The Ovarian Cancer Blues - page 3

On Sept. 4th, President Obama signed a proclamation declaring September "Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month." He urged women to get regular check ups to increase the possibility of early detection, and... Read More

  1. by   Karou
    Even though my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer last year, and she benefitted greatly from the hyper awareness for it, I feel bad that other types of cancer get less attention. Colon cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer... I wish the public were more aware. I really appreciated your post. I did not realize how difficult ovarian cancer is to diagnose... That's terrifying.

    I can feel resentful of breast cancer awareness at times. My mother and I have discussed this a lot, and she too would like to see other types of cancer get more attention.

    Lung cancer terrifies me the most. No one wants to talk about lung cancer like they do breast cancer. If you are diagnosed everyone will ask (or want to know), did you smoke? Then if you did, there is automatically less sympathy for you. It really infuriates me. My aunt died of lung cancer in her 40's and never smoked a day in her life. It's a horrible way to die. People assume (1) that you must smoke/smoked and (2) that meant that you brought this on yourself, you kind of deserve it, right? Because of course smoking will lead to lung cancer.

    My greatest fear right now in life is that my mother will one day be diagnosed with lung cancer. I just can't tell you how much this terrifies me and how often I think about it.

    I was going to make this longer, but I'm honestly just too upset even thinking about it right now.

    Thank you for your post!
  2. by   Ruas61
    I hear your sentiments with the lung cancer stigma.

    I left a friendship of near 20 years after her comment on my brother's lung cancer being brought on by his actions of smoking. She was lucky I didn't give her at tracheotomy.

    It will be five years this month since my brother passed away.

    In addition to recognizing Ovarian cancer this month, I would like to say it is gynecological cancer awareness month.

    Uterine cancer isn't 'sexy' either and not so deadly if caught in time. I am still around 18 years later.
  3. by   NewYorkerGirl
    We have that awful BRCA-1 gene in our family. I haven't gotten tested yet because I've been unemployed and therefore uninsured for the 2 years since finding out about our family risk. It seems everyone has brought up the things to consider when selecting oophorectomy, except the bone loss that begins at menopause. The younger you go through menopause, the higher your risk of osteoporosis.

    If I test positive, I would easily get a mastectomy. But I can't imagine giving up my ovaries. I love my sex drive! Once I go through natural menopause I'd get the surgery. But of course, it could be too late by then. My grandmother died of BC @ 42, and my aunt was diagnosed with OC @ 49.

    We need better options than this: die with your sex drive and pre-menopausal body, or live without it. What a crappy choice!
  4. by   OCNRN63
    Quote from Ruas61
    I hear your sentiments with the lung cancer stigma.

    I left a friendship of near 20 years after her comment on my brother's lung cancer being brought on by his actions of smoking. She was lucky I didn't give her at tracheotomy.

    It will be five years this month since my brother passed away.

    In addition to recognizing Ovarian cancer this month, I would like to say it is gynecological cancer awareness month.

    Uterine cancer isn't 'sexy' either and not so deadly if caught in time. I am still around 18 years later.

