Symptom Diary Card

Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Holidays In Small Doses

Ladies, I am thinking about those of you who are on your first course, or any course, of intensive chemotherapy. This time of year is an exceptionally difficult time to be experiencing side effects from surgery and treatments.  

I had spent several hours drafting a lengthy and detailed post that I was hoping could assist you in preparing for Thanksgiving.  God had other plans.  It got deleted, poof!  It must have been too long, ha! 

Do as I do, they say.  Here is the abbreviated version.

Maintain the essance of the holidays with simplicity, in every way.  Truly, keep things simple.

Mimimize expectations.  Worry not about tradition and what people think.  Trust in the people who love you. Let people help you.

Your body, mind, emotions and spirit are in turmoil.  Simplicity will help you keep your feet on the ground.

If you are a woman of faith, ask for God's help.  Ask people to pray for you.

I sigh heavily remembering how overwhelming everything felt during that first course of treatment, still in severe pain from my debulking surgery.  Experiencing the holiday season in small doses is just easier. 

I did wonder about things like how many more holidays do I have with my loved ones.  That is normal, for the most part.  Spreading out the opportunities to be with the people you love may help deflect some of that worry in your heart. 

If there is only one major event to attend, an enormous amount of pressure exists to make the most out of THAT one thing.  Instead pencil in more options for smaller manageable events here and there. If by chance you are feeling beat up on the actual celebration day, your cup will still feel full.

Well, you know what I mean.      

As the old saying goes, don't place all your eggs in one basket.  

I just want to avail myself as a sounding board.  I love this time of year.  I am so thankful and grateful for my family, friends, doctors and to God that I am here.  What else can I say?

Hugs.

Peace and blessings,
Servivorgirl










Saturday, November 15, 2014

World Vision.org and Medgift.com

Sometimes we feel like the wind gets knocked out of our sails. Yesterday was definitely one of those days.  I have been spending time preparing to honor my mom on Sunday, as it would be her birthday. November is a hard month now, the anniversary of mom's passing, mom's birthday and moving through Thanksgiving, her favorite holiday.

Lot's of grief this month.  When I saw Diem Brown had died from ovarian cancer I cried.  She was a truly spirited and cheerful warrior. My tears reflected so much loss in our family and the knowingnes of another fighter removing her gloves.

I miss my mom so much.  Sunday I will celebrate her birthday with prayer and fond memory, looking at photos.  I feel kind of crazy, but it comforts me to talk to her whilst adoring her photo.  Sometimes I just stroke the hair in mom's photo and tell her how much I love and miss her.  I tell her I am sorry for being such a bratty teenager, for not being nice all the time, for fighting with her on our trip to New Mexico, for not spending enough time with her, for being a total failure as far as career goes and for not using my brain like I should have.

I can go on and on.  I pray that she is the first angel I see in heaven one day.

I am exhausted from treatments and grief but look for colors and light throughout each day, as I have nothing to complain about. 

I am sharing two different things today that I hope will inspire you.

1.   Here is a link to an interview with Diem Brown about her heartfelt charity, Medgift.com.  A patient gift registry that eases the burden when sick and in need.

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1513484978001/reality-star-launches-patient-gift-registry/#sp=show-clips

2.  I have sponsored a child via World Vision who shares the same birthday as my mom.  This sweet child and her family are in great need and World Vision is one of only a few international charities trusted by mom.  World Vision also helps children in the United States.

I felt a little funny filtering by birthdate, but I did accept the very first child that came up in the search.  I wanted to sponsor all the kids, ya know what I mean?  

So one unique way to honor a loved ones's passing is to sponsor a child in need. It is very fulfilling and most of all provides tangible resources and goodnes that can offer hope to the suffering.


I Love You and Miss You...........

Peace and Blessings,
Servivorgirl

Rest In Peace Sweet Diem Brown

REST IN PEACE SWEET DIEM BROWN



Please select the link above for one of the many stories about this young woman's life.  Ovarian cancer may have claimed her body, but her spirit will live forever.

