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kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 421
Joined: Apr 2012

Dear warrior sisters!! I am now just 6 weeks, had surgery, on my fourth week of Chemo (I do it every week), have surgery scheduled for a port, started Neupogen for three days, have readjusted my work schedule to less hours, and losing my hair this week. Not to mention the hours reviewing statistics, increasing my knowledge on ovarian cancer, changing my diet, reliving my story to family and friends, and trying to be positive!! And to top it off trying on a special wig made of real hair and guaranteed to look just like me. I have cried everyday this week. It is the first week I actually looked the role of cancer. I have had to explain to my patients why I have changed my schedule and why I am wearing scarfs ect... I guess this is the week I finally admitted I have cancer!!! And I can't stop crying. Help with words of wisdom!! Kim

kikz's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: Jun 2010

First of all you have every right to cry. You are going through one of the scariest times of your life. We all reach a breaking point. Some sooner, some later. It sounds like you are a nurse so you have medical background that has probably helped you get this far. I think the hair loss is difficult to deal with. I didn't have much of a problem but for some of my family members, I believe it's when they first saw me as a cancer patient. One of my cousins stopped coming to see me. She had been very helpful but after I texted her a picture of the "new" me she quit coming around. I didn't see her again until after my hair grew back. I have no ill feelings toward her, she just couldn't handle it.

If this is the first time you are breaking down, my hat goes off to you. This is a journey and you are bound to go through many emotions. I have met some of the strongest and most courageous women on this board. But we are human and we can only handle so much. I try to remain strong for everyone in my life because I carry guilt that because I have this disease, everyone around me has it too. I am upbeat most of the time because I do not want to give this beast any more of me than I already have.

So, dear Kim, have a good cry when you need to. Then I'm sure you will be ready to put your tough shirt back on. We are here to support you. I have come to this board in tears many times. These women are wonderful.

You are in my thoughts and prayers.


lovesanimals's picture
Posts: 1364
Joined: Sep 2011

I think that when we're diagnosed with cancer, things move so quickly and in a blur that we don't have time to catch our breath, much less face the fact that we have cancer. Even now, a part of me has a hard time believing that I actually have cancer. Losing the hair, understandably, is a huge deal for many women partially because we actually look sick at that point. I didn't have a problem myself with the hair loss; in fact, (and this may sound weird) but I was happy that I wouldn't have to shave my legs and armpits; and I wouldn't have to worry about brushing and curling and styling my hair. I saved so much time! And I knew that my hair would grow back.

As Karen said, we're here to support you and provide you with encouragement.

Sending you lots of good thoughts and hugs,


anicca's picture
Posts: 335
Joined: Dec 2010

Dear Kim, how could you NOT cry? When I read that you changed your work schedule, I was astonished. Don't know how you can work at all with chemo every week! I think you're amazing, and if crying is needed, so what!

After a while, it will get easier. You won't have to talk about it so much, and it will start to feel like the norm. You have done, and are doing, so much to make yourself healthy and to get through the stresses of surgery and chemo. Fighting like that is a very good thing, and soon you may start to feel proud of yourself for handling it all. You may still have tears, but remember that you earned them.

Posts: 2
Joined: Feb 2012

It sounds like you are getting some aggressive treatment and that is good. At what stage you were diagnosed? How did the surgery go? How long are your infusions and of what chemo are they? What have they told you about the port? My wife was diagnosed stage 4 in January and has had 5 five hour infusions of carboplatin/taxol and two neulasta shots. She has not had surgery yet. Annica is right about your situation becoming the new "normal" although it is like a Twighlight Zone normal. I have cried too and I could cry every day but I try not to so as to not let my wife down. She feels as though it is her fault and tells me she is sorry. Of course I tell her that it is not her fault and not to say sorry anymore. Well I have to go to bed now. Best wishes.

kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 421
Joined: Apr 2012

Thanks everyone for your words of wisdom. I am feeling slightly better today. I retried on the wig, and even though it still looked foreign to me, I might be able to make it work. It is real hair so I styled it and it looked better.
You are all right, from diagnosis it has gone so fast. I focused on getting back to work at least part-time because my patients needed me. I felt it also was a great distraction. However, until I lost my hair, I could look well and not face the ugly truth that I have cancer. It is a scary thing and it catches you off guard.I have so much support, multiple groups and individuals praying for me, and a fantastic, patient husband. My girls are also amazingly supportive and give wise advice. So I know deep down I will be alright. I just need to get my mind wrapped around all the changes. Thanks again for all the wonderful wisdom.
Husband of Gina...To answer your questions...I was diagnosed at stage IIIc. My ovaries and omentum were positive for serous papillary adenocarcinoma. The surgery we thought would just be taking out my right ovary and be done. But when my surgeon went in with the laproscopy she saw the left ovary and knew then she would have to do the full surgery and staging because it just did not look right. I am doing chemo-dense which means carbo/taxol week one and taxol week 2 and 3 which then finishes one cycle. I will do a total of 6 cycles so 18 weeks of weekly chemo. I wasn't going to get a port. I have great vein access, but one of my chemo nurses told me that I should at least have a consult with a surgeon so if it became a problem I would be ready for the surgery and not delay my chemo. So I met with my surgeon and he encouraged me to get it now because it would make my life easier. So I scheduled it. My carbo/taxol infusion takes 5 hours and when I do Taxol 3-4 hours. I work mornings seeing my patients and come home in the afternoons to rest. I do chemo on Thursdays, and by Sat I get the body aches and some nausea.

