Mom and Her 3 Bald Boys

Mom-2 Chemotherapy-0

Mom came home on Friday after finishing her second round of chemotherapy on Thursday and she's doing just great. She is feeling pretty tired and somewhat sore, but that is certainly to be expected. Regardless, it's still be a chore to keep her down and not wiping the counters or helping out in some way. She'll never stop, but I think that's why she's going to beat it...

So ever since day one when we heard mom would probably lose her hair, Gil, Charlie and I have agreed to shave our heads too. On Thursday night I got a text message from Charlie saying, "Get ready... tomorrow is SHAVE day!" At this point mom's hair was really thinning and falling out from the chemo, and she was sick and tired of waking up with hair all over the pillow. So when Mom came home from the hospital, Charlie was waiting at home (already bald!) with his shears and electric razor. He did a real nice job on Mom, getting her as close to bald as she was ready for at the moment. About an hour later, I was student teaching and received a picture on my camera phone of mom's new haircut and Chuck's bald head. I knew my time would be soon. About a half hour later I received another picture from Gil with a message saying "Two down, one to go!". 6 hours later...

(((The picture that was here showed a picture of Mom, Gil, Chuck and myself all bald. Had to take it down but will be replaced as soon as we are all together again and can take a new shot!)))

We love you Mom and will do anything for you. This is just a small silly way of expressing that. 2 Rounds down, 4 more to go! Already a 1/3 done!

Check back tomorrow for more pictures!


Same Old Janice

As many of you know, today was Mom's second day of her second round of chemotherapy and she is doing just fantastic! Yesterday went off without a hitch and having just finished her second treatment only a few hours ago, things went just as well today. All of her blood-word has been coming back with positive results and her doctors continue to be satisfied with her progress both mentally and physically.

If I can think of one thing that is different this round of chemo from her first round, I'd say Mom is much more independent and confident during her stay at Rahway. I think the first time around she was quite nervous not knowing what would come of the chemo, but now having gone through it once she has a much better idea of what's in store. I can truly say she is the same old Janice nowadays. The only difference is she's got a hip new "do" and she hangs out at a hospital four days every three weeks.

Oddly enough, over the past few days I (Andy) haven't thought much about putting up a new post on the site because she's been so "normal" lately that you can almost go a day without even thinking about her cancer. (Just talk to her on the phone for 5 minutes and you'll see exactly what I mean!) But I think the more normal things get, the better! Not only for Mom, but for the whole family. My best friend's mother (Kathy Monaco) told me a very true statement the other night when she said "If your Mom has cancer, your whole family's got it." Ain't it the truth??? I have no doubt that none of us can truly relate to the feelings Mom has felt these past few months. But what I do know is that we've felt every bit of pain, fear, hope, and sheer joy just as she has in our own ways. And that is the quality our family has that makes me proud to be a part of it.

Stay posted for more on mom's progress during her second round of chemo!




While doing some surfing in an effort to learn more about Ovarian Cancer I came across a great PSA (public service announcment) for Ovarian and Gynelocigal Cancers sponsored by the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance. I have writen them to ask when it will be made public outside of the internet. Click HERE to see the TV spot add. It's really nice, yet unless it reaches women and doctors no one will be the wiser. Now of course I am being a bit hyper sensitive, and I am sure it is out there. I will keep you posted on their reply to my concerns. Please pass the link for the TV spot on to EVERYONE you know. It's the only way to spread the word.


A little on the light side

Here you can see a picture of mom's doctor with one of his more famous patients.




Mom Gears Up For Round 2

This Monday mom will head back to Robert Wood Johnson-Rahway for her second round of chemotherapy. She is going in with sprits high and the best possible attitude. Recently she has been let out of her cage since meeting with her doc this week when he cleared her to go out and about as long as she didnt push it too much. Right away she hit the food store, bank, and several other favorite spots, yet she is being driven around by her mom or my dad. Tonight she is heading out for a long awaited dinner at Dick's Doc a local seafood place in Metuchen and on her way home she told me eariler she'll be stopping for an ice cream sundae. If it wasnt for this cancer thing it would sound like she's living the high life.

All in all mom is feeling good. We know she'll knock the hell out of this round of chemo too. Her first week home afterwards is bound to be a fun one just like the last round, but she gets through it and on to better days. Please continue to keep my mom in your prayers and thoughts over the next few days as she goes head to head once again with Chemo. Thank you all for your continued support. We could not get through this without such an increadible family and such amazing friends. Thanks and we love you.



