CDC Symptom Diary Card

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fantastic doctor appointment

After being up most of the night with worries, I was able to come home today from my appointment and take a long nap.

I saw my wonderful gynoc today and received excellent news.  She can't see any cancer for now, Yay Yay Yay.  I went in early for a chest/abdom/pelvic CT scan and blood test, as part of my usual 6 month routine.

Because of the ongoing abdominal issues, I was concerned that cancer may be returning, especially since I still sleep almost 12 hours per day.

She spoke to those issues and said that I just need to keep exercising, and keep doing more, because I am getting better.

I distinctly remember that my overwhelming joy today was so different from my emotion this time last year.  Last year I was cautious, numb from chemo, super tired, and really couldn't believe I had made it.  NOW, I am here with great results and plan to cherish each precious moment God gives me.

Even though the vocational testing indicates me to be cognitively challenged right now, I am going to do all I can to get my brain back together and working well. 

But at the end of the day, if today is how the rest of my life goes, I am the luckiest person on earth.

Thank you God for bringing me my doctor and family and friends to help me survive the incredible challenge of ovarian cancer.  I will post more on this, I just wanted to get the exciting news out.

Peace, Love and God Bless

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

More on Chemobrain

I had the pleasure today to meet with my DVR counselor and the specialist who provided my Comprehensive Vocational Evaluation.  I am writing a short note about the results and about what will happen in the future. 

I also see my gynoc tomorrow for CT exam and blood level check up to monitor for OC recurrence.  I want to make certain that my Dr. gets this vocational information.

Well, if you knew me in highschool, college or after college, you would have thought me to be relatively smart enough to live a good life.  I got through high school and college fairly easily, and up until chemo, never had any issues with cognition.  At least not that I know of.  Mom always said I had an above
 average IQ.  Now I want to get my highschool records to see.

Now, my life is different.  I rank at 18% in numerical reasoning/skills, 14% abstract reasoning, and 80% in verbal reasoning.  All these were timed aptitude tests.  I did show some improvement on the untimed tests (numerical @26%) and (abstract @ 61%).

I would have never been accepted into college, let alone OT school with these very poor scores.  I've never really dealt with impaired cognition before.......................will I ever regain the strength of my brain?

I am in shock and very sad today.  BUT......there is good to be found.

Although my personality test showed me to be introverted, my interest tests show I want to be involved in artistic, social and conventional activities.

So, voc rehab plans to have me receive one more psycho-neurology test and then place me in a community based setting for on the job function assessment.

They are very supportive to help me find work that accentuates my strengths.  I am now not sure if I will ever qualify for any retraining.  I just don't know what to think.

Like I said, I am really shocked at such low scores, and bummed.  They want me to join a support group too so that I can build my self esteem.

Can you believe cancer can do all this?  Isn't it enough that my body was ripped apart and left me with ongoing pain and nausea that will probably last for life.  Now I have to deal with the financial consequences of losing my mental strengths, and am not sure if I can rebuild my mental skills or not.

I pray that I will be able to improve my mental function.  I will post on the results of the neuropsyche evaluation and CT Scan as well.

I just don't want to be "dumb"..............I never thought in a million years that I'd have to deal with cognitive decline.  It's not the end of the world, it could be worse, so that I know.

I have to accept that I operate differently now, I'm not the same.  I'm me, just different.  There is a silver lining here somewhere and I am so so so so relieved that my DVR team is so supportive.  It seems they are taking great care to help me get back to a normal life as best as possible.

I guess don't send me any budgets to balance or anything like that, HA!

Peace and God Bless

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Changing The Way Ovarian Tumors are Treated-Ovarian Cancer- Clearity -

Changing The Way Ovarian Tumors are Treated-Ovarian Cancer- Clearity -

Please take a moment to view this article and The Clearity Foundation's website. I pray I don't have a recurrence, but if I do, I plan to seek their help. They can help ovarian cancer patients receive a more customized medication based on the tumor's blueprint, better matching us with the right clinical trial. This is so much better than "hit and miss" based on generalized research. I am so happy to have been routed to this informationl.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Great Article on ChemoBrain

Not to justify my problems or anything, but this is a great article that helps explain some of what I experience.  Especially the part about short term memory and word recall.  I still need 10 hours of sleep per night.........but I hope it gets better. 

Maybe as the days get longer, huh?  That would be great.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What matters

Mom had her surgery on Monday and is doing well.  She is preparing for dialysis and the vascular surgeon needed to create a few access ports in her body, one vascular, one peritoneal.  In the midst of her personal challenges I have been glued to the TV, like many, shocked by the Japanese tragedy unfolding before us.

Libya also now has a "no fly zone" and yet people are tweeting about St. Patrick's donut designs.

I get really confused with all this chaos and inconsistency.

On one hand we need to do all we can to be personally responsible for self maintenance and happiness, seeking whatever solace we can find in God, nature, family, work, etc.  Yet, collectively it does not matter, when you see an entire town vanish before your eyes with a fierce wall of water and debris.  When you see on TV a huge ship next to a wrecked home, and debris everywhere, you can't think.  You're stuck because you really can't do anything other than Pray and give money.

But here in my home, we still need to eat, take meds, go to doctors, watch TV, talk to family, plan for something fun to do when mom heals from surgery, etc etc etc.

I still battle my daily nausea and still can't wear jeans because I literally cannot tolerate pressure on my abdomen.  Wow, do I need a fashion make-over or what?

I see voc rehab at the end of the month.  Does it matter in the big pictuer?  It does, because I need to still take care of myself and those around me. 

We all need to follow the Japanese when it comes to community.  America is so "independent" that sometimes we hurt ourselves.  We frown on elderly and disabled living with family, as it it's some kind of crime.  In Asian culture, they take care of their parents, with pride.

I love helping my mom and pray she will continue to "let" me help her as much as possible.  She is so so so inependent, and in a way that independent nature is what literally feeds her life force.  But it is OK to ask for help.

Today I pray that people learn from Japan's tragedy and take care of their family and neighbors, love one another more and more.  We never know what will strike us down.  My faith in God keeps me going and is really the only thing that can calm and center me.  And when I say that, I see God in everyone around me.  So say when my sister comforts  me or mom, she is like a beam of light shining from above.  Or when my aunt comes to town, and brings much needed cheer to my mom, it's like one of Gods's angels said to tell her God loves her.

Love one another, especially today.


Friday, March 11, 2011

Missing Jayne from Shoppingkarma

I wasn't ready to read about Jayne's passing, not at all.  I'm not ready to say goodbye to a wonderful OC sister who helped me to live more.  Jayne has the blog "shoppingkarma" off to the left.  I feel sickened, literally.  She had so much joy and love to give, and give she did, freely.

I had been out of touch most of this week, and tonight I was going to post a message to the people of Japan.  I always check on my friends before posting, just in case something closer to my heart arises.

My heart aches deeply for the people in Japan.  My heart aches and I can't breath for the loss of Jayne.  May God Bless her husband Jimmy and may God carry Jayne in his tender arms and take make to vanish all of her pain.  I'm so so so sorry that Jayne has passed.

I miss you Jayne, and will send you my love in my prayers.

God Bless,