I hope your wife Gina is doing ok. It sounds like they are trying to decrease her tumors before surgery. Do you have a date for surgery yet? Best of luck. I think it is wonderful you get on this site and ask your questions because it is different for the caregiver. Kim

Posts: 126
Joined: Mar 2012

I did the same thing and sometimes still do. Kelly is right, after dx things move so quickly you don't have time to think, and then you are overwhelmed with sadness. I finally had to get on antidepressant and see a counselor. I hope you do better soon.

kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 421
Joined: Apr 2012

Today has been a better day. I had chemo and managed it well and of course the steroids lifted my mood. I tried on my wig and worked with it at a little and am trying to get use to it. It feels less foreign today.Hopefully, I will get comfortable with it. Thanks to all of you for support ad care! Kim

anicca's picture
Posts: 335
Joined: Dec 2010

So glad you're feeling better, Kim. A tip for the wig - get some double sided wig tape, and put a strip at the front and one at the nape. You will feel more secure.

Posts: 47
Joined: Feb 2012

Wow....you are a brave woman. I am praying for you...stay strong girl!

Radioactive34's picture
Posts: 388
Joined: May 2011

Hugs you seem to have things in hand. You are strong. I tried working but could not past the second infusion. Even strong women need a good cry...more often in this state. We carry the weight of our illness and the reaction of our loved ones.

Sending many a prayer and hug your way. :)

Sara2011's picture
Posts: 77
Joined: Oct 2011

I remember when I first started my chemo treatments and the medicines I was having to take were all so overwhelming and then I started losing my hair....well at some point it just hits you that yes, you are a cancer patient! For me, spending time reading the Bible and recognizing that God is in control, He loves me, and is going through this with me gave me great peace. I hope you can find that same peace through this time in your life, I know it can be rough to deal with.

By the way, I don't know your location, by I went to a lady in Overland Park, KS (Wigged Out owned by Tina Herald, has a website) to get my wig. She is a breast cancer survivor and started a wig business to help cancer patients losing their hair with finding a great wig, learning how to wear it properly (very key), and how to care for it. I highly recommend her...people even travel to see her for help. I went with a synthetic wig because I was told by several not to get a real hair wig because they were more difficult to take care of. My wig was a little more expensive, but it was so worth it. Unless I told them, people did not know I was wearing a wig. I bought one with a scalp in the cap and that was great....it made it so real looking. My hair is now growing back and in another week, though my hair is short, I plan to lose the wig! So be encouraged, your hair will come back!

kimberly sue 63's picture
kimberly sue 63
Posts: 421
Joined: Apr 2012

I have a local wig lady who is fantastic. She too went thru breast cancer. Prior to that she had a client who came to her with the diagnosis of breast cancer and she asked her to help find a wig. In the area there were no good options. So Terri, my wig lady, started training to become efficient in servicing these clients. Six months later, she had breast cancer. She was great with me, but the day I went I was so emotional that my perceptions were definitely skewed. I've tried it on several times, and am starting to get use to it. It still needs some tweeking, but I was able to style it like my own hair and it helped. My neighbors thought it looked great!! I'm still trying to adjust to the transition.

lulu1010's picture
Posts: 367
Joined: Feb 2011

I know I did. I was in the grocery store one day and saw a neighbor and started bawling! I know sometimes I feel better if I cry and let it all out. I have also heard that Carbo decreases your seratonin levels and I started on a low dose antidepressant. It helped. As for losing the hair, I had the same feelings. I then looked like a cancer patient. I had a wig and it was just one I picked from the wig store but when I was getting my hair back in and felt like I could go without a wig people were surprised and said they wondered why I didnt lose my hair. They didnt even know!
I am an RN also and I am 59 and decided I do not want to work anymore as I did not feel like I had the energy to do a good job or keep up with things. I cried when I quit and talked about going back PRN (and I did till my first reoccurance - I am now on Doxil) but I am getting used to being home and looking for new things to do. I had so looked forward to retirement with my husband but who knows now if that will ever happen. It changes everything but with a lemon you have no choice but to make lemonade.
I recently started going to a local support group. I am so glad I did. There were many long time survivors there and I was so encouraged.
So as an old RN let me advise you to cry it out, get an antidepressant and join a local support group! Hugs! Linda

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