Will Chemo Effect Your Mental Capabilities?

Will Chemo Effect Your Mental Capabilities?
December 1st, 2012

When I was preparing for chemo I didn't know anything about "chemo brain" until mid to after chemo when I couldn't concentrate or remember anything and literally had to be led around and reminded what to do. This effect lasts for several months after chemo as the medications stay in your system, sometimes up to a year. If you have not heard of this before, and will be undergoing chemo treatments you will want to get prepared for this possibility.

I just found an excellent article on the effects of chemo on mental capabilities, this is called "chemo brain" and is well known by doctors. Click here to read a new study on this affect. Please read this study if you will be getting chemo treatments.
(December 11th update: Diem Brown just wrote about "chemo brain", you can read what she says here and here.)

Sharon Leigh

I have a friend named Connie

I have a friend named Connie
April 18th, 2013

I have a friend her name is Connie. Connie has been a very active member of a knitting group I started several years ago, we knit hats and scarves all year then in October we ship these around the world to underdeveloped countries.

In this group I always share the latest breakthroughs on ovarian cancer, along with emphasizing the need for getting your yearly exams.

Connie is 76 years old, she was recently diagnosed with 4th stage ovarian cancer. To make things even worse she was also diagnosed with 4th stage lung cancer. These two are not related diseases. Connie most likely will not survive.

When I learned of this I immediately called her, she was of course in shock, her first words were "why didn't I listen to you". Sadly it's a little late for that.

Here is what really angered me, her Doctor told her he was sorry for not finding this two years ago. Does I'm sorry really work? The need for a complete exam was vital here, pelvic exam, pelvic ultrasound and the CA 125 blood test.

It seems that so many doctors feel, or are told to feel, that when a woman reaches 70 maybe 72 they don't require these tests any longer. I think Connie is a perfect example of the need!

Please insist on your exams, don't let your doctor tell you at your age it's not necessary. If he does tell you that, find another doctor. Even though you might think the world of your doctor you have to be your own health advocate.

May our Lord richly bless you and protect the women in your family,
Sharon Leigh

How Do Our Children Handle Mom's Cancer?

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How Do Our Children Handle Mom's Cancer?
January 8th, 2013

Do we wonder what they are thinking or feeling? Our major concern is about getting through this terrible disease, praying it's not going to end in death and wondering who is going to take care of the kids, and our husbands.

Your cancer diagnosis has a profound impact on your entire family. It takes center stage.

Children don't understand. It's that simple... They know mommy's sick, they know sometimes they are told to kiss mommy good night, but then it's "leave mom alone now, she needs her rest".

They know something is happening, sometimes they feel they've done something wrong, maybe they think "I've caused this by being bad", they are confused or angry. Much younger children need that extra touch of encouragement and love.

Now I'm addressing older children, let's say teenagers...

The cancer changes everything in their lives, daily routines aren't the same, and won't be for quite awhile. Some are resentful, "I have volleyball practice", or "I'm trying out for cheerleading". Not all teenagers are resentful, I'm guessing some of you can relate to this though.

Some children are extremely helpful, many pick up the banner and fight to raise money for breast or ovarian cancer. The bottom line is none of these children want to lose their mother, regardless of their reactions. Remember their reactions are based on fear and the unknown.

Reassure your children, let them know how much you love them, allow them to participate in your care. Let them,actually encourage them, to express their feelings. Let them know they will always be taken care of. Communication with your kids is important.

Show them as much love as possible. If you have any questions please email me, I'll be here to help.

In Jesus,
Sharon Leigh

Stellar people of 2013

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Stellar people of 2013
January 5th, 2013

Recently I was struck by such a simple thought, who are the people that impressed me the most in 2013?

Not so much celebrities, politicians or other world figures, but the people I know, those I know well, those whose characters I can testify to, which have impressed me utmost?

Read this article by Margaret Ludington then let me know who is on your list of most stellar people for 2013.

Sharon Leigh

Guest post - Karolyn Wagatsuma

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Guest post - Karolyn Wagatsuma
December 4th, 2013

Thank you for using my story (click here to view). It also makes all of us with cancer feel good when we know that our trial may be used to help someone else get through a hard time.

Something that I would like to share with you that seems to really be a positive light to those with cancer is making up gift boxes and baskets with random gifts that inspire hope. I share this with you because I have been doing it for the last several months and I can truly see how it sparks hope in the one who receives it.

When I first went through chemo the first time around in January of 2011 I was soooo scared. I found myself around the 3rd treatment in the bathroom with my face to the floor asking God to please help me. I said God I don't know if I can make it through this time, I may be coming to see you, but if you can help me maybe I can get through it.

After that I went back out to me chair and my husband told me to put my headphones on and listen to my worship cd's. I did and I made it through that day. But I still had some very desperate days when I wasn't sure I would make it. I lost so much weight and got so desperately sick. At my lowest I got down to 109 pounds and became pretty fragile.

I did make it through all my treatments, Praise the Lord. One day I was thinking about the journey I had been through and I was thinking about what things helped me the most? What inspired me the most? And what I came up with, of course, #1 God, knowing that He was with me and He comforted me, He never left me alone. I could always feel His presence and at times all I could do is lay there and cry to Him.

I lost my mom when she was only 44 to Ovarian cancer, so I thought of her a lot. I did preventative care to insure I would not get Ovarian cancer but for some reason I got it anyway. I had one ovary out in 2005 and the other and complete hysterectomy done in 2006. After that I thought for sure I would not get Ovarian Cancer. But It came anyway as Primary Peritoneal Cancer. The same as Ovarian cancer but it attacks the Omentum pad and the outside of the organs such as the lining of the stomache and the bowels.

Anyway to get back on track as to why I give out the boxes, I believe they inspire people that are strangers to realze that God sees them and has not forgotten them. And the gifts I put in the box are gifts that I think would have inspired me.

My church wants me to start a non-profit through it to make these boxes. Currently when I go for chemo I take one in and give it to the attending Head nurse and have her give it out to the one who is just newly diagnosed or to the one who is very scared.

So far it is making a great impact of hope and faith to rise. I also send boxed through the mail when God inspires me to.

My husband and I have been just buying things and setting them aside so I will always have something to give. Plus some ladies at our Church are wonderful at crocheting and making scarfs and hats and mittens, slippers. I even have some ladies who are making stuffed animals to give to kids.

God is so good. I just wanted to share this with you because I believe there may be some ladies who would be interested in doing this. When I give something out it also lifts me up from my depression.

It is in the giving that I receive so much love in my heart. HOPE IS ALL AROUND and that is what I love to spread! Thank you so much for letting me share my praise report with your group! You are an amazing lady and I pray God continues to bless all your efforts to help ladies everywhere who are going through this really tough trial! With God ALL things are possible!!!!

Karolyn Wagatsuma

A Leap of Faith

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A Leap of Faith
November 20th, 2013

When doctors said experimental drugs were Tanya Beverly's only hope against terminal cancer, her son decided to leap out of an airplane to raise funds. Don Champion reports:

Faith is of the heart, unseen yet believed in. What love this young man has for his mother, to jump out of an airplane with the purpose of raising money to help with expenses, he loves his mom that much he would risk his life for her.

With mom looking on he floated over the earth heading down to safe grounds.

Our Savior did this for us, with His mom looking on He was also lifted up, He went further though He died to save us also. This is our faith unseen yet believed.

Sharon Leigh

Tuesday, December 11, 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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