21 Feb 2012

Countdown to May 13th, 2012

Hear ye!  Hear ye!!  Save the date!  Calling all family and friends near and far, to walk, run and gather supporters for the 10th Annual Run for Ovarian Cancer.
This fund raising effort is unlike any other.  It is not for awareness, detection or prevention - the Run is raising money for the Translational Research Centre here in London.  Every dollar goes toward the work of discovering a cure for advanced ovarian cancer.   See our blog Lauds and Labs (November 4, 2011).

Follow this link to join or sponsor our team, Sunflower Sisters, led by our own webmaster, Lisa :
London Run for Ovarian Cancer - 2012

We are going to make an all-out effort to have every person we know whose lives have been touched by this disease, directly or indirectly, help us in our quest to support this most worthy endeavour.

14 Feb 2012

9 Feb 2012

Mirror, mirror...

Yours truly is a member of the online Ovarian Cancer National Alliance Support community - Team Inspire - where members share with each other information, personal experiences, trials and tribulations and the highs and lows of living with ovarian cancer.  It's not all doom and gloom however, there are lots of very funny postings.  A recent string started out with a member who wrote about the devastating experience of seeing herself - really seeing herself - in the mirror.  She thought that after having received so much chemo, she now looked like her husband's mother instead of his wife.  Another wrote of the places one least expects hair regrowth and the remarkable quantity of it following certain chemos.  Someone then joined in by offering helpful hints as to how to get rid of those nasties and swore it wouldn't cause the hair to grow in thicker than ever!

My giggle today was reading Dr. Mercola's column - always and ever chasing the fountain of youth - entitled "Swallow this to Help reduce the Appearance of Wrinkles" (my italics).  He is promoting a supplement called Astaxanthin - oh, and be sure to get the natural, organic type.  This is a powerful antioxidant that "potentially" reverses wrinkles and age spots.  It is the ingredient that causes baby flamingos to turn pink from their white birth state.  I lost count after the fifth time he used of the word "phenomenal".


I guess I better get some...I wonder if they offer volume discounts?

8 Feb 2012

February Focus

February is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in Australia and New Zealand - a big hello to our Sunflower Sisters "down under"!  Concurrently, one of their pre-eminent biotech companies announced the launch of a 22 country, 800 patient clinical trial for an OvCa vaccine.  Lets hope for success all round.

February 1st is "Imbolc" in the Celtic calendar - the halfway point between winter solstice and spring equinox - what a welcoming thought.  February 2nd is Groundhog Day - and according to the experts, he's seen his shadow and it will be an early spring.  It was also our very own web master's (and my Sunflower Sister's) birthday - a Very Happy Teal Hug from all of us!

And importantly, February is Heart and Stroke month.  I had the opportunity to have an in depth discussion with an Oncology Nutritionist last week on the subject of chemotherapy as it relates to possible long-term effects on the heart.  Happily, she said that it was well down the list of common side effects but that certain adjunctive drugs e.g. Avastin, can cause severe hypertension.  She said cessation of the drug will regulate this issue.  So, if I understand correctly, Avastin is a drug that prolongs progression-free survival, but taking it may cost you your life.  What a miserable conundrum.

Upon reflection, I believe that the Nutritionist was literally correct in saying that there are few correlations between chemotherapeutic drugs and heart disease, but figuratively incorrect.  Chemotherapy can and does cause all manner of heart-related problems namely anxiety, stress, worry, fear and depression.  So here we find ourselves not only with a rare and often incurable disease, but also potentially part of the biggest health issue in North America.
What is the answer?  In the words of the late Dr. David Simon "Release what doesn't serve you".  It's an expression that needs to become part of your daily existence - making present moment wise choices - letting go of things and people that are harmful - being conscious of every thought manifesting as a physical reality - concentrating on things and people that keep you safe, happy, healthy and peaceful.  Letting go is difficult but it does bring freedom.  February's focus on heart, stroke and ovarian cancer highlites the necessity to live in the present moment, forgive the past and trust the future.