CDC Symptom Diary Card

Friday, September 04, 2015

NASCAR And The Race To End Ovarian Cancer

"The Martin Truex Jr. Foundation raises awareness, advocacy & research funding for cancer initiative specific to ovarian and childhood cancers.

A little over a year ago Sherry Pollex was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, we are driving awareness for symptoms and raising funds through this online auction and the sale of Never Give Up bracelets to benefit treatment research."  courtesy of The NASCAR Foundation Website.

Danica Patrick is joining forces with Martin Truex Jr. to raise awareness of ovarian cancer and to support fundraising efforts that further ovarian cancer research.  

We pray for Sherry Pollex to continue to be healed as our cause is rallying support from NASCAR this September.  The NASCAR Foundation is launching their auction on September 6, 2015.

To find out more, link to

You can also find more information via the following FACEBOOK Pages:

Peace and Blessings,

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Women's Cancer Awareness Month Begins

Please visit to this most comprehensive link on women's cancers from the 
Foundation for Women's Cancer

When I was diagnosed with high grade serous cancer, stage IIIC, I also had concurrent high grade cervical cancer.  I moved to Seattle AFTER diagnosis and surgery to receive better care.  

My care team in Seattle means the world to me.

I am not an advocate exclusively for ovarian cancer awareness.  I advocate that women learn about all female cancers.  Ovarian Cancer needs the most support and awareness, but no cancer is more important than another.  All cancers are a cancer in need of a cure.

Please share the link to the with every female in your life because we need to take care of our bodies and we need to know what to expect when things start to go wrong. 

Peace and Blessings,

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Finances and How Spiritual and Religious Beliefs Help Us

Hello Everyone,

I want to share two important articles about living with cancer. The first is another wonderful article I located on

Cancer Compass is a valuable resource for everyone with cancer.  Below is the first quote from the article: 

"MONDAY, Aug. 10, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Spiritual and religious beliefs may benefit cancer patients' physical and mental health, researchers say.
They conducted three reviews of all published studies on the topic, which included more than 44,000 patients. However, none of the studies were able to show a cause-and-effect relationship between spirituality and better outcomes, only an association between these factors."  
The timing for this article could not be more perfect as I have about 5 or 6 spots left at the upcoming retreat for Women With Cancer at the OLCC Retreat in Corpus Christi, TX. Please link from the above image, off to the right, to register for our event taking place September 17-20, 2015.  It is free and if you want to donate, they accept donations upon conclusion of the retreat. Rooms are private/bath with meals included. I have done several posts about my amazing experience at the OLCC.  Please attend if you are able.

The second topic is finances.  We are in great need, as a community of people with cancer, for financial resources. Cancer uproots people and generates a tremendous number of bankruptcies due to job loss and costs associated with cancer care, side effects and extra expenses needed for managing life in general. Research money does not go to daily living and medical expense needs.
Linked below is an article written by one of our lovely ovarian sisters published in Kevin MD.  Many people work with cancer, but not all of us can, especially people like me.  I am hard to employ because I can only work when I am feeling good.  That is not predictable and it varies so much, my fatigue remains extreme. But maybe I could do a small project here and there. Project work is probably ideal for people like me, project work with no tight deadlines.  HA. I will figure it out eventually but please read this article so that you can get this perspective from someone other than me.
Peace and Blessings, 
South Lake Union. Seattle, Washington

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Today Marks My 6 Year Cancerversary

Today marks 6 years since went under the knife. I remember mom and my aunt faithfully attending to every need and listening attentively to every word spoken by the nurses and doctors prior to the surgery.  Mom would later be standing in front of me the first time I sat in a chair to show me that I can be strong.  I just wish I had known that was what she was doing at the time. I was very clostrophobic. My cancer took a toll on her and for that my heart still aches. God I did not want for my cancer to take a toll on her or anyone.

Two days prior to surgery I worked my last day, making every effort to prepare my work space so that someone could take over my responsibilities.  My pain was so bad I could not be upright more than an hour at a time.  I was looking very pregnant by then and unable to wear any pants or shorts.

The prep, the packing, the planning all so tasking because after this major surgery I knew I would be needing help for awhile.  My family running on adrenaline to assist me however it could be done because I was single, renting a room in a house. What a nightmare. My sister and aunt literally taking two weeks off from their lives to cater to mine.  My brother driving my car to Seattle and me moving from California to Seattle to live with mom so that I could get chemo at the SCCA. My sister did all the legwork to find the SCCA for me.

My life and the lives of those around me were completely upended. A traumatic time and event that still lingers in my battle with panic and anxiety today.

