Monday, September 3, 2012

September....Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month


It's September.  It is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.   I hate ovarian cancer.  I  hate ovarian cancer.  I hate ovarian cancer.  Have I mentioned that I REALLY hate ovarian cancer???

Why?   I am the co-facilitator of an ovarian cancer support group in Boston.  Through this group, I have met THE most amazing women who have enriched my life beyond belief.  I love every single one of these ladies.  They are truly Goddesses.

Yes, I know that their collective experiences with ovarian cancer have made them into even more seriously righteous babes than they were before their diagnoses. Yes, I know that they are all fabulous and formidable.  But I do hate that they have ever had the words "you have ovarian cancer" darken their doorsteps, because I know what this has meant for them and for the people who love them.   They are the most kind, loving, wonderful, intelligent and FUN women on the planet and....this is their month.

So, today's blog entry is about the vague signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer and some ovarian happenings this month. There will be many more blog postings about ovarian cancer in the future.  Just wanted to get this out quickly, so you can check out some of these events.


 #1:  The most important thing these ladies would want you to know?  Get to know the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer.  These symptoms can be vague and easy to ignore by you and sometimes your doctors.    If you experience these symptoms, get them checked out and do it sooner rather than later.  If your doctor tries to pat you on the hand and tell you are okay, just because your symptoms are vague, BE YOUR OWN ADVOCATE AND DON'T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER.   Get fully checked out. 

These are from the NOCC website:  and more info from the Ovations for the Cure website:
Ovarian Cancer National Alliance:

Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:   

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often
  • Fatigue
  • Upset stomach or heartburn
  • Back pain
  • Pain during sex
  • Constipation or menstrual changes
If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, see your physician."
Here's one that I have heard from several different ladies.  "My pants started fitting tighter around the waist.  Every place else they fit the same.  My diet hadn't changed, my exercise regimen hadn't changed, but suddenly I felt bloated and my pants were not fitting the same".  GET THIS CHECKED OUT.

Although controversial and not the end all/be all workup, ask for a pelvic ultrasound, a CA125 blood test to be drawn and have that physician thoroughly address each of your symptoms.  And...make a nuisance of yourself if you still experience these symptoms even if nothing shows up initially.

Also, if you have a biopsy.....GET YOUR RESULTS.  Don't assume that all is well if you don't hear anything.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this issue come up.  You should know your pathology results within one week of your biopsy and keep calling your doctor's office until you get them.  Get a copy of the pathology report as well.

If you are an ovarian cancer survivor and you live in the state of Massachusetts, you should be grateful to a woman named Patricia Cronin.

I never met Patricia Cronin, but I love her.  I love her family, friends and the foundation who honors her.

The story goes something like this:  she had ovarian cancer and at the time of her treatment, there were no ovarian cancer support groups around.  So, she made her own!!!  Her many friends and family members became a support group for her.

In her memory, The M. Patricia Cronin Foundation has funded many ovarian cancer events, some research but most importantly it funds the ovarian or gynecological cancer support groups in many   hospitals throughout Massachusetts so that other ovarian cancer survivors have a place to connect with each other. 

One of my support group members once said, "my support group has changed my life". 

Thank you Patricia Cronin and your foundation for changing the lives of ovarian cancer survivors in the state of MA.  We are forever grateful!!!



National Ovarian Cancer Coalition
Massachusetts Chapter's 14th Annual
5K Run/Walk to
Break the Silence on Ovarian Cancer

Sunday, September 9, 2012 Registration 9am, Race Begins 10AM

Courtney Campbell of MA NOCC is seriously awesome and a major breath of fresh air over at MA NOCC.  Rock on Courtney!!!

Ovations for the Cure  

6th annual learning for living with ovarian cancer 2012 symposium

September 22, 2012
Four Seasons Hotel
Boston, MA
  • Registration and complimentary continental breakfast
    will begin at 8 a.m.
  • Lunch will be provided—free of charge.
  • Invitee participation is complimentary, and each invitee is allowed to bring a guest.
  • Parking is available at the Four Seasons Hotel
    for a reduced rate of $20.


If you can get past the rather annoying name,  HysterSisters there is a lot of helpful information on this site for the surgery side of things (hysterectomy etc).



MA Ovarian Cancer License Plate Initiative
Are we freaking kidding here????  C'mon people.  You don't have to have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer to get an ovarian cancer awareness license plate.  If you know anyone with ovarian cancer, you should be ashamed of yourself if you have not "pre-ordered" your license plate. 

Margie Ferreira rocks and she needs you to sign up now!!!!!


Survivors Teaching Students:  Saving Women's Lives 

Several of my ovarian cancer support group survivors have participated in this great program.
They tell their stories to medical students and nursing students with the hope that by hearing their symptoms/stories that these future health professionals will better serve their patients in the future.

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