Elisabeth Getrud Dolores Euphemie Childs
born 5 October 1942 in Goseck, Germany
died 7 December 2008 in Lawrenceville, NJ
She lived and died with great courage and she was true to herself through to the end.
This is my mother, Elisabeth Childs. Back in June of 2007, Mom was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer. She had a physically and emotionally exhausting summer and fall of 2007. Following 6 1/2 hour abdominal surgery in June, she has been put through 6 courses of a highly toxic chemotherapy cocktail to kill her cancer cells. The good news: after recovering from the aggressive chemo regimen, mom had 5 months of fun - travelling to Germany for her favorite cousin's 75th birthday celebration, visiting her son's family at their new place in London and our new farm in Oregon. The bad news: ovarian cancer has a high recurrence rate and this year 22,430 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the US and 15,280 will die of the disease. Mom's cancer recurred in October 2008 and after an 8 week struggle, she died. Ovarian cancer is the 7th most common type of cancer diagnosed in women, but it is the 5th leading cause of cancer death. (statistics from the American Cancer Society)
Why? Because more than 80% of ovarian cancer is found only after it is considered advanced. Ovarian cancer is called the silent killer. It makes you think you have digestive problems, a lower back ache or irritable bowel syndrome. By the time the cancer is found, it's an uphill battle to get rid of it. A pap smear does not find ovarian cancer and there is no standardized test available at this time in the medical community. It's basically a process of elimination. To learn more about ovarian cancer, follow the link at the bottom of this page.
I've put this page together to honor my mother's fighting spirit and courage. Mom was a vey strong woman and an amazing grandmother - she was the glue that held our family together. So ladies, if you or any woman you know has lower back pain, abdominal swelling or digestive upset for more than a week, go see your doctor. Tell your doctor you need a CA 125 test and an ultrasound of your abdomen. You might even need a transvaginal ultrasound (doesn't that sound like fun!) But let me tell you, ovarian cancer is no fun at all. And if this web page can save just one woman and her family from the difficult road that my mom and her family have had to travel, then I rejoice.
I LOVE YOU MOM