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Just a couple questions Just a couple questions

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  #1  
Unread 01-17-2001, 06:31 PM
Just a couple questions

Hello Ladies,
First of all to everyone!!! I placed a wave in there...hope it posts, lol ( can ya tell I am new to this)
I am 42 and in September of this year a tumor the size of a small melon was discovered on my left ovary. My wonderful gynocologist told me right off that it may be cancerous, performed a complete abdominal hysterectomy 2 weeks later after doing a CT scan of all my other organs first. They were all fine thank God. My only symptom was a severe pain one evening followed by 10 days of diareaha so I thought I just had a really bad flu......I was soooo wrong!! The pain was caused by the tumor pressing on my bowel.
Sure enough the tumor was indeed malignant, Stage II Ovarian, and 10 days after the surgery I was starting my first of 4 sessions of chemo. Each session lasting 3-4 hours for 5 days, plus I received an additional drug every week. 29 days of chemo in total over a period of 70 days. Well....was I sick with the chemo or what!!!
In my mind I kept thinking....ok....if I am this sick the chemo must be working. My "markers" which were in the 2000 and 3000 range before surgery were back to normal levels after 2 sessions of chemo, however the protocol called for 4, and as sick as I was dammit....I took them all. My markers remain normal after completing the last session on Dec. 22nd. , and I feel very blessed that I have such wonderful doctors who have and continue to give me the best of care.
I am curious if others have had some really strange side affects like I have had. Numbness in the fingers..which is still lingering on. Also one of the chemo drugs has caused discoloration of the skin if I scratched myself even lightly. They say all this will disappear in time though.
Also..I am wondering if anyone can tell me just how long before my hair will return. I have a wig...but now that I am back to work, God..its so hot and uncomfortable wearing it 9 hrs a day. I was able to stay off work while receiving my chemo...so I am not used to wearing it all day. Also..eyelashes...please tell me they will come back????.... I am actually looking forward to the day I have to shave my legs again!! lol
Well ladies, I will close this off. This is a wonderful site, and I have enjoyed reading the cancer posts in particular, as I can relate to many of them.
My prayers are with you all!!!

Maria TAH - Sept/00 Stage II Ov.Cancer
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  #2  
Unread 01-17-2001, 08:12 PM
Just a couple questions

Hi Maria,

First I'd like to say it sounds as if you have a wonderful attitude, I know first hand it is very important to have.

About the numbness, I had that pretty bad during my first round of chemo (carboplatin/taxol) and my oncologist had me take extra B-6 which really helped with it. You might check with your oncologist and see if this an option. I didn't have any problems with skin discoloration so am not sure what might help with that. Possibly one of the others ladies here might have dealt with that.

Losing the eyelashes bothered me more than the hair but after that first round they were the first thing to come back along with the eyebrows. I can happily say the second round (which is almost done) did not cause hair loss. It did slow the hair growth however which had started growing back pretty quickly. I've been told that alot of peoples hair can come back thicker or thinner than it left. Can't wait to find out. I bet you'll start seeing the growth pretty soon. Aren't those wigs just a pain in the tail, I can't wait to get home to rip it off.

I'm glad to hear you've completed your treatments successfully and am on your way to recovery. I hope your side effects will soon be gone. Please keep us posted on how you're doing.

Take care,
Vicki



  #3  
Unread 01-17-2001, 08:30 PM
Thanks so much Vicki

Hi Vicki,
Thanks so much for your reply.
I do try to keep a postive attitude. I lost both parents to cancer, but have 8 wonderful brothers and sisters and wonderful friends who have been a wonderful support system to me. I have one sister who is retired, and came to every single one of my chemo sessions...and would grab the cold face cloths for me every night when I was ill. She is a doll and she has had her share of problems having gone through cancer of the cervix 15 years ago. She was very lucky as she did not require any followup chemo or radiation with hers though. The hysterectomy took care of it all.

I have another sister who is a reflexologist, and she showed up at my door recently with 3 bottles of Vitimins. Vitimin C, D and Selenium. She insists I take these. I am so sick of taking pills that I am enjoying a break from it...so ( shame on me)..I haven't started taking them as yet. But I will start this weekend for sure.

