ovarian cancer

Cancer can be hell. But you don’t have to go it alone. Words of wisdom by Elizabeth Alraune

Posted by on Feb 8, 2013 in ovarian cancer | 3 comments

Today’s guest post is written by Cancer Patient Health Advocate, Hypnotist, Intuitive, Healer and Speaker Elizabeth Alraune. Elizabeth was diagnosed and treated for ovarian cancer in 2012. And her story is a difficult one to read; now on the other side, Elizabeth shares that the aftermath can sometimes be worse than the cancer itself. Her ultimate goal is to help women understand what to expect and how to better prepare for the months that follow a diagnosis. Although every individual experiences cancer differently, there is a common theme that runs deep: cancer sucks the life out of ones soul. Those who are fortunate to get to the other side, through the mire and regain their lives are indeed, fortunate.

Please show Elizabeth some love…



After I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer last May, one of my biggest concerns was having enough money to get to the end of the year.  I thought if I could make it until the treatments ended I would deal with other things when I got there. What I did not realize, or know, was that I wasn’t going to be the person who went into chemo treatments. I did not realize how much my brain would be affected by the chemo, how tired I would be, or how difficult it would be to do things.

In recent weeks I saw a woman talking about the effects of chemo. She said many are concerned about hair loss, but what they should be more concerned about is how they will cognitively be affected. It is something that wasn’t more than casually mentioned or addressed before or after treatment.

When I completed my chemo rounds the doctor told me chemo would likely stay in my body for 6-12 months. So now I have to heal from the chemo that healed me from the cancer.

Prior to diagnosis I was having symptoms that were keeping me from working as much as I would have liked. Once I had surgery (a hysterectomy) I was no longer working. Since I work for myself, it was a big concern, but one I had to put on hold as I tried to deal with what was – and what was coming.

Once finished with chemo, I started to feel less affected by the effects of treatment. I have begun to do whatever I can day-to-day.  I don’t work full days, and the days that are more full tend to wipe me out for a couple after. The things that are intuitive in nature are easier to do, as being intuitive works well in the chemo-affected state. Things that require my left, logical brain are challenging my ability to wear my “business hat.”

Since I am not married, I have had to deal with much of my situation alone. My sister was around for treatment, at times, to be a support, but she lives in a different state. Thankfully I didn’t really need a full time caregiver. If I had needed one, I don’t know what I would have done.

There were some things that HAD to get done while I was undergoing treatment. Many of those things took forever to do, and were done at the last possible minute because it was difficult to focus and get motivated. And while these are terms you are familiar with, someone undergoing chemo often has an experience of them that is nothing like what you think it would be.

Now that I am on the other side and I am seeing all of this, I had a brilliant (smile) idea that I could take my experience with cancer hell and help others through theirs. It seemed to me that there really weren’t things “out there” that were like what I wanted to offer. It also seemed that the combination of factors that make me, me would be ideal to do the type of thing I am creating (and it uses my right, intuitive brain!)

I love to help people. I love to talk to people. I love coaching. I love hypnosis, and I used it while I was in treatment. I can understand what a person, and those around her, may be going through when treatment for cancer is involved. I can appreciate what the physical symptoms may be like as well as the anxiety and low points. I can appreciate how sometimes you want nothing more than to be “normal” and at other times want nothing more than to be left alone.

There were times I cried on the phone with a friend only to never talk to that friend again during chemo. I had friends who couldn’t/wouldn’t talk to me. I had people I reached out to who just plain ignored me. I slept a lot. I had several lows, and few highs.

There were so few I could talk to who could understand what I was going through. If I said I was tired, they would think they knew what I meant. But they didn’t have a clue. It would be like a fall asleep in the middle of a sentence tired that could hit me out of the blue.

I am still in the midst of it, yet I am on the other side, and I would very much like to find a way to support anyone who might be in a similar place that I was in. It sucks being there, and it is even worse when you feel alone.


