Thursday, September 30, 2010

What a Month!

What a month September 2010 has been.

TEAL was everywhere.
  • There were articles about Ovarian Cancer symptoms in the local newspaper & in national magazines.
  • There were interviews with survivors on national TV.
  • There were Teal Ribbons all over the state.
  • NOCC had a September Speaks program with a speaker talking about ovarian cancer each day of the month.
  • OCNA started the Teal Journal.
  • The House passed Johanna's Law . Now we are waiting on the Senate. Thanks Senator Lautenberg and Senator Menendez for co-sponsoring the bill in the Senate.

What a month September has been for me.
  • I spoke to the walkers at the Teal Wings of Hope Walk in Hamilton , NJ.
  • I helped hang Teal ribbons in Edison and at CINJ.
  • I walked to raise funds for The Cancer Institute of NJ in honor of my wonderful gynecological-oncologists.
  • This blog was mentioned in the Navigating Cancer Site Blog. ( More to come about this new, beneficial site.)
  • I helped register walkers at the Kaleidoscope of Hope Avon-by-the-Sea Walkathon.
  • I became the proud owner of a 100% all american mixed breed puppy. She is a cutie.

I can't wait to see what October brings- in addition to pink ribbons!

Every Day is a Blessing !

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Walk and Some Tea

There is still time this month to make a difference in the lives of women we love. Help raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer and funds for ovarian cancer research by walking or drinking tea. Both events on are Saturday, September 25,2010.

Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation's Final Walkathon
Avon by the Sea, NJ
It is a beautiful location & the sound of ocean waves while walking is wonderful. Stop by the registration area and look for me.

There is still time to register or make a donation. Click here for more information.


Teal Tea Foundation - High Tea at the Chauncey Conference Center

Chauncey Hotel and Conference Center
Princeton , NJ
10% of the special Tea proceeds will go
Click here for information about the Chauncey.
Scroll to the bottom left of this page to order a ticket.

Hope lots of people enjoy these events.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Check out this site for Ovarian Cancer Events in NJ

Here is a great source of information if you live in NJ and want to find Ovarian Cancer events. Check this calendar on the NJ State Department of Health and Senior Services Ovarian Cancer page.

Every Day is a Blessing.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

How Could I Forget

I've been so caught up in ovarian cancer awareness month activities and thanking my doctors at CINJ for these past five years that I forgot to thank someone .

There has been one person by my side these past five years - through every test, treatment & surgery . Who loves me when I am happy and when I am grumpy or when I am a nervous wreck. Who thirty-two years ago never thought the "In Sickness" part of our vows might mean giving up so much of what we could do together with what he had to do with and for me. Who has such confidence in a future that we bought a puppy. Thank you Nick for your love and for being the wind beneath my wings.

Every Day is a Blessing!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Cancer Hope Networks New Social Networking Site - HopeNet

The Cancer Hope Network (CHN) has a new website and a new social networking site called HopeNet. "Cancer Hope Network is a not-for-profit organization that provides free and confidential one-on-one support to cancer patients and/or their family members."

HopeNet is a social network specifically for cancer patients. Anyone can join the network. YOu don't have to be from NJ. You don't have to be someone who has been involved with Cancer Hope Network in the past. As of today there are groups for lymphoma , prostate , esophageal , and head and neck cancer survivors as well as a group for young adult survivors and a caregivers group.

One of the first groups I called when I learned I has ovarian cancer in 2005 was Cancer Hope Network. I was matched with a wonderful lady - a stage III survivor of 10 years. She certainly gave me hope. So once I was able to, I applied to be a CHN Support volunteer. I spoke to women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer from all over the country. I did that until I recurred in 2008.

So when I was asked to moderate a group for ovarian cancer survivors and their caregivers and I was happy to accept. I named the group Teal Sisters and Supporters.
It is open to ovarian cancer survivors of any stage and their caregivers, families and friends.
To join the group you will need to register to enter the site - don't worry it is very easy. Then you can click on Groups and join. Feel free to share information about your diagnosis , treatment and how you are feeling. And of course feel free to ask questions. Our discussions will be guided by our members.

I hope you can join us!

