Snapshots of Life: glimpses of joy as revealed in a journey through breast cancer

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AmazonGlobal Ship Orders Internationally. Amazon Inspire Digital Educational Resources. Amazon Rapids Fun stories for kids on the go. Amazon Restaurants Food delivery from local restaurants. ComiXology Thousands of Digital Comics. East Dane Designer Men's Fashion. I decided to have the surgery. While recovering from the devastating experience, my baby's heart beat dropped very low.

I cried and prayed. I couldn't lose her, not now, not ever. My faith in God and my many prayers is what got me throughout the next several months. My beautiful angel was born by C-section at full term. She is now 5 years old, healthy, happy and so very special to me. My dear daughter and I have a bond that I could never explain to anyone. I risked her life to save mine and I must always remember how much I prayed for her.

I believe in my heart she was and still is my guardian angel. If I wasn't pregnant with her, I would never have known about having cancer and maybe it would have been too late. My daughter is a gift from God and each day I thank Him for my beautiful child and for my treasured life. Each day is a gift, a true gift from God. I am 13 years old. I have a sister who is 16 and my dad. My mother just passed away of ovarian cancer. She survived for two years.

They say it is the best cancer care anywhere. Well I think it was because the doctors at the hospital gave her two more years to live. And I am very grateful for that. It was very hard leaving school to go to the hospital every so often. All I tried to do in life was to please her but it was pretty hard when she was on antibiotics and all these medicines that made her drowsy. The last few days of her life I did not go to school. I was in the hospital with my mother. She had her eyes rolled in the back of her head, Breathing heavily, and she looked very scary. It was hard to believe that she was actually my mother.

That's not a lot but if that's all I get that's good enough. We learned about her dying two days before she did go. At the age of 21 I had to have a hysterectomy in In they had to go and get both ovaries. Well in I started having pain againg so my husband rushed me to emergency room because I could not walk. They did xrays and an ultrasound to find out my right ovary had grown back this can't be we thought the doctor just didn't take it out.

So I had to have surgery to remove that one and I was feeling fine for about a year. In I started having the very same pains would not go to the doctor this time until I was unable to walk again. We went to the doctor and was told my right ovary was back I was sent to a specialist where I had to have another surgery that year. Well it's been two years today since my last surgery but I've always been in pain and I know the ovary was removed I was in surgery 8 hours.

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But I'm very upset because my left ovary is back now and all doctor are refusing to help me every doctor is trying to put me off on the next. No one is thinking about the pain I'm in how I'm unable to have a normal life with my family because the doctors keep me on strong meds that keep me sleepy. I'm looking for someone who has or had this same problem. The doctors say that it is normal but they can never tell me of another case that they have treated.

I just would like some information on how we can keep this from coming back again if it's removed this year. Please anyone that can help email me at angeb34 hotmail. I am thanking you in advance. Angela and Felicia's Mom Hi my name is Angela. And I would like to share my story. My mom was diagnosed with OVCA last year It just all happend at once. We were preparing to go to our family reunion and my mom became very ill.

She was vomiting and she had a bad case of diarrhea so she was taken to the doctor. The doctor stated that her uterus wall had fallen and he need to pull it up. Upon going to the hopital, she was still nauseated and feeling extremely bad.

Cancer Survivor Story - Denille - Stage 4 Triple Negative Breast Cancer

Then the doctor said she had the signs of gallstones. A test was ran and sure enough she did need the gallstone surgery. The surgery was done and very successful. They removed gallstones and the gall bladder. Upon removing the stones and bladder the doctor notice a lot of water. They removed about 2 pints of water from her adominal. The doctor then had the water tested, which showed positive for OVCA. My mom was 72 years old at the time. As I write this now, my mom is in the hospital and has been there for almost 3 weeks.

The chemo that she was on for the first year her body started rejecting it. She was later put on Doxil. This chemo was too strong for her and her body was not able to handle it. While doing Doxil my mom became very dehydrated and nauseated. She could not hold anything down. Her doctor recommend that she be put in the hopital so he can run test to find out what was going on. Several test have been ran and he still cannot find out what is causing this.

