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Odd Girl Out

leesag's picture
leesag
Posts: 624
Joined: Jan 2010

I just needed to post this, because you all have given such me a feeling of community that I forget how rare this cancer is. I went to a Look Good/Feel Better session at my cancer center, and of course, we began by introducing ourselves. For some reason, almost everyone began with the kind of cancer they had. (which is wrong on so many levels, but that's a subject for another post). So, rather than give you the other details...this is how the introductions went.

Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Ovarian, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast, Breast

This how WRONG my self image is...(I have to sigh and laugh a little at this part) I got home and told my husband..."It was like the first day of high school all over again, only instead of having the wrong clothes, I have the wrong CANCER!"

I'm definitely investing in the t-shirt at zazzle that says:

Women's Cancer. It's not always Pink. Reach Out and Feel the Teal!

OY and Vey!

Hugs!
Leesa

Susan523's picture
Susan523
Posts: 235
Joined: Oct 2007

When I went to that Look Good/Feel Better, I was also the only one without Breast cancer.
And at that time, I was the only one with hair, as I hadn't begun chemo yet, but just had my surgery. I remember them showing me their 'ports', and describing what chemo was doing to them, and what I was in for.

You're right; I felt totally out of place, and you described it perfectly. I just didn't "fit in", or atleast I felt that way.

I like it. I want one of those shirts, too!

~Susan xoxo

p.s. they have a support group for "breast cancer". None for ovarian or uteran, but they do say we're "welcome to join in". I never have~

Mwee's picture
Mwee
Posts: 1316
Joined: Nov 2009

I think we should head for that post on why it "was wrong on so many levels" that everyone started off on labeling themselves by the type of cancer that they have! :) Oh, Leesa...
you made me laugh today!
(((HUGS))) Maria

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Leesa,

My first time around with treatment I was getting ready to go on the elevator to the floor where the Look Good/Feel Better session was to be held when my chemo started to leak on me!!

Instead I ended up having to take off my jeans (got a blue pair of surgical pants now), nurses tried to measure the amount of chemo I had lost to see if there needed to be any adjustments made!

Never did make it to one of those sessions.

Libby ☺

nancy591's picture
nancy591
Posts: 1059
Joined: Sep 2009

I went to look good feel better and they did not introduce themselves by type of cancer. It must be up to the instructor. People always assume I have breast cancer.

I love the shirt. I think I will get one too.

wonderingalice
Posts: 49
Joined: Feb 2010

Hi Leesa,

I know that since my mom was diagnosed with uterine cancer (UPSC), I have become sensitive in this way, too.

I can't help but feel a bit resentful that all this money and publicity is going into Race for the Cure and other organized fundraisers, and yet there is so little good research on my mom's type of cancer because it isn't common enough.

Most people are also so surprised that my mom is now undergoing second-line chemo, because they have the idea that uterine cancer is easily treatable (and its more common types are).

It's funny how much we want to belong...even in the context of disease type.

~ Al.

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

I have my "Look good feel better" thing week so I expect the same will happen to me.

Here in the UK as you know when I talk about a teal ribbon, so no knows what I am talking about!!!! I ordered some teal ribbons from the US & they came the other day. Because Race for Life" is all about ladies cancer (or breast cancer!!)I will certainly be educating the organisors of "Race for Life". "Race for Life" is pink pink pink so I might find myself one day dropping a letter to the organisors to enlighten on the "other" cancers that are women only and need awareness promoting.

My teal ribbons - I am dishing them out to my lady runners and my son and male supporterd will also wear them.

Looking forward to the pamper day anyway :)
Tina xxxxxx

Barbara53's picture
Barbara53
Posts: 659
Joined: Aug 2009

Leesa, my Mom had the same experience as you, plus being the oldest person in the room! Anyway, she asked the coordinators to get her in touch with other Ovarian survivors, and the two of us eventually had lunch with a wonderful lady who's a five year survivor and ovarian cancer awareness activist. I do think the coordinators keep lists and can be good resources for networking you with non-breast cancer people. Ask!

kayandok
Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

I love you!!!!
k:)

MK_4Dani
Posts: 318
Joined: Sep 2009

Leesa,
You are so funny! At my class no one even mentioned what type of cancer. We had a good time. Sorry your class was too pink!
Mary

dorion's picture
dorion
Posts: 187
Joined: Dec 2007

oh Leesa. you gave me a good laugh you nut! I needed that this morning. But ain't the truth, I would tell everyone that I have "breast cancer envy" so much attention is focued on breast cancer that they don't even know about us. And all this fundraising drives they have for breast cancer. What about US??! I love you girl!!!