Every Day is a Blessing! Today I am blessed by the wonderful volunteers at CHN.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Way of Giving Back to My "Lifesavers"

Yesterday was the High Speed Chase for the Cure, a 5K run and 3K walk, which raises funds for the Cancer Institute of NJ through the CINJ Foundation. I formed the Team High Five a few weeks ago to celebrate my five years as an ovarian cancer survivor and to honor the five gyn-oncs at CINJ , their nurses and their staff . I consider them all my "Lifesavers". I along with the other members of High Five - Nick, my husband , and two long time friends Terry and Joan met at the Rutgers Athletic Center. Theresa, my daughter, was a virtual walker from all the way out in Kansas. It was great seeing so many CINJ folks, Candace, Michele, Dena and of course Dr Gannon- the surgical oncologist who did the surgery for my recurrence.

It started out as a cloudy, cool morning in the 60's. But as fate would have it just as the run/ walk started it became a cool and very wet rainy morning. That did not stop us or the hundreds of other runners and walkers from completing our task. It did though make me go a bit slower- I didn't want to slip on the wet road. We finished our 3K walk in around 30 minutes.

I finished the walk with a wet hat and soaked pants since my Rutgers red poncho couldn't cover everything. But I was thrilled that Team High Five was able to raise over $1000 for CINJ. I love going to my donor page and seeing the little thermometer fill up and listen to the cheers as the the stars shoot out of the top .

It felt great to give back to the people who saved my life.
Dr. Rodriguez, Dr. Gibbon, Dr. Nieves, Dr. Hellmann, Dr. Wagreich yesterday's walk was for you. Thanks!

Every Day is a Blessing! I am blessed to be treated by the talented doctors and nurses at CINJ.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Perfect Baby Boy!

It's a Boy! My niece and godchild, Alycia, gave birth to a 6 pound 2 ounce perfect baby boy, Declan Joseph.

He was born yesterday - September 8th which is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the birth of the Blessed Mother. My Aunt Dora was so happy that Alycia was having her baby on the eighth. Aunt Dora prays daily to the Blessed Mother and she is sure that Mary made sure that both Alycia and baby Declan were OK.

I am thrilled to be a great aunt- even if that term makes me seem very , very old. I can't wait to meet Declan in person. Just thinking about him makes me smile. And I know my sister Roberta is smiling down on Alycia, Kevin and Declan.

Congratulations Alycia and Kevin!

Every Day is a Blessing ! And my life just got a special blessing on Sept 8th.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ellen is a Woman of Teal

This fundraiser is for friend, fellow OC survivor and Northern NJ NOCC member Ellen. If you are in NJ and want to have a meal and listen to music while supporting a good cause stop in to Kerwin's Tavern.

Every Day is a Blessing ! I am blessed by Ellen and Carl's friendship.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A Special Day for the Teal Wings of Hope Foundation

Teal Wings of Hope Foundation is a foundation in NJ with the mission to "educate and promote awareness of Ovarian Cancer and provide support for all people touched by the disease." It was founded in August 2009 by Karen Neuls and Jim Baldinger. Karen lost her sister, Kathy, and Jim lost his wife, Michele, to ovarian cancer.

This morning, I was honored to tell my story of survivorship at the first annual Teal Wings of Hope Foundation - Ovarian Cancer Feat for Hope 5K Run and 1 Mile Walk . The day was beautiful- no sign of hurricane Earl- and the location in Veterans Park in Hamilton, NJ was wonderful. Both young and old and their dogs enjoyed spending time running or walking and remembering their loved ones and honoring survivors. Each walker got a goodie bag and a t-shirt and survivors were asked to put there handprint on a large canvas. Even NJ 101.5 Radio station was there with give-aways.

It was a pleasure to meet Karen and Jim as well as Larry Hill who spoke about being a caregiver. I really loved speaking with the Janet , Karen and Kathy's mother. She told me all the great things the foundation is doing to help women diagnosed with the disease. From providing transportation to doctor and treatment appointments to paying electric bills , the foundation is there to support ovarian cancer survivors every step of the way.

After my talk I was approached by a lady who thanked me for mentioning that all women could get ovarian cancer- Young and old alike. Then she told me how her granddaughter was diagnosed at the age of 4. I had heard of teenagers with ovarian cancer but not someone that young. It turns out that the little girl had abdominal pain just like I did. Her parents took her to the ER. And thank goodness they insisted that it was not constipation and that tests be done. Sure enough the tests showed a tumor on her ovary. I gave that girl a hug today. Made my day.

Based on the success of this year's run/walk I'm sure that next year's will be even bigger!

