CDC Symptom Diary Card

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Emergency Surgery, On The Mend

Hi everyone.  This is a short post because I am just darn tired.

My Avastin is on hold until November 24, 2015.  I had an emergency surgery October 15th to have my gallbladder (GB) removed.  I dislike that word so I will use the initials GB instead.

I was awakened the day prior at 1 am with horrible pain in my upper abdomen that just got worse and  worse.  I was sick, no anti-nausea meds or pain meds worked.  I finally had to call 911, Of course I was not given any pain meds until an ultrasound was done.  I wonder if the ambulance personnel thought I was a drug addict because I had pulled out a bunch of pill bottles looking for amything that could help.  

The doctors started me on antibiotics and I had the GB surgery the next morning.  I was given lots of dilaudid to get me through until surgery.  

I never knew a GB attack was this painful.  Several friends have since shared their GB nightmares. 

I wanted to share a few important pieces of information:

1. Always have your med, allergy, diagnoses and contacts information on hand. I always do, except for of course this past time. The ambulance driver may not be able to take you to where your primary or oncologist are based.  In my case I literally was crying out for the closest hospital.  That is how bad the pain was.  I did not have this info on me and I could barely speak. It was rather difficult to tell them this information.

2. If you are not comfortable with the resident surgeon, please ask for the attending surgeon.  In my case, given that I have cancer, I just felt uncomfortable with a resident doing my surgery. The resident was very polite and understood. My operation was performed by a board certified surgeon, and for that I am grateful.

I have been exhausted, am still on pain pills, but have greatly improved.  I have some really amazing friends in my building who watched my kit kat Marilyn and did a little shopping for me. I should be OK to drive by the end of this week.  I am slowly getting back in the groove of things.

So I see my gynonc in a few weeks and then prayerfully all will be well again and I can resume my Avastin.   In the mean time I pray this break from Avastin does not allow any surge in cancer activity.  It is a great time to rebuild my stamina.  

In case you are wondering as to why the Avastin needs to be on hold, Avastin increases risk for bleeding.  I do have a couple of new clips inside along with 5 incisions that all need healing from the GB surgery.  Plus Avastin can cause one to be a slow healer.  So there you have it.

Onward and upward.  Time for the holidays!  Time for Christmas cheer!  Yes I am one of "those" people.  I started listening to my Christmas music today.  Yay!

Peace and Blessings

Friday, October 02, 2015

Would You Like To Help Dr. Swisher Team Lead SU2C?

How do we decide, when we are able and ready, where to place our valuable resources when we want to support ovarian cancer research?  It can get cloudy and confusing because there are many very powerful and credible organizations that have dedicated hard working employees and volunteers who live for their cause.

My personal opinion is that breast cancer research and ovarian cancer research needs should be marked together as one strong united front.  Women with breast cancer who have BRCA mutations need to know that they also have a risk for ovarian cancer.  So I am taking advantage of this time of year to share opportunities that support women's cancers.  I want to help a greater number of people.

The Director of Philanthropy at the University of Washington, David Chow, found for me a very special fund that supports ovarian cancer research done by the good gynonc doctors at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Dr. Elizabeth Swisher, the team lead for the Stand Up To Cancer Ovarian Cancer Dream Team, uses this critical fund, per David Chow, to augment her SU2C research.

As you know I am also a patient at SCCA and they are rated the 5th best cancer treatment center in America.  My home is with the SCCA, UW Medicine and all of my caring providers in Seattle.

The Feuer Research Fund allows for easy giving with both small and monthly donations.  Please consider supporting this fund.

Feuer Research Fund for Prevention and Treatment of Ovarian Cancer

Here is a link to recent research completed by Elizabeth Swisher, M.D. regarding the future of multi-gene testing.  Please read this article because it gets to the heart how this kind of testing can more accurately identify those who need prophylactic cancer prevention measures and those who may not.

Peace and Blessings

Missing mom today