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Ode To My Period Ode To My Period

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Unread 12-16-2008, 11:49 AM
Ode To My Period

Although I'm facing ovarian cancer and chemo after having had all my female parts removed, today I am grieving about the loss of my period. I've written a poem, specific to my own menstruation story, but wanted to share it. Maybe some of you can relate:

Period, you've been nothing but trouble.

When I anxiously awaited your first arrival to my body, you hid from me while other girls bragged.

When you finally showed yourself, you then hid from me again for six months longer.

You always made me feel weird. Was I the only female who had no cycle? 32 days, 39, 41, 35--there was no rhyme or reason.

God, you've ruined all my Victoria's Secret panties!

What a welcome relief to be pregnant! Now *I* was hiding from YOU!

Sometimes you made me a nervous wreck.

Would you show up and relieve anxiety that I might be pregnant?

Would you show up the times I wanted to be with child, too, making my heart sink?

Period, you've been like an annoying husband--a nuisance to have around, wishing you'd go away, but necessary, so necessary to my life.

You've made me female--a woman.

It took a lifetime for you to finally behave yourself. At last I was regular, like other women! This filled me with pride that my body was "normal." I could predict you now and be ready.

And now the things that made you a part of me have been ripped from my body.

Just like that, I'll never see you again--and I MOURN.
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Unread 12-17-2008, 10:56 PM
Ode To My Period

I am sorry you are grieving loss of your uterus and periods. I think it helps to talk about it and share as you are doing. We are sad for a little while , but with time it gets a little easier for us.

Sending prayers and s your way.
Unread 12-18-2008, 01:45 PM
Ode To My Period

library lady, i know how you feel. i had a totaly hysterectomy in 2006. it took my having the hysterectomy for me to appreciate how sacred the whole menstrual cycle is. how it makes you feel like you're part of something special and divine. my friends still tell me how lucky i am to not have to deal with my periods anymore. but i ache with sadness sometimes when i realize how i much i miss all the things that used to annoy me: the cramps, the heavy flow days, the pads and tampons. those things may have been a nuisance sometimes, but they were part of being a woman. it's weird b/c i think silly things like i wish i told my uterus and ovaries how much i appreciated them before i lost them...but it's so true. they did what they were supposed to do. they made it possible for me to have my son. i am forever grateful to my body--those parts--for keeping me in the beautiful cycle of life.
2 years later, i still ache. i know i always will. but i look at my son and know he was created and housed in my body. my ovaries and uterus gave me this gift. it's all i need.
just remember, you're not alone. wishing you the best...
TVH 2006, ovarian cancer, stage 2...cured now and forever!
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Unread 12-19-2008, 06:20 PM
Ode To My Period

jackiehues, you mention you had ovarian cancer and are now cured. I am about to go through chemotherapy starting next week, and I could use a story that will give me hope. Can you elaborate more about your experience with the cancer?

How did your body react to chemo, how did YOU react to it, and did you kill all remaining cells after 6 treatments?

I am stage 3A. I have never felt more terrified in my entire life. Please write...thank you!