Right now my mom is hooked up to alot of iv's, she has swollen feet, and she is still continuing her chemo treatments. My mom is a strong woman and she is fighting hard. But through all of this I can truly say God is good. Prayer also changes things. About 2 days ago my mom start back eating just a little at a time but the food is now staying down!!!!

She lost a tremendous amount of weight. Her feet are still swollen. She also has to do physical therapy while she is in the hospital. I hope one day they find a cure for this silent killer. This does not only affect the person with the disease but family members as well. I just want to say to everyone who is dealing with this or any other type of cancer. They found cancer cells around her lungs in the fluid, and she looks like she is about 9 months pregnant. The doctors all have a positive attitude, but I'm still not sure how she's going to do. She just had a bypass surgery on her heart October of last year 05 because of shortness of breath She is 49 years old and has been through chemotherapy once in for breast cancer.

She's a survivor of 11 years for that. A very strong and religious mother of four wonderful children and four grandchildren, newest is now 10 months old. With her first treatment being last week she's very, very tired and suffering from depression and anxiety. I'm really worried about her and I know all there is to do is to be very supportive and to pray very hard. They are going to give her 6 chemo treatments first one every three weeks , then check the tumor s and then if necessary debulk or resume 6 more treatments. She's had so much abdominal ascites; they say surgery would be nearly impossible at this point anyhow.

Chemotherapy should dry some of it up. If anyone has had similiar stories I really want to hear about them. I would like to know things to expect and also someone to relate to. Please E-mail me at angie yahoo. Thank You, Angela B. Anita Choudhary My wife Anita initially diagnosed a case of ovarian cyst and further investigation clarified it ovarian tumor in Sep First six cycles of chemotherapy shown a lot of improvement.

But it re-occurred after three months. Again six cycles of chemotherapy were administered and transplantation of chemo pot was also done as the nerves of my wife grew weaker. This time again lot of improvement seen. But the decease re-appeared again and this time with metastasis stage. Doctors again recommeded six cycles of chemotherapy. First 12 cycles of chemotherapy were tolerated by her well and thereafter she suffered lot post chemotherapy problems like sever body pain, vomiting, fever, loose motion etc.

However, this bold lady faced all the troubles with great courage and bravery. She died after two days of 18th cycle of chemotherapy. One day before her death, two very big boils with untolerable sever pain appear on her buttock and one boil appeared on her forehead a couple of hours before she died. Again six cycles of chemotherapy were administered on her with radiotherapy for 21 days and the result was the same This time again chemotherapy was given for six times which again brought down the AFP level below After 18th cycle of chemotherapy between 23 Sep 07 to 25 Sep 07, she died on 01 Oct I appreciate the way she fought the disease for almost two years.

Despite knowing the fact of her end, she always motivated the inmates while in hospital. Ann Cassidy My mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on September 17, after going to the hospital with severe abdominal pain. We were told by her physician that her condition was serious and that we should consider treatment at a different facility. My mom had an extremely high tolerance for pain she had 7 kids without any type of pain medication. She was always afraid of being over medicated and not lucid. I want people to know that it is so important to be at a facility whose sole purpose is treatment of cancer patients.

After arriving at Sloan Kettering we felt a glimmer of hope that she would be with us for a few years at the very least. On September 25, we were told that her cancer was inoperable at this time and that chemotherapy was her best bet. My mom was a slender woman except for her mid-section which she blamed on having so many kids and we believed her. I believe that you can will your mind to do certain things and my mom wanted to see her baby get married in July After a few days at Sloan her condition seemed to improve and then just like that she was declining rapidly.

She was never alone and time seemed to be moving slowly; I never knew what day it was I just wanted to be there. On October 15, we received the news that she would not be able to handle any type of chemo treatment and that she could go home or to a hospice. She came home on October 20, and amazingly we were able to take care of her. All our lives were on hold nothing seemed to matter except to be with her and comfort her to the best of our abilities. On the night she died her children, grandchildren, her sister and my dad were at the house.

