Beating Ovarian Cancer: Your Lab Results (video)

If you’ve gone through cancer treatments or treatments for any other type of serious illness, you may find yourself in a similar situation as those of us who have been through treatments for ovarian cancer.

Once the treatments end, follow-up begins. For most ovarian cancer patients the follow-up is every 12 weeks, for the next 5 years — even if you’ve been declared cancer-free or N.E.D. (no evidence of disease).

So for us, there’s little time to celebrate before we start this new routine every 12 weeks. We are told to make an appointment with the doctor and a week before our appointment we must go to the lab and get a CA125 blood test. This is a blood test that is used to monitor ovarian cancer. Anything below 35 is normal.

The problem here is the stress created around this blood test. This stress can linger for weeks. It’s a test we have to take every 12 weeks for years and years! Stress might start when we realize it’s time to make the lab appointment. That alone starts us thinking about the number. When we get to the lab, more stress about number. We get anxious or worry about it until we actually get to the doctor and find out the result.

Now if the number has jumped a couple points (even if it’s still single digits), that creates more stress. Now we stress about it until the next appointment in 12 weeks. What if it goes up again? Maybe it does goes up a point or two. It’s still very low, but two jumps no matter how small can create a tremendous amount of stress.

It’s well documented that stress is a major cause of illness and disease. So how do we manage the stress around this 12 week routine?

I became very aware of the stress I was experiencing because my CA125 fluctuates a lot. Sometimes it’s double digits, sometimes its very low single digits. I began to wonder if the stress was worth it.

What could I do about it anyway? There are lots of reasons it’s go up or down that have nothing to do with cancer. So, why worry about it.

I decided the only way I could stop stressing about it was by releasing my attachment to the number. Every 12 weeks, I was so attached to that number. I needed to let go of that attachment. It was not serving me well. It was creating stress and that is harmful.

If it goes up, there’s nothing I can do about it. Worrying about it is not going to help and it’s not going to change a thing.

Get realistic about it. It’s the doctor who needs the number, not me, not you. If there’s something to worry about, believe me we’ll hear about it.

Releasing anything we are attached to takes practice and time, but it’s well worth it. Don’t even ask about my CA number anymore. If the doctor brings it up, that’s fine, then you know what it is, but don’t ask anymore.

Once I stopped asking, I stopped thinking about it. I don’t even care what it is anymore. I know and you do too, if there’s a concern, you’ll hear about it soon enough and that’s when we’ll deal with it.

Leave the medical stuff to your doctor. It’s their job to worry about our labs and any other test results. It’s our job to enjoy what’s left of our life.

I encourage you to practice releasing those things in your life that no longer serve you. Stressing over your lab results is one of those very important things.

Posted in Chris' Video Tips

Beating Ovarian Cancer: When To Throw Yourself A Pity Party (video)

I think all of us know going through cancer treatments isn’t easy, yet we do the best we can. We prop ourselves an awful lot. We do this for our loved ones and others and also, for ourselves. We want to be positive, stay motivated and we want others to see us this way.

But there are those times when it just gets too overwhelming. It can be the treatments that wear us down. We might get bad news, like the treatments aren’t working or they’re not as effective as they hoped. For me, the breaking point came when I was told I had recurrence. These situations are devastating.

I get a lot of calls and emails from people in these situations. These are people, like me, who originally were very hopeful and had a positive outlook going into treatment.

Now they are simply overwhelmed, distraught and depressed – wanting to know how to deal with it all.

I find most of us try to suppress the grief, anger and all the other negative emotions we’re feeling. We keep struggling – pushing all this down while we’re trying to figure out how to bring back that positive energy, when everything seems so hopeless.

This internal struggle has to stop. There is a time for everything.

If things are that bad for you now and you just can’t pull yourself out of this funk, then guess what? It’s time for “The Pity Party”.

Now don’t get me wrong… this is not a party you invite others to attend. This is a pity party just for you and no one else. This is a time for you to release and let go of all those awful feelings you are carrying inside.

When I had my pity party, I let it all out. I yelled, I screamed, I cried, I felt sorry for myself, I threw things, I curled up in a ball like a baby sobbing, I saw myself as just some meaningless memory, I listened to depressing heart-wrenching music and I let all my darkest thoughts come to the surface.

I was completely self-indulgent. It was awful and pathetic. I was pathetic.

But you know what, after I had my pity party, I actually felt pretty good. I felt light and free.

I wasn’t carrying those emotions with me anymore. I didn’t have to suppress them because they were gone. I let them all out. I freed them. What was left was surprisingly authentic.

It was me without all the baggage. Once I released all that, it was pretty easy to get back on track and back to my positive outlook.

That’s whole point of the Pity Party. It’s not about managing our despair or coping with our negative emotions — the Pity Party is about releasing them and letting go of them once and for all so that we can return to our normal frame of mind.

