I want you to meet our close family friend, Alison Greenberg. Alison has always been an amazing woman. I am sure you know someone like her. She is the one with the most energy, the most enthusiasm for life and the one that everyone else counts on. Alison is a phenomenal wife, mother (2 grown kids) and friend. She lives in Los Angeles, California. Alison is also a 5 year stage 3 ovarian cancer survivor. She was kind enough to allow me to interview her. Lets help Alison and everyone else tol raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research fund by going to http://www.kelly-confidential.com/rd/0003/ and letting Electrolux give $1 for every vote cast in the Cake Off until February 19th.
Alicia: How were you diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer?
Alison: I had not been feeling well for months. I had sharp pains by my ovaries and had been to the doctor several times. They thought it might be a bladder infection or a gastro problem. This was July, 2004. It didn’t go away and in October it was getting much worse. I went back to the gastroenterologist. He was going to give me a test for something but as luck would have it his machine was broken and he said that we should do a cat scan instead just to be sure all was ok.
I had the cat scan and went to the internist for the results. I was alone because I certainly did not expect any bad news. There is no cancer in my family only heart disease. So there I was alone when the doctor told me (with tears in his eyes) that I had ovarian cancer and I would need surgery right away. It was October 2004. My surgery was in November and my treatments followed that. I was just 58.
Alicia: Where are you in your fight now?
Alison: I just celebrated 5 years of being CANCER FREE. I am at 3 months and 5 years to be exact.
For the first 5 years I went back to my surgeon every 4 months and the oncologist every 3 months. I have now graduated and now I see the surgeon every 6 months and the oncologist every 4 months. I also get a yearly cat scan. 50% of ovarian cancer patients have a reoccurrence so being vigilant about follow ups is a must.
Alicia: Why is raising money for Ovarian Cancer so important?
Alison: Ovarian cancer is very difficult to detect. By the time most women know they have it, it is too late. I feel very strongly that I want them to find means for early detection so more people can be survivors and have a great quality of life. Right now there is only a blood test (CA125) that is not very accurate with lots of false positives so it does not get used much. We need more. If we can do this we can save so many lives. That is why research money is so critical.
Alicia: What has being a cancer survivor taught you?
Alison: I have learned how incredible human beings are and how amazing my support system is. That is such a great gift.
I have also leaved that you need to be your own advocate. It you are a woman and you have abnormal bloating or pain in your ovaries. Go to the doctor and be your own advocate. Get answers and if you need to demand a cat scan. You need to look out for yourself and often you know if something is really wrong even when the doctors may not.
Take a minute to give back. Go to Kelly Ripa’s Cake Off For A Cause from February 10th to the 19th. Why? Because Electrolux will donate $1 to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund for every vote cast in the Cake Off. You will also get great tips on baking from Kelly and the Cake Boss himself. And don’t forget to enter to win yourself an Electrolux Induction Range