The grandchildren she adored came in to see her; they loved her so much. My mom died on October 25, at home with her family. Thirty-nine days 39 and she was gone. My mom did go to regular checkups with all kinds of doctors except she had not gone for a gynecologist visit since This is an account of my wife's treatment for recurring ovarian cancer.

Her cancer treatment varied tremendously depending on which hospital she attended and the type of treatments given at our local hospital were responsible for her final tumor recurrences and her depressed quality of life in her last years. When she first got ovarian cancer in , it was treated in San Diego, post-operatively with Chlorambucil. This is one of the slowest acting and least toxic of the oral drugs, which allows the immune system to regenerate during the process. The cancer recurred in on her diaphragm and was removed at the Fox Chase Cancer Center.

It is commonplace to give the same treatment to a recurrence as was given for the original tumor s. However, our hometown hospital in Pennsylvania gave her a 'hard and fast' drug combination of Taxol and Carboplatin. This suppresses the immune system, which can allow tumors to grow and can weaken the blood-brain barrier, potentially inviting cancer cells into the central nervous system. Sure enough, the cancer turned up in her cerebellum in , and was removed at the Hershey Medical Center.

Our local home town hospital then treated her with Whole Brain Radiation. My wife was Hershey suggested treatment with focal radiation to the local tumor bed. Scans to check for a possible spinal tumor were also suggested but never fully carried out. In , three tumors were found on her spine and were eradicated. In the end, my wife died of the effects of Taxol and Carboplatin, which may have caused the cerebellum tumors, and the terrible effects of Whole Brain Radiation, which further scans revealed had caused extensive damage to her brain.

In , my wife had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, when she presented with a left DVT deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism at a hospital in San Diego, CA. DVT is not uncommon in patients with ovarian cancer it may be a presenting sign. Workup which was triggered by this presentation revealed that she did have an ovarian carcinoma for which she was cured with total abdominal hysterectomy and Chlorambucil Leukeren treatment. This postoperative chemotherapy drug was among the slowest acting and least toxic of the alkylating agents well tolerated oral-dose drugs.

By giving chemotherapy more often, at lower doses, it can prevent the regrowth of blood vessels that feed tumors. Depression of the immune system is slow and reversible, allowing it to regenerate and contribute to healing. A malfunctioning immune system can fail to stop the growth of cancer cells. When caught at this earliest stage, ovarian cancer has a good prognosis. She went twenty-four years before experiencing any recurrent ovarian cancer. During the early 90's in Reading, Pa. This is supposed to be the most certain way of diagnosing ovarian cancer and assessing the extent of cancer spread metastasis.

For the most part, her group of oncologists relied almost entirely on the CA tumor marker a blood test done to assess the amount of an antibody that recognizes an antigen in ovarian tumor cells. The rate of "false positives" makes it inadequate for use "by itself" for screening of high-risk patients. It should be supplemented with transvaginal ultrasonography and a rectovaginal pelvic exam all done at the same time.

Metastatic Recurrence and Treatment: It was our family doctor that found her first metastatic recurrence to her diaphragm in not the medical oncologists at our local home town hospital. She was having dry coughing spells at first but then she began having a mucus discharge, which eventually was bloody. A chest xray and Cat Scan had shown a lesion inside her diaphragm. That recurrent ovarian cancer was surgically excised at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

It was a metastatic transdiaphragmatic tumor from the original ovarian cancer , with attachment to the lung and other midline structures of the chest. Parts of those structures were surgically resected the diaphragm is a common site for ovarian metastatic recurrence. It is very rare for ovarian cancer cells to metastisize to the CNS. In fact, up until there have been only 67 well documented cases in medical literature. A multi-institutional study of ovarian cancer patients over 30 years identified only 32 cases while an autopsy study of ovarian cancer reported an incidence of 0.

The surgeon at Fox Chase did not feel that further treatment with chemotherapy was indicated. However, the ideas of our local home town Medical Oncologists were different from the Thoracic Surgical Oncologist who excised the tumor from her diaphragm. My wife received postoperative chemotherapy by these medical oncologists, seven months after having that metastatic tumor surgically excised. She did not have any cancer tumor markers indicate any cancer within her system. Some tumors send out microscopic outposts while most do not.

