[saymaListserv] Fwd: women's health - Please hold Minga Claggett Bourne In the Light of the Holy Spirit

Janet Minshall jhminshall at comcast.net
Mon Oct 31 13:01:10 JEST 2005

Dear Friends, If you are a woman, or there are women who are 
important to you, please read and pass on the urgent message below 
from Friend Minga Claggett Bourne of Cambridge MM near Boston.  Many 
of you may know Minga from the FGC Gathering or the FGC Women's 
Center which was a very important part of FGC from about 1980 until 
the Women's Center was closed a year or two ago due to lack of anyone 
who was able to Clerk it.

I deeply mourn the loss of the Women's Center.  I do not wish to have 
to mourn the loss of Minga as well.  Please hold her in the Light of 
the Holy Spirit in your Meetings and worship groups.   Janet Minshall

From: MingaBorne at aol.com
Date: Sun, 30 Oct 2005 22:38:48 EST
Subject:  women's health

Years ago, Gilda Radner died of ovarian cancer. Her symptoms were 
inconclusive, and she was treated for everything under the sun until 
it was too late. This blood test finally identified her illness but 
alas, too late. She wrote a book to heighten awareness. Gene Wilder 
is her widower. KATHY'S STORY: this is the story of Kathy West

As all of you know, I have Primary Peritoneal Cancer. This cancer has 
only recently been identified as its OWN type of cancer, but it is 
essentially Ovarian Cancer.

Both types of cancer are diagnosed in the same way, with the "tumor 
marker" CA-125 BLOOD TEST, and they are treated in the same way - 
surgery to remove the primary tumor and then chemotherapy with Taxol 
and Carboplatin.

Having gone through this ordeal, I want to save others from the same 
fate. That is why I am sending this message to you and hope you will 
print it and give it or send it via E-mail to everybody you know.

One thing I have learned is that each of us must take TOTAL 
responsibility for our own health care. I thought I had done that 
because I always had an annual physical and PAP smear, did a monthly 
Self-Breast Exam, went to the dentist at least twice a year, etc. I 
even insisted on a sigmoidoscopy and a bone density test last year. 
When I had a total hysterectomy in
1993, I thought that I did not have to worry about getting any of the 
female reproductive organ cancers.

LITTLE DID I KNOW. I don't have ovaries (and they were HEALTHY when 
they were removed), but I have what is essentially ovarian cancer. 
Strange, isn't it?

These are just SOME of the things our Doctors never tell us: ONE out 
of every 55 women will get OVARIAN or PRIMARY PERITONEAL CANCER.The 
"CLASSIC" symptoms are an ABDOMEN that rather SUDDENLY ENLARGES and 

I had these classic symptoms and went to the doctor. Because these 
symptoms seemed to be "abdominal", I went to a gastroenterologist. He 
ran tests that were designed to determine whether there was a 
bacteria infection; these tests were negative, and I was diagnosed 
with "Irritable Bowel Syndrome". I guess I would have accepted this 
diagnosis had it not been for my enlarged abdomen. I swear to you, it 
looked like I was 4-5 months pregnant! I therefore insisted on more 

They took an X-ray of my abdomen; it was negative. I was again 
assured that I had Irritable Bowel Syndrome and was encouraged to go 
on my scheduled month-long trip to Europe. I couldn't wear any of my 
slacks or shorts because I couldn't get them buttoned, and I KNEW 
something was radically wrong. I INSISTED on more tests, and they 
reluctantly) scheduled me for a CT-Scan (just to shut me up, I 
think). This is what I mean by "taking charge of our own health care."

The CT-Scan showed a lot of fluid in my abdomen (NOT normal). 
Needless to say, I had to cancel my trip and have FIVE POUNDS of 
fluid removed, but NOTHING compared to what was ahead of me).

Tests revealed cancer cells in the fluid. Finally, finally, finally, 
the doctor ran a CA-125 blood test, and I was properly diagnosed.

CA-125 BLOOD TEST HAD NEVER BEEN RUN ON ME, not as part of my annual 
physical exam and not when I was symptomatic. This Is an inexpensive 
and simple blood test!

EXAMS. Be forewarned that their doctors might try to talk them out of 
it, saying, IT ISN'T NECESSARY." Believe me, had I known then what I 
know now, we would have caught my cancer much earlier (before it was 
a stage 3 cancer). Insist on the CA-125 BLOOD TEST; DO NOT take "NO" 
for an answer!

The normal range for a CA-125 BLOOD TEST is between zero and 35. MINE 
WAS 754. (That's right, 754!). If the number is slightly above 35, 
you can have another done in three or six months and keep a close eye 
on it, just as women do when they have fibroid tumors or when men 
have a slightly elevated PSA test (Prostatic Specific Antigens) that 
helps diagnose prostate cancer.

Having the CA-125 test done annually can alert you early, and that's 
the goal in diagnosing any type of cancer - catching it early.

Do you know 55 women? If so, at least one of them will have this VERY 
AGGRESSIVE cancer. Please, go to your doctor and insist on a CA-125 
test and have one EVERY YEAR for the rest of your life.

And forward this message to every woman you know, and tell all of 
your female family members and friends. Though the median age for 
this cancer is 56, (and, guess what, I'm exactly 56), women as young 
as 22 have it. Age is no factor.


Well, after reading this, I made some calls. I found that the CA-125 
test is an ovarian screening test equivalent to a man's PSA test 
prostate screen (which my husband's doctor automatically gives him in 
his physical each year and insurance pays for it). I called the 
general practitioner's office about having the test done. The nurse 
had never heard of it. She told me that she doubted that insurance 
would pay for it. So I called Prudential Insurance Co., and got the 
same response. Never heard of it - it won't be covered.

I explained that it was the same as the PSA test they had paid for my 
husband for years. After conferring with whomever they confer with, 
she told me that the CA-125 would be covered. It is $75 in a GP's 
office and $125 at the GYN's. This is a screening test that should be 
required just like a PAP smear (a PAP smear cannot detect problems 
with your ovaries). And you must insist that your insurance company 
pay for it.

Gene Wilder and Pierce Brosnan (his wife had it, too) are lobbying 
for women's health issues, saying that this test should be required 
in our physicals, just like the PAP and the mammogram.



You cannot buy the revolution. You cannot make the revolution. You 
can only be the revolution. It is in your spirit or it is nowhere. 
Ursula LeGuin
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