Symptom Diary Card

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

On A Lighter Note But First The American College Of Physicians

I like to round up my blog posts with good news.  This piece speaks about my beef with the American College of Physicians and wraps up with a sweet moment in my life: meeting Martin Short!

It seems that when it comes to ovarian cancer, TV physicians are quick to shy away from spelling out the details of the symptom diary that helps women, and doctors, understand some of the potentially lifesaving symptoms of ovarian cancer.  The American College of Physicians has once again published a report about cancer "screenings", and it is controversial, at a minimum.

We in this community know the holy grail of screening tests has not yet been discovered but there was no reason whatsoever to end the interview "there is nothing we can do".  Dr. Azar did not leave much room for hope during the interview, and this saddens me because there IS hope.  I pray she finds a way to clarify this in more detail and show the millions of viewers that progress has been made.

Dr. Azar is more than likely an excellent personal physician, but the media message needs to include some sunlight when it comes to ovarian cancer, as with all cancers. The problem is that this was such a short TV segment. There was not enough time to talk about the complexities of ovarian cancer detection.  I do not agree with the ACP, at all, and I do not like how Dr. Azar answered the question as to what can be done.  There is absolutely no reason to avoid screening with a CA125 blood test if combined with the symptoms already proven in Dr. Goff's research on the ovarian cancer symptom card.

http://www.ocrf.org/news/ocrf-talks/dr-barbara-goff-on-the-ovarian-cancer-symptoms-study

http://www.seattlecca.org/doctor/barbara-a-goff.cfm


I have a few goals: for as long as I am alive I am going to help women learn that there is a symptom checklist available for gynecological cancers, including ovarian cancer.  Another goal is to do everything I can to get that information out to doctors. Let them know that there is a symptom card available from the CDC's Inside Knowledge Campaign that can be distributed within their office.

One day we WILL have a screening tool. Please visit the Be Brave icon link at the top of my page or click here CDC Inside Knowledge Campaign to get the materials for your PCP.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE:

On a much lighter note, I got my dream date with Martin Short a few weeks ago while attending the Gilda's Club "Surviving With Style Fashion Show".  The room was filled, packed.  He has not spoken much of the loss of his sweet wife Nancy from ovarian cancer.  This bittersweet moment combined with a fabulous fashion show greatly lifted my spirits.  I adore Martin Short, who doesn't?  Oh thank you God for I was able to see him. Meeting Martin Short is on my bucket list and now I can say I did.  Love him!  Thank you Martin Short for talking about your life, your sweet Nancy and helping us live a better life with ovarian cancer.

Martin Short and Denise Archuleta at "Gilda's Club Surviving With Style Seattle 2015"  My dream come true.  God bless Martin Short and Gilda's Club.

High Profile Cancer Screening Report

http://www.today.com/health/which-cancer-screenings-do-you-need-doctors-weigh-5-most-t21776

Gilda's Club Surviving With Style 2015

"It's Always-Something" by Gilda Radner-Twentieth-Anniversary Edition

"I Must Say" by Martin Short


Peace and Blessings,

Denise Archuleta
aka Servivorgirl



Friday, May 08, 2015

WORLD OVARIAN CANCER DAY



Please take a moment to visit World Ovarian Cancer Day .  See the positive strength and unity amongst the sisters and their support on this worldwide day of awareness.

This link also takes you to a compelling video of President Obama's sister and how her family was effected by ovarian cancer.

http://ovariancancerday.org/watch-president-obamas-sisters-story/


Please share this information with family, friends and your medical community.

Peace and Blessings,
Denise
aka Servivorgirl


Monday, May 04, 2015

Cancer Safety Dot Com

In order to lay a foundation for this post I want to share why I think these painful memories are prominent in my heart and mind.  I never legally addressed wrongdoings that happened in California, and I am not taking a legal approach to resolve matters related to being fired by my doctor.  

What IS coming to the surface again is my heartache as to how that impacted my family, especially my mom. They had to absorb my anger and pain of knowing in my heart that this viscious act delayed my cancer diagnosis.  So I beg you to please forgive me.  Mother's Day is coming up and her passing is too fresh.  Her struggles and pain are right in front of me.  She is in good care now with God, I just have to repeat that over and over right now.  This is why I pray all the time.  I need God to help me.
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I think it is important for everyone to know that there are resources to help us know we are or aren't receiving quailty medical care. The Cancer Safety Council https://www.cancersafety.com is a Seattle based organization that presents itself as a patient resource to help those who may need another professional eye to view their medical care.

