Barbara’s Ovarian Cancer Story, Part III


Happy Thanksgiving 2006

Barbara’s continued Ovarian Cancer Story:

It’s been two years since my final article and I’ve lots to share with you. Presently, I’m sitting in my cozy little workplace/visitor room, in my cozy home on Whidbey Island, Washington. Rosie-the-cat is reclining on the windowsill and we’re each staring out on the wind-whipped timber and billowing, darkish clouds being blown throughout the sky. It’s very lovely and I’m very grateful to be right here!

At my final writing, I had simply accomplished eight cycles of professional quality chemotherapy for superior ovarian most cancers and was in remission, able to rejoice a really particular Thanksgiving with my household. (See articles 1 and a pair of on the “articles” web page at Those holidays have been fantastic. I felt wholesome, had hair, was working and exercising and planning my retirement date, (September 2005), and subsequent transfer to our residence in Washington. Being an inveterate planner/list-maker and worrier, I organized the retirement and transfer to inside an inch of its life. I knew when my final day of labor can be; how a lot trip time I had on the books and what day we would be packing up. John made his plans to shut his workplace and relocate his enterprise. We have been accomplished with most cancers and able to transfer on! Well, as everyone knows, life has a method of not all the time going based on plan. We have been about to be thrown an actual curve-ball.

In March, we took a terrific journey to Arizona to rejoice my birthday. On the drive from Phoenix to Bisbee to go to mates, we marveled on the lush inexperienced desert, abloom with flowers after latest rains. Locals instructed us that this magnificence lasted about two weeks earlier than fading to gold and brown, and folks had realized to not take it without any consideration. Well, that is true about something, is not it?

The day after we returned from our trip, a message on the answering machine mentioned a brand new suspicious mass had been discovered on my most up-to-date CT scan, the one I had accomplished earlier than we left for Arizona. I used to be devastated and livid and terrified! I ranted and I raved and I screamed, scaring John and the cat. What about my plans? My retirement? Moving to my new residence? What about my life? I do not need extra surgical procedure, extra chemo! I do not wish to lose my hair once more! I really feel tremendous and healthy- how can this be taking place AGAIN? I had taken without any consideration that the primary surgical procedure and chemo had labored and I used to be cured. But actually, 70-90% of individuals have recurrence sooner or later in time. I simply did not suppose I’d be certainly one of them. I needed to utterly let go of my fastidiously orchestrated master-plan and face this problem head on.

June discovered me again at UCSF for main surgical procedure for removing of a tumor that was very shut, however not on, the liver. Because ovarian most cancers cells are inclined to migrate to the spleen and gallbladder, additionally they eliminated these organs. I used to be fortunate to have entry to the most effective surgeons within the nation and post-op experiences acknowledged that that they had utterly eliminated all of the most cancers! I used all the identical instruments to arrange pre op and postoperatively as I had for my first surgical procedure and my restoration was good. I used to be residence in 5 days and again to work in 5 weeks. I began chemo in July.

On December 1, 2005, I had my final chemo cycle. Other than a really low blood depend (I used to be very anemic and my white depend was very low), I tolerated the remedies pretty effectively. Acupuncture, visualization, train and dietary supplements all performed an essential half in my work to remain as robust and wholesome as doable. My hair thinned significantly, however I did not must put on wigs or cover-ups. With the actual drug routine I used to be on, there’s a 60% likelihood of hair loss. Before remedies began, I researched the online for any merchandise that may decrease this facet impact. I discovered a product referred to as E.V.P.3 Chemaid. The web site It offers good data and analysis so I made a decision to present it a attempt. I do not know if it was the chemaid, the totally different sort of medication routine and dosage, dietary supplements or all the above, however I stored the vast majority of my hair. Seems like such a minor factor when you’re combating in your life. Yet generally these small issues make a distinction in high quality of life. I felt that I appeared more healthy and “normal” and that translated into not feeling like a most cancers affected person.

The new yr introduced new decision to lastly make our plans to retire and transfer. My labs have been good, my scans have been clear and we moved to Whidbey Island in May. We’ve been concerned in tasks ever since.

First on the agenda was portray the within and the skin of the home. Just as John and I’ve been a superb workforce in my therapeutic course of, we have made a superb workforce in engaged on our residence. And it has been enjoyable! We dug a backyard utilizing picks and shovels. We constructed planter packing containers and created a Zen rock backyard; we yanked out an enormous juniper bush and planted roses and dahlias. At the tip of the day we collapsed into recliners with such a superb feeling of accomplishment. I’ve by no means used my muscular tissues like that earlier than. I’d be exhausted by 8pm-it was such a superb type of drained. One of my favourite actions was sitting within the filth, pulling weeds. The solar on my shoulders, eagles hovering overhead, the scent of earth and flowers and rising issues turned an enormous a part of my therapeutic course of. I visualized my immune system plucking out and “disappearing” any unhealthy cells from my physique with every weed I pulled. Working within the backyard has turn out to be an exquisite meditation for me. I clear my thoughts and completely deal with the duty at hand. Learning easy methods to dwell within the second is an ongoing lesson, and I’ve to repeatedly discover a steadiness between suave planning and my pure tendency to arrange the long run. I’ve realized a larger appreciation of every dawn and sundown. I discover the rhythm of my respiratory and muscle motion after I stroll and hike. I take time to choose up fascinating bits of wooden from the seaside and adorn my backyard with them. I revel within the love of my household and expensive mates. I consciously observe NOT taking something without any consideration and I attempt to dwell every second joyfully. I’ve a favourite mantra that I recite to myself on my each day walks. “thanks for all of the blessings I get pleasure from; thanks for my well being in the present day; thanks for my household and mates; thanks for permitting me to spend time on this lovely place; thanks for the reward of life! And would not it’s very, very good if abundance cascades into my life and into these I really like-abundance of health-physical, emotional and non secular; and monetary abundance.

I want I might say that with all of the meditation and mantras, I now lead a joyful, optimistic life. The reality is that I’ve my ups and downs; my extremely joyful moments together with occasions of concern, unhappiness and anger. I’m going into worry-mode when it is time for lab work and ready for outcomes. I get fearful about any new ache or ache (does this imply the most cancers is again?) I vacillate between ought to I’m going forward and spend cash on redoing the kitchen now or preserve that cash in financial savings a bit longer. Sometimes I really feel caught between residing within the second and desirous to plan future tasks for subsequent yr, two years from now, 5 years from now. And I nonetheless get offended that this occurred to me, despite the fact that I’ve realized many classes previously few years. One of the primary classes I’m beginning to grasp is that life is an act of religion. When I used to be planting the backyard, I principally put in greens and flowers that might reward me with bouquets and crops straight away. My act of religion sooner or later was planting a cherry tree. My each day prayer is that I’ll be round to benefit from the blossoms and pluck the cherries.

This yr we are going to rejoice Thanksgiving in our new residence. We’ll share our gratitude with family and friends; we’ll feast and watch soccer; and we’ll toast to well being, happiness and prosperity. The backyard hibernates now beneath a blanket of purple and gold leaves. The tulips, daffodils and hyacinths I planted final week relaxation and wait till it is their time to burst forth into colourful splendor. And I relaxation, write, clear closets and luxuriate in indoor tasks as I look ahead to spring, when I’ll burst out to nurture and be nurtured in my backyard.

Here’s to wet days and heat fires NOW and digging within the filth within the FUTURE.

Happy Thanksgiving

Barbara Ehlers-Mason

Whidbey Island, WA

Source by L. John Mason

Leave a Reply