However, medical oncologists cannot tell which ones do, so they want to give chemotherapy in nearly every case. The type of chemotherapy she received was the hit fast, hit hard type combination chemotherapy of Taxol with Carboplatin second-line chemotherapy. It is usually given in big doses, with breaks of several weeks between doses to let the body try to recover or else it can kill a patient. Patients who develop recurrent ovarian cancer more than 6 months after first-line chemotherapy in my wife's case, 24 years , can experience another remission following treatment with the identical first-line chemotherapy that was previously used in her case, Chlorambucil.

It has not been shown that platinum-based combination therapy is superior to single agent alkylator therapy. No substantial benefit has been found in giving ovarian cancer patients second-line chemotherapy. Clinicians have found that the toxic effects of this treatment can cause a lower quality of life for these patients.

In recent years the incidence of central nervous system CNS metastasis has increased. A NCI observational study in reported experience in their clinic where recurrent systemic disease occurred in all patients for which they received dose intense paclitaxel Taxol therapy. Brain metastasis was the only site of disease recurrence, presenting with headache, dizziness, unsteady gait, nausea and vomiting.

It was our family doctor that found her second metastatic recurrence to her cerebellum in not the medical oncologists at our local home town hospital. She was presenting with headache, dizziness, unsteady gait, nausea and vomiting. The tumor was excised from her brain by a Neurosurgeon at Hershey Medical Center. Histologic features were consistent with metastatic papillary adenocarcinoma with extensive necrosis from the ovary. The treatment protocol recommended for brain metastases of large solitary tumors exceeding 2cm in diameter is surgical resection followed by 5 fractions of local radiation to the tumor bed.

At the same time, she should receive an MRI of the spine because of suspicions of either another tumor, on her spine or a herniated disc, causing her leg problems. However, the ideas of our local home town Radiation Oncologist were different from the Neurosurgeon who excised the tumor from her brain. The Radiation Oncologist took it upon himself to give my wife 5 fractions of focal radiation to the local tumor bed, plus 20 fractions of Whole Brain Radiation over a 35 day period. The risk of neurotoxicity from Whole Brain Radiation is not insignificant and this approach is not indicated in all patients with a solitary brain metastases, particularly when platinum drugs lower the tolerance of the CNS to radiation.

Whole Brain Radiation Therapy has been recognized to cause considerable permanent side effects in patients over 60 years of age. My wife was 66 years of age while receiving Whole Brain Radiation Therapy. During radiation treatment, my wife received an Unenhanced MRI to the spine that showed a 1cm lesion. However, a Regular Bone Scan cannot distinguish what a lesion represents and cannot differentiate between a tumor, an infection or a fracture a Triple Phase Bone Scan may occasionally be helpful in determining benign from malignant lesions.

Enhanced contrast agents increase the sensitivity, conspicuity and accuracy of an exam. The agent most commonly used is Gadolinium. An Enhanced MRI was not performed and the Radiation Oncologist told us the lesion was nothing and not to worry about it. He also ignored my complaints about her having seizures during radiation therapy. Nine months later, my wife was admitted to our local home town hospital during the Memorial Day Weekend of , for a week of testing and evaluation for unexplained falls and light-headiness.

After two weeks of failing to find out what was wrong with her, I took her by ambulance to Hershey Medical Center for proper medical treatment. At Hershey Medical Center, we found out by a medical onocologist and a neurologist that she had Leptomeningeal Carcinomatous remember the undiagnose tumor of nine months prior, not further evaluated?

An Enhanced MRI showed now three 3 metastatic tumors on her spine. Spinal metastases can grow into adjacent structures, such as into the meninges from the spine. The largest of these tumors grew into the meninges on the spine into the spinal fluid, hence Leptomeningeal Carcinomatous.

