This is my own story of life with advanced ovarian cancer. I do not offer medical advice, and my treatment decisions are my own. Please talk to your physician or healer and gain as much information as you can about this dreadful disease called cancer. Remember, knowledge is Power!

Wednesday, March 31

Still spinning

Got discharged from the hospital yesterday, and was back today for another episode of lung/rib/chest pain. Workup showed no new embolism. Got morphine, Lovenox, prescriptions, sent home. When I come back to earth I'll try to make sense of it all.

Monday, March 29

Where do I even start?

I was actually feeling good enough to go out for a little while on Saturday night to see the band. I spent a lot of time on my 38 hairs and makeup, and drew on my best eyebrows EVER. Cute boots, jeans that fit, jewelry, perfume, the whole 9 yards. I don't get out much any more, and besides, it was my birthday. It was about 9:30 and I'm ready to go, just had to run the dog out first.

So I take the dog out. It's a nice night. The neighborhood is quiet. No cats to chase, so the walk is pretty uneventful. I come back home and hang up the leash, and I get this weird pain in my left ribs- like when you're running and get that stitch in your side? I thought "WTF?", and gave the dog his cookie (everything is cookies to him). Suddenly, I felt like someone had put the Vulcan Nerve Pinch on me. I gasped, and couldn't draw a deep breath.

Well, shit. Stabbing pain in my ribs. Vulcan Nerve Pinch on my neck. That could only mean one thing. Well, it could mean several, actually, but it really meant that I was all dressed up and had only the E.R. to go. Of course, I drove myself- the hospital is only 6 blocks away and by the time I called 911 and EMS got here I coulda died (I know, I've seen them try to get into my apartment complex at night when the gates are closed). Called my dude, told him I wasn't gonna make it to the show tonight, and said "but don't worry! I'm fine! It's probably a pulled muscle or something. Do your show, do your thing, then come up to the hospital, I'll still be there in a few hours. I'm fine! I'll call you if anything happens." I'm a frequent flyer at my local ER so I know how long it takes to do a cardiac workup and find out it's nothing (about 4 hours). Yeah, yeah. I know.

Workup shows I have PULMONARY EMBOLISM, or blood clots in my lungs. Can you believe this howdy doody? It feels like my ribs are broken! Needles, needles, needles, port access, heparin, dilaudid, morphine. Don't remember much after that. To be continued. . . .

Wednesday, March 24

Tomorrow's my birthday

Last year on my 48th birthday I met my oncologist for the first time. The day after that, he was removing parts from my body. The day after that, he told me I had advanced metastatic serous papillary carcinoma, or Stage III-C, Grade 3 Ovarian Cancer that had spread to my omentum, spleen, and some lymph nodes. I had not had any symptoms before this.

This past year has been full of shocks, decisions, uncertainty, debilitating pain, fear, needles, needles, needles, chemo, side effects, facing mortality, recurrence, more chemo. But it's also been full of deep reflection, spiritual growth, and unwavering love and support from those who know me, and also from some who didn't know me at all. I've met so many good, kind, caring, generous and loving people during this adventure.

I've already been through the worst. Turning 49 should be a breeze.

Monday, March 15

Suck it up, Buttercup

Okay, so I guess I'm not dying right away. Good thing, cuz I'm not ready yet. Pity party over.

CT results are "looking good" mid-chemo, meaning that no new stuff is showing up, and some old stuff isn't there any more. SAA-WEEET!!! Got started back up with chemo today (Topotecan and Avastin). I'll do another 3 months with that, but I gotta admit it was really nice being off for these past few weeks. I was almost back to humanoid.

As soon as the chemo kicks in I'll be back in the bubble, (not the same as chemo-brain) but that's okay- I know that place, and it only lasts a few days at a time. It's the rabbit hole I'm afraid of. My oncologist tells me that there are a lot of good things happening with Avastin. I hope so.

Thanks to my peeps for keeping me going. You know who you are.
Big love,

Tuesday, March 9

Here there be monsters

Fear, depression, fatigue or pain can take you to some pretty dark places. When you have them all, for an extended period of time, you go pretty deep down the rabbit hole. So much going on but no answers to anything. Too many meds. Weird side effects. Yeah, I know it's cancer and chemo- but I don't have to like it. I'm just trying to survive it. It's also been dark and cold and rainy for the last couple weeks, so maybe that added something to it.

My appointment with the onc yesterday got rescheduled because of an emergency (glad it wasn't me) so now I have to wait ANOTHER week to discuss my recent CT results and The Plan. This makes 4 weeks off chemo, right in the middle of treatment. I don't like this. Not one bit. This is what I get for demanding shit (CT scans) in the middle of treatment.

But today, as I was curled up in my blanket, with my ass growing roots into my couch and my cold, dead fingers wrapped around the remote- I thought "GET YOUR ASS UP. YOU'VE GOT SHIT TO DO." Then my sweetie came home and said "Hey! We gotta get some SUN in here!" and went around opening blinds and such. Then we went out for pizza. As far as my CT scan I'm going with the "no news is good news" approach. Ain't much else I have the energy to do.

Stay away from rabbit holes. That way lies madness.

Sunday, March 7

Weekly roundup

It's been a bad week. I had the barium CT on Tuesday, and have to wait til NEXT Tuesday to get any results. Did you know that barium can exit your body at the most random times? (You know what I'm talkin' about, Willis.) Wednesday night I was in the ER (2nd trip this year) for severe pain in my left calf. Had a 4 hour workup for DVT but all tests were negative. I was given a new rx for Percocet and sent home. It still hurts like a mofo, and all my major joints are painin' me, too. I have to decide whether to suffer the pain, or fall into oblivion with the Percocet. The Percocet wins, every time.

My support group at the Wellness Community yesterday were awesome, as usual. I need to go there as much as I can because I find comfort there, from many sources. If you have a Wellness Community in your area, I encourage you to check it out. It's free.

I really shouldn't be PUI (posting under the influence), but it sure makes for some interesting reading the next day.

Monday, March 1

Very Berry-Yum

Tomorrow I'm getting the mid-chemo CT I demanded.
Keep your fingers crossed that this 2nd round is working and I get a clear scan.

There Are Days That. . .

I just want to sleep.
All I want is chocolate.
I'm so anxious I'm could pop.
I'm really sad.
I hurt all over.
I'd rather swallow Drano than go to chemo.
I don't even remember.
I feel over medicated.
I miss my life.
I'm really mad.
I don't want to answer the phone.
I want to cry.
I could use some good news.

And then there are nights. . .