Libby's H*O*P*E*

*Helping*Ovarian Cancer Survivors*Persevere Through*Education

About

 

Libby Remick (1982 - 2008) "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there" -- Isla Paschal Richardson

Libby Remick (1982 - 2008) "Grieve not, nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk of me as if I were beside you there" -- Isla Paschal Richardson

On December 26, 2007, I received a telephone call at 6:00 A.M. It was the kind of call that nobody ever wants to receive. I was informed by a family relative that Libby, my 25 year old cousin, was diagnosed with an ovarian cancer recurrence. My relative requested my assistance because she was aware that I helped my mother from 2002 to date with her fight against Stage IV breast cancer — a particularly aggressive form referred to as “HER-2.” I am happy to say that my mom is currently in a state known as “no evidence of disease” or “NED,” which is loosely referred to as “remission.” A “monoclonal antibody targeted therapy” known as “Herceptin” saved her life — a novel therapy discovered through family on-line research.

In December 2007, I began to assist Libby and her husband Steve in developing a treatment “roadmap” to battle her ovarian cancer recurrence. Libby’s ovarian cancer is an aggressive form known as “clear cell carcinoma (CCC).” As the body of medical and educational research that I used to assist Libby and Steve grew, we agreed collectively that such research could help other women in their fight against ovarian cancer. I guess you could say that in the midst of this extremely emotional, life-threatening situation, we chose hope. On July 28, 2008, Libby lost her fight against ovarian cancer and left behind her husband Steve, her mother Kathy, her father Dennis, and her sister Sara. Libby’s courage and grace throughout her battle with ovarian cancer represents a shining role model, not only within our family, but to all women fighting this disease.

The current day paradigm “information is power” was created by Sir Francis Bacon in the 16th century. Actually, the famous latin maxim penned by Bacon was “scientia potentia est” — meaning, “for also knowledge itself is power.” The Book of Proverbs contained in the Old Testament of the Bible reveals similar thinking in the following verse: “a wise man is strong; yes, a man of knowledge increases strength.” Proverbs 24:5 (American King James Version). Regardless of its origin, the paradigm suggests that knowledge and education increases the life potential of an individual. This weblog, appropriately captioned “Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ (*Helping *Ovarian Cancer Survivors *Persevere Through *Education™),” is intended to empower all women fighting ovarian cancer with knowledge obtained through a variety of on-line medical and educational resources. It is critical to note that Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ should not be used as a substitute for seeking appropriate medical advice from a board-certified gynecological oncologist. Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ is solely intended to empower you prior to your consultations with appropriate licensed medical professionals throughout treatment.

Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ provides current ovarian cancer medical news and developments, as well as stories of interest obtained from 75 different medical and general news feeds.  Significant ovarian cancer news and medical developments are posted to the Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ Twitter, Google Shared Reader, and Friendfeed accounts. Twitter and Google Shared Reader ovarian cancer developments also appear on the weblog homepage left sidebar. Select ovarian cancer news and developments are addressed in more detail through weekly Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ postings.  Periodically, Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ postings will feature and honor an inspirational ovarian cancer survivor or cancer advocate through a “Vox Populi” (meaning “voice of the people”) feature.  The ovarian cancer topic tabs located at the top of the Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ homepage provide you with hyperlinks to detailed on-line medical and educational resources.  Over 200 ovarian cancer and cancer-related videos are posted in our Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ Vodpod.com account, and the five most recent videos appear on the homepage right sidebar. The most recent ovarian cancer clinical trials published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) are posted on the homepage right sidebar under “New Ovarian Cancer Clinical Trials.

The weblog is currently a work in progress and the content will grow and develop through time.  Please feel free to leave comments with respect to any Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ post by clicking on the blue highlighted post title or the “Comments”/”No Comments” phrase located at the bottom of each post.

To support Libby’s H*O*P*E*™, you can join our Facebook “cause” page. All donations made to the Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ Facebook cause are designated for the benefit of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF). OCRF is one of the largest U.S. private, non-profit organizations dedicated to finding an early detection test, and ultimately a cure, for ovarian cancer.  Facebook members and non-Facebook members can donate to OCRF through the Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ Facebook donation page.