Rep Barton Dosent Want To Move

I spoke to Rep. Barton's (Tx) Health L.A yesterday with limited success. The bottom line is that he dose not want to move until he gets NIH reform. His aide informed me that it's like a pie, and youhave to fix the pie before adding any more pieces (Johanna's Law). When I asked if she could give me a time frame for the passing of the reform she told me almost if i were a child "that's not how Washington works!!!! we dont do timelines" Then she said if there is no progress in 6 months on the NIH reform they might consider passing some dieaese specific legislation. I then informed her of how many more thousands of women would be told that have ovarian cancer and how many more would die in that time. That got her a little bit, but to no avail she is going to refer me to some individuals on the appropriations committee and advised me to contact local trade associations that would have a "stake " in the law. Seems like it's always back to the almighty dollar in Washington. So, that's where that's at, but I have just begun, so let's see what's coming next.......to be continued

Chuck Lopez


An Update From the Political Front

I have been cooresponding with Congressman Ferguson's Health Legislative Assistant this past week. Unfortunatly, Rep. Barton has not been back to work for some time as he is recovering from a heart attack in mid December. I hope to be in touch this week with the appropriate staffers in his office.

I would encourage all of you though to at this point do some reading on Johanna's Law. Please take the time to CLICK HERE and see if your congressman or congresswomen are signed on as supporters. If not CLICK HERE and get information tocontact their office immediatly and voice your support. The Johanna's Law site has some great information on how to prepare for a conversation with these political officals.

The Johanna's Law is named after Johanna Silver Gordon who succomed to cancer after a long and brave fight. I have been and continue to be in close contact with her sister. Together, with the help of many others we know we will get this much neede law passed. So, to that end, do your reading, make your calls and let's get this law on the books.....

Thank You,


A Word From Mom's Oldest

By now anyone who has been keeping up with Mom's Support Page knows what's been going on during the past month...her good days, bad days, doctor's visits, and chemo sessions. Living almost 2 hours away from Mom is very difficult for me as she is going through this (Just ask my wife). I often feel that by being so far away I'm not as useful and helpful as my brothers, father and the rest of my family can be, because they are right around the corner. However, I realized that I've given her something that helps her to continue the fight... her three grandchildren, Scott (13), Meghan (9), and Noah (2). Mom has a saying, "I need my fix", meaning she wants to talk to or see the kids. We brought the kids up to see Mom on Saturday. Though she wasn't feeling her best, when she saw Scott, Meghan, and Noah, her whole mood changed. It's as if they do something for her that no medicine can. We spent about two hours with Mom. Sometimes she will call to get her fix. She'll talk to each of the kids on the phone a few times a week. Noah will tell her "Love you Mom-Mom" or "Noah vacuum" or he'll just giggle on the phone.

I know Mom has done a lot for a lot of people. Speaking for my brothers and father, Mom has been here for us for over 31 years. She's been there while we're sick, when we've had a bad day, to take us to school, and to pick Dad up from the train station late at night. Now it's our turn...all of us, family and friends to help Mom, to support Mom, and to give her back all she's given us. She's the strongest person I know. With her determination and our support, Mom's gonna kick this thing. I love you Mom!



Music to my Ears!

I won't be writing a whole lot today because my brother Gil had been wanting to post something on the page for a while so check back later for an update on the excitement at our house earlier today. But for a few quick updates. A few days ago we found out that mom's bloodwork came back negative, which is a very good thing! And just yesterday morning, the best thing happened! As I woke up I could've sworn I heard somebody yelling downstairs. I kind of rubbed my eyes to try and wake up more, and then I clearly heard someone cursing. I couldn't imagine who it was so I figured I'd go investigate. As I went downstairs and approached the kitchen, I saw Mom running around cleaning while cursing me and my Dad up and down for leaving her "such a crap house" (a term I've come to learn well over the years). Now most people might get upset by this, but it was music to my ears...Mom was back to normal! You see for the past week or so Mom was weakened by the chemo and wasn't doing much if anything around the house but laying down and trying to rest. This was the first sign of her recovery. Today she's feeling even better! Check out some new pictures.
Earlier today
Mom, Scotty, Meghan, and Noah

Finally house-broken!!

(Just kidding... Love you Pop!)

