributed

https://chuffed.org/project/eliza-jaye-cancer-treatment

In the mean time I am felling better every day. I’ll keep you posted..

Wishing you warmth and happiness.

Eliza

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My Cancer Treatment Fundraiser

Hello dear hearts. I have received a diagnosis of stage four colorectal cancer. I am in good hands but accumulating significant debt. Please help me to raise funds for my treatment. Click the below link for more details and to donate:

https://chuffed.org/project/eliza-jaye-cancer-treatment

My beautiful friend Suwindi has offered to run this campaign for me throughout August, September and October to help raise funds for my cancer treatment. Cancer is an expensive hobby!!

My treatment and costs thus far have involved:

  • Colonoscopy, Hospital fees, blood tests, anaesthetist. Paid for independently.
  • IVF egg harvesting (as the chemo is damaging my fertility). Hospital fees, blood tests, anaesthetist. Paid for independently.
  • I have had numerous MRIs and CTs paid for independently.
  • I have a liver surgeon, colorectal surgeon, radiation oncologist and chemo oncologist all of who’s appointments are paid for partly by Medicare/ NHS but there is a gap. I pay approximately half.
  • I have undertaken three months of chemotherapy, paid for by Medicare/NHS.
  • I attended a residential program ‘Living Mindfully With Cancer’ at the Quest For Life Centre, which has been an incredibly useful resource as regards my mental health. Paid for independently.
  • I have a naturopath/osteopath and nutritionist who has expertise in the area of cancer prevention and treatment which I pay for independently.
  • I had an infected tooth removed as the combination of dental infection and chemotherapy have a detrimental effect on the immune system. Paid for independently.

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As there are multiple issues to contend with in my case there is no set procedure. My team of oncologists and surgeons are advising me as to the best course of action as events occur. Recently my CT showed that the liver tumours are no longer stable but are growing and so we are looking to schedule liver surgery as a matter of urgency. My rectal surgeon has advised that they may want to perform both surgeries at the same time so that the primary tumour is not creating further metasteses in my liver. He is scheduling theatre within the next two weeks.

My forthcoming treatment will most likely involve:

  • Liver surgery to resect the tumours + Rectal surgery to remove the primary tumour (this will be a combined opperation involving two surgeons, 2/3 of my liver being removed, a section of my colon removed and a temporary stoma created)
  • A period of months to heal and recover from surgery.
  • Three months chemotherapy to ‘mop up’ residual cancer cells.
  • Two-three months to heal and recover from chemo.
  • Rectal surgery to reverse temporary stoma.
  • A period of months to heal and recover from temporary stoma reversal.

These procedures are paid for by Medicare/ NHS and extra costs will become apparent as treatment progresses. Throughout this period I will need finance for further MRIs and CTs and some funds to pay for a carer when my family are not available. I am looking at probably another year of hard work to get things under control and hopefully I will achieve remission at the end of it.

My specialists have advised that there is a very high likelihood of recurrence after achieving remission and so my life post treatment will need to be as stress free as possible. It is not advised that I return to work with autistic children or partake in any intense touring with my music.

We are trying to raise £20000 to cover the expenses that have already occurred and for the forthcoming treatment ahead as well as a trip away upon treatment completion. We have added a contingency so that I can rest and recuperate after treatment completion and so that I have an opportunity to engage further alternative and medical options as they become available. This will hopefully include access to a new immunotherapy option for metastatic colorectal cancer which is currently in clinical trials and showing promising success rates for complete cure in the long term.

What you can do to help:

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The last six months have been quite exhausting but now, post crisis, I am feeling positive and optimistic.

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I feel fortunate to be surrounded by really great natural health professionals and medical doctors and nurses. The below photo is of myself and my new mate Megan in the hospital chemo ward.

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I have been busking to raise money for the treatment and have experienced an outpouring of well wishes, kind gestures and heart felt support from complete strangers. I am so relieved to be playing again!

It is a very moving experience to mingle with the public under these circumstances. Everybody is affected by cancer at some stage in their lives, we are not alone as we have each other. A kind stranger left this note in my case one day:

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The show I did in the UK last December was a great success. I bid farewell to my beautiful friends, colleagues and supporters and had a really fun night. Half of my adult life has been spent in the UK.

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I am thinking of you all with much affection.

Eliza xx

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Cancer: My Journey Thus Far

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First of all I would like to apologise to all my dear ones who did not have this news. As you can imagine this last period of time has been very busy. I have been to a seemingly endless marathon of medical appointments each with more shocking news than the last. It has been a personal crisis, a turning point: the kind of which necessitates an appraisal of ones attitudes, beliefs, hopes and dreams. Life is short.

I have received a diagnosis of stage four colorectal cancer with one primary tumour in my colon and four small tumours in my liver. I have been managing very well, with the support of my family. I am happy to be home in Sydney, soaking up the winter sunshine and eating a pile of vegetables.

