Happy 2018

This year we can all hope and pray for the next, best-cure for ovarian cancer, I have to say Immunotherapy " Keytruda" is easy and not at all difficult to receive. As in any treatment it takes time to receive, not anything close to chemotherapy. For me I have received great results, I keep praying for the day my Pet Scan returns negative. I'll share my latest results, when I started this program I had 5 tumors, two in my neck another next to a lung and 2 in the abdomen.

After 1 year of treatments there are only 2 tumors the size of a pea in my neck, nothing by my lung and a very small one in the abdomen. That's progress, I feel very healthy, so far I have missed the flu bug and any cold running around.

I'm always looking into a way I can bring awareness to Ovarian Cancer, this morning I went to a book fair. I've been writing a fictional book for a couple of years. It was time I took this further, time for the serious part of publishing. It appears writing is the easiest. Wow I'm learning! While I was there one of the authors asked what else I've written, I started to say nothing then remembered I blog on the Ovarian Cancer web site. That's writing.

IDEA !! Why can't I publish a book on my blogs, others do it, so can I. Next best move was an all out attack on my web site, I did not realize I had written so many Blogs over the last 4-5 years. There's my book YEA!

Wish me well and please keep me in your prayers.

In Jesus,
Sharon Leigh

Dear Diary

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It seems I'm not that great at keeping an updated diary, so much has happened since the last writing. I've been very active in this last year, so very happy that I'm feeling better. My friends and I went to Maui last summer, I paddle-boarded for the first time, very surprised that I actually stood up and stayed up. Yea !!

After that we Zip Lined in an old, more or less, Marine base, I should say it's in the process of being restored. It was great! We were set to stay in Cabo San Lucas for a couple of weeks then all of the Cartels showed their ugly faces, it wasn't safe to be there so Maui was the next choice.

At Christmas 🎄 time my friends and I decided to ski in Lake Tahoe, didn't turn out so well, hardly any snow and the man made snow was in short supply. Biggest problem was my right leg has become weak, I couldn't manipulate down the slope very well. Looks like the end of a love affair I've had with skiing.

I wrote awhile back regarding Immunotherapy treatments, I am entering into the second year of treatments, I receive them every three weeks the same as chemotherapy just nowhere even close to the harshness and hours of sitting with the needle in your arms or port. There are no side effects either. I recently had a pet scan, the doctor and I watched the screen together, he walked me through it. Before I started the treatments last year there were 5 tumors left to deal with. As we looked on he pointed out 2 pea-size tumors in my neck and one small tumor in the lower stomach. Then it hit me where are the other two?? GONE! Tumors were shrinking and others were no longer there. Have you ever had to contain yourself from yelling and crying for joy? I forced myself, suppressed is a better word to keep quiet.

Once I got into the car I let it go, crying, calling family and friends to share my good news, this treatment is working! My CA 125 is down to a 20, before this latest bout hit me the count was 17, so I'll take 20 anytime. The oncologist says this treatment once it starts working just keeps keeping better.

I'm getting ready for another trip this time to Israel for two weeks, I'll need some rest after that. The only other trip I have planned now is with my daughter, we are planning a trip to Scotland and Ireland.

Great to feel alive again, when we are hit with this type of news (you have cancer) at 3rd stage, it's always in the back of your mind that you are on a limited life support. At least that's how I felt. Do what I'm doing if you can, take a trip, the proverbial bucket list is for someone else, enjoy life. Sing Praises to our Lord, He created these men and women with their knowledge and expertise for research and develop cures for cancers.

Sharon Leigh

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Uninspiring News

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That's putting it mildly, can anyone be inspired when they hear the words "Your cancer is back?" I suspected it just didn't want to hear it.

It was just last March 2016 when I finished chemotherapy and radiation treatments or the so called "therapy treatments". I guess that wording is designed to sound more like physical therapy and when you're finished you'll look and feel much better. We all know that's a joke.

It takes months to feel and look better, it was once said to me after losing so much weight that I was model thin. She was being very sweet, I was gaunt looking and very weak.

I joined a gym, hired a personal trainer whom I admired, then in a conversation discovered he lost his wife to Ovarian cancer. Another designed appointment by our God, this man knew my pain and suffering, his work-out program was perfectly outlined for me based on my strength and ability.

I became strong again, we focused on my upcoming ski trip to Whistler Canada, I've never been to Canada, I'm looking forward to this trip.

A couple of weeks ago the blood test CA125 indicated a rise in number, I visited my oncologist, shared my concerns with him and then was told what I have always been told: the numbers were not in the so called zone of numbers. I'm not criticizing my Doctor, I feel he is very qualified, they are all stuck in the zone of the CA125 number of 35!! This number has never been accurate for me.

He arranged for a second blood test in two weeks, then agreed there was activity that I should contact my Primary specialist at Cedars Sinai in Los Angeles. Which I did.

Cedars Sinai is a great hospital, I don't think I can find enough words of praise for them. My Doctor is one of the most compassionate women I've known.

