About Me

Welcome to my unexpected journey. My name is Trish. I am a 33 year old new mom, recovering from an ovarian dysgerminoma cancer diagnosis three weeks post-delivery of my first child. If you have landed on this blog you, or someone you love, is probably dealing with cancer and to that I send you my prayers, love, and deepest sympathy. Everybody’s cancer journey is different. For some it is relatively easy, for others it is very difficult. A lot depends on what stage you are, your support system, age, determination to get better, and general attitude.

I decided to write a blog, documenting my journey, because I found very little real life information that helped me through being a new mom with cancer and the cancer process in general. Sure, I went to school for biomedical science and I love a good scientific journal read, I am kind of a hardcore science nerd in that way, however, I wanted to know more! Like. What are the real life implications?. What would the first day of chemotherapy be like? Would it hurt? No. Would I get sick right away? No. Would I ever be the same? No. What in the world would it feel like being bald? Awesome and liberating. Would this impact my marriage? Yes. Would this impact my friendships? Yes. Would this impact my family relationships? Yes. Would I still be capable of being the kind of mom I wanted to be? YES! Would this stop me or get me down? NO! All of these questions will be answered in-depth in this blog.

Each day I wrote a little bit to eventually post a blog and to hopefully help anybody out there going through the same thing. I am on the rebound now awaiting my first scan with my dear Gracie in tow. When we get the all clear we will be traveling trying to cheer up others and give hope to people going through this. If you know someone in need please contact us.

I hope you enjoy reading our journey and it provides you positivity, comfort, and support. LIFE IS GRAND! ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT! Every day you are alive is a blessing. Get up, get out, be positive, think of all the good things in life and don’t ask “why me?”. Positive thoughts, positive results! Believe in the power of the mind.

Thank you for reading. I will be back dating a lot of posts as I enter them from my journal. This journey will never be over and this blog will eventually morph into a blog about positive living, family, being kind to others, and nutrition. (I’m just getting started so check back often.)

16 comments on “About Me
  1. Kerri Stevens says:

    I am 35 years old and I also had surgery for ovarian cancer shortly after giving birth to my son. They found a mass in my ovary during an ultrasound when I was pregnant with my son and I had surgery to remove it when he was 12 weeks old. I was lucky though. It was caught early enough that they didn’t think I required chemo or radiation. But it’s still devastating to go through it all with a new baby at home.

    • Hi Kerri! Welcome to the blog. I agree, the surgery part with a newborn at home was I think the hardest part of my journey. I actually just wrote about it that evening. Things felt much more controllable after the surgery. I am glad you are okay and didn’t have to undergo chemo or radiation. I’m sure it was pretty stressful knowing you had a mass during pregnancy.

      I am curious about something… I’m not sure if you had a large abdominal incision like I did but if you did, did you doctor warn against heavy exercise? I have heard from many people lately that they were told to avoid it so they wouldn’t increase their risk of a hernia. My oncologist actually advised me to exercise and so far, so good. Just curious what you were told. It’s been a little worry of mine.

      Did you have dysgerminoma? Was this your first baby? Are you planning to have more? Sorry for all the questions. It’s just so rare to run across someone else that went through this at the end of pregnancy. I hope you are doing well. :) I look forward to keeping in touch.

  2. Deanna Spivey says:

    I just found your blog and am excited to read more about your journey. I am in the middle of a very similar journey with ovarian cancer. I was diagnosed with a determinism a week and a half after giving birth to my second child. (I’m also 33!) During my pregnancy a mass was seen on ultrasounds but it appeared to be a fibroid on the outside of my uterus. After I gave birth the tumor grew and I started retaining fluid. I knew something was wrong because I looked more pregnant each day after delivery! I had surgery and started chemo two weeks later. I have four weeks of chemo left!!!

    Thanks for sharing your journey!!!!

    Dee

    • Hi Dee- So nice to meet you. Wow, it’s amazing how similar our stories are. Congrats on being almost done! It is a great time of year to be finishing up. Do you find having a little one in tow really helped your spirits? I found Grace to be a tremendous help. I often think…If she only knew the strength she gave me…. How are you feeling? I hope you are doing well! The finish line is just around the corner. I will keep you in my thoughts.

      I love hearing from other moms going through this. Even though I hear from women all over the world we are all connected in a very special way that distance can’t change. I think it is so important to help each other along on our journeys. There is something very unique about experiencing this journey with a newborn. Please keep in touch.

      YOU ARE ALMOST DONE!! YOU ARE ALMOST DONE! YOU ARE ALMOST DONE!!!!!!! :)

      • Deanna Spivey says:

        Yes I do find the little one gives me strength. I have a 2 and a half year old that keeps me going as well. My first day of chemo I just kept my two boys in the front of my mind because I knew I had to keep going for them. My older son makes me laugh so much too. We have started laughing about my bald head…. he will say mommy where is your hair? And I say I don’t know! And his imagination takes over on what kind of animal got my hair. All that being said having my kids makes it so hard too. On the days when I’m so tired and weak I just want so bad to be able to do more for them. But the end is in sight!!!