Two last things. First, I created an e-mail address for this website. So if you ever have any comments, thoughts, questions or suggestions, just send them to LopezSupportPage@hotmail.com. Secondly, I am going to start a list-serve for people who want to stay updated on the website. Everytime a new article goes up, you'll have a reminder and link in your e-mail's mailbox. If you want to receive an update, all you have to do is e-mail me and I'll take care of the rest. Oh and check back for Gil's update!



A Surprise from NY

Everyone said from the very beginning that there will be good days, and there will be bad days. I think yesterday was a very good day. And I think what really helped mom yesterday was a surprise visit from her cousin Kenny Mackewicz (<--spelling?) from NY. He was in town on business and dropped in for about an hour. We had a few laughs, caught up on each others lives and had a nice afternoon. I could tell it really cheered mom up a lo. And I think the reason it helped was basically because it was a change a scenery (if not the pleasant company). I take no offense to the fact that mom is probably sick of the same old "mugs" moaping around the house for the past month. I don't blame her cause I probably would have lost it by now. But overall things are still going very well. This morning when I woke up I caught her doing a little more cleaning than she probably should be doing, but I think that's got to be a good sign. Stay posted!




Today as many of you know was my parents 31st Wedding Anniversary. For those of you who didnt know.....well.....it was. Anyhow, I just want to say on behalf of the 3 boys, Mom and Dad, we love you, thanks for giving us everything and always being there for us whenever we need you. You are the best. Just look at all you have done together.


Gil, Charlie and Andy


It takes a strong person...

As of Tuesday, January 10th...
It takes one strong person to quick cold turkey after 35 years!
This morning mom's hair stylist Jeff came over to style her wig the way she normally wears her hair. I don't know Jeff very well of course, but this guy is a saint. I don't know many hair stylists who would go out of their way (twice!) to make early morning house calls, do you?
Today mom is starting to feel some of the side affects of the chemotherapy that we had heard so much about.But the good news is that they are all very typical short-term affects of chemotherapy as opposed to rare unexpected symptoms. Another good thing is that she's really letting herself rest. I think it was extremely difficult in the begin to resign herself to a bed for a period of days or even weeks, but she's really taking it easy and allowing herself some good recuperating time. Hopefully she'll start feeling better.. Slowly but surely!

1st round of chemo is over!
Smoke free for 1 month!
Stay posted,

What is being done about Ovarian Cancer????

When I first heard the news about my mom’s cancer I went through the normal feelings of fear, sadness, disbelief and pretty much anything else you could come up with. Then as it settled in and we began to move through the steps of fighting her disease I had a new feeling. I felt powerless. There was really nothing I could do besides be there for her and my family.

As most of you know I am not the type to sit by and let the world go round with out me being onboard. So, I searched and looked and it soon became apparent that there were plenty of sites for ovarian cancer as my brother has already provided, but not too much about what’s being done to increase awareness. Then I came across Johanna's Law

Johanna’s Law is a currently a bill in the House that is in a nut shell a national awareness program for Gynecologic Cancers. It’s official name is Johanna’s Law: The Gynecologic Cancers Education and Awareness Act of 2005. The website offered information on how the bill was initiated, but left no updates on it’s status in the house. So last week I called Congressman Mike Ferguson of the NJ-7 and left a message for his Health Legislative Assistant whom I figured would not return my call.

Today, I surprisingly received a call from Mr. Tom Fussaro who is Congressman Ferguson’s Health L.A. We spoke at length for over 45 minutes about the bill, where it stands and what’s in it’s way of becoming a law. Apparently to keep it short and sweet this bill is being held up because the chair of the committee (commerce & energy) is not willing to move on any disease specific bills until they can pass reform with the National Institute of Health. There is a lot more to all of this then I am leaving here, but the bottom line is Congressman Joe Barton of Texas who is the committee chair is not willing to move until he gets his NIH reform which from what I have heard so far is much needed.

Over the next few days I plan to be in touch with Congressman Barton’s office as well as the office of Congressman Darrell Issa of California who created this wonderful bill. There is a lot to be done and a lot we can do as citizens. When I know more about who to contact and who’s office to bombard with mailings, emails and phone calls I will let you all know.