Early in the morning I had the discomfort of the dreaded Pet Scan, my appointment with the Doctor wasn't until that afternoon, I have a wonderful friend by the name of Mary Poppen (she receives lots of comments on what a good friend she is). Mary has been with me each time I've received the worst news, I try to keep my family out of the initial shock as my older sister is very emotional, we have already lost our other sister to this disease. This puts Mary on a spot as she is good friends with my sister.

So getting back to the wait; Mary and I met for lunch after she finally found the restaurant I was in - Cedars is a huge center. I was starving, fasting isn't my strong suit, the Asian salad was delicious.

There I sat on the exam table waiting for my Doctor, she hugs me then sat down and asked how I was, I answered "I'll be fine if you tell me the cancer is not back."

That didn't happen, it's back in several places, small tumors but still cancer. Neck, lymph nodes,tThyroid and stomach. A lot to absorb.

Treatment options - chemotherapy was first choice. No to that! I can't do that again. I chose radiation and immune therapy. With a lot of prayer added into the treatments. She did say the tumors were very small but they are there, this is my choice for the fight.

I have a lot to accomplish, I'm still going skiing, then in May I'll be watching my granddaughter graduate from high school. I'm very proud of my two granddaughters as one is in Cal-Poly and this one who is graduating will be attending Boise state. I have bragging rights.

Life moves on, sickness attacks, whatever trials we go through Jesus is always with us, we have His promise that He will never leave us.

Regardless of how difficult the journey is. Stay strong, believe in Him, King David never let go of His God throughout Saul's 11 year war against him.

In Jesus,
Sharon Leigh

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Triumph to Tragedy - A Way of Life

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I finished chemotherapy one year ago on October 28, 2015. I was incredibly happy that terrible ordeal is over with and all I had to go through and finish was radiation. 28 days of radiation behind me, I was given a certificate of completion. As if I've received my diploma from high school. I actually thought it was kind of a sweet gesture.

Maybe sweet is not the right adjective, it works for me.

The next day I signed up with a new fitness center and a personal trainer, I was determined o get back in shape, my goal was a snow skiing trip and the last thing I wanted to happen was to fall and break something, even worse I didn't want my friend to think I couldn't keep up with her. Pride is terrible!!

I'm sure she would have understood. Oh well, I did fall once, pretty good considering what I had gone through for most of the year.

Our Christmas was wonderful, my family gets larger each year. Granddaughters seem to continually get pregnant. It causes me to think, "WOW " I'm getting old.

2016

I felt the need to take trips, just to get out of that house I had been a virtual prisoner in. On my first trip my daughter Sheryll and I visited her dad in Parker, Arizona, a great week of water skiing.

Sheryll and I are very close, she stayed with me during the entire time I was fighting my battles with cancer. We have a lot of fun together. Sheryll along with my granddaughter and myself went to Cabo San Lucas this year. This was probably the best trip I've had there in all of the years I've owned my condo. I zip lined and loved it.

Next trip was back to Parker with relatives for more water skiing. Again lots of fun, this time instead of skiing we rode on Jet skis. I think it's my new passion. With that said I did buy one 👍👍.

I did step out when the opportunity arose to run for a seat on our City Council, I filed all of the paperwork, built my Facebook, prepared my web site, all of the necessary steps I would have to complete for the big run, then based on numbers I was receiving from blood tests I felt the pressure of a lengthy campaign run would not be beneficial to my healing, too much stress. So I reluctantly backed out of the race, when I sent my notice to all the necessary parties, I was told by the Mayor, I had been in first place to win. Quite the compliment!

Any planning on future events with my foundation were put on hold for awhile. There's always next year.

We are now headed into the end of the year 2016. On October 31st. I received a phone call from Sheryll which I could hardly understand, when I finally did get a grip on what she was trying to tell me the news was devastating, My grandson Dalton, and Sheryll's only son was found dead. She was inconsolable, the details are horrible I won't go into them, They live in Hawaii, I'm with her now, we are leaving for California on the 10th of November for another memorial service and some time away from here.

I'll end here with this thought for all of us. Show your children how much you love them always, we have no idea what our future holds. Trust in God, He knows our hearts, the extent of His Love we will never understand while we are here on earth, if we have to face what Sheryll has had to go through, remember the pain goes away the memories never leave, the Sun will rise again tomorrow.

In Jesus,
Sharon Leigh

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Contemplations

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What to do with my life after latest bout with ovarian cancer stage III?

A lot of thought goes into this, I'm sure it's the same for you. I ask myself repeatedly why me? Why am I still here? What do I do with the rest of my life? Why is it that I ask why? Maybe because I lost my beloved sister to ovarian cancer and I'm still here. I felt she had so much to offer the world and what did I have to offer? (terrible personal criticism). Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves!

I have reached a couple of disappointing times that I really have to get over, it's not good to keep looking back. Forward is the only way. I believe that my God has other directions for me since He knows I love serving Him.