 

Posted in Chris' Video Tips

Beating Ovarian Cancer: The Difference Between Hope and Faith (video)

When I attend cancer events, the one of the first things I notice is the powerful message of hope. Hope seems to be everywhere at these events. There are banners of hope, messages of hope, and mostly it’s the people at these events who are filled with hope.

People are talking about hope for new treatments and hope for more effective drugs and of course, ultimately… hope for a cure. It is so beautiful and inspiring. While there seems to be no shortage of hope; I always have the nagging feeling there’s a genuine scarcity when it comes to having faith.

I’m not saying to give up hope, never under-estimate the value of hope. What I am saying is, “This is the time to embrace FAITH”. When I was sick, I realized I spent far too much time in hope and not enough time in faith. Hope took me away. It took me somewhere in the future, where everything was right and perfect.

Hope has this underlying message that things are not the way they are supposed to be. Things aren’t right, they aren’t good. So we hope. We hope for miracles, for cures, for all sorts of things that aren’t here today.

When I was living in this hopeful phase, I simply wasn’t present. I wasn’t here in the moment where my real life exists with all these challenges and problems. Once I decided to embrace faith, things got a whole lot easier.

Faith helps us to accept what is and keep us present. All stress comes from resisting the current moment. Once we stop resisting and we accept it for what it is… good or bad, suddenly things improve.

Faith kept me grounded and it kept me in the “here and now”. Even when I was at my worst, I had faith that things would improve and they did.

Now, this moment, have faith. Stop hoping you have the right doctor or hoping your treatment is working, stop hoping for cures and begin exercising your faith.

  • Have faith in your doctors. They’re well educated and highly skilled. They’ve dedicated their lives to saving ours.
  • Have faith in your entire medical team.
  • Have faith in your treatments. Know they are accomplishing the desired result.
  • Have faith in the people around you and those who are supporting you through this trying time.
  • Have faith in yourself and your body’s ability to heal itself.

Next time you catch yourself in that hopeful state of mind, take those exact thoughts and re-think them into thoughts that express faith.

Just watch how that shifts your energy. It’s very powerful, so give it a try!

 

Posted in Chris' Video Tips

Using Ginger To Kill Ovarian Cancer Cells (video)

Ginger is used as an effective remedy for nausea and inflammation, but…

Did you know ginger kills ovarian cancer cells? Yep, it’s true!

Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center found that ginger not only kills ovarian cancer cells, but it also prevents them from building up resistance to treatment – which is a common problem for ovarian cancer patients.

In this study, the scientists applied a solution of ginger powder and water to ovarian cancer cells. In every single test they found the cancer cells died as a result of being in contact with the ginger solution.

The cancer cells either digested or attacked themselves or they committed suicide.

I’m a big fan of fresh ginger and I use plenty of it, especially in my green drinks. But lots of people don’t care for ginger and have a hard time eating it.

The great news is that the ginger powder they used in this study is similar to what’s sold in grocery stores. So think about it… you don’t have to eat fresh ginger if you don’t like it. You can take the powder in capsules with plenty of water. After all the powder is what was used in the study!

So if you haven’t incorporated ginger in your diet, now is a perfect time to start.

Posted in Chris' Video Tips

Beating Ovarian Cancer: Is It Your Time Or Your Challenge (video)

Cancer survivors are such special people. I’ve never met an arrogant one. I believe all survivors, including myself, know just how lucky we really are.

Cancer treatments are truly humbling. Those of us, who have been through it, know all too well, that outcomes differ for each of us. It doesn’t matter if we have the same type of cancer, the same doctors or the same treatments, there’s no guarantee.

That in itself, changes one’s perspective.

One thing cancer patients learn pretty quickly is the importance of time. Not just any time, but this moment in time, right now.

This moment is the most important moment of your life. Right here, right now — because it’s the only moment. It’s all any of us have.

The past is gone. There isn’t anything you can do to change that.

The future is never here, it’s always ahead of us.

The only time we have is NOW.

None of us know when it’s our time to leave this earth. I could just have easily died in a car accident on the way to chemo as I could have from the cancer. That’s why NOW is so important.

It’s the only time that’s real. It’s the only time we can actually do something. Now is all there is!

  • Now is the time to heal.
  • Now is the time to appreciate your loved ones and others.
  • Now is the time to make a difference.
  • Now is the time to embrace your life, because now is when it’s happening.

 It doesn’t matter if you have one day left or 50 years left, this moment is the only time there is so make the most of it.

Posted in Chris' Video Tips

Beating Ovarian Cancer: Symptoms To Be Aware Of (video)

Ovarian cancer survivor Chris Bledy talks about the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer that you need to be aware of.

Posted in Chris' Video Tips

Chris’ Video Tips

Hello it’s Chris! I just wanted to write in and mention that we just launched “Chris’ Video Tips” which will include a new video from me each week. These videos are filled with great information and are my gift to you. Thank you for visiting and bookmark or subscribe today so that we can keep in touch!

–Chris Bledy

Posted in Chris' Video Tips

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Beating Ovarian Cancer has won the 2010 National in the category of Women's Issues

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