Thursday, February 26, 2009

NJ CME program -Ovarian Cancer Update 2009

This free Continuing Medical Education program fulfills the action plan of chapter 7 (Gynecological Cancers) of the NJ Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan to educate New Jersey's primary care physicians and specialists in gynecology and obstetrics about ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Update 2009
Saturday April 25,2009
7:45-11:30 AM
The Mansion on Main Street ,
Plaza 3000, Kresson and Evesham Roads
Voorhees, NJ

Cooper Health Systems / Dept of CME (856) 382-6480
Registration Deadline is April 17,2009

Topics include:
Hereditary aspects of Ovarian and Breast Cancers
Surgical Management of Ovarian Cancer
Chemotherapy for Ovarian Cancer
Current Research in Ovarian Cancer
Psychological Perspectives in the Management of Ovarian Cancer Patients

Ovarian Cancer Survivors in NJ: Please pass on this information your primary care physicians or gynecologists.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Change is OK

When I returned home on Thursday from my single taxol treatment, I was not sure what to expect from the days ahead. I never had a single agent before always taxol with carbo. For everyone who knows me well, I like to know what to expect. I was a Girl Scout growing up so be prepared is still my motto. So in essence I don't adjust well to change on the fly. But I also realize that living strong with cancer means going with the flow cause things are always changing.

Would I be a little tired or totally exhausted where I couldn't get out of bed? Would I be nauseous? Would my legs get jittery at night? Would everything I eat taste like cardboard( not that I ever really ate cardboard) ? Would Friday's Neulasta shot give me those lower back pains or maybe shoulder pains this time? Would those other bodily functions work according to plan? Would I remember to take all my pills on time - like at 2am? Would I be able to focus my eyes to read and watch TV or answer some e-mails? Would I be able to celebrate Nick's birthday or sleep through it.

Well it is Monday and I can look back and say - Not so bad.
I am tired but the kind of tired you feel after having a real good work out. I took two naps a day went to sleep around 11pm and slept straight through to 8 am. Ok, I did set the alarm to wake up at 2 am for my nausea pills.
I did have an upset stomach one evening but I realized I missed taking my pill by an hour- I must remember to take my pills on time!
Those jittery legs haven't happened yet. That is a relief.
I could read and work on the computer for short periods of time but I did need those reading glasses and sometimes my fingers put letters on the screen that weren't even close to what I wanted to write!
I've had some back pain from the shot but not bad enough to have to take anything for it. (We'll see what today brings. )
And I was awake on Saturday evening to give Nick his birthday card - Hurrah!

I appreciate all the e-mails, calls and prayers to help me get through this change.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

CancerCare Education Workshop- OC

OCRF sent an e-mail about this interesting telephone workshop.

On Thursday, February 26, from 1:30-2:30 p.m., Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, Director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center and member of OCRF's Scientific Advisory Committee, will be a featured speaker during the CancerCare Connect® Medical Update on Ovarian Cancer.

Participation is free, and no phone charges apply. To register, call 1-800-813-HOPE (4673) or go to


Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

chemo 3 and change of plans

(written from 4 north room 8)

I arrived at Robert Wood yesterday at 9 am and went to the 5th floor. Maria my nurse accessed both sections of my dual port shortly after that Dr Vayda arrived with two interns. She explained why I needed to have a 24 hour taxol infusion when used with cisplatin- reducing severe neuropathy. We talked about testing - like scratch testing for food you are allergic too but for chemotherapy drugs the test is not reliable. We also reviewed the side effects of cisplatin- kidney problems , severe nausea and vomiting and severe allergic reactions like the one I had with carbo or worse.

Around 9 pm , I was moved to the 4th floor - a telemetry floor so I could have my heart monitored. Around 12 noon Dr Rodriguez arrived and we spoke for about 45 minutes. Over the past three weeks she had frequently discussed my case with the other gyn-oncs at CINJ. In light of the fact that this is a recurrence of OC and not initial treatment, the fact that my CA-125 continues to drop (14) and because of my very serious carbo reaction, she decided that I would not get the cisplatin but rather continue treatments with a single agent- taxol.Over the past few months I have had time to read many papers on recurrence and am aware that single agents can give long remissions. There was also one paper - Italian research I think- in which 2 women allergic to carbo died during infusions of cisplatin. That is something I would certainly like to avoid! I wouldn't even want a repeat of the carbo reaction which was a bit scary.

Since I had surgery which removed the disease and my December CT showed no signs of disease I feel comfortable with the decision to not do the cisplatin. I am actually a bit relieved to not have to worry about all the other side effect that come with using the cisplatin.

Dr Rodriguez told me that she will also be sending my tumor tissue to be tested for estrogen to see if I am a candidate for Femara after my treatments with taxol are complete.

