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167426 tn?1254086235

Challenge of a Hero

The definition of Hero is, A central personage taking an admirable part in any remarkable action or event.  I am asking you all to join me in a Challenge to become a Hero.  We have all known Heros.  The biggest Heros most of us know, have been the ones that have saved  a live or many lives through unselfish actions of their own.   I had an idea today while talking with a group of women about the signs of OVCA.  On the forum you all speak freely of your cancer, or about the challenges of caring for a cancer victim.  I was reminded of the AA groups , where they get up and say in front of all, I am an Alcoholic.  We all have read stories about survivors that go out and speak, they also say in front of all, I am a cancer survivor. We are a group drawn together by similer circumstances.  My Challenge to you is to ask you to become HEROS, by  saving some lives.  If the early signs of OVCA are spread and women are told how to be proactive when those signs persist, this dreadful disease can be caught early and a life saved.  When you meet a woman and have the chance to talk, can you say to her, I have OVCA or my ____ has OVCA and I would like to tell you the early signs so that you can  know them and help me spread the word?  There are 4 cardinal signs,  Bloating, Pelvic/Abdominal pain, difficult eating/feeling full, urinary frequency.  If any 2 of these signs appear and persist for 2 weeks, see your doctor and ask that they rule out OVCA.  How many of the 22,000 women yet to be diagnosed within the next year can we reach?  Yes it is rare, but that does not make any difference to the one that does get the diagnosis. So I am asking you to become a HERO in this fight, and we can make a difference.  Come back to the forum and  report your sucesses, say, I talked to a friend today and informed her about OVCA.  My talk today was to a group after church, when I told them about Leslee and how her signs went unnoticed, and how if we had known them, it might have been a better outcome. I gave them the signs and answered questions.  I can think of no project that I have ever been engaged in that is more important than this, I hope you will join with me and make it a sucess.   Marty
20 Responses
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187666 tn?1331173345
I don't have OvCa but I can still try to help educate others. I have a friend at church that told me a few weeks ago that she has a large complex cyst on her ovary plus some other issues. The doctor mentioned that she needs surgery. She said she was going to wait till summer when she had more free time. I thought I was going to cry. I talked to her a bit, trying not to scare her but to let her know how important it was to get this done. Folks at work would understand, her health comes first and I was very concerned for her. Found out last week she made an appointment. That was such good news. Does she have cancer? I don't know but I'm thrilled that she's moving forward. I'm hoping our friendship had a  little to do with that. We may not be oncologists but we can share what we know and how much we care.
Helpful - 0
415684 tn?1257329318
I have been very vocal since my diagnosis.  I have a group of women on my email list who walked with me through my first round of chemo and who I have encouraged to get check-ups, CA-125, etc.  I tell anybody that will listen.  Many women I know are quite concerned and ask many questions.  I made no secret of my disease .. and while not organized, I am very vocal in my little town.  We all need to be vocal ... tell anyone and everyone who is willing to listen what we have learned.

Judy
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167426 tn?1254086235
Congrats   We have 2 Heros now   thanks Irene and Judy  
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Avatar universal
My diabetic forum knows more about ovarian cancer and the symptoms than they probably ever wanted to know... Being a type 1 diabetic for so many years.. over 44 now I belong to several diabetes forums.. also when I quit smoking  my forum there is aware and I remind everyone gently all the time...

I continue to educate as you said and hope I can spare even one woman from this horrid beast....I have not smoked for:

===Four years, eight months, one week, two days, 10 hours, 47 minutes and 38 seconds. 56576 cigarettes not smoked, saving $10,608.16. Life saved: 28 weeks, 10 hours, 40 minutes.
Ronni
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408163 tn?1242949501
I too am up for the challenge. As a nurse I see alot of people. I oftent think of when I worked in the ER and men would come in with an erection that wouldn't go away and the docs just about jumped through hoops to get them inside and help them. On the other hand a woman comes in with pelvic pain and it's take a number and have a seat....UGH, that used to **** me off so bad because I would see it all the time. I sometimes feel like the docs would belittle the symptoms of women and pelvic issues. I think we all need to be courageous heros for those that have been or will be affected by ovarian cancer. Like I said, Im up for the challenge to change someones life in a positive way.....
Laney
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Avatar universal
I am treasurer of our local NOCC  National Ovarian Cancer Coalition.  It s mission is to educate woman of the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer you can go to www.****.org to read more about it.  I speak and have tables at least 6 times a month to spread the word.  We have great book marks with the signs and symptoms.  If any one wants some sent let me know and I will send some.  I am committed to telling woman the signs and symptoms and the NOCC gives me that forum