There is so much being done about so many other diseases, and now it’s time to add some new ones to the game. We need the doctors to be educated and aware of all the subtleties of ovarian cancer. We need the general public to be educated as well about the sign and symptoms so we have fewer deaths from this horrible disease. Today it is very rare to catch ovarian cancer in an early stage. The old saying about ovarian cancers was that it was the Silent Killer. Today though the slogan is a little different, Ovarian Cancer it’s not silent, it whispers. Today we know more about it. We know there are signs and symptoms that have gone unchecked so many times. So let’s see what we can do to change that name once again to something like Ovarian Cancer….used to be pretty bad, but now we have our act together and we just kick the crap out of it.




Mom’s last day of chemo whet off without a hitch. She continues to enjoy her chocolate milkshakes, lemon marang pie and downs endless amounts of water each day. One new addition now is her lack of taste. She began to notice on her 2nd day that there was a metallic taste added to her food, but she continues to eat a normal diet.

Last night she told me(Charlie) to pick up Andy and be at the hospital to get her this morning no earlier than 9AM. So, I got up around 7:50 and got in the shower. When I got out there were two messages on my phone and when I checked them they were classic Jancie. “Where are you…..it’s 8:00……They are releasing me. For those of you that don’t know my mom as well, she has a demented sense of time. When she says a party starts at 3, you get there for 2:30. When she says we’re heading down to Gil and Tina’s to see the kids by 11am, you’d better be in the car and ready to go by 9am. Aside from cleaning out the cancer I really hope this chemo can do something about her timing.

Any how, we got her home and she’s back to her old normal self. “ANDREW…Pick up the crumbs…..GILLLLLL……wipe off the counter”. The main goal now is to have her get as much rest as possible. On a slightly different note, tonight I get to give my mom a shot. After each round of chemo she’ll require a white blood cell booster injection to keep up her immune system. So tonight I get to get her back for all those years of “do this and do that”…..I recall a Wooden spoon when I was a child, but that’s a little blurry now. So here it comes mom. It won’t hurt but a moment.

Once special request from me…..Please keep my mom in your prayers. I have found that after doing some reading about the power of prayer and talking to many people, I have come to believe that the more people that pray for you the better off you are. Most of you problably already accept this as a given, but it took some time for me. So please, tonight keep my mom in your prayers.



Chemotherapy: Day 3

So mom has already had 3 days of chemo treatment and things are still going great. She is experience some minor side affects like a dry throat, a very minor loss of appetite, but no major problems by any means. Mom is most definitely in the right frame of mind and as determined as ever.

Only one day of chemo left before she comes home on Saturday and you know what that means... Nanny's coming by tomorrow to wipe the house clean top to bottom. Dad and I have definitely been cleaning up around the house, but "clean" means different things to different people. Thank God for Nanny! She's been the rock of our family throughout this whole ordeal and I do how we'd be where we are now without her.
I'm going to try and make some improvements to the site over the next few days (with the help of some Computer-literate family members) so be sure to visit frequently!


Chemotherapy: Day 1

Mom went in at around 6:30am to start preparations for her first Chemotherapy treatments. For those of you who don't really know what chemo is I'd suggest checking out this website. http://www.chemotherapy.com/treating_with_chemo/treating_with_chemo.jsp But a quick definition would be "a series of treatments where chemical agents are administered systematically to stop cancer cells from growing. In mom's case, she's receiving her chemo through an I.V. There are many different types of chemo that are available to treat many different types of tumors and cancer. Given the fact that mom's tumor isn't found as often as other tumors, her chemo will be somewhat more aggressive so that they shrink every last bit that's still inside.

When I left the hospital at around 7pm tonight mom was her normal self. Well... that's not entirely true. She actually didn't threaten to call security on Dad today, but that's a different story! But she was feeling as healthy as ever and kept telling us that she was going to get through it no matter what. And I think THAT attitude is going to make all the difference. The doctors told us from the beginning that beating this cancer may be extremely difficult. That might be true, but the bottom line is that everyone is different and mom is living proof already that if you stay positive and you keep fighting, you can do anything!

**I added a new link to the "Ovarian Cancer Links" entry, but you can check it out by clicking here ---> http://pathology2.jhu.edu/ovca/personal.cfm

1 day of chemo down, 3 more to go!


Mom's new "do"

J.Lo's new look!

One of mom's good friends who recently went through chemo gave her great advice to start cutting her hair shorter to start getting used to having less hair before she has to lose it all. Oh and while we are on the topic of hair, she just purchased her wig which is almost a dead match for her old haircut. She's gonna be the best looking baldy on the block!