This was confirmed by a spinal tap. With the damage already done to her by our local home town hospital, the doctors at Hershey Medical in order to save her life or at least give her some time had to administer Intrathecal Methotrexate along with systemic radiation to the spine Admitted June 19, When both therapies are performed at the same time it doubles the theraputic dosages of each therapy increasing the neuro-toxic effects on the brain. However, the cancer cells were eradicated completely from her central nervous system by this protocol.

Ever since the second spinal tap at Hershey when methotrexate was already being administered , all of her spinal taps were negative for 10 consecutive times up until January 14, Adverse Side Effects of Treatments: My first experience with the side effects of combination chemotherapy and whole brain radiation was when she was at Hershey Medical Center in The doctors showed me the Enhanced Brain MRI from her previous year's cerebellum excision and the one done in The scans showed the progressive deteriation of her white matter white matter disease.

These reactions are due to changes in the white matter and death of brain tissue caused by radiation-damaged blood vessels. This clinical syndrome generally occurs 6 months to 2 years after radiation therapy. Symptoms include decreased intellect, memory impairment, confusion, personality changes and alteration of the normal function of the area irradiated all symptoms my wife had over the past year.

Radiation Necrosis can be fatal! It causes pathological changes that impair vascular integrity. Delayed radiation injuries result in increased tissue pressure from edema, vascular injury leading to infarction stroke , damage to endothelial cells and fibrinoid necrosis of small arteries and arterioles. My wife suffered a stroke to the left basal ganlia area of the brain in January , confirmed by an enhanced MRI.

My wife had developed necrotizing leukoencephalopathy a form of diffuse white matter injury that can follow combination chemotherapy , confirmed by an enhanced MRI in July of at Hershey. The white matter is the covering of the nerves within the brain. Its function is to speed up the passage of impulses along the nerves. Necrosis is simply a cell dying, all of its coordinated activities going wrong and things shut down.

If a cell gets too much heat or is poisoned by a toxic substance or exposed to chemicals that damage its proteins and membraines or radiation that breaks its DNA molecules, that cell can just stop functioning. An EEG showed generalized diffuse slowing that was significant with global encephalopathy. It is most commonly seen in toxic metabolic and degenerative conditions.

There appeared to be a real amount of focal right sided slowing which would indicate cortical dysfunction on that side. Her MRI's showed the ventricles overall were prominent and there was widening of the sulci consistent with cerebral atrophy wasting away of brain cells and tissues. There was diffuse, abnormal signal intensity within the periventricular white matter, consistent with post radiation changes.

The signal abnormality within the white matter appeared slightly increased compared to her prior studies. A Pet Scan showed globally decreased radiotracer uptake within the brain, bilaterally, consistent with involutional change and prior radiation therapy. Because of the previous chemo-radiation treatments, a recurrence of the cerebral metastasis was very likely to happen in the future.

Some long-term effects can include development of secondary maligancies the risk is 16 times greater. Resistance to standard chemotherapy regimens of Carboplatin with Taxol ultimately develops in nearly all adenocarcinoma cancer patients mainly because of the late stages of the cancer. It can actually spread the cancerous cells rather than the cancer itself spreading. Since both radiation and chemotherapy suppress the immune system, it is possible that new tumors are allowed to grow because the patient has been rendered unable to resist them.

A person who is cured of cancer by these drastic means may find himself struggling with a new, drug-induced tumor a few years later. Four, mm-sized metastatic tumors were found in and around the previously resected cerebeller tumor and because of my wife's weakened condition, Gamma-Knife would be the only best medical protocol. During the whole time of her admission at the hospital, the doctors kept referring to her continued diffuse white-matter injury brain necrosis , as if she may be too far advanced in that injury to survive much longer.

Minutes before she expired, her temperature was normal, her blood pressure was normal but her pulse was tachycardia. Her heart was racing to keep up with the lack of brain function and finally quit. Carboplatin lowered the tolerance of her Central Nervous System to any radiation treatment. The Whole Brain Radiation resulted in the death of tumor cells and associated reaction in surrounding normal brain.

