Barbara’s Ovarian Most cancers Story Half II

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Ovarian Most cancers: Course of and Survival


Put up Surgical procedure

Learn Half I for info relating to analysis and surgical procedure…

The subsequent few weeks after my discharge from the hospital, have been very busy. My sister, Nance, and my mother adorned the home and Christmas tree. My sister Lauren visited from Washington and cleaned, cooked and lent invaluable help to all of us. There have been visits to the surgeon for follow-up and the oncologist for the preliminary go to. John and my sisters accompanied me. It was so very useful to have another person ask questions and write down the info. It may be an amazing expertise, particularly whenever you’re a bit “spaced out” on Vicodin for ache administration, as I used to be. I signed on to be a part of scientific research utilizing completely different mixtures of medicines for eight as an alternative to the conventional six cycles. Laurie had introduced an e-book along with her that provided numerous info on the best way to cope with an ovarian most cancers analysis and subsequent remedies. One suggestion was to analyze scientific research. There may be quite a lot of “leading edge” analysis on the market however you might have to hunt for it, do your homework, and produce the knowledge to your physician. My oncologist’s workplace was conducting a trial, I used to be accepted, and I used to be scheduled to start remedy on December 21.

Barbara’s Ovarian Most cancers Story

Regardless that I used to be dreading the entire course of, I knew I needed to strategy it in a lot the identical method I did the surgical procedure, virtually like an athletic occasion or a race. I wished to go in as sturdy and as ready as attainable and with a greater “angle.”

Perspective is outlined as a fashion of appearing, feeling or pondering that reveals one’s disposition, opinion and psychological set. We might not be capable to manage a scenario, however, we are able to select our angle about that situation- sufferer or fighter; passive or aggressive; depressed or striving towards pleasure and happiness; caught within the “why me’s” or looking for the “what can I be taught from this.” With the assistance of many individuals and thru a lot of studying and analysis, my “attitude-adjustment” course unfolded.

pancreatic cancer
pancreatic cancer

A booklet entitled “Getting ready for Chemo” suggests a number of issues that I instantly put into motion.

1) Get your hair lower brief in order that when your hair begins falling out, it is much less traumatic and will not clog the bathe’s drain. (This labored for the drains however I used to be nonetheless traumatized.)

2) For those who plan to put on a wig, store for it earlier than beginning chemo. My sisters and my expensive pal and hairdresser Patty helped with each of those steps. Watching my lengthy hair fall to the ground was very exhausting and but made me really feel the tiniest bit extra in command of what was taking place to me. To my shock, everybody beloved my new hairdo. The compliments boosted my ego once I actually wanted it. Nance and Laurie accompanied me to the wig store. Laughter is superb medicine-and we laughed quite a bit as all of us performed with the wigs earlier than selecting two very good ones. 4 hundred {dollars} later I used to be armed with my hair prosthetics and a sore stomach from laughing. At this writing, I’m sporting my very own very brief hair after 9 months of wigs and hats.

3) The booklet suggests having a dental test up and cleansing earlier than beginning chemo. Additionally vital is giving your private home an intensive cleansing and maybe scheduling somebody to come back in as soon as every week thereafter- a clear home can decrease publicity to infectious brokers.

4) Increase power by means of train and a great weight-reduction plan may help decrease the number of the uncomfortable side effects of chemo. This booklet and different useful literature is offered by means of oncology places of work and affords good sensible info. I additionally discovered the library and the web to be good sources.

Shortly after my homecoming, from the hospital, I acquired a phone name from Lindy, a volunteer with the Most cancers Society (arrange by my husband and the most cancer help workers in the hospital.) She had been recognized and handled for Stage IIIc ovarian most cancers seven years in the past. Listening to her gave me an actual increase and a few good ideas for coping with the upcoming chemo. She shared her experiences with surgical procedures, hair loss and full restoration! She remains to be most cancers free! Along with a recommendation on make-up to camouflage the truth that one has no eyebrows or eyelashes, she instructed me how useful acupuncture was for her. She felt that it actually minimized the number of the chemo side-effects and “rebalanced” her physique’s power. I had had a couple of classes of acupuncture a few years in the past, and I instantly knew that this may be proper for me. I imagine in its efficacy and undoubtedly really feel the classes have been very helpful.


