Wednesday, March 24, 2021

2021 SGO Virtual Meeting Sunday March 21, 2021

I am happy to share with you Tweets that cover the work presented during the last full day session of SGO was on Sunday, March 21, 2021.

One session, Time to Return to the Drawing Board, reported clinical trial results that did not meet their aims. Understanding where a drug or treatment may have failed to provide the results expected is as important as those trials that meet aims.




Durvalumab and Trememlimumab

Additional sessions of interest.

Barriers to Quality of Care - Poster 

Uterine lavage and early detection

Post operative opiods use model 

Neuropathy and genetic variants 

Gross resection and OS / NACT

Vulvar Cancer Studies 

Endometrial cancer 

Cediranib and Olaparib NRG GY012



Here are some articles from various sources that go more into depth about studies discussed at the meeting. 

Medscape article on hormone IUD and endometrial cancer

Vulvar cancer patients with sentinel node micrometastases, radiation therapy (RT) to the groin after local excision led to extremely low rates of recurrence, a phase II trial suggested 

ABV-500 small molecule in OC


Thank you so Eisai for supporting patient advocates at the annual meeting . 

Thank you SGO leadership for making us feel welcome and for all the gyn oncs who answered our questions.  


Every Day is a Blessing!

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

2021 SGO Virtual Annual Meeting Saturday March 20

Here are highlights from the Virtual #SGOmtg sessions I attended on Saturday March 20, 2021. 

The morning began with a wonderful get-together for Patient Advocates at a 9am session. I am so glad to see patient advocates play a role in so many aspects of the SGO organization.

 In real time, I shared information on Twitter( @womenofteal) about the sessions I attended using the #gyncsm and #SGOmtg hashtags


MEDSCAPE shared this article on MIS and interval debulking surgery.


PAOLA-1 Olaparib plus Bev

Tumor infiltrating lymphocytes

Keynote 158 Cervical Cancer


 ENGOT-OV 16/ NOVA  niraparib

PARP Inhibitor duration of follow-up

Cervical Cancer Radiation study

Shared Decision Making Tool

Niraparib as Maintenance Therapy- Dr Matalunis

Stop by tomorrow for my Sunday highlights.  


Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, March 22, 2021

2021 SGO Virtual Annual Meeting - Friday March 19th Highlights

I was happy to be able to attend the virtual SGO Annual Meeting. The meeting started on Friday, March 19 with sessions during the day and evenings over the weekend. The meeting continues with evening sessions through Thursday March 25th.  Interacting with presenters and others in the chat feature of the meeting platform was exceptionally good and helpful.

 In real time, I shared information on Twitter( @womenofteal) about the sessions I attended using the #gyncsm and #SGOmtg hashtags. Below are some tweets of Fridays sessions I found most interesting.


Nutritional Supplements 

Patient physician conversations

 PARP  inhibitors 


ARIEL 4  Rucaparib vs chemo

KEYNOTE 146  Pembrolizumab - Lenvatinib

Additional information may be found in the ASCO Post Article

Secondary Cytoreductive Surgery

Endometrial Cancer

Equity in Gyn Cancers

ACA and insurance

Here was a fun activity on the meeting platform - puzzle time! How I wish we were actually in Seattle





Every Day is a Blessing!

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Wait is Over

My last post talked about waiting for the vaccine. I was waiting, maybe not so patiently but waiting just the same, when last Monday I got a text message on my phone saying there were Covid vaccine appointments available through the RWJBH system.  I clicked on the link to begin the process. I read a document on the Pfizer vaccine, listened to a video about the vaccine and answered a few health questions. It brought me to a site to choose an appointment . Bingo! I was able to get one for Thursday ,February 18th. I was so excited. But the weather did not cooperate. A snow storm was on its way. On Wednesday evening, I received a text saying they were postponing all appointments at the site until Saturday at the same time. So I waited just a little longer.

Earlier, I had reached out to the pharmacist at my cancer center about taking the vaccine. I had a anaphylactic reaction to carboplatin and was concerned. He assured me that there was no PEG in the carboplatin and since I never had a serious reaction to taxol (which does contain a type of PEG) I should feel comfortable taking the vaccine. That certainly put my mind at ease. 

We, my husband also got an appointment for 10 minutes after mine, drove to the center and after a temperature check walked inside.  The wait was about an hour standing 6 feet apart with our masks on. The Army National Guard was helping with check-in and registration, which went very smoothly. Then it was time for the vaccine.  We were brought to one of 25 smaller cubicles where we answered a few more questions and got the shot. It didn't hurt at all getting the vaccine. 

Even after telling the health worker my reaction was not to a product with PEG in it, she still thought it best that I wait 30 minutes. She asked me to set the timer on my phone,  gave me a red wristband and directed me to a special area to wait. While there, other RWJBH workers helped us make and confirm an appointment for the second vaccine. 

After being home a few hours my arm did start to hurt so I took a Tylenol before bed. Yesterday , it hurt more and it was not easy raising my left arm. But I didn't feel tired , or have a fever or any other side effect. 

Today I am 100% back to normal and waiting for number two. 

I hope more people are able to receive the vaccine quickly throughout the country. 


Every Day is a Blessing!

Saturday, January 16, 2021

It's All About Waiting

My journey with cancer has included a lot of waiting. 

Business vector created by gstudioimagen -

I waited to have CT scans. I waited for CT results. I waited for CA-125 results. Twice, I waited to have chemotherapy when my platelets were low. I waited to have my port flushed. I waited to see my gyn onc. I waited for my genetic test results.You would think by now I should be an expert at waiting. 

I am not. 

