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Hi All - New To Group

JenSue
Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2004

I am 26, recently dx as OVCA stage 3A and have been reaching out to others w/ similar stories. I have already learned so much from you all and look forward to chatting more. I will begin my chemo on Friday, and I am nervous about how it will affect me physically and mentally. Any advice? I think you are all amazing, Take Care- Jen

TealRibbon's picture
TealRibbon
Posts: 44
Joined: May 2003

Hi Jen,
Welcome to the OVCA board. Oh, 26 and dealing with this. It makes me so sad to see that.

Well, as to the chemo thing..I assume you are most likely doing the Taxol/Carbo combo? That is what I had and it was not fun, but not as bad as it used to be. I am dealing with a case of the flu right now and I would rather have the chemo side effects!

You are young and strong and you will handle this. Do you have kids? If so you might want to have someone come and help you out. You will be very tired and you may not want to eat but try and take in very small amounts of food. I felt better when I ate. Sometimes the smell of strong food bothered me. May not be a problem for you.

Each person reacts differently so no one can say for sure.

I am the biggest crybaby there is and I did it. Actually I have been on chemo since Sept of 02 and still am doing well. You hang in there and I will say a little prayer for you. Come back when you feel like it and let us all know how you are doing. We are here for you anytime you need us.

mopar
Posts: 1948
Joined: May 2003

I'm sorry to hear about your situation. But you have come to the right place. Yes, I have lots of suggestions, having been through it myself. And I'm sure you will receive other replies that will be very helpful.

I agree with your first reply - your youth is on your side. Do you work? Still live at home? I hope you have support and someone that can help you. You will definitely get more tired as time goes on. I was fortunate enough to schedule my chemo on Fridays, so I could work during the week and then have the weekend off to recoop. The chemo is cumulative, so you will notice symptoms more as you go on. But I really have a great doctor who gave me things to take before chemo to help the nausea, etc. I really didn't have any nausea, just no interest in eating. But it is important, so I bought protein bars and protein powder. During my chemo (which lasted 8 hours), I would break off little bits of bar and eat it with water. I tolerated it well and got the nutritional support I needed. (If you want some suggestions on good products, let me know). You will probably lose your hair, about 21 days after you start chemo. I started wearing hats, then bought a wig. Didn't wear it much at home (wore a turban or hat or sometimes nothing). I did get neuropathy from the chemo (nerve damage). Caused pain/burning in arms, legs, feet. Can go into that later if it becomes an issue with you. Don't skip vitamins. I also have some suggestions on that, let me know if you're interested.

Keep a journal. It really helps to keep track of your feels, and I even kept notes of how I did with each chemo session. Helped me to be prepared for the next. I brought a blanket with me (you tend to get cold). Maybe bring a book, CD player, whatever you enjoy doing sitting down. You can even nap if you want.

Well, I won't ramble on. Please let me know what else I can do to help. We will be praying for you and keeping you in our thoughts. Keep in touch!

pshnyc's picture
pshnyc
Posts: 45
Joined: Feb 2003

Jen -
You're young to have to go through this, but then what IS the right age?!

Attitude was a huge help for me. When I was first diagnosed almost 3 years ago, I cried and felt sorry for myself for ONE DAY. After that, I resolved to kick cancer in the butt and I never looked back.

I was dx with Stage 1C during what was expected to be routine surgery to remove a benign cyst 2 months before my wedding! Talk about bad timing. Your life will turn upside down for a while, but it will right itself.

Chemo was actually a breeze for me. I was never sick for one minute. Maintained a full appetite, incuding during the administration of chemo. When I started losing my hair, my husband shaved it off. I wore my wig once and that was it. I went out everywhere with my cute little bald head and people would actually cheer for me when I walked into a room. It felt GREAT. And, by the way, having no hair was oddly empowering and very freeing. I continued to work during chemo. The only symptoms I had were fatigue for a week following treatment, some numbness in hands & feet (which ended when treatment ended) and the worst -- constipation (which, unfortunately, hasn't ended!). I exercized when I could, took vitamins, ate foods that were healthy, but I didn't go nutso...I also enjoyed sitting around on my butt eating Cheez Its without any guilt!

I am now 3 years from initial diagnosis and feel good -- except for minor aches & pains. It is almost unbearably hard to hear that you have cancer and you think you will never get through it, but you will and all of a sudden you will look back and you'll be 3 years out like me.

Here's how I got through it; some of these may help you: Rely on family and friends. Never feel you are a burden or asking them for too much help -- people who love you are thrilled to give it. Baby yourself physically, but not emotionally. Think of chemo as your lifesaver -- it's killing the cancer and that is a very good thing. Laugh often -- humor really is the best medicine. Know exactly what will happen in your treatment and when. Ask questions and if you don't get answers, be a pest. Be your best advocate. I didn't join a support group because I found when I went to one meeting that it really depressed me and what I needed most was to not think of myself as sick. But, for some people it helps tremendously.

Unfortunately, you have joined a club whose members would gladly not be part of it. But you are also joining a club of women who are the bravest women I know. You can't fight cancer and be a wimp or a coward. Stay in touch with all of us and let us know how you are doing.

My credo is: Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. I wish you many breathtaking moments!!

pshnyc

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Welcome, but so sorry to have another name added to the ovarian cancer list. Wow you are young to have ovarian cancer and WOW that will help alot I would think. Good luck on the chemo, I found that the morning before I went to get chemo I would eat a bowl of oatmeal and a piece of toast, then also brought a bag lunch. This seemed to help me out because after the chemo I was one who couldn't even stand the smell of food but because I ate healthy the day of chemo my body had something to get through on. And then I made myself walk..... even in the hospital the nurses would laugh as up at 5 and out for a tour of the hospital. They would tease me that I was running but knew better. I would say I was going to walk myself back to health. You are in our prayers and God's hands. Keep us updated BonnieRose

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