        I have been feeling okay just tired so much. How long after your last treatment was it that you really felt great and full of energy? I can’t wait for that!

  3. camille wee says:

    Hi trish. I am 23 years old and I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma while I was 14 weeks pregnant. I finished my 6 cycles of chemo just last week. I feel so great. Im still praying for my baby’s health and hopefully everything will be fine. Im due on dec 8 :) your blog is very inspiring!

    • mommybeatscancer says:

      Way to go!!! I am so happy to hear you are feeling great and are done. December will be here before you know it and you will be enjoying a beautiful baby. What a reward for a hard fought battle. I will be thinking of you and praying for a healthy, happy baby and your continued health. -Trish

  4. Kathleen says:

    I was diagnosed with stage III metastatic choriocarcinoma, a rare pregnancy/placental cancer that developed while I was pregnant with my son, at 6 weeks postpartum. I know your pain. I did 22+ weeks of multi agent chemotherapy after initial surgery to remove a tumor that began in my uterus. My son was almost 7 months old when I finished chemo. Thank you for being here and documenting your journey. Your blog is beautiful.

  5. Mira says:

    Hi Trish,

    I found your blog while looking for “when will my hair grow back” and I see I am not alone in asking this question. I am a mom to a nine month old boy, and I am from the Netherlands. I have breastcancer and am halfway done with my treatment. I have a surgery planned for after the chemo ends. After that maybe radiation, I’m not sure.
    I get scared a lot, when I look at my little boy, I want to be around for him. It’s so hard, to have to deal with this. I have a wonderful husband, and a loving circle of family and friends, so I feel lucky too. Also, the doctors are optimistic and we all plan to get me better and healthy, so I cling to that when it gets overwhelming.
    How are you doing? Thank you for writing this blog, it’s good to read about other women, knowing I am not alone.

  6. Kylie says:

    Hi
    I came across your blog after googling new mums and cancer. I am a 28 year old Australian mum of the most beautiful five month old boy. I was diagnosed with tongue cancer last month. I had surgery to remove the tumour but some cancer cells remain and i will begin radiation and chemo soon. Having never been a smoker or much of a drinker this came as a huge shock. I am scared. I am angry. I am sad. But i am also grateful. I have a beautiful son. I have an amazing husband. I have a wonderful family. I have great friends. I want to get through this, get healthy and be the best mum i can be. I want to be there for my little boy.
    Thank you for sharing your journey and giving me hope that i can fight cancer and still be there for my boy

  7. Olivia says:

    I just finished round 4 out of 6 treatments for stage 1 ovarian cancer. I had surgery on 12/31/2013. A complete hysterectomy. (I’m 58). I have enjoyed reading everyone’s journeys. As for loosing hair, I agree with you on shaving as soon as it starts to fall out. I made it to day 18 after first chemo. Mine also felt like a too tight pony tail or how your head feels after you’ve worn a beanie all day. I have not really had too many side affects. I have slight nausea the first few days after chemo which I manage mostly with food. (Keeping a little food in your stomache all day, ie; small meals). I havent lost my appetite nor does anything taste funny. My energy goes back up to normal between chemo sessions. As for exercise, I walked everday and started with a personal trainer after one month to regain strength after my insides were “rearranged”. Lol! Thank you for the photo essay on hair regrowth. Thats the reason I was on the computer and I happened onto your blog.
    I didn’t loose all of my eye lashes and eyebrows. Pretty much all body hair is gone.
    I found my tumor by goung gluten free and loosing 20 pounds. That’s when I noticed a large lump sticking out that wasnt there before. I started out pre- surgery at 160 lbs. And after and now weigh 135 lbs. mostly due to I inflammation caused by wheat. I do not have celiac, but that story is different blog!!
    I tried to cover a bit of my whole journey in the hope it may help others on their journey. Thank you for a wonderful blog, I wish I had found it at the beginning.

    • Trish says:

      Hi Olivia- Thank you so much for writing in and sharing your story. This is exactly what I was hoping for from this blog, a community of people sharing their stories and helping each other through a difficult time. What a blessing you found that tumor. So glad to hear you are going through chemo so well. Good luck with the rest of your journey.

  8. salima ali says:

    I just had my second bout with breast cancer and finished chemo and now doing radiation I am back to work and I am very tired after work. My biggest concern is my hair growing back because I have to be on arimdex which causes hair thinning. I am very depressed about this. Do you have any ideas that can help me with this problem.

  9. Maria Sullivan says:

    Hi Trish, Thanks for the post and pictures of your post-chemo hair growth. I’m coming up on my final chemo for bone cancer and was searching the web for photos. It’s great to have a time frame.

