I write this post from my office in beautiful Palm Coast, Florida as I listen to the boats race by on the Intracoastal Waterway. As I approach February 2020, I can’t help but remember that 6 years ago on February 14, 2014, I was in surgery having yet another ovarian cancer tumor removed from my belly. As that anniversary approaches, I continue to stay positive, enjoy my new life in Florida, be a productive member of society, love my family and friends and be thankful I am still here on this great earth. I do however, pay attention. It would have been easy for me to move away from Connecticut where my doctors and nurses who treated me twice for Ovarian Cancer are and forget about the past. That would be a deadly mistake in my mind. I am paying attention.
Every month I drive to Quest Diagnostics and painfully let them extract one vile of blood out of any vein that will cooperate. Many of my readers know that I had my port removed in June of 2019 after 11 1/2 years because the veins in my arms are difficult at best to extract blood from, but I wanted to start my new life in Florida – portless! The results of this simple blood test, for me, can tell my doctors that the cancer is returning. Unfortunately, this test called a CA125 is not helpful for all Ovarian Cancer patients, but for me, it saved my life 6 years ago. I will have this done every month for the rest of my life and to me that is no sacrifice!
For everyone that reads this, I employ you to pay attention to your body. You know best what feels different, strange, uncomfortable. Not everything you feel is related to cancer, but you know when you should been seen by a professional. Please don’t ignore your body. As Jeff and I age, with grace of course, I find myself seeking out local walk in clinics, finding out where the closet hospital is, and signing up for a First Aid/CPR/AED course. Not what I thought I would be doing when I moved here, but my thought is to be prepared for the worse and hope for the best.