Saturday, February 23, 2008

Research~ Women's Health and Rodeo

The two things are unrelated, except in my book- LOL But first-

Thursday I got about 1500 wds. written. Friday I only got 330...but I was doing research, which is also part of the job. I used to think of it as procrastination, but not anymore.

My hero is a widower with a broken heart...his 1st wife died and I needed to find a cause of death, female related. Since this novel is contemporary, I knew it would be better to be more specific about what she died of, the symptoms and so forth, so I searched and searched female forms of cancer online and though I know I need to do some more research on it, I decided she had been diagnosed, too late, with ovarian cancer that had metastasized and spread to other organs, meaning even treatment and chemo would have some, but not enough effect on the outcome.

From my research, it is more common in women over 50, but it can affect younger women as well. According to NOCC- National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, it is the 5th leading cause of cancer-related deaths in women 35-74. It's most often hard to detect early on because it can't be found through a typical Pap Smear. Other tests/examinations are available that can possibly detect it.

Something about the description touched me because they say it's not whispers, so listen.

A lot of the symptoms can be associated with other things- examples-

Pelvic or abdominal pain or discomfort
Vague but persistent gastrointestinal upsets such as gas, nausea, and indigestion
Frequency and/or urgency of urination in the absence of an infection
Unexplained weight gain or weight loss
Pelvic and/or abdominal swelling, bloating and/or feeling of fullness
Ongoing unusual fatigue
Unexplained changes in bowel habits

I'm sure most women experience these symptoms from time to time anyway, and that doesn't mean they have OC because some of these things could simply be associated with other things like bad eating habits or diet and you should consult a doctor if you have symptoms like these, but as a woman, it's given me cause to think about it a bit more and the next time I have my annual, I'm going to ask my doctor about it, especially since one of my great-grandmothers died of something related to her female organs, though what is a mystery because back in the day, it wasn't "talked" about, so none of us women in the family know exactly what we might possibly be predisposed to.

I'm not a spokesperson for NOCC, but here is a link to their website if anyone is interested in learning more-
Another thing that kept me from writing much yesterday was my research to find information for the hero's background of being a rodeo rider as well. He'd been off the circuit for a while, but as a last ditch effort to make money to save his wife and their farm, he goes back, but gets injured, almost losing his own life. I think I will be ordering a couple of reference books from amazon about rodeo life that I found yesterday.

I told hubby I used to feel bad during the times I did research because I felt it took away from my writing time, but I want to present my novels in an intelligible, knowledgeable way, even about things I may have no experienced with or not know much about. No matter the genre, there are still things that need research.

I did a lot of research about Virginia and life during the late 1700's and early 1800's when I was writing my historical/paranormal romance last year. I'm learning more and more from research, even though it was an annoyance at first because I've never been much of a research gal. The more I write and do research now though, I'm finding interests I never thought about in my younger days. I'm keeping my brain open and actually learning about things I never would have otherwise, if it weren't for research.

Have a wonderful Saturday!!

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