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Sat, Jun 29 7:17am · Ovarian cancer: Starting chemo for the third time in Gynecologic Cancers

Hello @lynann99, I've experienced those periods of remission and like you, tried to sift through all to find what to do to stay healthy. On diet, I take the position of all things with moderation are healthy, like the mayo diet recommendations – they distribute a pamphlet on healthy eating while undergoing cancer treatment. I have increased my plant based options and eat more lean proteins. Quality of life comes into play however, and I may get an ice cream or have pizza every now and then 🙂 Others are very structured and cut out carbs and sugar completely. So I think you have to decide what's right for you. Exercise worked into my natural daily habits- waking, hiking, biking are my favorites This has always helped my body as much as my mind. The last thing that helps me is my connections with family and friends (even if far away) and my faith. I actually fill my calendar in with get together dates – some in person, phone, video chat every month. Then I'm a firm believer in faith and the power and peace of God. I cannot explain it all, but I've been through a stroke- paralyzed at 18 years, learned to walk talk, write again. Went back to college after and became a school counselor. Had 4 heart surgeries for a rare heart defect that caused the stroke. Was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002 @ 35 years old. And now fighting again @ age 51 in remission after it returning in 2014! I say all that only to say my faith has always sustained me and given me peace and a purpose. Oh, and I always try to find a way to help others – a contribution. I have a therapy dog and we go to schools, libraries, and help disabled children. I'm helping a young teacher that had a stroke find her strength to rebuild her life, etc. Anyways, that's what I do and I've certainly been blessed. Best wishes and blessings to you!

Wed, May 1 1:13pm · Ovarian Cancer in remission: Any advice on staying healthy? in Gynecologic Cancers

@starko You're welcome, I'm happy to share if it can help you or anyone else. Spirituality, faith, can be tough to understand. I profess to not understanding it all myself. But I know, through evidence and experience that faith helps me stay strong. I certainly have been blessed. 💗

Sun, Apr 28 6:21pm · Ovarian Cancer in remission: Any advice on staying healthy? in Gynecologic Cancers

I love what was shared @starko by @danielad and @odette. That's a very comprehensive list I agree with that will help you be resilient and healthy in your journey! I'll add a focus on faith, spirit, and attitude which are a big part of what holds me together. First, let me tell you just a little about me. I'm 51 years old, recently retired elementary school counselor with Stage 4 ovarian cancer. I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002. Side note: Previously I had a stroke in 1986 which paralyzed my entire right side as a freshman in college. I had to learn to walk, talk, and speak all over again. The stroke was due to a heart defect and since then I've had 4 heart surgeries as well. So in 2014, after 12 years in remission, my cancer recurred and in 2015 it moved to stage 4. I share all this only to help show that I've experienced a bit, 😉 and that's why I'll add to faith, spirit, and attitude. I love having a way to contribute – give back and help others and finding joyful purpose each day. I think each of us has to find what that is that fits our gifts and opportunities, but I think it makes a big difference when I can take my mind and actions and engage them in good for others! For me, that's a prayer for others, that's getting my certification from Pet Partners so my dog Marshall and I can provide animal team therapy with 4 children at my previous elementary school, and visiting and providing support for a teacher who recently had a stroke that paralyzed her right side. I draw strength from the good book (bible) ;), good friends and family I try to visit often. I really appreciate Dr. Amit Sood's book from Mayo Clinic – Stress-Free Living and am currently reading his Handbook for Happiness – there are quite a bit of biblical principles in both of these great reads. I try to make my moments count and try not to get "stuck" in the negative or worry – I remind myself it's just wasted time when I have so much more I could do with it. I try to find challenges, set fun goals, and find joy in the simple things like a hummingbird visiting my garden to grand adventures like planning a trip to Montreal, Vermont, and New Hampshire to see the foliage. There are tough days or moments in which we're entitled to feel and give a place for the hurt, but then we step back up and live life with our joy and purpose. If that's hard, remember you're not alone or considered weak to ask for help. 🙂 I sometimes have to remind myself of that. Best wishes as you step one foot in front of the other living your best life!