If you are unable to donate, you can nevertheless support OCRF  for free by clicking on our OCRF “SocialVibe” widget that appears on the homepage right sidebar. For each reader that clicks on the OCRF SocialVibe widget, and watches the video presented and/or answers the question(s) listed, our current SocialVibe sponsor will donate money to OCRF for ovarian cancer research. It’s fast & it’s free!

libbyspic

Libby’s H*O*P*E*™ is dedicated to my cousin Elizabeth Kay Remick, who courageously “fought the good fight” to the end.  As noted by the author/artist Mary Anne Radmacher, “Courage doesn’t always roar.  Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” If you are reading Libby’s H*O*P*E*™, it is likely that you are directly or indirectly affected by ovarian cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with all survivors, their families and friends, as they persevere in their fight against ovarian cancer.

The National Cancer Institute defines “survivorship” in part as “… the physical, psychosocial, and economic issues of cancer, from diagnosis until the end of life.”  With the thought that a “picture is worth a thousand words,” I provide a video below that is entitled “Song For Breast Cancer.” Despite the reference to breast cancer in the song’s title, the video was created by Stuart Knight to inspire all women who are affected by cancer to survive and thrive.

17 Responses to “About”

  1. [...] who is also a crusader of ovarian cancer awareness. I was brought to tears reading his website, http://www.healthinfoispower.wordpress.com, and about Libby’s H*O*P*E. I thought you may be [...]

  2. Veronica Cristovao said

    Paul, you have created a great website! Libby would be very proud of you and how you are helping & educating family,friends and people who
    have been affected from these horrible diseases. Keep up the great work and thanks for the mention of Mrs Australia Quest in support of Ovarian Cancer.
    Take Care.

    • Dear Veronica,

      Thank you so much for stopping by the website and for the kind words. Win, lose or draw with respect to the 2011 Mrs. Australia Quest competition in June, you will always be a winner in our book.

      For the benefit of our readers, Veronica Cristovao is a finalist in the 2011 Mrs. Australia Quest competition, which supports Ovarian Cancer Australia in promoting ovarian cancer awareness. With the motto “beautiful awareness”, the Mrs Australia Quest not only raises money for ovarian cancer, but also raises the profile of the disease by creating ambassadors of young wives in Australia. It was this that motivated Veronica to take part in the 2011 competition. After experiencing the effects of cancer so close to home, Veronica knows all too well the importance of awareness.

      In a recent Australian publication, Veronica said: “Cancer is a horrible disease. I feel so fortunate that I am happy and healthy, I want to take this opportunity to give something back.” Family comes first for Veronica, and educating her young children is another motivator for this mother of two. “I want my children to understand how important it is to help people in need. I want them to know just how lucky we are.”

      In the Mrs Australian Quest final, in June 2011, Veronica will compete with six other wives for the opportunity to represent Australia at an international level. Winning will give Veronica the platform she needs to raise awareness about the devastating effects of ovarian cancer. Veronica has already taken it upon herself to campaign for early detection. Her hard work has already resulted in 6,152 online votes for the Quest competition.

      If you would like to vote for Veronica while raising money for ovarian cancer awareness, go to http://www.lte.com.au/mrsworld/finalists.asp.

      Veronica, we wish you the best of luck not only with the competition, but with your ongoing ovarian cancer awareness campaign.

      Best wishes, Paul

  3. regina said

    Hi, just wanted to let you know that I am putting your blog as a link on mine under the ovarian cancer resource page as you have loads of info that can be useful to people. My sister died in May of 2007 from this terrible disease, it struck swiftly and silently and living in a country with limited medical resources did not help the situation. Thank you for what you are doing, if only I could have known what I do now when my sister was first diagnosed. Regina

    • Hi Regina,

      Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear about Vikki’s story which, in many ways, bears similarities to Libby’s story. You are doing the right thing by making Vikki’s story public, thereby raising awareness about ovarian cancer. Although you reside outside the United States, I can assure you that missed symptoms (by patient and doctor) and delayed diagnosis are common around the world, regardless of the health system involved. That is why wide spread involvement in the ovarian cancer awareness movement is critical — even if just within an individual’s own family.

      I want to thank you for adding Libby’s H*O*P*E*(tm) to the ovarian cancer resources listed on your website. I have added your website (My Immortal Sister) hyperlink to our homepage right sidebar. In the future, please feel free to stop by and comment whenever you wish. I will try to do the same on your website.