Thank you for the info on the B6. I did hear another lady at chemo who has the same oncologist as I do say that B6 has helped her as well. Its very annoying isn't it. I had to wear oven mitts to peel potatoes the other day...mainly so I wouldn't slip with the knife, but also to be able to hold the bloody potato. lol

The chemo I was on was Cisplatin, Etopiside and Bleomycin (sp) which is the one that causes the discoloration they tell me.

Am so glad to hear about the eyelashes!!! They seemed to disappear overnight, and I agree...they bother me more than the hair as well. And the eyebrows...but I have gotten pretty good at feathering them in to look realistic.

Chemo does some terrible things...but I guess we can all be sooo grateful that it also kills the cancer cells, and that is the purpose of it.
Thanks again Vicki for your reply.
You are an !!!!
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  #4  
Unread 01-18-2001, 02:54 AM
Just a couple questions

Hi Maria, first of all. lots of hugs to you. Secondly, even though I haven't had cancer ( only precancerous cells of cervix, and still there after my hyster :'( ) I would like to pass on some information on natural therapies, especially anti oxidants. Selenium is one of the best things you can take when you have cancer. Foods rich in antioxidants are tomatoes, melons,asparugus,berries cauliflower, sweet potato, carrot, spinach and strawberries.
Vitamin C is also good as it helps to keep your immune system strong . Hope this is of help ,take care
  #5  
Unread 01-18-2001, 01:00 PM
Just a couple questions

Hi Robyn:

Thanks so much for your reply and excellent information. I see women named Robyn are very smart!!! I say this because my sister who I mentioned in a previous post who brought me the Vitamin C, D and the Selenium, is also named Robyn. (same spelling too). She said exactly what you did about anti-oxidents!! In her field of reflexology she has done a lot of reading on diease and the benefits of Vitimins etc.

All the foods you mentioned are favorites of mine with the exception of sweet potatoes. I will be sure to start taking these Vitimins right away!! I want to keep this cancer from returning for sure, and if these will help then I am all for that. As well as getting the B6 that Vicki suggested to aid in the numbness in my fingers.
You ladies are so wonderful with your help and encouragement.

There were days that I would log into the site, and this message board in particular when I was home recovering from my chemo sessions, and I would get encouragement from the words that you have all written to other women.
Thank you again Robyn, and I wish for you the best of health!!! Sending a big ole hug to you down in sunny Austrailia.
Maria xo.
  #6  
Unread 01-18-2001, 06:22 PM
Just a couple questions

Maria;

I was so moved by your strength and courage as I read your initial post today! Congrats on your chemo results! It just goes to show what a positive attitude, courage and a great support system can overcome!!! What a woman!! Hang in there and keep us posted. I am scheduled for a hsyt. on 02/01/01 due to abnormal bleeding, fibroids and a recent diagnosis of stage 1 carcinoma of the endometrium. I will keep you in my prayers and focus on the courage you have shown me while I face the results of my surgery. Take care....
  #7  
Unread 01-18-2001, 08:06 PM
Just a couple questions

Hi JoJo:
You are so sweet!! Your message brought tears to my eyes. Everyone is saying that I have been a trooper through my ordeal, but you know I think it was just that I had so much to deal with so fast....I really didn't have time to do anything but react, and focus on getting this out of me.

As I mentioned, I really thought I only had stomach flu...and to find out firstly that I needed a complete hysterectomy...and in the same appt. be told that it may be cancer, and that I may require a few sessions of chemo was alot to take in.

I was not very good about having annual checkups..and I think I turned it inward....more or less...saying to myself...this is what I get for not taking care of myself.

I have since been told this cell may not have even showed up in a routine pap test though.

It helps too that I am feeling so much better now. There were many days, and I am sure all of the wonderful ladies here who are going through chemo can relate too where I didn't think I would get through it, but I did with lots of support from family and friends, and a great faith in prayer as well.
Thanks again JoJo...I will keep you in my prayers. Think positive...its amazing how important that is!!!
((((((hugs)))))))))
Maria
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