Such reactions tend to occur more frequently in larger metastatic lesions. Late delayed Radiation Necrosis also known as Radiation Encephalopathy is often irreversible and progressive, leading to severe disability or death all symptoms my wife experienced. Cancer Treatments as Killers: Ann's life was greatly shortened and neurologically deteriorated by the chemo and radiation treatment received at our local home town hospital.

Patients who develop recurrent ovarian cancer more than 6 months after first-line chemotherapy can experience another remission following treatment with the identical first-line chemotherapy that was previously used. Aggressive treatment, like surgical excision of tumor and focal radiation to the local tumor bed, in patients with limited or no systemic disease can yield long-term survival.

In such patients, delayed deleterious side effects of whole brain radiation therapy are particularly tragic and there is no survival benefit or prolonged independence. The patient cannot experience the benefical improvement in quality of life. If more people researched how and why their loved-one died after being treated by orthodox cancer therapies then I believe there would be a movement to have more effective and less toxic treatments available.

Ideally, we would conduct such research before the treatments were administered but we usually don't have the luxury of time to learn what the oncologists are not telling us when it matters most. It is scary when we try to give oncologists the benefits of doing what needs to be done but we have to learn to ask more questions and seek more answers. It seems the medical profession doesn't want to hear about the side effects of treatment for gynological cancer and keeps referring to the lives of women loss this way as "rare".

If it was their lives, they might not call it "rare". Some people would have you believe that because "their" bodies didn't give out after receiving chemotherapy or radiation that these treatments are "o. Cancer patients who die, having undergone toxic treatments which sap their energy and harm their immune systems are heralded as brave souls. Sometimes it is good for the soul to hear what others in similar circumstances have to say. The quality of life must be considered as a major decision point in cancer care.

That element, so long missing in most clinics, hopefully will be brought to the fore expecially in the many cancer clinical trials. I hope that quality of life soon becomes a major outcome issue for all involved in the treatment of patients with cancer. I will continue to be an advocate for my loved ones and help others in their own journeys with cancer. Because of the experience with my wife, I spent three years on cancer research. I've written to over 3, medical professionals and institutions all over the United States and across the globe.

I have all of my wife's medical records to relay first hand experience. I even retained a medical expert a retired surgeon of 25 years at our local home town hospital to concur my findings. I had to learn the how and why, what happened to my wife. There are three main points that I've found out in my three years of cancer research. An understanding of the doctors involved with my wife's medical care at our local home town hospital. An understanding of the lack of uniformed cancer care being practiced here in the United States.

Cancer patients frequently die from their cancer treatments and not from the cancer itself. Cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy almost without exception, will damage some normal tissue and diminish the immune system. Radiation has been known for a long time to both enhance cancer growth and to halt cancer growth. Damaging the immune system in turn is known to foster the growth of some kinds of other cancer. We do not yet have really outstanding treatments for most cancers. Modern medicine in general and cancer treatment in particular, is very imperfect. In the hopes of curing disease or helping patients, the medical profession uses rather drastic treatments for devastating diseases they know will kill someone in a short time.

Many oncologists don't make the families aware enough that these treatments are drastic and can have serious side effects. It takes time for doctors to sit down with patients and truly explain the benefits and the risks of treatment. In an ideal world, patients would consider the benefits and the risks of each treatment and make an informed decision with the guidance of a wise doctor. But, hurried doctors seldom spend much time discussing the benefits and the risks and few patients ever question whether treatment may do more harm than good.

Ann Moore Thirty years ago, I was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of My right breast was removed but no treatment was deemed necessary as there was no lymph node involvement. In those days, they did not know what kind of breast cancer it was. Three months ago, I thought I had the flu and was being treated for bronchitis until my stomach bloated and continued to get worse. Of course I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I will be getting my third dose of chemo taxol on the 20th of December.

I am also seeing a homeopathic person to utilize natural herbs to build up my immune system.

  • Holly Nichols Tabor (Author of Snapshots of Life).
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I am determined to live each day as fully and normally as if this disease does not exist in my life. I do foster care and am a very busy person by choice and I certainly am not done with life yet. She is scheduled to have surgery on Jan 29 at Her tumor is 17cm and grade level of III and the cancer may have already spread to other areas, but they would have to confirm that during or after surgery. It has been very hard for me to deal with this, all I can do is keep praying and hope for the miracle. She is more than a sister to me and I can't bear the thought of losing her.