Life is much different now. My sweet mom has since passed away and now I live in Seatttle alone once again.  Right now I cannot work but am increasing my participation in therapies to improve my overall health. I am and will always be on Avastin until I cannot tolerate it anymore as I LIVE with metastatic cancer.  Praise God for this medication and for 6 years of living since that day!

I never thought I could live with cancer, but I can!  I have medical appointments every week, but it is not trauma, it is just a new way of living.

My family here is my community of neighbors, friends, church and healthcare providers. I long to live where I can see the water from my window but am not likely to ever move away from the SCCA. The SCCA has been my lifeline.  My gynonc, Dr. Heidi Gray, has been my angel on earth.

So on this day I celebrate a second chance at living and hope that my story offers hope to you, my reader, that no matter what your barrier, there can be a rainbow. My prayers and thanks go to all of my family who sacrificed so much of their lives to go through this with me.

My faith in God and my daily prayers helped me to stay grounded and strong during these years.  

I invite you to attend an enlightening retreat that I feel called upon to nurture.  It will be led by Sr. Anne Marie, a cancer survivor herself, of the S.O.L.T. Sisterhood.  I attended their retreat in January and was so lifted by the epxerince that it was only natural to ask them if we can do one for women with cancer. Sr. Laudem Gloriae was so delighted to help.

Please join us in September.  We have room for 10 more participants. The fee is a donation of your choosing. The rooms come with private baths and meals are provided. The campus has a beautiful meditation garden and Perpetual Adoration Chapel.  

The link is located at or you can email me your name, address, phone number and email address to: to register for the event.

Thank you for sharing in my joy.

God Bless you.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My Knuckle Knickers: A Wrap Hack

I have had rheumatoid arthritis (RA) since I was 15 years old.  Biologics such as Enbrel tank my white blood cell counts, so I am stuck with prednisone, plaquenil, leflunomide and rituxan to manage my disease. RA and cancer together are a difficult combination of illnesses to balance. All things considered I feel fortunate because my physicians communicate well amongst each other to discuss options that keep my pain and swelling at a minimum.

I want to share a recent “hack” with you that thrills me.  Introducing “Knuckle Knickers” (ha!). This wrap is simply and exclusively used to provide comfort and it comes from me to you, as a patient.  It in no way replaces any prescription for a thermoplastic or neoprene hand support recommended by your doctor or therapist.

I get too much pain wearing hard splints, even if the splint is lined.  I don’t want to wear neoprene gloves all day.  Sigh.  So this is what I created for myself.  Maybe you will find this useful.

Our MCP (metacarpal-phalangeal) joints suffer greatly due to RA disease.  They get very weak and swell easily with minimal use. Everyday use of our hands can cause permanent damage.

I have searched high and low for something to protect my MCP joints exclusively with no luck. Kudos to the makers of that soft colorful shelf liner material.  I love this stuff.  It can repel water and is easy to replace when this strap wears down.  For example I will wear this when unloading the dishwasher, unloading groceries, doing household projects or even while driving.

Here are some photos of how I am using this soft rubbery shelf lining to gently support my MCP joints.  All I did was cut a 1” strip of material and place it gently around my knuckles.   I layer it twice around without increasing pressure on my knuckles.

Do NOT stretch the material or tighten it around your MCP joints.  Simply spread fingers as much as possible while gently wrapping the material around your knuckles.  This wrap will rest securely in place once either tucked in or secured with a clasp, as seen in the photo. I like it because it is soft and feels good.  

Do NOT squish the MCP joints together when applying wrap. Wear as needed. Think of this as simply an extra layer of skin. The material breathes, can be cleaned and is pliable.

This soft material protects the MCP surface from extreme pain in case I accidentally knock the back of my hand into anything, like a door frame.  Ouch! Seriously, tapping my knuckles on anything hurts quite a bit.  I can don and doff this very easily. I know that for some people with RA it can be painful to put gloves on so this kind of wrap is very gentle and easy to complete.
Having RA requires us to re-think how we use our hands.  We need to avoid using our hands in a way that encourages movement in a damaging direction. That is all grand and good and definitely worth learning.  It takes at least 30 days to change a habit, so be patient.   

*Glassware should be held with the palms of both hands.  I did not have a tripod when taking the photo below  ;-).  My Knuckle Knickers helps me grip the glass surface, easing the pressure on my joints if I am not using my palms exclusively.

Always check with your physician to get their approval as well.

Please link here for information on how to help your hands:

Peace and Blessings,


Simple shelf liner

1" wide

Do not squish, this is just like another layer of skin.

Takes a little pressure off the joints.  

Use two hands to lift cups and glasses.