thanks laurel
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447161 tn?1262923084
Since I have been watching and posting at this forum, not only I have become more informed about this disease, but I have been trying to encourage my relations, friends and workmates to 'listen' to their bodies and get checked out.  In New Zealand, there does not seem to be as much information readily available, except for the internet of course, so older women especially are not being informed of what symptoms can mean.   think everyone that i know is sick of me telling them to go and have their check ups and keep an eye on things, but I don't care....if that means that one woman catches this disease early.
Marty, you are truly inspirational.  
Peace and Love...Kim
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Avatar universal
I just joined a while ago this forum since I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and need to have surgery.  It has helped me understand a lot and be able to talk to my oncologist about my surgery.  It's not easy being told that you have cancer and that who knows what will happen to you, but reading about a lot of women who have gone through the ordeal and living to tell everyone about it, has helped me get ready to confront this disease.  Also, it has helped get strength and courage to fight back and be able to tell other people that even though is tough, there is still hope for all of us.

Neta
Helpful - 0
238582 tn?1365210634
I was always asking " do u know the symptoms of OVCA" before I hand up on my phone.  Will inform him or her about the symptoms all the time.  Once  a girl from social security office even called me back for more information and asking about advice for her next step.  It is just very begining of a very long march,  I know it will take a lot more efforts from us until every women be aware these 4 signs or until we have annual screen

Thank you simple star

Peace

Jun
Helpful - 0
282804 tn?1236833591
I can't even begin to count the strangers I have told about this and who have told me that they were going to pay for a TVUS themselves if they had to.  It usually starts out with a comment about my hat which, in addition to the fact that I like hats, is one of the reasons I wear them.  They are harmless conversation starters and I don't have to worry about initiating the conversation everytime, although I do that a lot also.

Here is something else you can do.  Make sure your GP, Gyn.,is looking for the symptoms of OvCa at yearly checkups and that the exam is THOUROUGH.  If you can get your family doctor to understand that you would not be as bad off as you are if there had been early testing, than they might be more amenable to the idea of more preventative testing for other patients.   They know you, and that makes it personal.  It is a good start if each of us can get our Drs to be more diligent about preventive, inexpensive, measures that save real lives.

My GP was very upset that she did not send me for testing, even though Drs weren't & aren't doing that, and I can't blame her for following standard practices.  However, since than I have gotten her to implement a new addition to the charting system. When a patients family's medical history is taken, they don't just stick it in the chart and forget about it.  It gets reviewed and on a new form is listed future tests that might be needed based on family medical history.  I am not just talking about OvCa, but every conceivable disease your family could have passed to you.  She is doing a very good job I think, of getting her patients to understand just what their family health history means to them and how they can best avoid certain situations becoming more likely than not, whether it be through diet, exercise, genetic testing or performing certain tests in the future such as the Ca125 & TVUS' for my girls, starting early, and Ca19 tests for Cory once he hits 60 (long time, Thank God).

There's lots more you can do but it has taken me an hour to write this.  
Jan
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356929 tn?1246389756
I, too am one of the fortunate ones without OVCA.. however, since joining this forum back in December, I made a promise to myself to get on my little soapbox every chance I got regarding this disease and how insidious it is . I was able to learn so much from this forum and was grateful that my dx. was benign, but I also realized how many women "out there' were so unaware of the subtle symptoms that may lead to a dx of OVCA. I decided right then and there to "pay it forward" .. to talk about the various tests, etc. that are available to them if they are having any symptoms at all.. And, to not let the Drs. just pooh pooh their symptoms.

