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My Renewal of Faith Through Ovarian Cancer

May 11, 2009 in Keeping Up Your Spirits, Ovarian Cancer, Patient's Journey, Women's Cancers by rick

July 2002 was a very hot month.I hadn’t been feeling well, but I just couldn’t tell what was causing my discomfort.When I’d walk long distances, I would have to sit down because my back would start to hurt.I loaded up with Advil and over-the-counter pain meds thinking that I had a bad back. Read the rest of this entry →

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Listen to Your Body

May 29, 2008 in Keeping Up Your Spirits, Ovarian Cancer, Patient's Journey, Women's Cancers by rick



May 23, 2008

I’m tentatively “dipping” my toes, attempting to plunge into discussing me, a task I’m finding more difficult than I imagined. I have always been a private person, not to insinuate any shyness or introversion, but my feelings and emotions had always been held tight—to me. But now, my life has changed—so instantly, earth-shatteringly at the moment. I feel my voice can be important, along with all the others diagnosed with cancer. To eradicate something takes action and directed positive energies. I want to be a part of that force.

I have never considered myself a vain person, however, staying in shape, walking daily, eating healthily was just a normal regiment for me. And then in June 2007, I was in the ER at LVH with severe abdominal pains. I was told the CT scan revealed acute diverticulitis. I had had a recent clear colonoscopy so I was surprised, notwithstanding my diet that had always been fiber rich. My gastroenterologist prescribed the “antibiotic cure”, and I followed it. Pains continued—different antibiotics again prescribed—none was working. But I pursued because I KNEW my body. Listen to that wonderful, intuitive voice that whispers to you alone—something is not right! It took 3 more CT scans. I also requested an endoscopy and had a vaginal ultrasound. My point being, don’t ever ignore or diminish your opinion.

At first, sitting in the surgeon’s conference room, I heard little of what he was actually saying—peritoneal cancer. Thank goodness my wonderful daughter-in-law was taking copious notes. It felt surreal to me. I was sitting there stunned, angry, incredulous—an amalgam of emotions when all I had heard was I NEVER had diverticulitis.

Recovering from the surgery, I did a lot of soul searching. I realized to waste my time and energy blaming others and asking “why me?” would only be fruitless and unproductive. I was blessed in being directed to an amazing, caring surgeon.

And now, today, as I write is another new day for me, another chapter to add to my life. Now I want my energy to be directed to all that is positive in my life. I realize things that mattered “before” don’t matter anymore. My bracelet says “Say it, Fight it, Cure it” and that’s what we are going to do. I’ve always been a glass half-full person; I’m not changing now.

I’ll be back……Judy

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by rick

Cancer–My Journey Too

May 29, 2008 in Daughter's Point of View, Keeping Up Your Spirits, My Mom Has Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Parent with Cancer, Women's Cancers by rick

May 21, 2008

On December 7, 2000, I left for school on what seemed to be an ordinary day. Little did I know, when I returned home, my life was never going to be the same. One minute I was a happy 15-year old, president of the student council and chorus at school, whose biggest worry was figuring out who I would sit with at lunch.

When I received the news that my Mom was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer that day, I was devastated. Given only a 20% survival rate, I was instantly overwhelmed with confusion, fear, and shock. Despite her frightening prognosis, a major surgery, and 3 recurrences, my Mom has been successful in her battle with cancer. It’s this victory that has restored my faith that people cannot only survive from cancer, but can thrive.

My name is Jessie, and I am a 22-year old graduate of Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. I’m so excited to be starting this blog because it’s giving me the chance to do something that I’ve always wanted to do. As you might imagine, watching my Mom deal with cancer for 7 years, my family and I have gone through a multitude of experiences. Some have been good, some have been bad, and some just seem to make no sense at all. The bottom line is I understand what cancer can do to a family. I realize that the more knowledge we acquire about the illness and its effects on our relationships the easier it will be to continue enjoying our lives.

This brings me to the goal of my blog; sharing my story. It’s my hope that my experiences will provide insight about how to cope when someone close to you is diagnosed with cancer. Whether you need some tips for how to deal, ideas for how to help, or a story with which you can relate, I’m here. I’ll do my best to share new thoughts periodically. Feel free to post comments, ask questions, or simply say hi. I’m looking forward to this journey we’re about to begin.

Until next time…