Sun, Mar 10 12:45pm · I have ovarian cancer in Gynecologic Cancers

Hi @pauldale4, I really agree with @colleenyoung. I don't think it's selfish to be selective. The wisdom comes in knowing when to step away from too much and what information to give credibility to. Thank you for all your prayers for us "teal sisters". It's always good to remember we're not in this battle alone! 🙂

Sun, Mar 3 1:41pm · I have ovarian cancer in Gynecologic Cancers

@susu2 Hey thanks, sorry to hear about the brain fog and balance issues. 🙁 I have been blessed there, I haven't really experienced that, but I hear, like you it's somewhat frustrating. Glad you're taking it in stride and at least marking the positives – no nausea and loss of appetite! Maybe the walker will provide a bit of independence and keep you moving to try to push that fatigue. I've been going to bed early and learning to make the best of the times I do have more energy. I imagine you do the same. Well…onward is right.

Sun, Mar 3 11:36am · I have ovarian cancer in Gynecologic Cancers

@travelgirl Hi, I too just returned from traveling, so sorry for my slow response. Wow, 2 diagnoses within a week must have been overwhelming. I like your spirit! I do agree, a resilient state of mind and hope goes a long way! I just retired from school counseling due to the high crisis stress and the side effects and wanted to proactively take some steps to be healthier and happier. I set some goals, one being certified as an animal therapy team with my dog, Marshall, which I did. We're seeing kids weekly when I'm in town and love it! The rest of the time, I'm finding how to "stay busy" in a good way.

I have to fight my urge to get online to research to find the next option if these meds stop working, especially when I start feeling new symptoms or something feels off. But you're right, it never leaves me in a good place. I end up doing it all over again with the docs once a change is needed so I really don't need that extra stress. I find myself wanting to ask questions that doctors or researchers just can't answer at this point. I need to remember what my first oncologist said when I asked him about statistics, "What does it matter, you happen to be "one" and no one knows where your "one" will be on the charts." lol, I can so understand your brain hurting! Sometimes it's paralyzing and I just throw the thought of it behind me!

Thank you for the link! I'm definitely going to check out the exercise and look into yoga. I previously adapted (had a stroke at 18 years and have right side weakness with arm/leg) a bit of yoga at home.

My next appointment is the end of March for labs & treatment and my scans to check on the status of the cancer is the end of April. I was really blessed last week, my counts were so low I was told we may have to skip treatment, but they shot up this time. I'm saying it's the sunshine in Florida 😉 on my trip and prayers that gave a boost to the ol' immune system! That way if they bottom out again, it's a great excuse for another sun and sand vacation. lol 🙂

Hey, thanks so much, Jackie. I really appreciate your time to share your journey and advice.

Best wishes and blessings!
Leann

Mon, Feb 18 7:42am · I have ovarian cancer in Gynecologic Cancers

Oops.. I posted twice. Read the 2nd, I fixed my errors. lol. 🙂 @susu2

Mon, Feb 18 7:40am · I have ovarian cancer in Gynecologic Cancers

Yes, @susu2 it has been a long haul. That's ok, I'm new to the Mayo Connect so Im a little awkward on how this works. Yes, I was diagnosed in 2002 with borderline ovarian cancer Had debulking surgery then monitored. I thought all was well until 2014. it reoccured as low grade stage 3C- terrible abdomen pain, went to ER where they found another tumor. They did debulking surgery again, went through radiation. Low grade Is a rare form of ovarian cancer, typically slower to grow, but resistant to many typical treatments. Then in 2015 it had spread through my lymph nodes, stage 4. I went on letrzole then, but last year it stopped working. Then my current meds- Kisqali and fulvestrant. So, that's my story. Yes, sure I'd like to stay in touch. Glad you're pushing through the fatigue enjoying life! I have 2 boys, one's married living near Chicago while his wife completes grad school. The other is in KC for now, but he's my traveler. Fatigue gets me too, I also have swelling and pain from lymphodema on my left side and effects from a previous stroke on the right along with my heart defect that makes the fatigue worse. The meds cause my joints to ache too. But, I still get out and do therapy dog work, -visit my kids, travel with my husband, etc. I run back and forth to Mayo for my heart and cancer issues. Well, take care and thanks for making contact. I sure wish you the best!