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......


Blogger Jeannette said...

Your mother would be proud of both your desire to share your knowledge and the love you pass along to others. Undoubtedly, its a love you learned from your mother.

11:10 PM, August 23, 2006  
Blogger srp said...

Here from Michele.

Birthdays and holidays are especially hard I'm sure. Jeannette is right, your mom would be very proud of you.

6:18 PM, August 26, 2006  
Blogger shpprgrl said...

Hi D! You were a lucky girl to have such a great mom. I also think mom was a lucky mom to have such a great girl! She's proud of you. :)

7:14 PM, August 27, 2006  
Blogger panthergirl said...

Thanks for the information. My husband's mother died of ovarian cancer in 1993. Don't know if she had a gynecologic oncologist, but I would bet not.

You were very lucky to have a great mom!

Here via michele!

8:56 PM, August 27, 2006  
Blogger TamWill said...

Very valuable information, I would have thought that my ob/gyn could have performed the surgery as well...but after your insight, I agree with you.

Here via Michelle.

8:58 PM, August 27, 2006  
Blogger srp said...

Here from Michele again.
Keep up the good work. Letting women know how difficult it is to adequately treat ovarian cancer.

9:02 PM, August 27, 2006  
Anonymous colleen said...

This is a wonderful tribute to your mom. I have a "losing a loved one" category sidebar on my blog and often write about grief and loss myself.

michele sent me tonight.

9:32 PM, August 27, 2006  
Blogger hanulf said...

Thanks for the advice - I'll take it to heart. Thanks for stopping by my blog, too... I commented your comment there :)

9:38 PM, August 27, 2006  
Blogger alex said...

Thank you for your wonderful insights. I hope you feel at peace on your mother's birthday.

Blessings to you.
(here via Michele's)

1:07 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger Just a trumpet player said...

Please do share your experience as much as possible... education is key.

Reading other people's experience would have helped me a great deal a couple of years ago...

Michele sent me.

Going to snoop around a bit !

7:47 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger the frog princess said...

Cancer of any sort is a scary thing -- we're losing my dad's longtime partner to cancer ... slowly and heartbreakingly. She is a wonderful woman, as I'm sure your mother was. Press on with the education -- it helps people more than you'll know!

Here via Michele's

7:56 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger utenzi said...

Michele sent me, Dee-Dee.

I'm surprised that there's that big a difference between the two types of Gynocologists in outcome, Dee-Dee. Stands to reason that on average a specialist will be better though.

Holidays and birthdays are difficult after you lose someone. I hope that you're doing well now, Dee-Dee.

8:07 AM, September 01, 2006  
Anonymous Terri said...

Good for you for speaking up on that soapbox! And you are precisely correct! A specialist in a particular field of oncology gives us the best chance of survival. Thank you for bringing this to everyone's attention and making them aware.
Happy Birthday to your mom.
I've spent over an hour here reading every single one of your posts...I was supposed to be vacuuming the house. But...reading this blog touched my soul in a way vacuuming couldn't. I'll be back to visit and look for updates. All the best to you.

9:52 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

Hi from Michele's. Your mom would love your blog and especially today's. Through it you are doing a good service for all women. There's just got to be more we can do for early detection and treatment of this disease. Thanks.

8:03 PM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger Thumper said...

Stay on that soapbox and don't stop until people really hear you. Those odds suck, and they're terrifying. I heard you...if it happens, I will remember.

Here via Michele...

8:18 PM, September 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This was such a beautiful post. I lost my own mom three years ago and the days can be so hard. You pay a beautiful tribute to you mother with your words, and I know she's smiling now.

This is also an important post. Thank you for this incredibly vital information -- and I will keep it in mind both for myself and anyone else that may need it. You've done all of us a great service by mentioning it.

I hope your days are brighter knowing that you were both a wonderful daughter and a friend to many by passing this information on.

Here from Michele's.

9:39 PM, September 02, 2006  
Blogger Carmi said...

You quite likely saved somebody's life by posting this.

Your mom raised an amazing daughter, and for that we are all thankful.

9:43 PM, September 02, 2006  
Blogger Prego said...

i miss my mom, too. every day.

hopefully everything works out for your coworker's daughter.

here via michele today.

10:06 PM, September 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Michele sent me. And I listned. Cancer is pretty previlant in my family and while I refuse to wait around for it, I am keeping my eyes open. I will remember your words of wisdom. Thank you.

My dad died from lung cancer. The things I could say to smokers...!

His birthday; my parent's anniversary... they all affect me. Thank you for being vulnerable today. I am sure your Mom would love the roses.

10:12 PM, September 02, 2006  
Blogger YellowRose said...

I believe your mom would be very proud that you got on your soapbox. ;) Wonderful tribute to her memory.

Here from Michele's today!

3:03 PM, September 04, 2006  
Blogger Tracie said...

I am so sorry about your mom. I know she would be proud of you for working to educate others like this.

That is very valuable information.

7:10 PM, September 04, 2006  
Blogger Tracie said...

Oh, and Michele sent me!

7:11 PM, September 04, 2006  
Anonymous colleen said...

Oh, I've been here before. This is the anniversary month of my brothers' deaths. I know what you mean. Michele sent me.

8:26 PM, September 04, 2006  
Blogger Catherine said...

I'm not sure that we have that degree of specialisation in New Zealand. The population is too small.
My mother died from a rare cancer that wasn't actually in a reproductive organ, just loose in the abdomen.
She was diagnosed with fibroids initially because her smear test was clear, as it was outside the womb.
I always thought grief may have had something to do with her death too, as we thought she was clear after the initial surgery, but then my dad died of a heart attack and she died less than a year later.
Michele sent me.

8:32 PM, September 04, 2006  

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(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.