Thank you *buh-bye cancer..


[00:00:00] Dear Cancer, let us be clear that I am not angry with you, despite everyone saying that I am a warrior in this battle. That's just not a feeling or an emotion that ever surfaced for me. I feel instead like I was this complicit participant in this journey where you showed up, I gave you this fertile ground. 

and you were there to remind me that I need to take better care of myself. I'm glad now that after six months of this sometimes awful and sometimes interesting journey, I can show you the door with grace and gratitude and firmly tell you that I no longer need your services. Please don't feel the need to ever remind me again, and I promise that I will keep you forever in my mind as the wise professor that you have shown yourself to. 

Goodbye. [00:01:00] It's November 9th, 2020, and I just wanted to say hello because I'm done. Four years ago I finished my ovarian cancer. I played that little video that you saw, and that was my ode to Bye-bye. I'm finished. I offer this to you guys. , when you come across something really crappy, which you will, which I will like, I'm not done, meaning I'm not done with crap happening in my life. 

As I say, often when you face that crap, however bad, it sucks because it'll suck. I mean, there are things going on in the world right now that I know. in our community medically that are so deeply sad, like sadder than anything I could ever have experienced myself so far, and frankly, hope not to. But when I went through that, I gotta tell you in that moment, I remember being told by my amazing GYN oncologist that I was actually blinking 16 weeks of chemo and that in fact I had ovarian cancer. 

And it was just a bizarre moment. Like one of those moments where you. [00:02:00] Did she just say that? Can we just take that back? Can we just rewind? It's like that time where you got broken up with and you're like, no, let's just go backwards. Let's not, but worse. So alas. What I really found in that moment was what I talked about a couple weeks ago. 

In that moment, I had to find the beauty within the suck. I had to, I felt like I had to because the facts were the facts. The facts were that I had ovarian cancer at age 46. While I have three kids. The facts were that I was going to have chemo for 16 weeks, and what I didn't even know was that later that week I'd be readmitted because my bladder had a hole in it and had to be repair. 

And then my incision from that repair was gonna open up and I was gonna have a wound vacuum for six weeks. I didn't know that, but I knew that bad enough was ovarian cancer with 16 weeks of chemo. And I thought, I can't take that back. She's not taking back these words. This is not like in a movie. This isn't back to the future. 

And so I gotta figure out what to do. And in that moment, luckily I had been training for this. I don't train physic. You know this, I'm not physically fit. You guys are [00:03:00] often, I trained for this. My mind was in that place where all roads lead to When you find out that you are in the depths of shit. you are gonna grasp to whatever you can to figure out how to get yourself out of it. 

And whatever I could in that moment was all the things. Remember my video from last week? All the things that weren't wrong, right? Partially. I like to frame it as what I'm grateful for, but again, I know that's hard for a lot of us. So instead we can think of what was not wrong, what was not wrong. I was in America shit. 

Shits are American Medical system can be at times. I know it full. Thank God we are here, you guys. Thank God we are here and not in some other countries. I was in America as a doctor, so I knew the system. I had a surgeon that I loved. I had family that were around me. I had partners who were great. I had worked my ass off for all these years and put equity into the fact that people knew I was a hard worker, so that when I really needed those six weeks off to Convalesce for my surgery, they totally got it. 

They accepted it and they covered me and they were. , right? So this is what [00:04:00] happens in our world when life suddenly throws shit at us. We'll never know when it's gonna happen. So you have to train for it right now. You have to be ready so that when that shit happens, you can be like, God, that sucks, but here's what's good, and that's what I'm gonna stick to, like a lifesaver. 

Literally like that is what kept me going was all of the other things that I was gonna get out of this experience, and I just assumed and decided that I was getting through it. There was no other questioning it. There was no value in questioning it. In fact, when people tried to say to me, aren't you so scared? 

I actually had a couple people be like, oh my God, that's the worst. That's the worst thing ever. A few people said this, aren't you? So. and I was like, in my mind, you know what I thought this is not the worst thing ever. Not only were there so many other worst things that you and I could all think of further stages, worse cancers going through this alone. 

Like a million things, right? There's not even, I, I felt almost guilty. There were so many not terrible things about it, but a lot of the [00:05:00] things that. Those people were going through themselves, just emotional things they were going through. I thought in my heart, oh God, I don't wanna go through what you're going through. 

I'll take my stuff. Which is a really interesting paradigm that when people are going through shit and they think it's the worst, and then they all of a sudden look at everyone else's deck, they realize like, I'll keep my cards. I don't want what you have because what you have is foreign to me, it's not necessarily worse. 

