Saturday, November 13, 2010

De-ported (somewhat)

Well, I have been lax again in updating. Oops! :)

Two weeks ago I had a scan and appointment. Still nothing on the scan that is definitively cancer!! Yay! They did see a 'shadowy' area where my trachea splits - that my doc thought was because of a recent cold/allergies. She said there are a bunch of lymph nodes there that could be swollen. She said that she could not see what the radiologist was referring to, when she looked at the scan. Anyway - I am not worried, and she wasn't either. It is something we will watch, but not something that will cause me to lose any sleep.

We also talked about cutting back on the CT scans. I have been worried lately, about all the radiation I'm getting from them. My doctor said that she would be fine with cutting them back to twice a year. She said we can just use my CA125 and HE4 blood tests to monitor, as well as my own symptoms (or lack thereof). I'll still see her every three months, but only scanned every 6.

Yesterday I had my interperitoneal port removed. The port was located on my ribcage, and the tube was anchored to an area just above my liver. I didn't think that I would be as SORE as I am today. I actually took some Vicodin (prescribed) last night for the pain - and I try to avoid that drug. It gives me crazy dreams.

My poor favorite husband - they called him from the waiting room and said that the doctor wanted to talk to him. He was scared that I had died on the operating table, or even that they found more cancer... Luckily - they just needed to tell him that they could not get the tubing out of my abdomen (from the port). Adhesions and such had made the tube a permanent part of my body. They told him that they could remove it, but that it would require a full abdominal surgery. He made the absolute right choice by having them leave it in! (it was their recommendation too). The tubing has never been a problem for me anyway - I can't feel it. But I did feel the actual port on my ribs, and the anchor on my abdomen. I'm glad they are gone!

We are celebrating my little sisters 40th birthday today (her b-day is actually next week). I can't believe she is turning 40! She has turned into such a wonderful woman. I need to stop looking at her as my 'kid' sister now, I guess :) I'll load up on ibuprofin and have some wine - and my sore bandaged ribs/abdomen surely won't bother me tonight at her party! Happy birthday Lori - I love you!

I hope you are all doing well and enjoying life! Thank you for the continued thoughts and prayers. I know for certain that I would not be where I am today, without them.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

and another anniversary!

I realized late Saturday, that it has been three years since my hysterectomy, and subsequent Ovarian Cancer diagnosis. I honestly didn't think I'd make it this far when I was first diagnosed and two lines of chemotherapy (taxol/carboplatin and doxil) had no impact on my cancer. I imagined if I made it three years, I would be debilitated - as I see in other long term recurrent ovarian cancer survivors. But here I am - alive and thriving, and I wonder why. However, it is now an introspective 'why', and not a guilty one. The comments on my last post really helped me with the guilt. Especially Sams comment that my guilt will not do a thing for those other ovarian cancer patients-and she's right. It won't. What I can do for them and for myself, is to continue to live and enjoy my life, and every day that I have here on earth with my family and friends. That means no worrying about the future. The future will take care of itself.

I got to take my niece (my FH's oldest sisters' oldest daughter) skydiving! It was her request. She actually told me she wanted to do it when she was 16 (you have to be 18). She still remembered, and wanted to do it, and I was more than happy to join in on the fun. We couldn't sucker anyone else into going with us, but that was fine. I enjoyed this third skydive even more - it just keeps getting better! She really loved it too - so maybe a fourth dive is ahead!

Talk about not worrying about the future! ;) I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face the whole day! It was a great way to celebrate three years of survival.

Nothing else is new, except one sad note... I recently lost a facebook friend to ovarian cancer. You can see Sandhy's post about Diane on I could not have honored Diane better than Sandhy did, so I'm not even going to try.

You probably won't hear from me until October when my next scan is due. But who knows? ;)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Recently, we celebrated my parents 45th wedding anniversary. My sister and I had a surprise 45th wedding anniversary party, that was a COMPLETE surprise to them! I still can't believe they had no clue :) My sister handled the bulk of the planning and work - and I handled the complaining :) I am not a party planner. My husband and I got married in Vegas, because the thought of planning a wedding completely terrified me. She did a fabulous job.

What was wonderful, was that everyone there seemed so happy to be there for my dad and mom. It really turned into a wonderful event. They have really been happily married for 45 years - it CAN be done! :) My favorite husband and I have been happily married for nearly 7 years, so we are on our way.