I might add I feel the absolute same way regarding colonoscopies.. I've had polyps removed every time I've had the procedure. And the polyps are indeed the kind that probably would become cancerous if left alone. That procedure is so simple !! But I'm on my little soapbox about that every chance I get !  Look at it this way; look how far awareness has risen for both breast and colon cancer!! We really do need OVCA to become part of the same awareness.. Thanks Marty for encouraging us to keep hopping on our soapboxes...
Sandy
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Avatar universal
First, God bless you for your power & your strength& for setting such a beautiful example here.I am trying to put my experiences of the past 10 days into a positive light. I realized how much less is known about this (OVCA), especially before I found all these wonderful ladies who understand.I live in an area where breast cancer is in the forefront( it was concidered a cluster area, it's the home of "1 in 9")I in fact had a core needle biopsy 3yrs ago(benign) & have breast markers(Found on a breast sono not a mammo after losing 35 lbs).
I started to contact the ncmotc--which is my local twins club that I have been a member of since my twins were born.(9yr old BG).Alot of these ladies have had fertility issues(& treatments).so they need to know the risk factors.
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378425 tn?1305628294
I was dx in Feb. 08 and early.  I have been telling everyone, family, friends, and some whom I do not know well.  Everyone has been very receptive, and listened.  And asked some pretty good questions.  Which I knew some of the answers because I came on here.

ALL OF YOU ARE MY HEROS!!!!!!!!!!!!!   THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I will keep telling everyone.........

Dawnlyn
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483733 tn?1326798446
I will definitely keep passing the word.  I'm in the midst of testing so don't know if I have OVCA yet or not but we must be diligent with our bodies and pay attention to the messages it is sending and force your doctors to take them seriously.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I am a pharmacy technician, so I often see women right after they have seen their doctors. You would not believe, in general, how often I hear how the doctor didn't listen, understand, care, etc........ I've always been one to try to help these women out merely by listening and telling them that they DESERVE a doctor that does do all the things they feel they weren't given. You'd be amazed how often we, in the pharmacy, have the correct diagnosis long before the doctor. I, now, find myself listening for the OVCA symptoms, and after this e-mail, plan to rededicate myself to continue to do so. Right now, I have a patient who says she has OVCA (don't know how she knows  - hasn't had surgery) but is refusing ALL treatment. Every time she comes in, I, subtly, try to extract information from her and encourage her to at least try some treatment. Her excuse is at her age.......(you all know the rest). Anyway, thanks for the reminder, Marty.  I will continue to do all I can in my little corner of the world. Congratulations, to all the heroes out there; old and new. Keep up the good work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Group Hug,
Shari
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329994 tn?1301663248
This group has helped me tremendously and I try to pass that on.  So many women do not know the early warning signs and I feel we really need to educate women! I am not sure that many gyn doctors know the signs! and that is horribly sad (and wrong!)  and as Sandymac said "the same thing about colonoscopies".  I know that is more emphasized in the news and all, but I had my first one at 48 and had precancerous polyps removed.  If I had waited until after 50 or longer (which alot of people do), I would have had colon cancer.  The doctor was clear on that, so I also do my part to encourage people to get that colonoscopy! Everyone can do their part about the signs of OVCA and getting colonoscopies.  Thanks to all of you on here, truly heroes in my book!
Colleen
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408448 tn?1286883821
I tell my story to strangers, acquaintances, neighbors, etc. so much that my daughters say, "There she goes again, blowing her cancer horn!" It does help spread awareness and we have no way of knowing just how many we can help. My daughter's friend had swollen lymph nodes in her neck, groin areas, and axilla. They were growing. Docs biopsied one node and it was neg. They couldn't find any infections so her GP said it was probably fibromyalgia. I told her probably isn't a diagnosis. She knew how doctors had dismissed my cancer symptoms. She saw an oncologist and he feels it is lymphoma and did a bone marrow biopsy today. I may embarrass the kids by blowing my horn, as they call it, but I'll keep it up as long as I have breath. Marie
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167426 tn?1254086235
I had a very exciitng afternoon, I picked up placards from the local cancer society and delivered them to the Libraries, banks, manicure stations, and several to the community bulletin boards of local grocery stores.  At each place I asked if they would allow me to place information as to the signs of OVCA. None turned me down, I ran into 3 women  that have had chemo for Breast Cancer and one husband that lost his wife to OVCA.   One bank has 10 branches   locally and the PR person I talked to not only offered to deliver the info to the other banks but will feature the  info on their web site  for those that use internet banking.  This whole thing only took me 2 hours.  I am so happy to see that so many of you are HEROS, we can do this and make a difference.  Marty
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408448 tn?1286883821
You are the Hero of my day. Love, Marie
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329994 tn?1301663248
Wow, Marty, that is simply terrific!!
You make it sound so easy, something we should all try to do. Thanks! Colleen
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