Unread 12-19-2008, 11:50 PM
Ode To My Period

hi librarylady,
sorry this post came so late! i know how it is to wait for responses from people who can relate. i was contemplating sending this to your email since it is so long. but maybe someone else can benefit from my experience as well.
i was diagnosed with OVCA stage 2C after a hysterectomy in december of 2006. after some deliberations over what type of cancer cells were present and whether or not to do the chemo, my doc finally decided to prescribe 6 rounds of chemo...carboplatin and taxol. i have been cancer-free since treatment ended. here is a bit of how my chemo experience went:
i started chemo in february, went every three weeks, and finished my last treatment on may 31, 2007. i was terrified of the chemo too. i wasn't sure i wanted it at all and spent days and nights gathering info, calling doctors, doubting its efficacy, researching...and researching some more. i finally decided to do it. despite my initial reservations, i do not regret doing it at all. we have to do everything humanly possible to fight this disease. i was looking into natural remedies and spoke to a couple women who had cancer (brain and leukemia) to get their p.o.v. one of the women did both chemo and natural remedies and i liked that idea. (f.y.i., she is doing great 20 years later), so i did that too. i saw the nutritionist at my cancer center to OK the supplements i would be taking with chemo. basically, i would take grapeseed extract capsules (an antioxidant) and shiitake mushroom capsules (1 a day) when my stomach felt OK. you'll find that as the treatments progress your stomach can only tolerate certain things. i didn't have any taste changes or anything like that. i just lost my appetite for a few days after each treatment.
i recommend eating fresh fruits the day of treatment and drinking plenty of liquids. i used to bring a whole bag of food (my treatment was from 12-5pm), stuff like cantaloupe, apples with peanut butter, nuts and seeds, carrots and hummus, baked chicken. light stuff that was packed with vitamins. i drank lots of water and green tea during chemo and after. when your stomach can tolerate a daily vitamin, take one, since your body will be depleted of essential vitamins and minerals. i read up on nutrition during chemo and my nutritionist was a great help. she told me what my daily intake of protein, calcium, etc should be for someone my size and all that. (if there is one thing i would want you to take from this, it would be to WORK WITH A NUTRITIONIST...my cancer center provided one free, luckily...so ask your doc about that). i began juicing often (which i highly recommend) and cut out most meat from my diet. (i am now a full-time vegetarian, but the nutritionist told me i needed the lean protein from meats thru chemo). i gained some weight during chemo due to the steroids, but it was mostly water weight and came off a couple months after treatment ended.
i remember being really worried about how chemo would make me feel, how sick i would be. i wondered if i would be able to take care of my son. i was pleasantly surprised to find that i could function normally after the 3rd day following every treatment (i even met some people who worked straight thru their treatments with no problems!). you'll find that some days you'll be more fatigued than others, more nauseas than others. just rest. rest as much as you can. you'll get bloodwork done the day after treatment and then a shot of neulasta to boost your white blood cell count if it's low a few days later. i never had terrible side effects from the shot. just some bone and joint discomfort. i couldn't go out in public a week after treatment b/c the blood cell count was at its lowest. but as time passed, i got more brave and ventured out. just remember to sanitize/wash your hands and have everyone who visits do the same.
as far as the hair loss: that was pretty major for me. i remember thinking that i might be one of the lucky ones that didn't lose her hair...but i was wrong! i started losing my hair after my 2nd treatment. i cut it real short right before my 1st, buzzed it after my 2nd and i think by my fourth treatment all of my hair was totally gone. it's weird to lose your hair, for sure. but you get used to it. it's great to not have to shave when it grows back (it starts to grow back a few weeks after treatment ends) it comes in nice and full. my hair was straight and thin before treatment. now it's thick and curly. i love it! i did buy a wig, but never wore it. it was so itchy that i just stuck to scarves and turbins...some of which is till sport today b/c they're so cute!
it sounds overwhelming, but it becomes so routine, believe me. you find out pretty quickly what works for you and what doesn't. between treatments, life resumed pretty normally for me. my advice is to take it all in stride b/c it's all you can do. visualize the chemo molecules as armed soldiers fighting the cancer cells...i used to do that as i was being hooked up to the IVs and it helped me to accept that the chemo was a welcome medicine. it was on my side and working with my natural killer cells to destroy the unwelcome cancer cells.
most important: keep a positive attitude. i know you are scared and doubtful and your brain is anxious with all of this. but your worrying will not change where you are or your circumstances. use the energy you spend on worrying for positive thinking and breathing. it sounds cliche, but it can only do good things for your mind and body. when i start feeling anxious, i close my eyes and take deep breaths. i imagine healing energy coming into my body as i inhale, i imagine negative energy leaving as i exhale. and i still use the mantras i used to use when i would get worked up during treatment: "i'm strong, i'm healthy, i'm cancer-free now and forever". i would think i was fooling myself sometimes, but after a few months of repeating the mantra, i was more and more convinced that i was healthy...that i was cured. i'm telling you, it works! ruminating and worrying does nothing to help us. but don't feel guilty or like you're doing something wasteful when you are worrying. it's natural. i just hope that you can catch yourself, breathe deep and repeat positive thoughts to yourself.
i still fall back into spells of anxiety. particularly around this time of year since it is when i had my hysterectomy and all. i think they call it "anniversary anxiety". i just went to my doctor's today, as a matter of fact, because i was feeling some pain. but my scan 3 months ago was clear and all was clear at today's exam.
i would say i worried for nothing, but i dont believe that. our worries should never consume us, but they should ground us and remind us that we are here right now and can decide how we spend our time: honkerblonked at our situation, scared of what is to come...or grateful that we are here and can choose to focus on what is good in our lives and what we can do to help our situation. i am so thankful to have learned that the control that we have in this life is only limited to the decisions we make for ourselves. that's all it is. some things are out of our control, but we can control how we react to everything.
i hope you choose to believe in yourself and believe that your body knows what it's doing despite there being some pesky cancer cells hanging out in there. your body knows how to handle them. tell yourself that. go into chemo knowing that you're getting medicine that will help your body eliminate the bad cells. feed your body good stuff, think good thoughts. rent lots of comedies and hang out with people who make you laugh. cry, scream and break down when your body tells you it wants to. don't feel bad about anything...your reactions, your moods, your thoughts. just take it in stride and know it's all part of being human. i have never felt so comfortable with myself and with life than i do now. i'm not saying i understand everything, but i do accept it.

librarylady, you stand to gain so much more than you know right now.

i wish you all the best.

take good care!!

jackiehues (kerry)
Unread 12-20-2008, 02:41 AM
Ode To My Period

im sorry your mourning! i also miss my uterus oo sooo much!! my hyster was a total shock to me tho i became a proud new mommy and a depressed uterusless women within 2wks of eachother and i have no1 to talk to cuz even my mom has periods still and the other day she was real sick and her ms was actin up and she sent me to walmart to get pads and i balled in walmart cuz i couldnt believe i was at walmart getting pads for my mom when here i am 21 and dont need them! i know im pathetic... but i hear ya but it will get better! im now a year post op!

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