17 May 2013

Ovarian Cancer Signs and Symptoms

In September 2011, Jo blogged about the signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. As Jo's sister/webmaster, I thought this would be a good time for a refresher.

Please share this information with all of your female family members and friends.

What are the some of the possible signs of ovarian cancer?
  1. abdominal pressure, fullness, bloating
  2. pelvic discomfort or pain
  3. persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
  4. changes in bowel habits such as constipation
  5. changes in bladder habits such as frequent need to urinate
  6. loss of appetite or quickly feeling full
  7. increased abdominal girth - clothes fitting tightly around the waist
  8. a persistent lack of energy
  9. low back pain
  10. some of the above...none of the above.
As you can read, most premenopausal women experience all or some of these symptoms on a monthly basis.  They are commonly attributed to PMS and not typically alarming to any of us.  The difference between one's monthly experience and cancer is usually persistence and worsening .  OR NOT...which is why the disease has been labelled "the silent killer".

There is no screening test for ovarian cancer.  A Pap smear cannot diagnose this disease.  There is no reliable blood test.  Ovarian cancer, gone undetected, spreads throughout the abdomen where it is very difficult to treat. Right now, the key to early detection is to know the signs, know yourself and know what is normal for you.

The following website has some interesting facts about Ovarian Cancer:

Ovarian Cancer INFOGRAPHIC Know The Facts

Jo's original post can be read here:
SunflowerSisters Ovarian Cancer Blog: September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month:

7 May 2013

Joanne M. Meyer (1953 - 2013)

It is with deep sadness that I, Jo's webmaster and sister, must report that after 5 and a half years of LIVING with Ovarian Cancer, Jo has earned her wings. She passed peacefully last Thursday morning surrounded with the love of her family.

Throughout Jo's journey, she always maintained a positive attitude and a driving determination to help herself and others with this disease. No "bump in the road" could break her fighting spirit as she always asked, "What's next? What else can we try?".

Jo leaves behind a legacy - her website SunflowerSisters.ca - her gift to all teal sisters everywhere. It is my hope that her work on this site brings some help and/or comfort to other women living with Ovarian Cancer, and for their families and friends.

"If there ever comes a day when we can't be together, keep me in your heart, I'll stay there forever." ~ Winnie the Pooh

MEYER, Joanne Marie - (Dec. 6, 1953 - May 2, 2013) Jo passed away peacefully with her sisters by her side, on May 2, 2013, at Parkwood Hospital, London, Ontario.
She was the loving wife of Stuart Raven-Hill; daughter of Ralph Meyer of Goderich and of the late Ruth Meyer (nee Freiburger); step-daughter of Margaret Meyer; sister to Anthony Meyer, Florida (Gloria); Maryann Gavin, Kitchener (Marshall); Rose Blake, London (Peter); Carol Wahl, Georgia (Philip); Greg Meyer, Newmarket; Lisa Debeljak, Cambridge (John); Chris Meyer, Brampton (Karen); and John Meyer, Idaho (Jennifer); daughter-in-law to Patrick and Alice Raven-Hill of Queensferry, Scotland; sister-in-law to Sheila Meyer, Newmarket and Valerie Raven-Hill, Nassington, England; loving Auntie Jo to Andrew (Holly), Lesley, Michael, Tara (Craig), James, Matthew, Andrew, Brendan, Kirsten, Natalie, Zachary, Sarah (Jason), Julianna, Alexandra, Sophia and Chloe; Great-Auntie Jo to Kayla, Violette, Maeva, Aubrey, Mateo and Lailah.
Jo's career spanned many years and activities: Comptroller at Mitel Corporation, Partner in MacDougall Meyer Inc., and various entrepreneurial ventures. She was an accomplished musician, a gourmet cook, loved nature, gardening and her doggies. People were drawn to her charismatic personality and "joie de vivre".
Always the eternal optimist, when diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer in 2007, Jo sought out ways to help herself. Through the creation of her website: SunflowerSisters.ca, she leaves behind a legacy that provides hope and inspiration to "teal sisters" and their families worldwide.
Special thanks to Dr. Dominique Lanvin, Dr. Stephen Welch and Bonnie Martin at the London Regional Cancer Centre, and to the entire Palliative Care team at Parkwood Hospital.
A celebration of life was held on Sunday, May 5 from 1:30 to 4:00pm at the Elsie Perrin Williams Estate, 101 Windermere Road West, London, ON. In lieu of flowers, donations would be appreciated to Wellspring London and Region.
Online obit link: Joanne Marie Meyer

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It's what sunflowers do." - Helen Keller