Be the Boss Over Cancer

by Gail I. on January 11, 2010
I was Diagnosed with:
Ovarian Cancer
Date of Diagnosis:
November 18, 1985
Employment Status:
employed
Age:
65
Type and Description of Treatments:
Chemo treatments of Cytoxan, Cysplatium, and Ariaycin 12 treatments three weeks apart.
How do you feel today?

Excellent. I am aware to stay active,exercise, eat correctly and pay close attention to my body. I do not have Osteoporosis because of the combination of diet and exercise.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your life?

Diet, less red meat more chicken, fish and turkey. I eat even more fresh vegetables. Even less sugar than before.

I also do balanced horseback riding.

What is going well for you right now?

My health. I am also trying to educate other individuals you can do things to help your body. It is not a guarantee you will win the battle, but it will help.

What is not going well for you right now?

The book is well received, but some cancer patients want a guarantee that the cancer will never return. Or some think it is only luck that you win the battle.

What has been the most challenging thing about having cancer?

At first the unknown future. But you learn how to keep your mind busy and your body healthy. The other challenging part of cancer is when individuals ask you "why did you do so well?". But they really don't care.

When difficulties overwhelm you, where do you go for support?

To my faith. I also walk out to the barn and tell my troubles to my horses. They don't tell anyone what I have said. They also don't care what I look like.

How have your long-term goals or life goals changed since diagnosis?

I have learned to take time for myself. I have also set goals for myself and have learned how to reach them.

I also work with a support group to help other women going through cancer and the time afterward.

What is your work arrangement right now? What are your hours?

I have worked all of the years after my treatments.

Since the diagnosis, what has changed in your work life?

I have always worked, but you don't tell most people you have gone through cancer. Most people don't understand.

What has helped you continue to work the most?

Since my chemo and treatments, I have been well. I don't even catch a cold. It may be diet, exercise and being out in the barn taking care of the horses.

What advice do you have for others trying to work through treatment?

Going through the treatments is mental, nutritional and physical. I have written a book that mentions diet, mental and exercises you can do to help yourself.

How have you dealt with any side effects of treatment?

I had Neuropathy but I didn't want to take any more medications. The Chemo was more than enough for a life time. I started doing little exercises with my boys and continued through the years. It not only helped me with my job since I am on the computer all day.

If "today's you" could give advice to "day-of-diagnosis you," what would you say?

Have faith and there are things you can do to help yourself with the battle.