    Thanks dear,

    Maria

  10. Angie says:

    Hiya Trish,

    First up I’m not a Mom, but I’m still really grateful to have found your blog. It’s so hard to find real life info about all the various aspects of having cancer (and chemo) anywhere, but the way you’ve written this, almost like a chronology, is amazing – unlike so many other info sites it’s actually a comfort to read. I think it’s such an unselfish thing to have done, and a real sign of your courage and strength. I could compliment you more but I’ll stop there for fear of overkill ;-) I have a couple of questions for you, which I’ll get to but first a quick resume of my own experiences these last few months and the reason I’ve found your blog.

    I had an ovarian (immature) teratoma diagnosed in March 2014, I was 38. The diagnosis came following discovery of a large mass on one of my ovaries which in the early days (Dec 2013) caused a pain that made me think I had a urine infection that would pass. I underwent a full abdominal hysterectomy, removal of appendix, a few lymph nodes etc which the surgeon and oncology docs/nurses were sure had cured me of any cancer. However, because my teratoma had ruptured before my operation they still worried that some microscopic cancer cells may be lying in wait so, an adjunctive course of 3 cycles BEP chemotherapy was recommended to help prevent recurrence. BEP is another reason I find your blog so helpful – until now it’s really been me and ‘the Lads’ (from the clinic who are being treated for testicular cancer) having this type of chemo. The Lads are cool enough, and suffer no less than me – but the issues are different and they’re mostly not ‘sharers’ ;-) So, it’s helpful to hear of an/other woman who has not only survived BEP but flourished following it.

    The BEP regime itself is difficult to endure: each cycle lasts 3 weeks and starts with 5 nights residential hospital stay during which BEP is administered intravenously overnight… That’s 5 nights in a row basically of sleep deprivation whilst they pump in 3 hours worth of pre-hydration, followed by 6 hours of chemo drugs then another few hours of post-hydration. The residential is followed by two booster injections administered as an outpatient over the following two weeks, there ends a cycle.

    I had a hard time tolerating BEP, my body just seemed too weak to endure it. Thank God, I had been really healthy before all this started because I was very ill after the first two cycles. I had some quite scary experiences and spent a lot more of my time as an inpatient than I would have hoped, including a stay in HDU. A major positive for me though was that my wee body seemed to have an amazing ability to bounce back and even after a few days of seemingly being at deaths door I made quite a dramatic fast recovery! Resilience then, that I didn’t really know I had in me, was my life saver I think – well that along with my partner and family who pulled me through every day.

    As I had been so ill, the docs decided that my third and final cycle of BEP would be reduced by 20%. I’m not sure whether it was this reduced dose or just the fact that I could see the finish line in my treatment, but I sailed through this last cycle… Looking back, I am sure that this was mostly due to the power of positive thinking which, I am ashamed to say, I had abandoned for some 6 – 8 weeks previous :-( So the point you make about positive thoughts = positive outcome seems salient to me!

    This is the first time I’ve written any if this stuff down and now that I have reached the point of asking you the questions I mentioned at the start they seem so, so trivial and shallow but it appears that despite all my experiences sometimes the trivial and shallow are still important so forgive me….

    Q1) HAIR! I’ve looked at your pics and marvelled almost to the point of tears at how you’re hair has returned! At the moment it is almost 5 weeks since my final booster injection and 7 weeks since my last residential dose of BEP. I have what looks from a distance to be like a “5 o’clock shadow” on my head but close up looks really like a fuzzy halo especially in the light. Like you I really like the feeling of this fuzz, but it (or should I say vanity) is preventing me from leaving the house without a hat… So can I ask if you shaved your head again at all after chemo and after the fuzz or just let it go?

    Q2) HEARTBURN/INDIGESTION/ACID REFLUX… I’m not quite sure what it is but a lot of the time I’m getting a really acidic feeling in the lower part of my throat, it’s actually in the morning and at night when it seems worse. It’s red hot and not very nice – did you have this? I’m trying to figure out if it’s just me and maybe something in my diet.

    Q3) EATING & WEIGHT GAIN! During my BEP, I lost a fair bit of weight. Actually this is a weird story because in fact after my first and second residential treatments I ballooned – I went up over 3 stone/ 3 clothes sizes each time because for some reason my body was retaining fluid but within 3/4 days of coming out of hospital I returned to more like a normal weight but usually a little lighter each time. So by the end of my treatment due to small cumulative weight loss and a dreaded c-diff infection I was about half a stone lighter than when I began. I always maintained a reasonable appetite throughout the treatment but since about a week after I finished I have been eating lots (and lots), I’m constantly hungry and craving tastes. Initially this was linked to nausea – eating seemed to ease it a little, but it’s continued now that nausea has subsided. As a result I am gaining weight fast, I’m only exercising a little in the form of a couple of short/medium walks with the dog a day – I do intend to increase this to a more focused exercise regime in the next week or so, but in the meantime can you sympathise with the hunger, eating and weight gain? Or is this just me being greedy?

    I guess that’s it from me, except to say thank you again for your lovely blog and also to say if you or any other readers have any questions about immature teratoma or my BEP chemo experience I would be more than happy to try and answer them – mostly with thanks to your inspiration.

    Kindest wishes :-)

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