Monday, August 21, 2006

for her birthday.....

Today is my mother's birthday...

I spent the entire day thinking about her... Some sadness, but mostly happy thoughts about the wonderful woman I was blessed to have as my mother.

I was going to buy some roses to take to her grave but I realized that mom would have liked ones from my garden instead. I picked several beautiful blooms and tied them in purple ribbon.
Now, in honor of my mother's birthday, I am going to do something that she would want me to do.

I am going to get on my soap box and give a lecture. This is for everyone- men, women, young, and old. Please stick around long enough to read this and then pass it on to someone else....

A co-worker recently told me her daughter was found to have a mass on one of her ovaries. It's not known yet if it's cancer but it doesn't sound promising. She said that her gynecologist would be doing surgery and then they would go from there. I told my friend that her daughter needed to go to a Gynecologic Oncologist to have the surgery done. She told me that it was ok- her daughter trusted her gynecologist.

This isn't a matter of trusting or liking your gynecologist.. this is literally a matter of life or death!
Having a Gynecologic Oncologist do the initial surgery or 'debulking' greatly increases your chances of survival. They are Gynecologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of women with cancer of the reproductive organs, and they have specialized training and experience in radical pelvic surgery. (debulking is the removal of as much tumor mass as possible). Debulking surgery is especially important in ovarian cancer because aggressive removal of cancerous tissue is associated with improved survival. Patients with no residual tumor mass, or tumor masses that measure less than 1 cm, have the best opportunity for cure.

I am amazed that people don't know this, or at least do some research when faced with the possibility of this disease... My co-worker knows that I have first-hand knowledge, yet it didn't seem to cause her to take what I was saying seriously... Hopefully she went home, thought about what I said, and talked to her daughter.

The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be about 20,180 new cases of ovarian cancer in this country in 2006. About 15,310 women will die this year because of the disease.
I don't know about everyone else, but I don't like those survival odds.. We have to continue to educate ourselves and each other..

Happy Birthday Mom.. I miss you so much......

Thursday, August 03, 2006

from the mouths of babes...

It's not been a year yet since we lost mom.
Everyone seems to be coping most of the time.
Dad has gone back to his part time job that he started after he retired. He's been fishing with my cousin's husband, and of course hangs out with the grandkids as much as possible.

While talking on the phone with him one day last week, dad kind of laughed and said, "you won't believe what your grandson said to me the other day.."

He said, " grandpa you need to get a wife." Dad asked why he thought he should do that. and he said, "you need someone to take care of you!" He told him, "No i don't buddy! I've got you." To which my grandson replied- "no- you need a lady."

Keep in mind this is my 6 year grandson who has been raised by my parents. He was probably closer to mom than anyone else. He knows that mom wouldn't want us all to be sad and lonely forever- least of all dad. He's a smart, funny, loving child. My mother's influence certainly shows in him.
Just another part of her legacy that will live on....

(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.