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I'm depressed.... I'm depressed....

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  #21  
Unread 03-25-2003, 07:52 PM
I'm depressed....

Yesterday, I called the head of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to ask her a few questions. When she called me back, I learned that she was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer 13 years ago. And that her cancer had spread into her kidneys. She kicked it. Now, she's alive and helping others.

Needless to say, I shouted, "I am SO HAPPY TO TALK TO YOU!"

At times, I have wondered if I'd rather be told when I was going to die so I could tie up loose ends, or just die without knowing that I was going to die. I suppose there are pros and cons to both scenarios. However, I do not plan to die for a good many years. I plan to be a nice old lady someday, and that means I have to be around for a very long time.

According to everything I have read, and many people I have spoken to, most cited statistics are about 5-10 years old. It takes many years to compile meaningful statistics, and by the time they are published, new medications have been in use for quite some time, thus changing the landscape of the existing statistics. Doctors don't know everything. They are wonderful, educated people who want to help, and I personally love my team of doctors. But they are not all-knowing.

As a voracious consumer of knowledge and a person who wants to contribute to her own care, I have read many books in the past few weeks. In many, many cases, people have been given a bleak prognosis . . . only to turn their life around through alternative remedies (after traditional medicines have failed).

Tammy, do not underestimate the healing power that your own body has within it, nor the "non-medical-establishment" therapies that have worked for so many. If something isn't working for your particular case, research alternatives. (You may have done this already.) Doctors may poo-poo them. But there are just too many success stories to ignore.

Some books I've found to be helpful include:

"Cancer: Increasing Your Odds of Survival - A Resource Guide for Integrating Mainstream, Alternative and Complementary Therapies" by David Bognar
"A Cancer Battle Plan" by Anne & David Frahm
"A Macrobiotic Approach to Cancer" by Michio Kushi
"Nature's Cancer-Fighting Foods" by Verne Varona
"Love, Medicine & Miracles" by Dr. Bernie Seigel

I've read "It's Always Something" and just bought the Lance Armstrong book earlier today . . . along with another book about coping with chemo. Seashell is sending me "Making Friends With Cancer," which I'm looking forward to reading. I'm sure I'm just like everyone else. You get a diagnosis or prognosis, and you try to read everything you can to ensure you understand all your options. I want to play a role in my recovery. Because I want to live.

I trust my doctors. But I think that there are many things that I can do on my own to improve my odds. If that means drinking Essiac tea and taking maitake mushroom with D-fraction and sprinkling tumeric on everything, and squeezing fresh vegetable juices, and converting to a mostly macrobiotic diet, and never drinking wine or eating cheese or ice cream again . . . to me, it is a small price to pay. I feel that I am helping my body in this fight. It may not help. But . . . what if it does?

Interestingly, Taxol is a derivative of the Pacific yew tree. If we had told a doctor that a tree had the ability to contribute to an effective cancer treatment in the 1970s, what do you think they would have said?

I hope I'm not ranting too much here. I am honestly trying to be helpful. Statistics make me cranky.

My heart hurt when I read your first post. I am so, so sorry for your sorrow.

The most important thing is . . . your tumor is shrinking! KNOW that it will continue to shrink. Love your little girl every day. Enjoy your life. Everyone here is on your side. And everyone here wants to live.

s for you!
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  #22  
Unread 03-25-2003, 08:09 PM
I'm depressed....

{{Tammy}}

I'm so happy your appointment gave you such great news!!! That's always a good remedy for this type of blues eh?

I'm so sorry that this came up to begin with, I, like the rest of the gals think "stats" are just numbers. While they do serve a purpose for research and such, but for "prognosis" purposes, I really think they do more harm than good in alot of cases.

I've repeated this alot of times before but it makes me feel so good and positive that I'll repeat it again if you don't mind. My Hematologist/Oncologist told me when I had my recurrence that they view cancer now as "more of a CHRONIC illness that will eventually be beat". I repeated that to myself alot for a very long time.

Congrats again on your excellent news!!! I hope your next scans show even MORE improvement!!!

{{hugs}}

Vicki
  #23  
Unread 03-25-2003, 08:40 PM
Tammy, I'm glad you got good news

at your appointment today. I hope it's a help to you to hear that. The other ladies here said alot of good things, but you will be in my thoughts for continued good news!

Marya
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  #24  
Unread 03-26-2003, 06:09 PM
I'm depressed....

Hi, Tammy,

In 1976 my mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The cancer was too advanced to be treated by hysterectomy. My mother's gynecologist told my sister that it was the worst case of cervical cancer he had ever seen in all his years of practice, and he estimated she had six months to a year. My mother's cervical cancer was treated with internal and external radiation. She had breast cancer in one breast about ten years later, and had breast cancer in the other breast about five years after that. Eighteen years after her original cervical cancer diagnosis she died--but of heart failure, not cancer. I often wonder whether my mother outlived her old gynecologist who gave my sister the grim, and what turned our to be terribly wrong, prognosis.

When I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 1999 (at age 51--the same age my mother was diagnosed with cervical cancer) and it turned out at surgery to be more advanced than expected, I thought about my mother's situation when I needed reassurance that I was going to be okay. Now I have the distinct honor of saying that I come from a long line of gynecologic cancer survivors! New treatments are coming down the pipeline all the time. For example, I recently read that Celebrex, the arthritis drug, is showing significant tumor activity on a variety of tumors in clinical trials. Be well, and make sure to keep smiling--

MoeKay
  #25  
Unread 03-26-2003, 07:00 PM
I'm depressed....

Hi Tammy,,,

I was sooo sorry to hear what you had been told and do agree that maybe you were better off not knowing. At least maybe not right now.

I do not know what to say except that attitude and zest for living does play a big big part in overcoming this terrible disease.

My father used to play golf everyday, ride a bike, and belong to a million organizations. Then one day a doc asked him when he had a heart attack. (they saw it on an ekg) We replied NEVER... Well actually he had had several silent heart attacks and did not know he had had them. HOWEVER, once he was informed of his condition, he panicked.... he stopped playing golf,stopped riding his bike and cut down on meetings. He stopped living the way he was used to because someone gave him bad news and he was scared. Unfortunately he did pass away 2 years ago from a bad heart but he actually stopped doing the things he enjoyed way before that.

I hope this makes some kind of sense to you. Who knows how long he may have lived if this information was not given to him.

Think positive thoughts. Miracles do happen.

Rosalie
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