Monday, April 13, 2009

Read This News on Ovarian Cancer

If you've been reading this blog you know I've lightly mentioned that I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January and am currently undergoing chemotherapy. I was startled and stunned, to say the least, when I awoke from gall bladder surgery to have my doctor tell me that while removing the gall bladder he had found ovarian cancer with cells throughout the abdominal cavity. Stunned! Yep, stunned!

In the past the medical establishment has maintained that ovarian cancer is "symptomless". But that is not entirely is just that some of the symptoms may masquerade as something else. A news article today by the Associated Press mentions some things that women should be more aware of. You can read it here.

The article begins like this..."Suddenly experiencing weeks of bloating, the need to urinate frequently, eating changes and abdominal or pelvic pain — either one of these or a combination — could be a tip-off to early ovarian cancer, according to several groups of cancer experts." The problem, of course, is that these same symptoms can be indicative of other problems and women might become unduly paranoid if they are seeing these symptoms. The only way to determine the cause is to see your doctor/gynecologist.

One symptom that I experienced when lying in bed was feeling so full that my breathing seemed to be shallow rather than the deep diaphragm breathing. I also had an unusually high alkaline phosphatase reading on my blood tests during my annual physical. When I googled "alkaline phosphatase" I noticed that such a reading could be indicative of cancer, gall bladder problems, liver or bone problems. And so I asked for an ultrasound of the gall bladder which, of course, led to the laporascopy surgery during which my surgeon discovered the cancer.

Fortunately, chemo is relatively kind to me. I am experiencing no nausea, only minor aches and pains for several days after chemo, and of course, the necessity to watch my blood counts with weekly tests. I recognize that I am extremely fortunate.

I'm still a bit stunned by it all. But I also recognize that all my days are written out by God before I was ever born (Psalm 139:16-18). You can run your cursor over the scripture and click on "more" to read the entire text. I'm looking forward to the end of June when I will have completed the chemo sessions and be back to normal!

Now! If they could come up with a laporascopy procedure that would be minimally invasive and relatively inexpensive as a means to visually check for ovarian cancer. They do acupuncture on preborn babies. Why couldn't they do an acupuncture procedure that would pull out cells from the ovaries/abdomen for cancer tests?


Laurie M. said...

I'm so glad to know the dreaded chemo has been so kind to you. For years we were taught to fear it. I've heard it's gotten better, judging by your experience I guess it's true. Thanks for sharing bits of your journey. It may make some of us less afraid to seek out treatment. (- well, those with medical insurance that is. I've been two years without a trip to the doctor, and it will likely be two more before I can afford one! And I know better than to let myself get diagnosed with something before I actually have insurance, or it will be a "pre-existing condition.)

Angoraknitter said...

Wow, I never could figure out why you were having so much trouble after that gallbladder surgery...this explains it. Goodness, I'm so glad they caught it!