My name is Beth and my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on February 15th and had a complete hysterectomy on March 2nd. What a whirlwind! She lives in Indiana and for the past 3 years I've been living in Australia. So...this was very difficult news to recieve being so far from home and the worst part is that my father passed away November 4th and my husband and I had to make an emergency trip home. I ended up staying 2 months and went back to Australia January 1st. Now this!!!! It's been an emotional time.
Anyway, she was diagnosed with stage 3. After the surgery we were told that the surgeon couldn't remove it all. There is a mass on her diaphram and he didn't want to do any scraping for fear he'd put a hole in it and that would cause problems with her breathing.
He felt that chemo would be best to remove the speckles and spots throughout her abdomen as well as the diaphram.
We are a christian family and are praying for complete healing. My mom has a great attitude,although very tired and teary at times. Her roughest times are at night...she has felt a lonely feeling. She's just been through so much over the past 2 1/2 years and the doctor thinks that it probably started 2 years ago. I married and moved to Australia in June 2002 and I think that was the beginning of our nightmare. A month later my father had a heart attack and then over the next 2 years he just had one problem after another and died unexpectedly of an aneurysm in November. I'm not used to him even being gone yet and now my mother? I just can't believe this!!!!
A more positive note is that my mom has been recovering very nicely and her incision is healing so well after just 2 weeks.
She has a wonderful attitude, but is very fearful of chemo that will most likely start on the 28th of March.
Can you all tell me how you've done with Ovarian cancer chemo? We just need some positive news about it.
Also, since you've discovered you have ovarian cancer how have you changed your diets?
We've been doing lots of reading and have decided to get her on a special eating plan for cancer patiets. Not a diet, but just changing her eating habits. We've eliminated sugar, excess salt, diet drinks, white flour products and high fat foods such as fast food.
She's getting plenty of vegetables, fruits, filtered water, dairy such as skim milk, yogurt and chicken, ground turkey, turkey bacon, eggs..etc. Also she is taking a food supplement called Reliv 4-5 times a day. We believe this product has healed her incision so quickly.
Her new eating plan has made the ladies at our church upset because they want to bring food in. I've told them that we have the food situation under control and that if they'd like to bring anything to bring fresh veggies and fresh fruits because they are incredibly expensive. They just don't understand that chicken-n-noodles, mashed potatoes drenched in butter and salt, biscuits, and green beans cooked in bacon fat are more comfort foods rather than good for a cancer patient. We've had 4 huge chicken-n-noodle dinners brought to the house along with a beef-n-noodle/mashed potato meal. While we are very grateful for the love the support and the giving hearts these people have they just don't understand that certain food just is not good for her to eat and if it's here she wants it.
Am I being too picky about the food she eats?
Sorry this is so long. I flew home 2 days before her surgery and so glad that I did because she could never have done this without me here. She could have, but her daughter is what she needs right now.
I'm worried about leaving the 14th of April. I have told her that if she needs me to come back I'll book the flights as soon as I get back to Australia.
I'll stop here.
Please, I need feedback on chemo and food issues. Prayers would be good too. :-)
I'm so sorry to hear about your Dad and now your Mum - it's sooooo hard isn't it?? My story (briefly), Mum had 'funny' symptoms for a few months late last year and was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer in October....she was 74 years old, various other serious health problems, and the cancer was untreatable.....her surgeon who took out bowel cancer from her 4 years previously wouldn't operate again - too risky. She died 8 weeks later on New Year's Eve. She basically died of starvation and dehydration. Her whole system started to gradually shut down. We were with her for the last day and she fought to the end....the whole thing is still haunting me. The Drs thought she'd had the cancer for about 4-6 months before diagnosis....what an aggressive, horrible cancer!
Sounds like your Mum hopefully has a fairly good outlook - at least it is treatable and she has hope. I really believe our state of mind plays a huge part in our health. Measurable differences can be detected in immune responses in conjunction with various moods/thoughts. Eg: depression is now thought to be a cause of heart disease. What happens in our head can change what happens in our body.
Re the food situation - I reckon whatever makes your Mum feel healthy and that she is doing the 'right thing' to help her body recover is the best. Cancer is a very personal thing and you/she need to take control of the situation. If she feels sick/guilty/wrong after eating high fat food, perhaps she shouldn't. Might also tie in with mental state - if she feels she is doing 'healthy' things, that might translate to an improved immune system response and better outcome?? Who knows....?
Sorry to rave on - this is obviously of personal interest to me! By the way, I'm in Adelaide, Australia...
hi beth, my sister had ovairan cancer at 48. her chemo seemed to be mild. they have meds that dont make you sick. she did loose her hair but its all back now and much more healther than it was. it was a scarey thing thinking i was going to loose my sister. she is doing real well. i hope this helps and my prayers are with you and your mom. maryellen
Beth ~ I appreciate such a detailed post. It helps to "know" you a little better. I don't have any information on chemo specifically. I used to work as an RN and would occasionally work on the cancer ward, but all I remember are the dark moments...the nausea, vomiting, etc. However, in regards to the nutrition, I do know that a healthy diet, and I mean really healthy, is key. We are live bodies, that when functioning right have healthy immune systems. When cancer strikes, we need to bolster the immune system so that the cancer can be "fought". We need live enzymes, meaning fresh fruits and vegetables, not preservatives, unhealthy fats, or sugar...especially sugar. Cancer loves sugar! I recommend you search the internet for healthy anti-cancer diets and protocols. There is lots of information out there. You are definitely on the right track.
I was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer and after removing my ovary and the tumor I am undergoing chemotherapy. The type of chemotherapy from one type of ovarian cancer to another may differ so your mother may receive a different type of chemo-- but for me, the chemotherapy has not been too bad. I get tired and fatigue on the days of treatment and have some minor side effects like mouth sores, upset stomach, hair thinning-- but nothing unmanageable. I hope your mother receives a similar treatment and is able to develop the strength to get through the chemo and battle the cancer-- tell her to keep her chin up and keep thinking positive thoughts. It helps tremendously when your family and loved ones are doing the same good luck!