This news has broken many hearts today.

A star on earth is now a star in the heavens.

May we find a cure so no more women die.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

When Susan Talks, People Listen

Those of us in the world of ovarian cancer can often feel that we are in a little bubble, off to the side, having a small voice in the big world of cancer.  We are reluctant participants, not all wanting to share our stories. When we do share, we do so in different ways.  Some keep their pain and suffering close, opening up only to close friends and family.  Some unveil their agony in the way of art, music and writing. Others reveal their angst in the way of talking and reaching out in person.

I know of one such angel that can comfortably speak about her ovarian cancer and her name is Susan Malman.  She is very outgoing, high spirited and courageous.  Her chummy personality has drawn many supportive people towards her.  She has stage 4 ovarian cancer, suffers greatly, yet creates the time and energy to go out into the world and have fun.  

Seriously, this chick loves to enjoy life.  She will find a way to go out to a concert, sing karaoke or meet her friends, all the while experiencing chemotherapy side effects.  Not much can keep her down.

When she is out and about she tells people about her cancer.  Susan puts herself out there because she wants to help other women to learn about what we know today to be common symptoms of ovarian cancer.  It makes a difference.

Susan literally helped to save one woman from being diagnosed at a late stage of ovarian cancer. Had Susan not taken time to express with passion the accounts of her life and struggles with ovarian cancer, one woman may have discovered her fate too late.  God Bless you Susan.

Here are Susan's humble words......

About a month ago I had chemo and went to the gas station up the street for some ice. The girl asked me what cancer do I have and I told her ovarian stage 4. She asked what are the systems. I told her and gave her a card with the sytems on it. She told me she has all the systems. I told her don't waste time, have certain test(s) done and insist on it.

She did. A month later, I saw her tonight. With a huge line, (she) came around the corner (she) gave me a big hug, and said "thank you because of your story and making me get checked they found I have the early stages of ovarian cancer. Now I am being treated".

So now I feel so good inside that after 3 years of fighting it I helped someone and saved their life.





Thursday, October 30, 2014

St. Peregrine Pray For Us

I have prayed many times for the intercession of St. Peregrine, the Patron Saint for those ailing with cancer and other very serious illnesses.

It is exceptionally difficult to convey the depth of emotion, faith and hope in prayer via my little blog.

I have prayed to St. Peregrine for myself, for people that I love and for my cancer bearing sisters and brothers.  I believe.

One evening, after nine days of praying the Novena to St. Peregrine, I knew I was sent a message.  I was in a hospital and a physician, who went by the name of Dr. Peregrino, stepped on the elevator.  I knew his name only because a nurse called out to him just before he stepped inside. 

The doctor looked right into my eyes as if he knew me. This happened directly after receiving exciting news that someone I love did not have cancer after all, it was ruled out.  Because of the intense way this man looked at me, his name, and the feeling I had at right at that moment, I knew St. Peregrine had heard me.

A prayer to St. Peregrine
Dear St. Peregrine, I need your help. I feel so uncertain of my life right now. This serious illness makes me long for a sign of God’s love. Help me to imitate your enduring faith when you faced the challenge of cancer. Allow me to trust the Lord the way you did in this moment of distress. I want to be cured, but right now I ask God for the strength to bear the cross in my life. I seek the power to proclaim God’s presence in my life despite hardship, anguish, and fear I now experience. O glorious St. Peregrine, be an inspiration to me and petitioner of these needed graces from our loving father. 

Amen.

If you visit this website, you will see many more prayers to St. Peregrine and learn about his history.

We need LOTS of prayers, especially with respect to the cost of chemotherapy.

I just read a very disturbing article on Times.com that Genentech is unnecessarily altering its distribution channels for Avastin and two other critical cancer medications, forcing the prices to go higher. This is a prime example as to why medical care must not operate via supply and demand frame of reference. 


Peace and blessings,
Servivorgirl