Certainly not necessarily better. It is foreign to me and we like what we know, and the minute you become that person who is told you have cancer, That's what I knew. I'm not suggesting I liked a lot of it. I fucking hated a lot of it. I mean, there's, I could write a book about it. There were things that I hated. 

It was terrible at times. I mean, terrible, like, I'll give you some nuggets. My bladder got perforated, but we did not know that. It's not any fault of the medical system. We all did what we could as doctors, professionals, nurses, everyone. When it was found a week later, my abdomen was distended with liters of P with urine, so I had to have a big surgery. 

Big scar [00:06:00] to fix my bladder with two weeks of a catheter, and then I had to actually. About three weeks after that, when I started chemo, my scar opened up. My big long scar opened, so I had to have a wound vac, right? I mean, it sucked. I'm smiling. It was sucky. But I will tell you, and I'm not just sugarcoating it, that within the suck there was so many moments of beauty that I could find because I looked for them. 

And I'm not like, look at me, I look for them. I'm so great. I'm like, you better fucking do this because if you don't, then anything that sucks right now is gonna suck times a thousand. The only way to get through this, you guys, is to either, uh, be able to time travel, which if you figured out that formula, let me know or figure out the good stuff in it because there is good stuff in every single thing. 

And if that good stuff is only that, like, oh my God, I just found out I have the worst news ever. But I'm actually still alive to hear it. Maybe that's the only good thing because there are things that are far worse than I went through. Like I would not even purport to behave as if what I went through was. 

[00:07:00] A billionth as bad as other things that I might go through in the future or that you guys might have gone through or or going through right now. So I don't want anyone listening to this to think, oh yeah, well gu, you know, guess what? Stage two ovarian cancer with chemo in a perforated bladder and a wound vac is nothing compared to what I'm going through. 

Cuz it probably is nothing compared to what you're going through. It really might not be, and yet I'm sure it's more than others are going through. It's actually not the way we even need to look at it. We need to look at it as regardless of what. We're the only ones who can respond to the shit that happens, right? 

It's gonna happen whether we like it or not. We can take pains to control certain things, and those are the things we should control, but outside of those things, we can't do a lot about it other than respond in a certain way. And so again, I offer you responding with doom, gloom, despair, fear. , it's never gonna help. 

Now it's not easy. You gotta work at it. Just like I keep saying, my exercise practice is not easy. My food practice not easy. So we all have stuff to work on. I will work on my [00:08:00] food and exercise practice. You people need to work on your gratitude and, um, finding what doesn't suck practice, and I think you can do it. 

So in parting words, a little nugget. Please remember that ovarian cancer is not screened for you. Do not get any screening test for ovarian cancer. Your pap smear is not for ovarian cancer, it's for cervical cancer. The only way you're gonna know about ovarian cancer is if you have symptom. That you do not ignore? 

Are they silent? No. Are they subtle? Yes. Subtle meaning, bloating, pain, pressure. Anything that's in this part of your abdomen that kind of persists more than two weeks is still likely not ovarian cancer. Don't freak out. Don't go wide eye looking at me on this video. Go, oh my God, I've got it. You probably don't. 

But don't ignore it either, because every data point shows that as women, we ignore it for a period of six to eight months, and then it's later than it should be. And two thirds of ovarian cancer is found at stage three or four. We can do better. [00:09:00] Ladies, by speaking up, we can do better doctors by ordering the ultrasounds. 

Unfortunately, we as doctors and patients are limited by what our government has done with our insurance because they're not always gonna cover that test. So you can be angry at your doctor, but it's not your doctor's fault. She has no latitude. What we can do is also really try to change the way we meter out insurance. 

That's not something I'm gonna be good at cuz clearly I'm not in politics, but we need a better system. So please, please, please get to know your body, figure out how you're feeling. Bloating, pain, pressure that lasts for more than two weeks. Not that was just because you ate pizza and ice cream and beer. 

If you think it's because of pizza and ice cream and beer, don't blow it off. Don't eat those things for a couple days and your bloating should go away. But if you have a lot of pain in your pelvis, go see your doctor. If you have a lot of feeling like you have to pee frequently and nothing has shown up with a urinary tract infection, go see your doctor. 

Okay? Please just get to know your body. Please try not to freak out. Please. [00:10:00] Remember, we're all gonna have crap that happens in our life. We're all, that's just a fact. I wish I could take that away. You have to be able to find the good stuff in it, or you're just gonna be miserable and it's all your choice. 

That's just the way it is. It's just a fact. This is like not some, you know, amazing theory. I've come up with millions of people say it, but it's actually true. Okay, I'm gonna go do some rounds at the hospital, but four years and I am done.