My first acupuncture session was 4 days after the primary chemo remedy. The meds they gave me to forestall nausea labored very properly. I did not have a lot of an urge for food and felt a bit achy and drained however the one actual facet impact I skilled was a horrible, hand-wringing itching and tingling in my palms and ft. Amy, my acupuncturist, has labored with a number of folks present process chemo, could be very educated, and had a great remedy plan in place for me. I scheduled to see her 2 days earlier than and Four days after each chemo session. After my first go to along with her, I did really feel higher, extra energized and the itching had undoubtedly dissipated a great deal. She gave me some options on dietary supplements and a few Chinese language herbs to make use of.

The facet impact of itching, burning and tingling is named neuropathy and is pretty widespread with the kinds of chemo protocol I used to be on. After my second and third classes, the signs worsened! I turned to the web to be taught extra about neuropathy and what, if something, I might do about it. I discovered an article by Cindy H. Makencon, web site:, entitled “coping-Ideas for coping with neuropathy.” She provided quite a lot of useful info together with studies of research on the advantages of taking pretty massive doses of L-Glutamine Sulfate and Chondroitin. I forwarded this info to Carolyn, the analysis nurse accountable for my scientific research, and she or he shared the knowledge with the oncologist. I had already begun taking L-Glutamine once I met with him. He had additional researched and developed a brand new remedy plan for me which included massive doses of L-Glutamine, a change in one of many chemo meds, and the addition of medicine known as Neurontin. The mix of all this stuff labored! The neuropathy step by step subsided and I’ve had no additional issues.

I imagine a couple of different elements contributed to my having the ability to deal with the chemo fairly properly. I continued to extend my train routine, progressing to strolling on a regular basis after which again to the health club for step-classes, albeit modified and lifting gentle weights. Train builds muscle power, will increase oxygen and blood circulation and for me, was and is an actual bodily and psychological power increase.


I got here throughout an e-book entitled: “Natural Remedy & Dietary supplements- a Scientific and Conventional Method” written by Merrily A. Kuhn, RN, Ph.D. and David Winston, a herbalist and ethnobiologist. The e-book was a part of an at-home research course that I wanted to finish for my RN Persevering with Schooling Credit. The ebook affords complete information to many widespread and a few much less widespread herbs and dietary supplements, their makes use of, hostile results, contraindications, and drug-herb interactions. After cautious analysis, I began utilizing a number of herbs and dietary supplements designed to reduce chemo uncomfortable side effects and increase my immune system. I used to be cautious to make use of issues that don’t stimulate estrogen within the physique as most cancers were estrogen-receptor optimistic. I began taking these dietary supplements one or two issues at a time in smaller doses so as to monitor any unfavorable reactions, earlier than including extra. Most significantly, I notified my physician that I used to be taking dietary supplements and having acupuncture.

At the finish of this text, I’ll supply an entire record of the dietary supplements and herbs that I’ve been utilizing and a few info relating to the rationale for every one of those additions.

For a number of months, our kitchen counter resembled a drug and complement retailer. I needed to write up an everyday schedule of what to take when. It was valued it! As soon as the neuropathy was under management, I tolerated the rest of the chemo remedies fairly properly. I used to be in a position to work full time and train, and my urge for food and power ranges have been good. Bodily, acupuncture, train, weight-reduction plan, and dietary supplements have been, and nonetheless are, invaluable instruments that helped me cope with the chemo and recuperate from its severe results.

