Saturday, January 31, 2009


2 days after the port removal and I'm already feeling better. The first day I took the heavy pain killers, the next I switched to 2 ibuprofen and today I cut that in half. They were able to go in through one of the existing incisions, which means less scarring. And they used "conscious sedation", which means less anesthesia and easier recovery. Afterward I commented to the nurse that it was more like being knocked out and she let me know that it causes amnesia, so I was basically awake and able to talk, but then I'm not able to remember anything. That kind of freaked me out. I wonder what I said in there? Or maybe I don't want to know.

My follow up appointment is in 2 weeks. Then I'll know more about how often I'll be going in for blood tests and various scans.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Port removal

Tomorrow I go for a minor outpatient surgery to have the abdominal port removed. My dad said that the last time I was in the hospital to have a port removed was in September, 1993 (when Sarah was born!) My friend Laura had another good one. She said I'm being deported...

I had a choice of a more invasive procedure which would give them a chance to use a scope to do what they call a "second look", or I could do an easier procedure where they use the port to fill my abdomen with fluid, then withdraw the fluid to check it for cancer cells. I chose the latter. At first I thought it would be nice for them to go in and actually look around, then I would be assured that the cancer was gone. But so soon after surgical removal of the tumors followed by chemotherapy, there would more likely be microscopic bits of cancer rather than tumors if there was anything left. They would do biopsies, but this wouldn't guarantee anything. The second look wouldn't change the fact that I may have a recurrence at some point.

This was another difficult decision to make. Nothing seems clear cut anymore, just educated guesses... I'm just trying doing the best I can, and trying to keep my spirits high. Which just might be the best medicine of all.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Me & Britney

The other day I was in the city having a great lunch at Weird Fish with my friend Jennifer. Afterward we were walking down the street and a man shouted, "Hey, aren't you Britney Spears?!" I'm happy to say, I'm NOT Britney Spears and I'm also happy to say that my hair is starting to grow back!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A step in the right direction

I saw my oncologist today. While I didn't learn much about what life after chemo will hold, I did learn a few things. A) I will be having the port removed sometime this month, not sure when; B) my CA125 is down to ... 9 !!! When I started chemotherapy the goal was to be in the single digits in order to be in the category of people with the best odds at a good outcome. So I'm just glad that my CA125 wasn't 10. Even though I know these numbers are not exact, I don't think I would have the same feeling of elation. And C) I asked the doctor what kind of outcome I could expect and he replied that with stage 3b, grade 3, optimal debulking and having gone through the abdominal and IV chemo I could expect a greater than 50-60% chance of total cure. wow. That is actually WAY better than I imagined!!! I am feeling so hopeful right now! yay!

Friday, January 2, 2009


It's funny, I posted yesterday morning about wanting to learn more about what I can be doing to keep the cancer away, and that afternoon I was chatting with a neighbor and she started talking about her daughter's cancer. She told me about an Italian doctor who has a sodium bicarbonate cancer cure, and that all cancers are actually a fungus. So I went home and looked him up and found predominately sites that applauded him. But then found a site that pointed out things like that tumors are usually sent to pathologists, and they would know if it was a fungus. And that the pathologists aren't being paid by the pharmaceutical companies, they are paid the same no matter what label they put on the thing they are studying... Made sense to me. Then there were some links from that page to others that showed this guy had been in jail for fraud and patients of his had died from his treatments... It's just so hard to know who to trust! Maybe it's just a big conspiracy. Or maybe he's a quack. Or maybe chemotherapy is a conspiracy and my oncologist is a quack. Who knows.

Thursday, January 1, 2009


Reflecting on 2008, I'm realizing that half of the year was gobbled up by cancer. One thing I'm grateful for though, is that it went by super fast! And I'm really happy that I was done with my treatment before the holiday season hit. I'm able to start off 2009 with a clean slate, and feeling good. I only have a few lingering side effects, but considering it's only been four weeks since the last chemo, that's really not bad at all! And technically, two of those weeks were part of the chemo cycle. But who's counting...

I even did a bit of traveling. Granted, we just went to L.A., but after seeing mostly my living room for the last four months, this felt like a big deal! It was so nice to catch up with some old friends and family. And just being in a different environment was energizing.

Now we're back home again and I'm going to try to keep the momentum going. Time to figure out how to move forward mentally and physically. Supplements, exercise, diet, stress reduction, etc. It feels a bit overwhelming, especially because if you talked to 10 "experts" you will get 10 completely different opinions! Right now since I had a good response to chemotherapy, I'm finding myself leaning towards the middle of the road. If my situation changes I might get more experimental, but for now I'm sticking with things that are proven to be safe and effective, and especially things that are common sense such as exercising and eating more vegetables.

So, at the moment I'm feeling quite optimistic about 2009. Nothing like a life threatening disease to shake you out of complacency and make you pay more attention to the things that really matter. I'm not going to say I'm happy this happened to me, but I will try to make the best out of the situation.