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Good News!

I have some great news I want to share!  Last week marked the beginning of the 4th month of Chemo. Because I had passed the half-way point, a new blood test was taken to see where my cancer markers were.  This is done to make sure that the chemo is doing its job.  The cancer marker test for Ovarian Cancer is the CA-125 test.  A normal range for CA-125 is below 35.  When I was first diagnosed, my score was 668.  After surgery, right before I first round of chemo, my score had dropped to 194.  As of last week, my latest score is a whopping 32!

I haven't actually talked to my oncologist yet...I just pulled this score from my lab report online. When I was in the hospital following surgery, an oncologist came to visit with me and told me that the best outcomes happen when the CA-125 test is in the normal range at the half-way point of chemo.  That is what I have been praying and hoping for and I'm so relieved to see that it has happened!

I look forward to talking to my oncologist …

Half Way Through!

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I'm remembering why I don't keep a blog....I'm horrible at updating it!  I do have some things to catch up on, though.

First things first...I just finished my 9th Chemotherapy treatment, which means I only have 9 more to go.  Half-way through! I celebrated by coming home and taking a 2.5 hour nap.  I've never been able to do that right after Chemo because the steroids keep me so hopped up that I can't stop moving my legs to sleep.  Today was my lucky day.

The first couple of weeks of Chemo were the hardest.  I was quite nauseous the first week (although several nausea pills kept me from throwing up) and developed mouth sores - two common side effects.  The nausea and mouth sores eased up the next few weeks, but I was extremely tired, shaky, dizzy, and weak.  I would try to accomplish something around the house and would find that I would tire very quickly, which was frustrating for me.

As the weeks have gone by, I have found that it has gotten easier and easier for…

Introducing Stella

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I'd like to introduce Stella...my new wig! Here she is from the front....
And the side...
 And the back.

She's kind of fun and sassy. When I brought her home, I invited Roger and the kids to vote on a name for her.  Suggestions included the following....Wiggy McWig Face, Wiggity Wiggity Whack, and LaFonda. Obviously, all of these suggestions came from Roger and the kids loved them.  Needless to say, I took back my invitation to vote on a name and named her myself.  
Stella has been waiting for her moment of glory.  Sadly for her, but lucky for me, my hair is coming out much slower than anticipated!  I started losing it at the end of week 2, just like I was told I would.  However, it didn't all come out at once.  I lose it in large clumps for a couple of days a treatment and then the loss slows down for the rest of the week. While I've lost a lot, I also started with a whole lot of hair!  I'm guessing I have about 30-40% of what I started out with at this point.  Wh…

Week 2

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Week 2 has been much nicer than the first week...much of that is because I only got Taxol this week, rather than the two medications.  I only got really nauseous once and, while I'm still quite tired and taking lots of naps, the fatigue isn't as bone deep as it was last week.  I did have one day of extreme soreness in all of my muscles.  I felt like my body was one big bruise and it hurt to touch anywhere. That is one side effect of the Taxol and it mostly disappeared after one day.

For those that have requested, here is a picture of my port.  It is just under my skin, under the collarbone of the left shoulder.  You'll see that there are three raised dots.  When I receive my infusions, the needle is placed in the middle of those raised dots. This makes the infusion a simple process and allows the medications to go straight into one of my veins.





I went to a support group meeting today with my girls and it was a fun time.  One of the things they talked about was our "wo…

Chemotherapy - Week 1

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Now that I am sufficiently healed from my surgery, I get to start my 6 months of Chemotherapy. Apparently there are lots of chemo medicines...a little fact that I didn't know.  I will be using Taxol and Carboplatin with the following schedule:  Week 1 - Taxol and Carbo combined; Weeks 2 & 3 - Taxol only; Week 4 - Off!

I do expect to lose my hair somewhere between day 14-17.  A sweet friend who just finished chemotherapy for breast cancer threw me a hat/scarf party to help prepare for that.  It was such a great time to talk with friends and learn ways to cover my soon-to-be bald head!  I'm surprisingly ok with losing my hair. Of course, I haven't seen my bald head yet, so I imagine that might change.  The good news is that I'll be nice and cool this summer and, for the first time, I will get to experiment with hair styles of all lengths this fall!

I just finished my first infusion on Thursday, March 23. I was more nervous for chemo than I was for my surgery.  There…

Ovarian Cancer - The Surgery

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As soon as my mom learned of my diagnosis, she booked a flight and was here the very next morning.  That meant that she and my dad drove most of the night to get to the airport so that she could fly out and be in SLC by 8 AM that morning.  What a blessing to have her with me!  She was truly my rock.  I was still processing my diagnosis and trying to come to terms with it.  I'm sure she was, too, but she was strong and optimistic the whole time she was with me.

My doctor referred me to one of the best surgeons in the state of Utah.  However, it would be a week before I would have a consult with him.  We decided to use that week to get a lot done around the house and to have some fun.  While I finished a few projects for work, my mom tackled my house. She painted my room, hall, bathroom, kitchen, and living room in that first week.  She also set out to make my room look pretty.  If I was going to have to spend a lot of time in it, it was going to be nice to look at!

My belly was so…

Ovarian Cancer - The Diagnosis

The bummer about Ovarian Cancer is that it has no symptoms...or at least, it doesn't have symptoms that are easy to recognize.  I have known for a few years that something wasn't right.  In fact, I went to three different doctors over the last 3-4 years to express just that, but it was hard to put a finger on exactly what was wrong.  I was more tired than I should be. Mainly, my stomach kept getting bigger, despite eating well and exercising regularly.  Every time I mentioned this to a doctor they simply told me to exercise more and eat better.  It was frustrating, but what did I know?  I simply chalked it up to my lack of a thyroid and brushed it off.

At the beginning of the year, my stomach began to grow even more.  It got to the point that my stomach actually hurt when I bent over to tie my shoes.  I thought I had finally gotten so fat that I couldn't tie my shoes. So I tried to work out harder, but I was so tired!  I continued to play volleyball a few times a week.  I …