I had my CT scan and saw my doc Thursday and Friday. My news continues to be great! My CA125 remains at 14, and the scan shows no growth!! Holy cow. The calcified nodules are still there, but show no increase in size. The doctor said that the nodules occur when cancer "shrinks" and leaves behind calcium deposits. So there is no way to tell if cancer remains or not in those nodules - we just keep tracking them.

She is also incorporating a new biomarker blood test. Its the HE4 test, that is supposed to be more reliable than the CA125. Great - its another number for me to worry about!! :) I won't have that result for at least a week. I'm honestly not worried about that number yet, because of the scan and CA125 results.

The one bad thing is that I found out I was one of the very few women at my docs office that was getting "good" results that day. It makes me feel guilty and unworthy. Part of that comes from the fact that I have been extra tired, and I haven't accomplished anything lately. I work, and come home and sit on the couch :( I really need to remember to take my vitamins every day. I think the tiredness is from deficiencies, caused from past chemo treatments. What would those other women accomplish if they had my good news? I need to be re-motivated and re-energized.

Thank you all so much for your continued good energy and prayers! I have been off of treatment since January, and that is a miracle for someone with recurrent ovarian cancer!! Now, I need to get moving! :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Enjoying Spring!

I could apologize again about what a bad blogger I am, but would you really accept it? :)

At least I come bearing good news! I had my CT scan and doc appointment last week. The scan *read* that nothing showed up. However my doctor pulled the scan up on her computer, and saw that there are still calcified nodules in my abdomen. Those nodules, in comparison to scans from November, have shrunk! From now on though, I will always have her pull the scans up and read them herself. I don't have much faith in the radiologists' reading, which is not good. At least the doctor is aware of it now, and maybe can say something to get that fixed.

She said that we don't need to do anything now. I need to have another scan in three months. Until then (and hopefully, beyond then) I'm still on break!! My CA125 is down to 14 (the lowest its ever been).

My favorite husband and I were actually in shock. I was certain that I would need to start treatment again (and I think he thought so too). I wasn't as stressed about starting treatment again, knowing she would likely put me back on Avastin, which was really helpful (in conjunction, I believe, with the OVax vaccine trial I was in). Knowing how subversive and sneaky ovarian cancer is, I didn't expect to get an extended break like this! My body is reveling in it, and with spring here, I feel renewed.

For those of you battling ovarian cancer - I wish for the same break for you. I can't explain how much hope this gives me. At a minimum, it is more time, and it gives my body time to recuperate from all the abuse its taken the past three years.

I won't promise to update soon. :) I will try to update more often! Please continue to send good energy and prayers my way, and I'll do the same for you.

Now, go out and enjoy your lives!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Tentative optimism!

First - let me apologize for not posting sooner. I have been busy with work, the holidays, and all of that wonderful daily minutia that we generally take for granted. I take it for granted too, but definitely less than I used to.

I have had a total of six treatments of Avastin, as a single agent treatment, for my recurrent ovarian cancer. I had a CT scan on Thursday, and a doctors appointment on Friday. Unfortunately for my doctor, and for me - she was sick and not in the office. I got to see her PA, who I really like though, so I still got my results.

The scan results were a little confusing to us. In some sections, it said "no change from last scan" but in others it said "no abnormal mass". The PA said this means that the cancerous nodules viewed on the last scan are either gone, or so small as to not be visible on the scan. Gone? Really?? I only have one calcified lymph node that is unchanged from the last scan. So, it sounds like wonderful news and I am now on "break" from treatment for two months! Wow! In two months I'll have another scan and appointment.

My favorite husband and I still want to talk to the doctor to clarify this report. It is the "no change from last scan" part that has my husband and I confused, and not quite ready to fully embrace that these nodules are really gone. Don't get me wrong - we are thrilled and very happy that I get a break so that my body can recuperate! We just want to clarify that the absence of information, means that there is no information available (no tumors or growths).

However, even if the scan showed no difference from last time, meaning nodules remain - that is still good news! No growth is always good news! But I hope you can understand our confusion :)

I plan to call my doctor next week (giving her a few days to catch up with her other patients) to make sure that the news is as good as it sounds. I will repost then to let you know too!

What a wonderful drug Avastin is! Its been the only thing in 2 1/2 years that has stopped my cancer from growing and even better - caused it to shrink or disappear! I also think that it is especially effective because of the vaccine I received. Both my husband and I think they are acting in conjunction with eachother - the vaccine preventing new growth, and the Avastin killing the active nodules.

So that is my update! I hope that you are all doing well and enjoying each day! I can promise that I will be enjoying all of mine! :)