    If there's anything "good" about uterine cancer, it's that it is easier to diagnose and treat. Nevertheless. I had a professor who had uterine cancer and she did not survive. Congratulations Ruas61, and I am glad you're still around!
  5. by   ClaraRedheart
    I'm a new nurse. I'm experiencing all of those symptoms, and I've attributed them to anxiety... because of a new job on a med-surg floor that I started in Feb... which they probably are. However, I also experienced "female bleeding" of unexplained origin almost 2 weeks back that had lasted for almost a month prior. My doctor gave me a bottle of progesterone to take which I did. Right after I took the last pill I gave my mom a call to chat. Mentioned the problems/pills (bc I feel like a hormonal teenage girl now) and she said "Why would you take that? Your grandma and aunt got breast cancer RIGHT after taking that!" Well, better to know now than not at all. I just called my doctor and asked the nurse to mention it to him or put it in my chart. I could just be an undiagnosed hypochondriac too
  6. by   OCNRN63
    We're not allowed to give medical advice here, but I would strongly encourage you to talk to your gyn about your symptoms in conjunction with your family history. Women who carry the BRCA genetic mutation are at a much higher risk for breast and ovarian cancer.
  7. by   Ruby Vee
    As a breast cancer survivor, I've felt called to post here, but wasn't really sure what to say. Pink has become a force in and of itself; teal has not. It's October now, and I am surrounded by pink everywhere. I wish it were teal -- there's been lots of progress with breast cancer, but it's time now to make progress with other types of "female" cancers. Maybe we can share the ribbons and the media attention?
  8. by   caroladybelle
    I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, and have undergone a bilateral mastectomy a few short weeks ago. In preparation for having 4 or more drains for this surgery and the later reconstruction, I looked into buying a few shirts that accommodate. Trying to find something in a color other than pink was a challenge. I personally do not care for pink (red head).

    I made it very clear that i am not a fan of pink-branding. And I absolutely detest the stupid facebook games/chain posts people make to "increase breast cancer awareness".

    I prefer to support ALL cancer awareness. Often research on one cancer will also be useful to patients with a different cancer. In my years as an HIV nurse, much of the research for HIV related concerns, often helped other pts with immune system disorders.
  9. by   OCNRN63
    October is a frustrating month for me, because pink is a really good color for me (red head too). I don't want to have people saying, "Oh, I see you're wearing pink for BC awareness." Uh, no...it just looks good on me. I try not to wear pink in October, yet what am I wearing as I'm posting this? A long-sleeve pink T-shirt.

    I agree...we need awareness for all cancers. You don't see people sporting ribbons for CA of the appendix, gall bladder, pancreas, etc. I don't want to give the impression I'm unsupportive of BC. I just think we ned to look at other cancers, esp. those that are more lethal.

    And Carolina, (((gentle hugs))).
    Last edit by OCNRN63 on Oct 5, '14
  10. by   Aurora77
    I'm definitely feeling frustrated. My hospital is going all out with pink and I'm struggling not to be offended. I realize this is my issue and breast cancer awareness is a good thing, but it still feels so short sighted!
  11. by   JoseQuinones
    Maybe stop wondering whether the White House is paying enough attention to ovarian cancer and do what you can to raise awareness. Like this great article you posted. I knew some of this of course, but your article brought me a new sense of urgency.

    Meanwhile, Obama has ISIS, Ebola, Russia, and running a whole country to run, plus midterms and all that. He doesn't have time to prioritize every good cause out there.
  12. by   OCNRN63
    I thought I'd post an update on this article. In December, my cancer recurred. For reasons I am not going into, I have switched from my gyn/onc to a medical oncologist who has been around for a long time and treated a lot of patients with ovarian cancer. The first treatment (different regimen from the first time) has left me fatigued and achy, but that's better than what the other treatment did.

    Regarding the PP, yes, I realize the Pres. has a lot on his plate, but if there's time to recognize one cancer, there's time for a brief recognition once a month for other cancers. Like many oncology nurses (and cancer patients), I would like a day to recognize all cancers. That seems more important to me than taking time to host sports teams and such.

    Many of us with OC have worked to raise public awareness regarding this disease, but when you are going up against groups that are better funded, it's hard to get the public's attention.
  13. by   Libby1987
    The Susan B Komen army is powerful enough and has a captive audience (well until they burn everyone out with pink fatigue), they can turn attention to another female cancer if they chose. I put the responsibilty there more than on the Whitehouse.

    And I wish I knew if agressive DCIS tx was really saving lives or just making the outcomes look better.

    *the things that stay with you, my first patient death was a sweet woman with ovarian cancer, her unrealized symptoms have stuck with me for decades, her heartbroken husband came back to the unit a couple of times just to tell us thank you again.

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