CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Fight To The Death "Right To Try" laws they say.  It is a fight to the death for all of us.  No matter your situation, if your life is in jeopardy you fight to the death.

I am relieved to see that Colorado has just passed legislation that allows terminal patients more options to extend their life on earth.  I cannot imagine the heart break knowing that a medication exists that could save the life of the one you love, but they can't have it.

The important thing for each of us to consider is to what length do we want others to go to in order to keep us alive.  Having an Advance Directive is important, especially if you have an illness like cancer.   It is important that your loved ones know your wishes.   It is not easy to think about, let alone write out. (link to information on advance directives)

Our mom, God rest her soul, took time to write it out and to articulate her wishes when it came to heroic measures.  Although she did not have cancer,  the only thing that kept us grounded during her final hours was knowing that her wishes were honored.  We are never prepared for these tragic situations. Never.

We tend to think that logic will rule, but desperation and pain take over. Sometimes the only thing that keeps loved ones on a single page is an Advance Directive. We beg God, we beg doctors, we scour the internet looking for answers that will save our loved ones.  We pray for miracles. 

Miracles may now come for some in Colorado and people can make it known that they want experimental drugs as a last resort.

Here is a link to an article about the Colorado legislation from The Huffington Post:

Right To Try    Please follow to read the article in full.

I think the naysayers have never really needed to fight tooth and nail for their own lives.  One said this jeopardizes the approval process and delays release of those experimental medications to the masses.  Well, that issue, if it is real, can be fixed because the FDA can make adjustments for this.  Paperwork, red tape, money and more money..............none of those concerns has a real pulse.

As long as an informed patient or legal guardian with a durable medical power of attorney fully understands all the risks, are willing to take the risks and absolve the drug manufacturer of liability, the patient should get their last chance for life. 

We want to swim, not sink.  When someone you love is drowning you want to throw them a lifeline.

Thank you Governor John Hickenlooper of Colorado!

Thank you for showing true compassion!

I pray that all states pass this kind of legislation..

It gives us hope.

Peace and Blessings,

aka "servivorgirl"

Link To Medical Directives by State

Wednesday, May 14, 2014


I am thinking today about cantaloupes.  What?  Yes, the cantaloupe.  I love this time of year.  I love the sweet, fresh, full flavor of the cantaloupe.  Why is this important?

Several years ago I was having one heck of a time with eating.  Ever since my optimal debulking and chemotherapy treatments my digestive system has been out of whack.  This is very common for women with ovarian cancer and can cause serious and potentially life threatening conditions related to blockages.  It is very important to get our digestive health in order.

I went to a Naturopathic Doctor, on the recommendation of the survivorship program at the SCCA.  It was one of the best referrals ever made.  When it comes to digestive health, seeking out natural remedies in addition to the reliable standards (Miralax) can add quite a bit of positivity to our lives.

For some perspective:  Many chemotherapy agents cause severe nausea and abdominal pain.   The irony of taking antinausea meds is that they cause major constipation that causes more nausea. Pain medications cause constipation that causes pain in the abdomen.  

Someday this will not be the case, but it rings true for now and when on harsh chemotherapy, the battle ensues.   Unfortunately many of us never fully regain optimum digestive motility.  Over time though, we adapt and create a new way of eating and living.

My N.D. recommended taking digestive enzymes and another supplement with slippery elm.  He also recommended that I eat 3 cups of cantaloupe per day.  His suggestions truly helped to increase my motility and decrease my agony.   It was a little on the expensive side to eat this much good cantaloupe, but well worth the cost.  If only we had a garden.

Eventually I was able to eat a raw salad again, thanks to his advice.  I am very grateful for this recommendation and for the ability to eat raw vegetables.  

I am posting a few links about cantaloupe.  They include nutrition and enzymatic benefits.  You will also see important information about how to purchase, store, clean and slice them.  

***Extra caution must be taken when handling a cantaloupe, especially for those of us with a compromised immune system.***

I hope you enjoy the benefits of cantaloupe as much as I did.  Cantaloupe can be a very good fruit for people with cancer, eye disorders and other digestive disorders because it is easy to digest and filled with lots of nutrition.  

One note from the site "God's Healing Plants"


"Melons are very easy to digest. This is due to their high liquid content – they are all 90% or more water. So melons digest almost immediately. They require virtually no digestive action by the stomach and pass through the digestive system very quickly; however, this can only happen if the stomach is empty. If melon is eaten with other foods that require more complex digestive action in the stomach, it can no longer pass through quickly and gets “stuck”. Even though the melon is already broken down sufficiently to pass quickly through the stomach, in effect, it gets trapped there as it must wait for the other foods to be properly digested. As the melon sits and waits in the stomach, it begins to ferment, leading to bloating, gas and other digestive issues.
Due to this fact, it is important to remember the following rule for all types of melons in order to promote healthy digestion: “Eat them alone or leave them alone.”


Peace and Blessings

Denise Archuleta
aka "Servivorgirl"

Friday, May 09, 2014

Are Your Health Concerns Second Class?


If so, your ability to reach people will be severely hampered because a few companies want to control  the speed of the internet.

I watched this and now I really see how dangerous this is for everyone.  We must retain net neutrality.

I try to avoid politics but this effects everyone.

Help preserve my blog and your right to equal access to information on the internet.

Teal hugs,
Denise Archuleta

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Be Confident

Communicating with a medical professional about intimate details, especially anything resting within our torso below the belly button. Honestly speaking, who wants to talk about potentially embarassing issues?  Your doctor has heard it all and seen more than you pry want to know about. Challenging them by asking for help using colorful details to describe your problems may work in your favor. Who knows? I have learned, and many have agreed, that journaling our health issues helps us to share information with certainty. Looking back, it is invaluable information that could have helped my doctors better understand what my body was fighting.

Our primary job is to create the dots and let the professionals connect them. We don't always know what we are looking for, but we always know what we feel inside our bodies.  That and keeping ourselves educated can go a long way towards longevity and a better quality of life.

This post is designed to provide an overview of ovarian cancer and is a good one to share with your female friends.  Ovarian cancer is complicated, almost never on anyone's radar and does have symptoms that should drive an inquisitive and compassionate doctor to search for answers.

Over the past 3 years I have seen a rise in the number of people dedicated to raising awareness of the most common symptoms of ovarian cancer.  The most effective awareness campaign is one that reaches patients and the medical community.  

I say this because some of the most common symptoms, persistent bloating, abdominal pain, getting full quickly, frequent urinatation, along with things like unexplained constipation, severe fatigue and lower back pain may not send you to your gynecologist.  You may wind up getting a colonoscopy before you get a transvaginal ultrasound and CA 125.  

Ask your PCP to tell you everything they know about ovarian cancer.  

We desperately need a true screening test and a CURE!

Please read this very informative article:

Monday, May 05, 2014


Please share this information with your friends and family.  Ovarian cancer sneeks up on women, striking often times deadly blows, but we can do something to help avert the trauma.

First, pay attention to the following:

Symptoms of ovarian cancer can often be confused with other less serious conditions such as gastrointestinal disorders. Symptoms include:
• Increased abdominal size / persistent bloating (not bloating that comes and goes)
• Difficulty eating/feeling full quickly
• Abdominal or pelvic pain
• Needing to pass urine more urgently or more frequently

Please visit the World Ovarian Cancer Day site for more information:

More to come.

Peace and Blessings from Denise Archuleta
aka "servivorgirl"