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The last six months have been quite exhausting but now, post crisis, I am feeling positive and optimistic. I have had five cycles of chemotherapy so far. I tried out fasting whilst on the chemo and I had an excellent response as far as tumour shrinkage and reduced side effects. Article here:

https://news.usc.edu/63669/fasting-triggers-stem-cell-regeneration-of-damaged-old-immune-system/

I feel fortunate to be surrounded by really great natural health professionals and medical doctors and nurses. The below photo is of myself and my new mate Megan in the hospital chemo ward.

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These little guys are called T Cells. They are responsible for destroying nasties in the body including cancer cells. I’ve been visualising an army of them coursing through my blood stream reaching every one of my cells. My immune system is strong and healthy again.

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I have been busking to raise money for the treatment and have experienced an outpouring of well wishes, kind gestures and heart felt support from complete strangers. I was a little rusty at the time as had not had the energy to practice for many months and I was just so relieved to be playing again!

It is a very moving experience to mingle with the public under these circumstances. Everybody is affected by cancer at some stage in their lives, we are not alone as we have each other. A kind stranger left this note in my case one day:

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My beautiful friend Suwindi has offered to run a fundraising campaign for me throughout August and September to help pay for my expenses.

https://chuffed.org/project/eliza-jaye-cancer-treatment

I chose to have IVF egg harvesting as the chemo is damaging my fertility. I have had numerous MRIs and CTs paid for independently. Specialists appointments are often partly paid for by Medicare/ NHS but there is a gap. I attended a 5 day workshop at the Quest for life centre ‘Living Mindfully With Cancer’ which has been an incredibly useful resourceHospital fees, blood tests, anaesthetists.. Oh.. it just adds up and suddenly you’re in thousands of dollars debt!

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Some of you may have been wondering what I’ve done with my van. Well.. I shipped it to Australia! I can see it every day in my parents car port. Dad and I have done some carpentry on it and it is running sweetly and purring like a kitten. I just can’t wait to get back on the road and have more adventures! Tasmania is my next intended destination where I plan to get my forthcoming album mastered with an engineer I’m keen to work with there.

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The show I did in the UK last December was a great success. I bid farewell to my beautiful friends, colleagues and supporters and had a really fun night. Half of my adult life has been spent in the UK and it was difficult to leave. Equally I feel that I have made the right decision. I now have two little nieces in Australia to play auntie to and I can make up for lost time with my dear mum and dad.

Farewell Gig MedImage Chris Sheffield

Please feel free to leave messages at the bottom of this post and follow my blog if you would like to keep up to date. I am being very careful to manage my stress levels at this fragile time and apologise if I am unable to respond. I am thinking of you all with much affection.

Eliza xx

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European Busking Adventure

It is the last day of my busking tour of Germany, Austria, Poland and The Netherlands. I am in my van making coconut and coliflour curry and reflecting on what has been a epic adventure. Ive met so many people, seen old friends and made new ones and made plenty of cash along the way. In fact I have succeeded in funding the entire trip from the proceeds of busking. What a pleasure it has been! Here are the highlights:

Heidelberg Germany 🇩🇪 

This photo is taken on the foot bridge over the river in the old city. Your technically not supposed to play there but who’s looking?! Look up to the right and you will see Heidleburgh castle.

Bella my travelling companion and I found a forrest park up at the top of the mountain.

And drank beer..

And then hit the streets again the next day.

I had a small problem with my violin so found a local violin maker. He advised me that my violin was absolutely fine but I had an issue with my technique.. haha!

Vienna Austria 🇦🇹 


I found an easy park up by the Danube river. It was only a short train ride from the centre of the city where I played mostly in Stadtpark.

The ambiance of the park complemented the classical violin and I was pleased to find that the public were very appreciative. Vienna is the seat of classical music but it is geared to tourist prices. I provided the experience without the price tag!

Here is the monument to Strauss in Stadtpark which I frequented.

I did manage to find one affordable chamber concert in the beautiful old St Anna’s Church. https://events.wien.info/en/4sg/concerts-at-st-anna-church/

Krakow Poland 🇵🇱 

Krakow is a city steeped in history and beauty. The Jewish Quarter is one of my favourite places that I visited on my travels. It was a hot sunny day and I took an hour out of my sightseeing agenda to entertain the locals at The Florian Gate.



I travelled to Poland specifically to visit my dear friend Suwindi. We used to perform in a comedy gospel choir together in Sydney many years ago! She now lives on a homatherapy eco village in the Tatra Mountains close to Krakow. I had the pleasure of spending a week living in their community. What a special place and community it is! You can see what its all about here: https://agnihotra.pl/en/


Amsterdam Netherlands 🇳🇱 

Risksmuseum has a reputation for having the best acoustics in Amsterdam! They are indeed pretty special. I took a break from the classical set and had a jam with Rafa playing ‘Seven Nations Army’ White Stripes.

And of course I had to catch some time to see the famous Dutch Oils.

Haarlem, half an hour west from Amsterdam, is a great spot for busking. It is a bit more quiet than its neighbour but has a lively centre square where there are restaurants, cafes and shops frequented by the locals and tourists. I met Zeb and we teamed up for some audio and visual entertainment of contact ball and juggling set to violin.

And a final snap of me in my van. Do I look happy?!

Catch you soon 😀

Eliza

 

 

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