I am blessed in that I have never felt alone in support even after my diagnosis.
Dynamics often change when peoples worlds get rocked to the core... this is all normal and part of the journey.
For many people being ultra private about such news is best for them and I so respect that.
Those that know me also know that I am a bit un-orthodox in my ways of handling matters. When things like this happens, I take it as an opportunity to learn from it and maybe be able to help someone else who is going through something similar but maybe doesn't have the voice to say so.
As a rule I try not to ask why me?, but more of a why not me?- to take it on and make something good out of it (lemon-aid out of lemons).
The old verbiage " you have nothing to fear but fear itself" is true. How better to learn and share than to empower oneself with tools that can help make these journeys bearable.
I quickly realized that I had made the choice to share in hopes that other women may become better educated about Ovarian Cancer for themselves as this one is often called the silent killer. Often times though it is not as silent as they would like you to think... So many of us screamed that we knew something was wrong but were dismissed.. that in it'self can be so dis-heartening and adds to the late stage diagnosis many times.
FAMILY & FRIENDS-
Can amaze you in surprising ways. We think we know who will be there for us 100% and who would walk away or heck- even run... and I am here to tell you you may experience a total flip flop of that list though out that journey, do not take it personally (easier said then done)... It is their issues that they have to come to grips with and not anything really to do with you. Your situation just brought a spotlight to some things they may need to work on. Our job as their friend is to honor that if they know they need to step back or even fade... and yes it hurts but we too are given the opportunity to learn from it as well and it also allows others to step in and for those relationships to grow and blossom as well.
We all have those moments when we feel totally helpless and we are clueless as to what can help... Follow your heart do what you want to do and you will find it will most likely be the perfect gesture.
Often times our friends don't think twice about posting news, announcements or updates or prayer requests on social media, be sure you let them know your wishes on this matter.. It often times results in some unexpected bombardments of questions that you may not be ready for..
Warm wishes and thinking of you can go such a long way in recovery as well. Personally I can not say thank you enough to all the beautiful souls that sent me cards, called and/or left messages and yes face book can become a huge source of support and helps from feeling cut out from the outside world. Meals, rides, visits etc.
Often times we don't know what we are going to need at the beginning but time will quickly reveal what is needed. Energy intensive tasks are the first to go.
An amazing thing happens when you let those that ask to help you to actually help... Both of you feel the blessing.
Floor vacuumed, A casserole meal. Sink full of dishes,maybe pick up paper plates or cups as to make that nearly disappear. Trust me if they do not think they can complete a request that you have made they will tell you no, but maybe I can do ??????? for you.
The beauty of these are you can remain in the background as a wall paper flower or ask or share questions. At first I really didn't think this would serve much of a purpose but I quickly got over that. After about 10 questions to your medical support team and their comeback to you is " everyone is different", you will most likely start seeking more in depth answers. Dr. Google is not the place... there again most answers are very very basic with the everyone is different.
Yes while we are different there are many things that can often be the same. None of us want to feel like a freak or that we are overly paranoid about something that is going on with us. We automatically wonder 1. Is this normal or abnormal, 2. Is this related to the cancer or something else random. 3. Reassurance after Midnight is a great gift.
I personally have received invaluable information from a couple of forums, which they ask that everyone stay as positive as possible while still sharing their story. One example alone is My continued " uti's that I was being told were not and they would just prescribe another round of antibiotics... I asked if it could be my stent to the dr's and the answer was no... When I asked the forum... so many ladies chimed in and said most likely yes and to go see a urologist. Once I did with in 24-48 hours I was back to my self.. my body had been rejecting the stent and causing continues spasms and other horrible side effects for 3 months. I knew then Forums had a place in my life from here on out.
When you hear others telling what could be your story, you realize that this disease needs you to know what to insist on and helps you become your own advocate in making decisions.
We all have our own definition of what faith is to us and the methods in which we practice strengthening our faith. Make no mistake some form of faith be a Higher power or faith in your self to meet a goal or a quote that you live by, but it will be forged not long after one starts this journey with Ovarian Cancer... It maybe nothing more than ONE DAY AT A TIME which is a popular and true one. WHAT DOESN'T KILL US MAKES US STRONGER.
Many ladies make a full recovery or at least reach a remission which they refer to now as " NED - no evidence of Disease".
Then there are some of us that may never reach NED and will be considered chronic or terminal but we keep the faith.
Many break it down even further to a goal they want to reach and of course this is different for every one of us. But having that goal and working towards obtaining it keeps the faith.