Linda

Thanks for the laugh, I'm still laughing

minky1225
Posts: 71
Joined: Jan 2010

I can't wait to tell Mom about this one!!! She's gonna get a kick out of this!

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

I went to the Look Good/Feel Better thing in January. I was the only one who showed up - literally. The ACS rep forgot to put it on her calendar. The stylist was there and she gave me a bag of makeup. Nice stuff, too.

I was hoping for more of a peer group event, but there was a whole plate of cookies, just for the two of us!

Carlene

msfanciful
Posts: 580
Joined: Nov 2009

Hee,hee,hee,

I know that scenario all too well. The wrong cancer... you are a hoot!

I too want to invest in teal, everyone I've met seems to think that every woman who is a cancer survivor, is a "breast cancer" survivor!!!

Also, check this out ladies; I am now a certified "Look Good Feel Better" volunteer to help ladies battling the effects of cancer i.e., skin changes, hair loss, etc., by offering makeup and other types of beauty tips. LOL!

The ladies all drop their mouths open when they discover I too am a cancer patient/survivor there in all my full bald regalia. They're like..."but why are you volunteering to help US?", if you have cancer too?

I tell them, "well who better deary to know what you are going through than someone who's been there and done that too!" Ha, ha, ha they it's so special but I feel good helping them because I absolutely know what they are feeling and to also not focus on me for a change is such a wonderful break! I love it!

I will definitely do my part. not to focus on types of cancers or cancer colors and the likes that's for sure.

Sharon

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

Sharon I really admire you for doing the volunteering. It is true that by helping others does take the focus of yourself for a while. I have thought about voluteering at our local hospice because I KNOW what people are going through and I know I will be able to be detached enough to offer help and advice.

Breast cancer - yes I get that. I've mentioned before that there is no where in the UK to buy any other cancer ribbons but PINK. I've send off to the US for some small teal pins for me and my friends to wear when we do "Race for life"

Tina

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Tina,

I too have thought about volunteering at Hospice. I am REALLY thinking about it. And helping others does take the focus off of yourself! ☺

I have teal bracelets, shoestrings, etc. You can email the cancer society and they are more than happy to send teal bracelets, etc. I have spoken to two ladies groups about ovarian cancer and got information to hand out. They were very happy to have someone make others aware of ovarian cancer that has first hand experience!!

Living for Eternity,
Libby

nancy591's picture
nancy591
Posts: 1059
Joined: Sep 2009

what email address did you use for the cancer society?

LPack's picture
LPack
Posts: 658
Joined: Oct 2008

Nancy,

Here is the email address. The bracelets are jelly and are $2.50 each I believe but since I was speaking I got all my materials free of charge.
nocc@ovarian.org

And here is the website with materials.
www.ovarian.org

Libby

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Congrats on your certification, Sharon...

I think it would be great to have a "been-there-done-that" girl do the program.

Carlene

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

I feel your discontent, but the fact that breast cancer is diagnosed about 10x as often as ovarian doesn't help!

We also are still dealing with the "silent" cancer-women just don't want to hear that their symptoms may indicate ovarian cancer. I've run into this after talking to women about things they've had going wrong for them, only to be told "I don't have any cancer in my family!" and other things. It's a tough subject. The only one I've had respond to my suggestion was an aunt of my husband, whose sister died of OVCA. She did have a cyst on an ovary, and had laporascopic surgery to remove them. (She's about 75 now, and in fine health!)

I'm the leader of our local support group now, and find it difficult to bring women into our meetings. I've left group business cards with doctor's offices, and have posted meetings where I can locally.

It's gratifying to go to a large gathering, such as an OVCA cancer walk or conference, where you will run into a larger group of survivors, but it's still a cancer that's not talked about a lot, and I feel there are still a lot of women who are too embarassed to talk about it publicly, or even to let the people around them know they have it.

We do benefit by some of the research, too. We've come a long way in types of treatments, but a good (cheap) non-invasive diagnostic tool is what is really needed -

Sue

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