Please pray for my sister and my family. I'll post another update after next week. Sincerely, Joy Annabel C Heath In August , after fainting several times from loss of blood, I was admitted to a hospital where I had a full hysterectomy done as I was found to have Endometrial adenocarcinoma. It was stage IIIa mixed papillary serous and clear cell carcinoma of the endometrium. I then had 6 weeks of radiation treatment and CA went down to A CT scan picked up 2 cm new cancer on the left side in fatty area just under my left hip bone.

Subsequently had a further operation to remove the serous and clear cell 2 cm cancer and omentum. The oncologist gynecologist surgeon who did the operation could not find any further cancer and was quite hopeful. However, my CA after second operation was This means that the cancer is still there and all my doctors do not recommend any further treatment at this stage until it becomes visible on a CTscan. All my doctors feel that this cancer will kill me as they do not know what, if any, chemotherapy they can try as no scientific studies have been done on this form of cancer.

Can anyone suggest what I should do now? I repeat that even though my cancer is Uterine it is like Ovarian in nature and treated like Ovarian. The radiation treatment had a good effect but I can only have so much radiation without that killing me. I can have further chemotherapy but do not know which one to use. I am praying to God to help me to cure me from this dreadful disease. Annie M I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3 in November I had had about two weeks of bloating and little abdominal pain. I had not felt "good" all year When I was diagnosed I had a CA level of !

I guess they want you to be 30 and below! From the moment I was diagnosed I had no doubt in my ever-loving mind that I would beat this thing. I kept a positive attitude all through everything--I wasn't in denial.. I had a job to do. Even the doctors and nurses said I was different from the average patient. I started my chemo of Taxol; carboplatin and Avastin on clinical trial in early December.

I finished my last session of the multiple drug chemo and my count is down to four. I will now go every three weeks for just the Avastin, for the next year. I don't mind it at all. The third and the sixth chemo sessions really kicked my butt. But I have not had horrible problems I get tired, very tired This is the first time I have visited a cancer site on line.

I didn't want to read bad things on the internet I didn't want to get discouraged. My partner is a nurse and she bore the burden of doing all the research, sorting fact from fiction; reading the stories that didn't have a good ending. It was harder on her and my family and friends than it was on me, I swear.

I feel very fortunate that I am going to make it through this with only minor "glitches" along the way. I feel that having a positive attitude, doing what they tell you to do, making yourself get up and get going as much as you can do really helps. My doctor is amazed, but I am not that shocked by how this ended up--as I said, I knew I was going to beat it I send my good thoughts and vibes to all out there who are fighting this fight.

Keep a smile on your face and think good thoughts I know I am! AnnT On August 13, , my life changed forever. Now I am not a superstitious woman, but August 13 happened to be on a Friday, too. Since early June I had been feeling a sense of heaviness in my pelvic area. Suspecting it was a urinary infection, I debated whether to go to my family doctor or my gynecologist. The gyn's nurse told me up front that they catheterized patients who come in for UTI's, so I decided to go to my family doctor who I knew would just test my urine and write me a prescription.

How I wish I had gone to the gynecologist first - it would have saved me two months of valuable time. By the way, I was catheterized in the hospital and it was no big deal - didn't hurt in the least. My family doctor prescribed medication for me and I did feel some relief. Ten days later the discomfort came back, and another medication was prescribed. No real change this time, so I asked the woman practioner to give me a pelvic exam. She told me she couldn't feel anything, but send me for an ultrasound which confirmed an 11 cm. This didn't alarm me as I'd had a fibroid before and figured I had one again.

The ultrasound report said that it could be either coming from the ovary or the uterus, so an MRI was ordered. I had also had ovarian cysts the kind that have solid components on the ultrasound because I had bled into them which were almost gone by the next ovulation, so I wasn't particularly worried. The MRI results were back on Friday the 13th. I talked to my doctor that morning. She prefaced her report with the sentence, "It could be benign, but I want to get you in with a gyn-onc for an appointment as soon as possible.

