Hints and Tips
If you have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and are currently in treatment in Colorado, the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance (COCA) will provide a free kit of items to you for use during chemo & beyond. Contact COCA to receive a free “Comfort Kit” for yourself or someone you love. We can also provide a small supply to your hospital or clinic.
Tips from Jeanene Smith, COCA Associate Director and a long term ovarian cancer survivor.
Whether you’re preparing for your chemotherapy journey or managing
the side effects, this site has the information you need...every step of the way
It is possible to send a sample of tumor tissue to a lab and have it tested to determine sensitivity to various chemotherapy agents. In order for this to occur, the sample has to be taken at the time of surgery, kept fresh and shipped directly to the lab. As such, the decision to pursue this approach has to be made before surgery. The results can provide information regarding chemotherapy choice. Check the chapter on Precision Medicine in our Colorado Ovarian Cancer Resource Guide.
Pelvic floor issues can be a side effect of pelvic surgery. Physical therapy can be an effective treatment for bowel and bladder dysfunction. The team at n2 Physical Therapy can help. They have experience in oncology and pelvic floor rehab with offices in Denver and Louisville. Call 720.402.3801 (Denver) or 303.954.8423 (Louisville).
“The practitioners at Oncology Rehab recognize the importance of comprehensive, rehabilitative care during and after cancer treatment. They have targeted their focus on oncology-based therapy programs; Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy cancer rehabilitation programs designed specifically for patients with all types of cancer diagnoses, in all phases of treatment. Oncology Rehab is a national leader in oncology rehabilitation and you will find the advanced knowledge and skills required to create a unique, specific, individual treatment plan.”
Make a Belly Buddy
Abdominal surgery might leave you feeling like you need a little extra support! Make a “Belly Buddy” to hold against your tummy when you are getting up and down from a chair or bed. You’ll need a thin bath-sized towel and duct tape. (1) Fold the towel in thirds lengthwise; (2) Now fold it in fourths; (3) Wrap the duct tape around the folded towel lengthwise - be generous with the tape; (4) Wrap the duct tape around the towel in the other direction. You should now have a fairly firm but slightly flexible pillow of sorts to hold against your tummy!
“Best taken at bedtime, sip and sleep easy knowing you’ll be right as rain in the morning.”
Keeping Medical Records
It is important that you keep your own records and notes about the progress of your care. This will be very helpful if you decide to engage in a clinical trial or change doctors. Items to include are:
- Copies of your CT/PET scans
- Ongoing CA-125 test results
- Types and duration of chemo drugs
- Any side effects experienced
- Additional opinions or referral visits
- Any supplements or complementary care utilized
It’s also helpful to keep a document current with all your important medical history such as:
- Primary Care Physician contact info
- Insurance company contact info
- Current medications
- Allergic Reactions
- Chronic Illnesses
- Previous Illnesses
- Previous surgeries & accidents
- Family History
- Social History (addictions, smoking, etc.)
- Lifestyle History (exercise, diet)
- Administration (living will, health care proxy, pharmacy, etc.)