Jun 242004

I just wrote a whole chunk of info about ovarian cancer, because it seems like people either get it confused with other types of cancer, like cervical cancer or breast cancer or whatever. And then I accidently hit the wrong button and that was the end of that.

The bad news about ovarian cancer, in case anyone needed more bad news about any type of cancer, is that there is no good test for it. It doesn’t get caught with a pap test and there is no equivalent to a mammogram.
Mine got caught because my girlfriend kicked my ass until I did something about the lump in my guts that turned out to be benign but was neighbouring in there with the actual cancer we are now dealing with.
So, as I keep saying, my cancer being caught at this stage is a complete fluke.
And still, it is staged at 3C, which isn’t anything to take lightly.
You can go online and find lots of very scary survival rates for someone in my shoes, but my oncologist says I have a 50/50 chance of dying of old age and since he has all the specifics, I’ll go with that assessment.
The good news for me is, most women get diagnosed when they are about 10 to 20 years older than me, so I expect I may have a bit more spunk to get thru this.
I also have a remarkable support system and people who are just generally looking after me. I am on a couple of e-mail lists and the women on those lists seem to often have to continue with all the same old expectations they ever had and that they don’t get much help. They make dinner for their families, they iron their husbands shirts, they get screwed by their insurance companies, and they don’t ever seem to get really pissed off about how tired and awful they feel. Needless to say, I don’t post a lot to this list.
I think I am really lucky to be so well taken care of, not just by Elaine but also by the big gang of close friends and less close friends and aquaintances and co-workers, and from 10 years ago former co-workers and on and on. It’s really shocking to me all the people who have jumped out of the woodwork to help, people I haven’t talked to for years. It’s amazing and I really appreciate it.

I also feel really lucky that when my girlfriend comes home and finds me asleep in the middle of the day, she thinks that’s a good thing. (Though I have been training her with the afternoon sleeping for a few years.) I believe that having the time to rest and not grind myself into the ground will make a big difference.

Also, my surgery was done by a gynocologist/oncologist, and that makes a huge difference because when surgeries are performed just by gynocologists, they aren’t as well skilled at knowing what bad parts to take out and where to go looking for their secret hiding places. I have read stuff that say the type of doctor who does the surgery has a huge impact on how well one bounces back.
And since the original predication was that the surgery would take 45 minutes and it took 2.5 hours, I would say that my surgeon was pretty thorough. I can say that because he said he promised that he removed every bit of cancer that is visible to the human eye. I don’t know if I would have got that from a gynocologist. So, I feel lucky. I most certainly didn’t feel lucky when I woke up from the surgery. I felt like I had been hit by a truck, but I am grateful in retrospect.

I have spent a bunch of time, going through a wide spectrum of emotions about this whole situation. And for me, here is the bottom line.
Early on in my diagnosis. someone who has survived cancer mentioned to me that she was cranky and stubborn and it was her observation that people with these characteristics seem to have a high survival rate.
Now, you can hear all kinds of things about the different attitudes people bring to all this, and I can swear to you that anyone in this position will experience a lot of different attitudes and emotions over a small course of time.
I have decided that since Elaine says I am probably the most stubborn person she has ever met, when it comes to certain things, I am going to work from that perspective and make it work for me.
I have a few ex’s who may chime in that I am downright bull stubborn when it comes to some stuff.
You see, I am just so completely not willing to let this thing get me. There’s plenty to endure and there will be a lot to learn and there will be a lot of changes to life in general by the time we make it to the other side.

But the other side will have the wedding of the two dykes least likely to wed.
See, now *that* was the long shot, that Elaine and I would get married. Much lower odds than me beating this cancer crap…just because we are both just a tiny bit jaded.
But hell, if I am going to take her nice cozy life and shake it up, and shake it some more, and then some more and do that for 6 to 8 months, I think that is she still wants me after I get to the end of this, well, hell, that would just be so great.

Anyway… the link where you can learn as much as you ever want to know about ovarian cancer, from the folks who know.

here you go

Ovarian Cancer Canada

They have lots of groovy little drop down windows that give you more info.
And hey, it’s local. Their address bears a striking similarity to the address where I have my chemo treatments done… hmmm, what’s up with that?

 Posted by at 2:37 pm

  3 Responses to “how to learn more”

  1. yay for being a stubborn person! go spike go!

  2. Stubborn. Yes. I can’t even begin to describe exactly how stubborn she is. [grin] But if you know Spike, I don’t have to explain it to you.

    I can’t imagine Spike being any other way…


  3. I am not sure if Elaine ever told you this Spike, but she caught the bouquet at my wedding. See it does work … (smiling).

    Many hugs

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