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Through the Rabbit Hole -  it's OVCA! Through the Rabbit Hole - it's OVCA!

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Unread 11-30-2000, 08:29 PM
Through the Rabbit Hole - it's OVCA!

I had my hysterectomy in Nov. 6 and got up and exercised and drank copious amounts of prune juice and am doing really, really well. That's the good news. The bad news is that I do have Ovarian Cancer - it is staged at IIC which is pretty good since there was no lymph node involvement whatsoever so I have a good chance of beating this thing. I started chemotherapy yesterday - a combination of the standard first-line chemo of Taxol and Cisplatin - I will be bald and beautiful by Christmas - a very small price to pay for survival. I'm soliciting hats from my kids and friends.

So far, the chemo has been a snap. I go three days a week for 6-8 hours a day (easier on the kidneys) and will go every three weeks, until June when further treatment will be determined by my CA125 levels and the results of a second look surgery (yes, I get to go through the same surgery all over again, sigh). So, that's the news. It's not as bad as I thought it would be and I'm confident that I'll live to get my doctorate in Ireland because that's the plan and I'm sticking to it!

Take care all!
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Unread 11-30-2000, 10:30 PM
Through the Rabbit Hole - it's OVCA!


I'm so impressed by your incredibly positive attitude - and only a few weeks after surgery! You're right - IIc is much better than if there were lymph node involvement (I'm IIIc endometrial - lymph node involvement, but only one, so I'm hopeful). Three weeks after my surgery, I was a MESS. It's taken me quite awhile to come to terms with this. What's your secret?!


P.S. what are you getting your doctorate in?
Unread 12-01-2000, 05:43 AM
Through the Rabbit Hole - it's OVCA!

You attitude is wonderful and you should be so proud of yourself!! You are a true fighter and I wish that more people had your positive attitude. It will truly help in your recovery!! I wish the best of health and happiness for you!!
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Unread 12-01-2000, 07:11 AM
Through the Rabbit Hole - it's OVCA!


Cyd's right, your positive attitude will help so much, it sounds like you're on the right track. I too have been battling ovarian cancer, mine was stage III. I just started my second round of chemo, this time "topotecan" which is responding very well.

I also believe this is just a "speedbump" and I'll be back on track with my "normal" life eventually. I'm just glad I'm able to work pretty much full time during all this (gotta pay the bills)

By the way, I'm doing the "wig" thing, want some of my hats?

Take care of yourself and get lots of rest, especially while in chemo.

God bless,
Unread 12-01-2000, 08:59 PM
Got a little too cocky, here

Today, my third day of chemo I felt as if someone worked me over with a baseball bat. I was so sore! That's what I get for being cocky!

I just made up my mind I wasn't going to leave my kids. They lost their dad last March from a very devastating cancer (Multiple Myeloma) and this is just too much for them to absorb. So I remain relentlessly upbeat, even though I broke down today, miss my husband SO much through this. We used to spoil each other shamelessly even for a cold and bringing each other goofy cards and gifts....I miss that, and not having him to share this with... boy, that's been tough.

I'm getting my doctorate in Historical Sociology. My area of specialty is myth, legend, culture and severe disabilities. How do the changeling myths of Northern Europe, for instance, play into the births of Down's children in the Middle Ages, how does the Japanese idealization of physical beauty play into attitudes towards disfiguring birth defects.... and how, now, do those cultural attitudes translate into social policy? Simple enough, eh? I'm really looking forward to digging into the subject in Europe and Asia.

Well, the pain pills are kicking in... I'll be incoherent here in a moment... Thanks for writing! Jackie
Unread 12-02-2000, 10:04 AM
Through the Rabbit Hole - it's OVCA!

My heart breaks for you, thinking of how you miss your dh! I am sure that he is so proud of you...fighting the way you are for your kids. I ask the Lord to help you feel your dh's presence in your heart and the comfort and guidance of the Lord himself. God Bless!! You are such a strong woman and I give you so very much credit!!
Unread 12-02-2000, 01:15 PM
Through the Rabbit Hole - it's OVCA!

Jackie: Oh, I remember you now, you wrote in earlier about your fear of the possibility of cancer and how devastating it would be for your kids after losing their father. I guess the key think to tell them, as I'm sure you have, is that cancer IS survivable - yours is not the same as your DH's. ....It must be SO hard going through this after the loss of your DH! I've been falling into the habit of trying to focus on the positive since my diagnosis - so the positive for you is that you HAD a DH, and it sounds like a really special relationship, and it produced two kids (I think you said two?) I've never found a DH, and never had kids, and having to have a hysterectomy was devastating. Not to feel sorry for myself - I really don't anymore; I have my own positives to focus on.

I have a PhD in Political Science with a focus on comparative public policy, and my experience, and reading this board, has given me the idea to pursue a paper about comparative women's health policy. How do different govt policies (regarding drug regulation, provision of health care, etc. etc.) impact on women's health in different democracies? I'd also like to look at the use of HRT in different countries. Interesting, eh? Haven't investigated what work has already been done on this yet and don't know if I'll really get around to it.

Here's hoping that your future chemo sessions aren't so debilitating! For aches and pains, maybe a nice hot mineral bath would be nice.

Unread 12-02-2000, 01:52 PM
Answer to Terry on Social Policy and HRT

Off topic....I attend a university with a large first-generation Hispanic population. Since this is a largely agricultural country (Kern, in California) we have hundreds of migrant women who are not at all connected to the health care system. They are afraid that any gynecological contact will result in forced sterilization, among other abuses.The paranoia is based on some reality - but also superstition, and just plain fear. When many of these women get sick like we are, they'll go back to Mexico and try alternative meds. It's a whole different world and has to be reached holistically. I honestly don't know if the first generation is reachable, though they aren't stupid, just so afraid. The girls in the college, on the other hand, are much more sophisticated and willing to use U.S. health services. Your paper sounds interesting, and I think that cultural attitudes towards women, aging, menopause and the place of the aged in a society has a lot to do with social policy. I doubt that the honored village elder woman in Indonesia cares much about hot flashes or HRT! LOL... Thanks for writing!
Unread 12-02-2000, 02:19 PM
Still off topic.....

(Sorry for this digression for people who aren't interested...)

Jackie: your comments about the Mexican women reminded me of a somewhat similar situation here in Alabama. A sociologist friend of mine has found significantly different attitudes toward the health care system between black and white women. A lot of the black women are distrustful of docs - perhaps partly a legacy of the infamous Tuskeegee experiments.

You're right - culture probably influences social policy in the area of women's health. I focus mainly on W. Europe and the US, though; don't know how much variance there will be in culture there as opposed to looking at the whole world. But it's worth investigating. You've also given me an idea - a friend of mine does medical anthropology with a focus on Latin America; maybe there is a collaborative opportunity there. All this is a lot different from what I have been doing but maybe I need something I have a vested interest in to pull me out of the research slump I've been in. So... thanks! Who knew that Hyster-sisters could yield research ideas !
Unread 12-04-2000, 11:31 AM
Terry - off topic again

Wow - maybe there's a good paper here.... for International publication - how events like forced steriization and Tuskagee have made diseases like OVCA so hard to talk about and treat!

Hey, there's no such thing as a really dark cloud without that silver lining...

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