Thursday, March 31, 2005


I feel as though in the past few months I've been living in two separate worlds. One is the world where life is going on and we have to work and sleep and eat. The other is always there but is veiled in a fog. It's the world where mom is fighting for her life. I know it is there - off in the distance. I've learned to live day to day without looking too closely at that second world. Even when I'm sitting with mom while she has chemo or holding her while she's in pain. I don't know if this is denial or acceptance.

Yesterday I got off the elevator at the hospital and walked down a deserted hallway. In front of me was a door with a sign on it that said Inpatient Cancer Center. At that moment, the stark reality hit me so hard, it took my breath away. The fog didn't romantically lift. It was stripped away suddenly and painfully.

After sitting with mom for awhile, it was time for me to leave. She still won't sleep if we're there with her.

I sobbed as I rode the elevator down, then I walked out into the night and into the fog.............

Saturday, March 26, 2005

another wrong turn............

If you pray, please say one for my mom.

She isn't doing well and was admitted to the hospital yesterday.

I'll update when I can.........

Saturday, March 19, 2005

just curious....

We are still waiting on the genetic testing results. Here's a little info to fill you in.. And a question I'd like to ask...

Ovarian and breast cancer can be caused by a genetic mutation that is passed on in families. Two mutations have been identified. BRCA1 and BRCA2. If you have these mutations, it's not guaranteed you will get cancer but the odds increase dramatically. When several women in a family have breast cancer or more than one has ovarian cancer the red flags go up and genetics are suspected. (Two women in my family have had ovarian cancer and three have had breast cancer)

I have a question for all of you. My mother was tested. She already has OVCA so the information will not help her. Identifying a gene mutation may help the other women in our family. The lab will know what to look for -so to speak. Mom was tested for us.

If you were me,and if you had a choice, what would you want those results to be?

I'll tell you how I feel and what my thoughts are after I hear from you.........

Monday, March 14, 2005

good help is hard to find.....

Today mom was feeling much better. She still doesn't have a lot of energy but she wants to do things - like cook dinner, clean the house, etc, etc..
The fact that she is motivated to do more is great. It's just very frustrating for her because she doesn't have the energy to do it yet.

Dad has been so wonderful. He hasn't missed a beat. The laundry has been done. The carpets have been vaccuumed. The bathrooms have been scrubbed. Everything has been done and often. Their house is always spotless.

Dad has always done things around the house. He's done some laundry and cooked at times. But mom has always done everything else. She was telling me on the phone yesterday how wonderful he's been. He heard her and hollered in the background "Hey! This housewife stuff is hard work!"

And mom laughed. What a wonderful thing to hear.......

Sunday, March 13, 2005

very strong woman...

Mom has had several treatments now. How she feels never seems to follow a pattern. Sometimes she feels great for several days after a treatment and then crashes- feels terrible. Sometimes she feels terrible the day of the treatment.

A lot of fluid had built back up in mom's abdomen since her surgery. (they drained seven liters at that time) The docs kept telling her that the chemo would take care of it. It didn't. Mom tries so hard to not complain about anything. I didn't realize that this had not been brought up with her doctor again. By now mom was having trouble breathing again and was having shooting pains in her side. She couldn't get comfortable to sleep and could eat very little because she felt so full.

We discussed this with her doc last week. They did a sonogram to see exactly where the fluid was, and drained over four liters. It was pushing her lung upwards and compressing her spleen, stomach and bladder. I think if it was me I would have been complaining a lot.

The doc then asked her if she felt up to another chemo treatment and she felt so much better that she said "Sure! Let's do it!"

She then went back the next day so they could infuse two units of blood.

I'm amazed at all she went through in just twenty-four hours.
I've always known my mother is a very strong woman but that impressed even me....

Monday, March 07, 2005


Mom has had several chemo treatments now and was becoming discouraged again. She feels bad most of the time and none of the treatments have been working.
The doc has been monitoring her CA125 which is a blood test that measures ovarian cancer. Under 35 is considered normal. When mom had her surgery, hers was close to ten thousand.

After her surgery, and all during the chemo treatments the count has stayed well over 7000. Not good.

Friday, mom called, and was very excited. The nurse had just called and given her some good news for a change. Her count has gone down to around 2000. Still not a good number overall, but for someone who has consistently stayed in those high numbers, 2000 is a very good number.

The first thing mom said was, "The prayers, all of our prayers are working!"

(written September of 2005) I have learned much in the last nine months. I have read that ovarian cancer whispers. I say it screams. It just needs someone to listen. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 16,210 deaths in 2005. This is a death rate FOUR TIMES that of breast cancer.Almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage. The 5-year survival rate for these women is only 15 to 20 percent. This is unacceptable. Women need to be made more aware of the symptoms, and doctors need to listen to their patients. Especially when the patient tells them that they fear they have ovca, as my mother did for almost a year before she was finally diagnosed. It’s so sad and senseless when a woman knows the symptoms but can’t get anyone to listen to what she is saying.