About Elizabeth..Formerly a member of corporate America, for the past 12 years, Elizabeth has worked for herself as a Life Coach and Hypnotist, Intuitive, Healer, and Speaker, sharing what she has learned about love, relationships, and life. In the process, she has had well over 12,000 conversations with clients regarding a myriad of issues. Life took a turn in 2012, when she was diagnosed with and treated for ovarian cancer. What she learned along the way she now shares with those who are dealing with their own “cancer experience” via one-on-one interaction as well as through her blog and other media. Last, by not least, she loves to read and write, but is not a big fan of arithmetic (good thing you don’t need her to do your taxes!). Want to read more about her journey? Or a tell a friend? You can also find Elizabeth at http://relatingtocancer.com/  Elizabeth makes it a point to NEVER capitalize cancer.


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Wednesday Bubble: No pain, no…killing two birds with one stone?

Posted by on Mar 24, 2010 in breast cancer, menopause, ovarian cancer | 0 comments

Got pain? It is possible that if you regularly use aspirin, acetaminophen or NSAIDS (e.g. ibuprofen) during menopause, you may be reducing your risk for breast or ovarian cancer as well. Sort of a two birds with one stone approach. I like it!

This latest bit of great news comes from analyses of blood samples and questionnaires collected from  740 women who participated in a breast cancer trial as part of the Nurses Health Study, an ongoing investigation of factors that influence women’s health. At the time that information was collected, the women had no cancer, were in menopause and had not used hormones.Study findings, which are published in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention showed that on average, mean levels of naturally  estrogen (i.e. estradiol), were more than 10% lower among women who reported regular use of aspirin or NSAIDS, and 15% lower among women reporting use of any sort of analgesic agent.

Although this specific study did not look at the link between hormones levels and cancer, previous studies have shown use of NSAIDs may lower breast cancer risk by as much as 12% to 25%; the evidence for ovarian cancer isn’t quite that strong.

Mind you, researchers say that these results don’t actually confirm if aspirin-like drugs cause estrogen levels to drop but there is an association. More research is needed to see if there is a firm link between declines in hormones after analgesic use and lower risk or breast or ovarian cancer. If it is true, there is a possibility that aspirin-like drugs could be used more regularly in this fashion.

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Three’s a charm…breast cancer, lung cancer deaths and ovarian cancer

Posted by on Jul 17, 2009 in HRT, ovarian cancer | 0 comments

More news on the hormone therapy horizon. Not only has HRT  been shown to increase breast cancer risk and death from lung cancer, but now researchers are reporting that it also increases the risk of ovarian cancer. Wow – three’s a charm, eh? And yet, many in the medical community continues to support its use in perimenopausal and menopausal women.

In this latest study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers evaluate data from 909,946 Danish women between the ages of 50 and 79 who had not previously developed hormone sensitive cancer or had had hysterectomies.

Compared to women who never took hormones, current hormonal therapy users had 1.38 greater incidence of all types of ovarian cancers and and 1.44 greater incidence of cancer affecting the surface of the ovaries (i.e. epithelial ovarian cancers) regardless of type of hormone therapy, administration or duration of use. Notably, risk declined with years since stopping hormone therapy.

Ovarian cancer accounts for about 4% of all cancers in women in the US. Yet, it is one of the most lethal types and often symptomless in the early stages. Roughly half of the women it affects die within five years. In this study, hormone therapy increased the risk for developing ovarian cancer by 38%.

Like any, this study had limitations that might have affected the results, such as not adjusting for age during menopause, or use of birth control pills (which have been shown to reduce ovarian cancer risk). Still, it is one of the largest studies to date examining this issue and the results do not fare well for use of hormones during menopause.

If I seem a bit angry about this; I am. Repeatedly, data show that hormone replacement, albeit an effective solution for declining hormones and their effects, is dangerous. I wonder how many women need to get sick or die before someone takes notice and removes hormones from the market.

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