On one other stage, the emotional and non-secular aids have been a much more highly effective part of the therapeutic course of. Beforehand, I discussed my visualizations relating to pre and put up-operative therapeutic and seeing myself wholesome and most cancers free. Now, it was time to take it a step additional and embody it as a strong adjunct to chemo drugs. Reasonably than seeing the meds as a poison, I began to visualize it as “nectar from the gods,” washing by means of me and being taken up by my immune cells as a potion to destroy most cancers cells. Just a few weeks earlier than my first remedy, I learn an article a couple of younger native ladies who had battled most cancers at age 16. She wrote an ebook about her expertise and included her ideas on seeing her chemo as “nectar from the gods.” I admired her outlook and included it in my work. My husband, John, created a particular tape for me to hearken to whereas receiving the infusion of chemo. This guided train included leisure, therapeutic massages, and options for picturing my immune cells taking good care of issues and utilizing the chemo successfully. Earlier than every chemo session, even earlier than they began the IV, he would do a leisure train with me. This ritual grew to become a vital part of the method. By engaged on my “angle” in direction of the chemo and by connecting with these elements of myself that may be highly effective self-healers, I felt I used to be taking again management of what was taking place. Feeling that you’re a part of the therapeutic course of as an alternative of a passive receiver of medicines and many others., could be very empowering.

Rituals and routines are very comforting, particularly whenever you’re experiencing annoying instances. My “chemo ritual” advanced from the very first session. The night time earlier, I meditated and did my therapeutic visualizations at bedtime. John drove me to the oncology middle. I chosen my chair and we settled in along with his leisure train. My sister, Nance, arrived bearing muffins and foolish magazines. After visiting and chatting, John left for work and Nance and I munched muffins and laughed on the Nationwide Enquirer tales. About an hour earlier than the infusion was accomplished, my brother, Tom, would arrive for a go to and to take me house. Someplace within the session, my sister, Laurie, would name from Washington to test in and infrequently John would “pop in” in his travels. I all the time had firm and felt lovingly supported. Sabrina included me in her meditation each morning and my mother would cease by the day after the session for tea and a chat. Each three weeks from December 21 by means of Could 27, we adopted this routine. The nurses and my household bought to know each other and we grew to become an actual workforce!

Returning to work seven weeks after surgical procedure was one other normalizing routine that made me really feel like I used to be taking again my life. Aside from the day of chemo and the next day, I’ve labored full time, feeling productive, wholesome and regular. My co-workers have been very supportive and caring. They even threw me a commencement celebration to rejoice the completion of chemo.

Even earlier than my final chemo, I used to be researching what to do to forestall a recurrence of the illness. I discovered info on a scientific research for Ovarex, a vaccine designed to forestall a recurrence of ovarian most cancers. After many telephone calls, letters and haggling with my insurance coverage firm, I used to be accepted right into a research being carried out at Stanford’s Most cancers Heart in Palo Alto. It concerned month-to-month infusions for the primary three months after which each twelve weeks for the remainder of the 12 months, with routine labs and CT scans. I’ve skilled solely gentle uncomfortable side effects and really feel lucky to have entry to 1 extra software.

This previous 12 months has been one in every of classes for me. I might have most popular the “universe” had given me a delicate faucet on the shoulder as an alternative of this Big Thump on the top to let me know I had issues to find out about myself and the way “I’m” on the earth. Listed here are a number of the issues I’ve realized from this expertise:

1. Concentrate – maybe if I had agitated extra forcefully with my physician that one thing was NOT proper, she would have responded with extra consideration. LISTEN to your physique and belief your instinct.

2. Do not take something as a right – folks, job, well being, hair. Once you face the lack of this stuff, you understand how particular individuals are, how the day-to-day routine of a job is a present, how treasured good well being is and even how significantly better a “dangerous hair” day is than NO HAIR!

3. There are an excellent many sources of invaluable info on the market by means of folks, libraries and the web. Benefiting from these sources allowed me to create a complete plan to revive my well being and struggle the illness utilizing a mixture of Western and various therapies.

4. We do have decisions in how we cope with a disaster – most likely your best option for me was to achieve out and ask for assist. The extra folks I instructed about my well being points, the extra optimistic power got here my method. I felt empowered fairly than weak and armed with my helmet (a wig, which, by the way in which, I bought enhances on) and my armor (acupuncture, dietary supplements, chemo, prayers and visualization) I used to be able to do battle. I used to be “Warrior Princess” as an alternative of most cancers affected person.