Ever since they mentioned a vaccine for COVID-19 was being developed I have been waiting. I learned as much as I could about mRNA vaccines. I learned how the Moderna vaccine differs from the Pfizer vaccine and how the potential J&J vaccine differs from others.

In December, I filled out a screening questionnaire to be in a clinical trial for a COVID vaccine. I've participated in a number of clinical trials so I felt comfortable going that route. I checked all the right boxes and received an email regarding the location for an interview for the trial. I waited six days and received an email saying that all the trial slots were filled. Back to waiting.

When NJ opened a site to pre-register for the vaccine. I signed up within 24 hours of the site going live. But so did over 450,000 others based on the governor's Tweet. 

On January 14th, my state opened up vaccine eligibility for those over the age of 65. Hurrah ! I was now eligible for an appointment for the vaccine. I went on the state site listing vaccination distribution locations. I was happy to see eight locations in my county and even more a short drive from my home in the 3 neighboring counties. I had an anaphylactic response to a chemotherapy drug I was given. So I wanted to go to a location capable of treating me if I had a reaction or one not far from a hospital.  Every single one of the locations had no appointments available. 

As disappointed I was being unable to schedule a shot, I thought about what I had read on  NJ has been receiving 100,000 vaccines per week. That means that unless that number allotted to NJ increases it, will take more than a month for the first day registrants ( of which I was one) to be scheduled.

Today, I  registered for an appointment to receive the vaccine through the health care system affiliated with my cancer center. No appointments available at this time but I am in the queue.  I am hopeful that by Spring I will get the vaccine.

In the mean time, I'll continue to wait, wear a mask, wash my hands and social distance.


Every Day is a Blessing! Even if I am waiting. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Uncharted Waters

When I look back at the Jan 2, 2020 blog post, I see how glad I was to be starting a new decade and beginning another year of cancer survivorship. In that post, I wrote about my aspirations for the year, which included practicing my watercolor painting and yoga, visiting Maine, going kayaking, building a better bond with my dog and stepping away from social media to meet with friends in person. 

And then the Covid-19 pandemic happened.

I think we could all agree that we just finished a year that took us into uncharted waters. We had to change how we did so many things due to the COVID 19 virus. We kept socially distanced, wore masks and didn't visit others in their homes. We searched for toilet paper, hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes, washed our hands for 20 seconds and refrained from shaking hands. We had almost everything from dog food to light bulbs to groceries delivered to our home. Being online was more than browsing Pinterest, Facebook or writing e-mails. We visited with family and friends via Zoom, and attended virtual conferences. 

All this meant some of my aspirations weren't going to even be able to be attempted. 

 I was home pretty much 24 hours a day, so to stay physically healthy I needed to remain active. It helped to have my dog Amber to walk outside a few times a day but I decided against going to agility class except for the last few classes of the year where we wore mask including when we were running our dog and stayed 6 feet apart . We attended one agility trial in February before the shutdown began. As for yoga, well that switched to online Zoom classes.There was no kayaking and my social media use went up instead of down and now I only spoke to friends on the phone or video chat.

After returning from a conference in Texas in January, I traveled no further than 50 miles from my home. During one two month period the furthest I drove from my home was 7 miles. Needless to say I never made it to Maine nor did we go on the family vacation we had planned the year before. 

Being home meant I did get a chance to do more art creations so I was able to fulfill that aspiration.  I even registered for a free weekly online course through the Princeton Art Museum, too.

As I start 2021, I will continue to wear a mask, stay 6 feet apart and wash my hands.  And I will patiently wait to receive the COVID Vaccine.

When this the pandemic is under control,  I aspire to make a trip to Maine and trips to see family in the US and abroad. In the mean time, I'll create more art, when weather permits I'll spend time outside with my dog trying to keep healthy and I will continue to advocate for cancer research with an additional focus on cancer treatment equity.


Every Day is a Blessing!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Lucky 13

Chad A.E. Heathcott - Graphic/Web Designer | Lucky 13, Lucky number 13,  Luck tattoo

For me, 13 is a lucky number. I lived for over thirty years in a home with an address number of 13. And today, I celebrate writing this blog, all 1147 posts, over the past 13 years. 

As I approached this blogging anniversary I admit I have been thinking that it may be time to stop blogging. There have been many times over the past year when I had writer's block. I just couldn't come up with an idea that I thought would interest my readers or provide any insight into living and surviving ovarian cancer. 

Being so many years out of treatment, I was starting to feel that my experience was no longer relevant to women who now have options to use Bevacizumab or Parp Inhibitors as maintenance therapies. I could read about the different types of therapies but I never took any maintenance therapy. This year women are struggled not only with a cancer diagnosis but having treatment during Covid -19.  I did go for my annual cancer center visit in September but my appointment was never delayed or impacted in any way by COVID 19. 

Then a few things happened. 

I have had the opportunity to speak to two women on a monthly basis since July as a Cancer Hope Network volunteer. (I've been a CHN volunteer for over 10 years now.) While I can't share their stories, I will share that when I called them last week to wish them a Merry Christmas,  one had good news because of good scan results while the other had not such good news.  Yet both were glad I called so they could share their news. Both thanked me for listening and being available to answer their questions.

Then a women diagnosed with ovarian cancer reached out to me via direct message on Twitter. I answered a few of her questions and said I have written a blog for a number of years if she would like to read it and shared the link with her.  A few days later I got another DM from her and she commented on how reading a few posts were so helpful.

Lastly,  a fellow cancer advocate commented on my previous post "Stay the Course". She said "So often we think we have to do something huge or make sweeping changes. Sometimes, "staying the course" is enough. " 

So I will do just that.  I will stay the course and continue to write this blog in the hopes that I reach just one woman.

May all my readers have a Happy and Healthy and Safe 2021 !


Every Day is a Blessing.