This is not an endorsement but I felt like this type of resource should be known to those of us in the cancer community.  It is your life....

My gynonc is fully trusted by me.  My faith in her is essential to my healing and to how my treatments are keeping my tumors in control.  I have believed this since the first day I met my gynonc in Seattle. I had already undergone optimal debulking in California but life circumstances required me to uproot and move to Seattle for my chemotherapy.  My mom, sister and her family were in Seattle.

I have full trust in God, in Jesus, but cannot say I have always trusted doctors.  Sad huh.  A freak thing happened with me in California where a nurse lied to a doctor,  claiming I had done something I hadn't.  My doctor in California dropped me.  He didn't just drop me from the clinic but elected to drop me from the entire provider network. Eight months later I had aggressive stage IIIC ovarian cancer.

God is giving me strength to mention this so that I can help you. This event from my past was absolutely traumatizing.  Left abandoned, as a woman with undiagnosed medical issues and severe rheumatoid arthritis, that doctor's actions were extreme and cruel. As patients, especially because insurance companies do not allow us the full freedom of choice, are at the mercy of the doctor and their office management.

The best example of how poorly that clinic in Calfornia was run is this: all labs, and I mean ALL labs were required to be scheduled. So if I left a medical appointment and needed a lab I would have to call and schedule it, go back to work, drive 20 minutes, then at some point in the future need another 40 minutes travel time plus lab time, to get the draw done.  I missed a lot of work and this was before cancer.  I could go on for days.  The point here is that doctors need good office managers and if the doctor does not see that policy is interfering with care, that is a red flag.

The anger from that trauma is gone and I believe in my heart that God keeps me here to raise my voice about that experience so that you, the reader, always stays aware of your surroundings. I haven't eluded to that experience in quite a long time.  

If the hairs stand up on the back of your neck, pay attention.  Be politely persistent in getting your much deserved good care.  But if that doesn't happen I hope you can run for the hills!  

Below is an empowering article written by patient advocate Trisha Torrey for About.com.  Please follow her column because she seems so truly balanced to me.  Unless you have actually been thrown under the bus by a doctor, it is probably hard to imagine these things really do happen.   She can help stear you in the right direction if you or a loved one have concerns about a healthcare provider.

http://patients.about.com/od/doctorsandproviders/fl/Among-Doctors-There-are-Way-Too-Many-Bad-Apples.htm

My heart is with those of you who are struggling to get good quality care.  May each and all of you find strength.

Peace and blessings

Denise a.k.a. 
Servivorgirl

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Put That Jug To Good Use



If you know anything about my little blog you know I don't always talk about ovarian cancer, which to me is healthy.  Here is an important message that I pray finds its way into your home.

If you are like me, you cringe when you see water running out of the tap for any reason other than immediate use.  Things like rinsing dishes, getting the perfect tap water temperature, filling a cold water bottle and even cleaning the sink seem to waste so much water.  When I was a little child I remember that sink faucets had separate piping for hot and cold, so the hot was "hot" already.  We need our plumbing systems to find that happy space again somehow.

In the interim, I want every kitchen to have a spare water jug to capture clean water.

This is where the clean pre-usage water is captured while we wait for the water to get either hotter or colder.  If you have kids, let them decorate them.  I fill my gallon container to the rim each day, easy.

This is important because we should not drink hot water from the tap, it comes from the tank which may be rusty on the inside.  So allow your jug to capture this water and re-purpose it in your garden or even on your lawn.  Use a larger bin to hold this water outside.  You can use this fresh water to put in pots for boiling eggs or other forms of cooking.

Please take a look at my charming clunky video and share! Share! Share!

PS.  I saw my gynonc yesterday and the plan is avastin forever, basically.  Every three weeks. Thanks Be to God for this wonderful medical care.  Now I just need a fatigue blaster.

Peace and Blessings,

Denise  aka Servivorgirl