5. Laughter is GOOD MEDICINE!

At this writing, my labs and CT scans are fully regular. I’m again to my regular routines of labor and train. I’m sporting a “Jamie Lee Curtis” hairdo. I’m enthusiastic about adorning and purchasing for Thanksgiving and once we all come collectively, we’ll have quite a bit to be pleased about! Earlier than we dig into our feast, I shall be asking every particular person to put in writing on a chunk of paper, one factor that they’re grateful for. Every of us will then withdraw one in every of these papers from the basket and attempt to guess who wrote the message. Will probably be straightforward to guess mine. I’m grateful for all of the love and help from my household and buddies (with a particular because of my son, Matt, and my husband for shaving their heads to help me and to my son, Mike, and his band for dedicating songs to me at concert events and their fund elevating for the Most cancers Society.) I’m grateful for the prayers and greatest needs that got here my method from folks I don’t even know. I thanks!!! Effectively, in fact, that is a couple of factor on my piece of paper however so what! It is time to rejoice!

Blissful Thanksgiving 2004 and rejoice on daily basis of your life.

Barbara’s Full Ovarian Most cancers Combating Complement Listing:

Three Imperial Mushroom Capsules – accessible by means of acupuncture workplace

A) Reishi- Immuno stimulant: enhances immune system; use is sanctioned by the Japanese Well being Ministry as an adjunct remedy for most cancers; Will increase exercise of chemotheraputic brokers and reduces hostile results similar to nausea, decreased white blood cell counts; helps defend the liver towards injury brought on by viral, drug and environmental toxins.

B) Shitaki- strengthens immune system response; improves survival instances of most cancers sufferers when used concurrently with chemo.

C) Maitake- greatest recognized for most cancers combating properties; many docs in Japan use it to decrease blood stress and blood lipids; efficient as an anti-tumor agent and immune system modulator.

Echinacia- utilized in Germany together with chemo within the remedy of most cancers. Could improve white blood cell counts in individuals present process chemo.

Cat’s Claw- reduces uncomfortable side effects of chemo; utilized in scientific follow in Europe for most cancers & HIV; has vital immune enhancing properties; helps improve the variety of T-cells, the true troopers of the immune system. In Austria, it’s used along with typical remedy (chemo, radiation &/or surgical procedure) to deal with a whole bunch of most cancers sufferers per 12 months.

Graviola- scientists have been learning this herb because the 1940’s – 4 research have been printed in 1998 re: vital anti-tumor properties and selective toxicity towards varied kinds of most cancers cells (with out harming wholesome cells; Purdue College has carried out quite a lot of analysis on the Annonaceous acetogenins household to which graviola belongs) a lot of which has been funded by the Nationwide Most cancers Institute or the Nationwide Institute of Well being.

Acidophyllis- rebalances intestinal flora (particularly vital whenever you’re taking numerous drugs.)

Multivitamins with Vitamin E

Calcium Complement

IP-6 with Insositol- has been studied extensively for over 20 years; has highly effective results on the immune system.

Wheat Grass Juice- will increase hemoglobin; rebuilds the blood; improves physique’s skill to heal wounds; washes drug deposits from the physique; neutralizes toxins and carcinogens within the physique.

Inexperienced and White Tea- Chinese language imagine inexperienced tea is a remedy for most cancers and a long life tonic; boosts immune system perform; analysis being performed all around the world and within the US by the Nationwide Most cancers Institute re: anti-tumor exercise. Each inexperienced and white tea are glorious antioxidants.

Web site for researching herbs- Plant Database Raintree Diet

I used the guided relaxations/visualizations CD’s from the Stress Schooling

1. #209 Stress Administration for Pre and Put up-op Survival

2. #208 Stress Administration for Therapeutic


Well being Replace from SELF Journal by Jennifer Nelson November, 2004

Ovarian most cancers: a not-so-silent killer

“Early analysis is essential. When illness is caught earlier than it spreads, 80 % of girls will survive.”

by Barbara Ehlers-Mason, RN and L. John Mason, Ph.D.

Written in November, 2004, one 12 months after the Surgical procedure for Ovarian Most cancers, in November, 2003

Stress Schooling Heart (707) 795-2228 web site:

Supply by L. John Mason

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