Every Day is a Blessing! I was blessed today to meet more survivors- young and not so young.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another Survivor Spreading Awareness

I first met Courtney at the LiveStrong Survivors Summit in Austin in 2006. We were diagnosed with OC within 4 months of each other. Heck, we both had abdominal pain on the left side that sent us to the ER. She was 23 and I was 50. We have stayed in touch even though she is in Ohio and I am in NJ. And we both continue to LIVESTRONG!
Below is an e-mail she sent me - I am pleased to pass along some info for those in the state of OHIO.

Hi Everyone!

It's Teal Time !!

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, as proclaimed by the president of the United States of America. Wow ... a whole month dedicated to ovarian cancer awareness!! Teal is the official color of ovarian cancer, and I'd like to ask that you consider wearing teal throughout this month, espcially on "Teal Day" , which is Friday, Sept. 3, as a sign of support for all those who have been affected by ovarian cancer. I know it might be hard to find teal clothing items, but consider wearing a teal ribbon on your shirt or in your hair, a teal pin on your lapel, a teal wristband, or any other type of teal jewelry or accessories.

On Friday, Sept. 3, there's a plan for the Portsmouth High School football coaching staff and cheerleaders to wear something TEAL during their football game to promote ovarian cancer awareness. There will also be a special prayer in the Trojan locker room with the players before the game for all the people touched by ovarian cancer.

Also this month, we are taking a crew to Columbus for the annual "Strides for Hope" 5k run/walk on Sunday, Sept. 12, to promote ovarian cancer education and awareness. The walk is an effort to prevent women from being impacted by this disease. It also provides a festive opportunity for families to celebrate survivorship, and to honor those who have lost their battle with ovarian cancer. If you would like to join our team or make a donation, just let me know! I'll be sending out another e-mail reminder about the walk next week.

There is some great information about ovarian cancer and ovarian cancer awareness month, especially the official proclamation by President Obama, at the following Web sites: &

As always, thank you very much for your love and support in the fight against ovarian cancer. Feel free to forward this e-mail to your friends & family members and remind them that SEPTEMBER is OVARIAN CANCER AWARENESS MONTH!


Every Day is a Blessing! I am blessed to have Courtney in my life.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

OC Awareness Month - A Woman of Teal's Story

As Ovarian Cancer Month begins I wanted share an e-mail I received from a friend and fellow survivor ,Pam. Please read her story and share her message.

As September (Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month)is almost here, I have decided to let you know the reason why I Share my Story.
I share my story because I have joined the sisterhood of ovarian cancer survivors. I share my story because I like so many other women who have endured the shock of having cancer, battling cancer with the surgeries and chemotherapy treatments and the continual fear of cancer recurring have a story to tell. I share my story so that women of all ages are reminded of how important it is to always be aware of the very subtle warning signs of ovarian cancer. I share my story in the hope that if you do experience unusual symptoms (bloating, pelvic, or abdominal pain, difficulty eating, feeling full quickly, and feeling a frequent or urgent need to urinate); you will seek medical attention even though you might be fearful of the results. I share my story so that we as a community can become better educated regarding the facts and correct treatments so that unnecessary risks are avoided. I share my story in the hope that these, actions offer you the opportunity of dramatically improving your chances for survival.

I share my story because after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage IIIC and enduring eighteen rounds of chemotherapy (three different drugs everyday), which I completed on August 2008 for the 3rd time. I am in remission again. I share my story so you can see that the check-ups every three to six months are still nerve-wracking. I share my story because it is comforting to know that I am being followed very closely. I share my story so that you will know that throughout this experience, there were so many things in my life that helped me to remain strong and positive; support from friends, family, co-workers, doctors, nurses, and a husband who never left my side were the most significant.

I share my story so that people will know that I have gained so much information on this disease and continue to fund-raise for cancers that don't get much support. I share my story because I am excited about the new research in ovarian cancer which is leading us towards more effective screening tools and better treatment. I share my story because of the pain and sadness I have felt when I hear about Sisters who have lost their battle against this disease. I share my story because I have been overcome by fear and anxiety as I await results of blood work every six months, wondering if my cancer has come back. I share my story because as horrible as this disease is, I wouldn't trade anything for this journey. (I know that sounds cliche coming from a survivor, but it is true.) I share my story because I will continue to fight this monster called ovarian cancer and share my story so maybe someone else will have a chance of an early diagnosis, which will lead to a very long remission.
Help find a cure for "ALL" cancers... fundraiser to be
held at Leggetts on Nov 13, 2010. Details are at www.HopeForCancerNJ.Org

Every Day is a Blessing! I am blessed to have Pam ( and Ed) in my life.