I think what has hurt me is in the last 10 year, through the grace of God, I started two international business's. Both of them were very successful, until that second diagnosis of cancer. This last round of treatments almost killed me. I was compelled to turn over both enterprises allowing others to take over the reins. The results were disastrous, businesses cannot be run properly with a hostile board of directors. (I'm sharing way too much).

I am strong though, I'm a tough fighter, I don't give up easily, if God is for us who can be against us! I love that scripture. Although I still feel ravaged by this cancer the results are good, but because I am a woman, I wish my skin would've held up better. Lol

I'm enjoying my friends, entertaining, I've taken several trips this year with two more coming later this year. Getting more involved in politics, which I find interesting. My goal is to continue on with fundraising directed at research for ovarian cancer.

Most importantly I want to teach and speak on the wonders of our Lord Jesus Christ. I especially love traveling to share with women. It seems everything I do is always focused on women. I feel we women respond with our hearts a lot faster than men.

Keep me in prayer please, I pray for beautiful blessings on you all.

In Jesus
Sharon Leigh

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A Great Day!

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Tuesday April 12th was a day I looked forward to and feared at the same time, it was the day I would receive either good news or very dark news. The dreaded Pet scan. I had to drive three hours from my house in Arroyo Grande to Beverly Hills California for the appointment scheduled for 10:00 am, so, as usual, I couldn't sleep. I woke up at 2:00 am instead of the 5:00 am my alarm was set for.

Driving into Los Angeles is always a nightmare with bumper to bumper traffic, this alone wears on ones nerves, then once again I found myself lost in L.A. It always adds to the downward drop of my nervous system and the rise of my blood pressure if I hadn't been so fearful of the outcome I'm sure my day would have started out much better.

But it was my life I have been fighting for and the battle had taken a year. The outcome would determine for me if I would give up or continue on. I had already decided not to continue the battle, after the excruciating round of chemotherapy then hearing the cancer was still there I was devastated. It seemed this ugly invasion in my body was winning and I was losing. Cancer had attacked my body three times by now, for me it seemed the time to say I'm through.

Radiation was the next logical step so I was off on a new venture. This was a first for me, 28 days of treatments, five days a week, wasn't bad at all. I was very anxious to end all treatments and understandably so. My life had become doctors appointments, blood tests, pet scans, shots, exams along with blood transfusions. Ugh!

Preparation for a pet scan takes about one and a half hours, the scan itself is 30 minutes. Then you wait...

Fortunately Cedars -Sinai hospital is so sophisticated your results are almost immediate, I saw my Doctor that afternoon, my first reaction was to try and read her expression when she entered the exam room, Dr. Walsh is pretty crafty, I couldn't read her face, immediately though she said "Your cancer is gone". When you develop a relationship with your doctor they get just as excited as you are regarding the outcome. Dr. Walsh commented she could hardly wait to give me the news, she then hugged me twice. I'm very blessed to have her as my surgeon and oncologist.

My God brought me through yet another trying time in my life, He's there in the darkest of times when it seems you have been abandoned, King David felt that way in his battles, he cried out "Arise oh Lord " deliver me. Our God is faithful He will deliver you, trust in Him for your health and salvation.

I'm off to Cabo San Lucas for some much needed rest, my daughter, and granddaughter are meeting me there. I'm so blessed to have children and grandchildren who love me and pray for me.

In Jesus
Sharon Leigh

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Saturday, April 21, 2018
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Ovarian Cancer

This year in America Ovarian cancer will strike an estimated 25,500 women, and kill more than 14,000! Ovarian cancer remains the deadliest gynecologic malignancy and the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths among women in the United States.

What’s the problem? There is no early detector for Ovarian Cancer!

It’s been 25 years since a test for ovarian cancer was introduced to help diagnose this disease.
Should this get your attention, YES!
Should you do something about it? Yes!

I sailed along in life eating well, working out regularly, I didn’t smoke, didn’t have a drinking problem, only the occasional glass of wine. When one day I was told you have cancer. I have what! Wake up Sharon you have ovarian cancer.

It was found in the first stage, why? the early detection exams listed below found my cancer. I grant this there was a history in my family as my sister died from ovarian cancer. My question has always been this, I was examined for eight years before this was found.

Why can’t these tests be used as a regular, early detection tool for the discovery. All of the reports indicate that there is not substantial evidence to back this up. I am not an MD I am just a person who wants to do something about women suffering and dying unnecessarily. These women are not the only ones suffering, their family members are with them every step of the journey.

1a blood test of the serum CA 125 level (CA 125 is a high level of protein in the body)

2 transvaginal ultrasonography (TVU)

3 a pelvic exam

There is a new biomarker ...that has not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for making a diagnosis of Ovarian cancer but only for monitoring the recurrence and progression of epithelial ovarian cancer. HE4 it will improve the ability to properly treat women in whom ovarian cancer has been diagnosed. The hope is it will be used in the future for an actual early detection in conjunction with the CA 125 serum.

Lets hope and pray that soon there will be the early detection break through we have been waiting for and end this nightmare.

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