So that it in a nutshell. I will continue my next 3 treatments on taxol only and look forward to many years of remission.

Everyday is a blessing!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Peanut products and Cancer patients

I received an e-mail from OCNA providing information about peanut product recalls for cancer patients.

"Because cancer patients with impaired immune systems are more likely to become severely ill from a Salmonella infection than others, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) developed a new Fact Sheet, Peanut Product Recall and Cancer Patients, to address the special concerns of cancer patients and their healthcare providers.

* View NCI's Peanut Product Recall and Cancer Patients Fact Sheet:

* For a searchable list of recalled products, visit the FDA Web site: "


Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Teal Toes- A Neat Way to Raise Awareness

Although is really popular during September (Ovarian Cancer Awareness month) I thought I would mention it in February since it is such a neat concept.

Teal Toes promotes the use of teal colored nail polish on toes ( or fingers for that matter) . Teal is such a different toe/ nail color you are sure to have people ask why are you wearing that color nail / toe polish. That gives you the opportunity to talk about Ovarian Cancer.

One page of the web site lists a number of nail polish companies such as Opi , Sally Hansen, Wet 'n Wild, that sell various shades of teal polish. So have some fun the next time you polish your nails - try teal!


Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Send a Virtual Cupcake and Support Ovarian Cancer Research

With Valentine's Day just two days away, remember your Valentine by sending them a cupcake from the Kelly Confidential website.

From the website:
"Electrolux is proud to support The Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Electrolux and Kelly Ripa have teamed up to raise more than $500,000 to support this important cause. Electrolux is also making a $1 donation to the OCRF (with a minimum of $25,000 and a maximum of $30,000) when you send a virtual cupcake to a friend."

So click here , register and send a cupcake to help support Ovarian Cancer research.

Thanks Electrolux and Kelly for raising awareness and funds for OC research.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Survivors Teaching Students & Fundraiser for Brick, NJ family

Survivors Teaching Students:
My friend and OC survivor Dianne participates in the Survivor Teaching Student program sponsored by OCNA. She was featured in an article in the Star-Telegram , Dallas/Fort Worth. I first met Dianne at the LiveStrong Summit in Austin in 2006 she is a wonderful OC advocate and will be attending the OCNA Conference in DC in July. Thanks Dianne for all you do to raise awareness.

Pitts Family of Brick NJ Fundraiser:
Here is the info on a fundraiser on Feb 21st for the Pitt family. Thanks Brian for passing this on.
THE CAUSE: The Pitts family of Brick, NJ has been devastated by cancer in the last year. Last October the Pitts family lost Walter Joe Pitts from liver cancer and recently his wife, Eileen, has been diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer. This fundraiser is held to help raise money for Eileen's medical expenses while going through chemotherapy.

TIME/DATE: 4:00PM - 7:00PM February 21, 2009

LOCATION: "Hemingway's Cafe" 612 Boulevard Seaside Hts, NJ

DONATION: A $25 donation in advance will include a buffet dinner of either pasta, chicken or sirloin. There will be a 50/50 raffle, a chance auction, DJ and dancing. There will be a cash bar.

CONTACT: To purchase tickets in advance please call (732)581-6265, (609)223-2306 or (908)330-6349. If you cannot purchase in advance there will be a $30 donation at the door.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Support Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer Advocacy Groups in NJ

Seems like a fun way to celebrate Valentine's day - Plus the food at this restaurant is delicious.


Valentine’s Day, Saturday, February 14, 2009

6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Enjoy a full Spanish Buffet, Open Bar and Dancing at

Don Pepe Restaurant

844 McCarter Highway

Newark, New Jersey

(973) 623-4662

$60.00 per person

For the benefit of Men’s and Women’s

Cancer Education and Support Activities

Special Honoree Frank Reedy

For tickets contact Gabe Rosko at (908) 362-9799

Or Gail Tyrrell (973) 361-5952



Every Day is a Blessing!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Senate Increases NIH funding in Stimulus Package

The Senate approved an amendment offered by Senators Harkin and Specter that raised the level of funding provided to the National Institute of Health in the stimulus package. The NIH funding would be $10 billion dollars for research which includes $1.3 billion for the National Cancer Institute.



Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Catching up

I am feeling a bit stronger today but still pretty tired hence the abbreviated entry.

Thanks for everyone who e-mailed / called the past few days. Sorry I didn't speak to you in person- way too tired.
A special thanks to my husband who has been taking such good care of me the past few days. (Love ya, honey!)

Friday- Slept and ate

Sat - Slept, ate

Sun - Slept , ate . Awake for a portion of the Super Bowl- the end of the first half and the end of the game which I understand were the most exciting parts.

Monday - more eating sleeping and periods of being awake. Hurrah!! got to read a little and get on the computer.

Looking forward to tomorrow being a better day .



Every Day is Truely a Blessing!