Thursday, September 16, 2021

Mixed Feelings During Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. 

There is so much more information available today for women to learn and be aware of the disease than back in 2005 when I was first diagnosed .Ovarian cancer organizations are doing awareness campaigns and raising funds for research this month and throughout the year. I makes me so happy to see graphics like these on social media. (NOCC, OCRA, Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Michigan Ovarian Cancer Alliance and  Norma Leah Ovarian Cancer Initiative


Don't get me wrong I am so happy there is a month to highlight Gynecologic Cancers and  Ovarian Cancer in particular. But being a survivor during this month can be difficult. It brings a wide range of emotions from happiness to sadness to feelings of anxiety and gratefulness. It doesn't help that September is also the month for my annual visit to see my gyn onc.

It is a time where thoughts of my diagnosis, recurrence and treatments are front and center - every single day. 

It brings back memories of what it felt like to hear I had stage 3 ovarian cancer. I remember the issues I had  recovering from surgery, all the side effects from chemo and trying to find a new way to live as a cancer survivor. I think about feeling good about having a normal CA-125 yet finding out that a  CT scan showed a recurrence. I think about the decision I made to do surgery first and then chemo when I recurred. I think about the time I spent in the hospital when I had a serious reaction to the Carboplatin I took during recurrence.  I think about my feelings while in the hospital when I realized that I could no longer use a treatment that was the best for me. 

I am sad when I think about women who lost their lives to ovarian cancer through these past 16 years as I continued moving forward:

Gail, Lois, Sandy, Grace, Erika, Pamela, Rita Kay, Carol, Jean, Janice, Terry W, Shari...

I think of the women I have spoken to as a peer to peer support person for Cancer Hope Network. There  are some I no longer have to call or email. The connections are strong even if the only thing we had in common was our disease.

I think of my fellow survivors who deal every day with side effects from treatment and fear of recurrence.  There are those who have had multiple recurrences and have had multiple different types of treatment We support each other because we "get it". Thank you to each and every one of them in my little network in NJ and online. 

 I am grateful for the gynecologic oncologists, nurse practitioners, social workers and pharmacist who treat women. And lastly I am grateful for all those researchers who chose to make their life's work understand how ovarian cancer develops and spreads and the best way to treat it. 

So as I work through these feeling during this year's awareness month, I wish you good health. 

Take care,


Every Day is a blessing! I am blessed to have family by my side through it all.


Sunday, September 5, 2021

2021 Blogger Challenge - Nancy's Point

As we close in on the unofficial end of summer I am happy to take part in Nancy's blogger challenge. I have been doing it since 2018. 

 2021 Summer Blogging Challenge Questions:

1. Who are you? Tell us your genre, how long you’ve been at it, who or what inspires you or whatever you want us to know.

I wear a number of different hats but for this blog I am a cancer research advocate. I started writing this blog in December of 2007 with the goal of sharing my story as an ovarian cancer survivor. Through the years it has morphed into where I not only share my story but I report on cancer research, clinical trials and share what I learn from oncology conferences I attend.  
I am inspired by the researchers who spend years of their lives in search of better treatments and cures for cancer.

2. What’s been your biggest blogging roadblock this year and did you come up with a way to get around it? (If you didn’t, that’s okay too. We’re here to support you.)

Roadblock? Yes, there were quite a few but finding the time is top on the list. I took on the roll of President of my homeowners association so that has taken a big chunk of time every week. I also have commitments on two Boards at my cancer center. Family commitments have started to ramp up again as more folks get vaccinated agains COVID. 
In a way with COVID  being center stage for so much of the past year coming up with other topics was a challenge too.

3. What’s something you accomplished with your blog this year that you’re proud of?

I made sure all the links on my resource page were correct. I last did a check in 2019.

4. What are a couple of your best blogging tips?

Be sure to review you post - check links and spelling and grammar. I like to write a post as a draft, leave it for a few hours and come back and reread with fresh eyes. 
Keep writing! Even if it is once a month.  You never know who will read what you post. What you share may mean that person has a better day. 

5. How do you handle negative feedback or comments?

How I handle it depends on the type of negative comment. I ignore some. While others I will respond once but only once.

6. Share a link to a favorite post you’ve written RECENTLY (since last year’s challenge perhaps) that you want more people to read.

One hat I wore last year was co-author of a book for women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Read about it here> 

Check below for some of the other blogs that chose to take part in Nancy's challenge:

Every Day is a Blessing!