      Regina, I hope your writing will aid in your healing process. I have no doubt that Vikki is watching over you and Gabby as she promised prior to her death. I also know that she is very pleased with your efforts to raise ovarian cancer awareness. I look forward to reading your future posts. The current posts are informative, poignant and heartfelt.

      Best, Paul

  4. Michelle said

    Paul, Thank you so much for this very informative and helpful site. What I love about your site is the RSS feeds that are so positive and full of hope and the fact that there are so many articles. I look forward to reading them on Twitter on the weekends. Thanks for making such a difference in so many people’s lives. I have found many, many gems here that are helpful to ask the doctor about regarding my husband’s colorectal cancer here in Canada. You are helping cancer warriors, survivors and caregivers of all kinds of cancer all over the world. Thank you for continuing this fight in memory of Libby.
    Michelle

    • Michelle, as always, thank you for the kind words. We try to balance the information provided on the website so as to include relevant medical, legal, legislative, bioresearch, drug development and, most importantly, inspirational news. I would like to think that Libby is looking down upon our endeavors with a smile on her face. Please let your husband and mom-in-law know that they are in our thoughts and prayers. Keep the faith and continue the fight! As a caregiver, remember that you must take care of yourself first, before you assist others. Your family is quite fortunate to have such an intelligent patient advocate at their side. You have performed some great medical “due diligence” work on their behalf … keep it going! Please do not hesitate to contact us through the website should you require future assistance.

      Best,

      Paul

  5. [...] H*O*P*E* ™ first collected Added 21 Feb 09 from healthinfoispower.wordpress… Flag as inappropriate or [...]

  6. Hi Paul,
    And thank you back for your kind words in regard to MedWorm! You may be interested in the MedWorm Cancer news feeds that I have just expanded, having received some inspiration for new categories following links from your site, and also the Cancer Blogs and Cancer Publications directories, which I have also added to from your links.
    I’d also like to say how admirable it is to see you continue your campaign against Ovarian Cancer even after Libby’s passing, I imagine that a lot of people would have lost their motivation to continue by now.
    If you ever need any help with your site or perhaps some RSS feeds put together for specific cancer topics, feel free to drop me an email at any time.
    All the best, Frankie

  7. Paul said

    Frankie,

    Thank you for the kind words in regard to Libby’s passing. Keep up the great work with MedWorm! Our readers should view the “About” description on your website … it is quite visionary in regard to how the internet and RSS feeds will change healthcare from a clinician and patient perspective. Your IT work on the MedWorm website is excellent.

    Best, Paul

  8. I was pleased to see you using the MedWorm Ovarian Cancer RSS feed here.
    This is a great site you have set up that I am sure will be of use to many people (including myself – I came across some good RSS feeds to add to MedWorm via your links).
    So sorry to hear about Libby.
    Warm regards,
    Frankie
    (MedWorm Creator)

  9. Paul said

    Kimchi,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your battle against clear cell ovarian cancer. Please be aware that we recently incorporated clear cell ovarian cancer medical references on the “Types of Ovarian Cancer” page. That page can be accessed by clicking on the “Types of Ovarian Cancer” tab located at the top of the homepage. If there is anything more that we can do, please let us know. Best, Paul

  10. Paul said

    Doug,

    On behalf of Libby’s family, I thank you for the comforting words. Also, I want to thank you for linking Libby’s H*O*P*E* on your Carin’ For Karen weblog. Please let Karen know that our thoughts and prayers are with her as well as your entire family. In response to your comment, Libby’s H*O*P*E* will “finish the race.” Best, Paul

  11. Kimchi said

    Have been following Libby’s story since I found out I have same kind of cancer and I am so sorry to hear about Libby leaving us. She was very lucky to have you and Steve to help her through her ordeal and I just wanted to thank you both for giving me so much support in my battle as well.

  12. Doug Baker said

    Paul,
    I am so sorry for your loss…I know that Libby was very close to you …you can tell by the passion and time you have invested in this site…our prayers will be with Libby’s family and you Paul…finish the race…you work is valuable..

    God’s will…nothing more…nothing less..nothing else

    In Christ….Doug Baker

  13. Debra said

    Paul, this blog is very informative and loaded with great information. Thank you so much for your help.

  14. Steve said

    Thank you!

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