At the mention of the words "oncologist" and "ascites" my whole world changed. I was calm over the phone, but my anxiety increased as the day progressed. By the time my family doctor called me I was a mess. I shared my fears about going through chemotherapy and end-of-life pain. A CA was immediately ordered for me. I wasn't told the results for 10 days. I finally heard the results one day at work - it was ! With this news I felt that my chances of the tumor not being malignant were pretty small. To this day I am amazed that I kept doing my job for three hours, without falling apart.

The local gyn-onc was booked so I took matters in my own hands. I called Hershey Medical Center, described my situation, and was seen within two days. My surgery was scheduled for 2 weeks later, on Sept 8, Although the cancer had not spread to my uterus and fallopian tubes, an area of my pelvic sidewall where the tumor had touched it contained cancerous cells. It turned out that both my ovaries were affected, not just one as the MRI and ultrasound had indicated. Being told I would need to have chemo was a major disappointment, as I hoped my cancer had been caught early enough that I could bypass this.

Unfortunately, I had a grade 3 tumor which would have made further treatment necessary even at stage 1. The first few days after my surgery were rough, but at about 3 weeks I began feeling more and more like my old self. Just when you really start feeling good, then you have to start the chemo. Even three months ago I did not know I had cancer. I never thought I would face something like this. Of all the things I worried about, cancer was not one of them. I will say that God gives me the strength to handle this, everyday, as I need it.

I know that I have been surrounded by prayers because for the most part, I have felt a strong infusion of peace. I pray that I can have a good life in spite of this, and that I may live long enough to see my fourteen-year-old daughter grow up. My life is blessedly happy.

I live in a city I love. My sons have found marvelous women. My first born grandchild, Arthur, lives downstairs. I have no symptoms, not even the whisper kind. I'm scheduled for my yearly pap test. When I answer the phone, it's one of those "Is this Arlene Santoro? I'm almost ready to say "No thanks, take me off your telemarketing list. A second scraping needs to be done to check the upper regions of the birth canal.

She'll do it in the office to save costs. There must be a mix-up of slides. Denial is such a useful tool. Everything depends on the pathologists. I am on cancer time. The first report says Low Malignant Potential-prognosis good. This I know, there is no turning back. I manage better than most. I think more introspectly now. I begin journal writing Because I love life I exercise, take yoga, eat soy-miso-hummus, try any supplement promoting the immune system, give up dairy, sweets.

I buy organic produce. I drink green tea. I relish my Arthur time. One newly appreciated day at a time. I am impressed how society tries to help. The Wellness Center, the Ovarian group, strangers on the internet list serve. I am staying with a modified heavy vege diet, but I'm buying better beer. Many times I've said to myself that I've already had more than my share of happiness. Oblivion holds no fear.

Chemo stopped when I base-lined at 5.

  • Breast Cancer.
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My post chemo checks were 5, 6, 5, 10, 21, The trend does not look encouraging. In limbo I wait and watch. Then, I feel a subtle tightness in the abdomen. My belly is bloated. It seems clear to me the the beast is back. Where once I dreaded the word "reoccurrence" I now know that it's just an obstacle. More number waiting, 58, 55, 91, The cat scan shows nothing. Finally the ct scan shows two spots. Plaque like areas on the ribs and on the bowel. The doc measures my remission time from the end of chemo to the spots on the scan.

I celebrate the slower but more mindful pace of my life.

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Ashley At the age of 51 my maternal grandmother lost her battle with Ovarian Cancer. I was 4 years old, so my memories of her are vague. What I can remember about her was her great determination to overcome this and that she was extremely brave when reality came into play. She went to the her gynocologist with complaints of pain in her abdomen. After examining her, he found nothing. She didn't think much of it and left with relief. The pain continued to grow and she then realized that something was wrong. After about a year she decided that she needed to see about this and took action.

She saw another doctor and the results from that visit were not so good. She was in one of the final stages of ovarian cancer. The doctors knew that her chances of being rid of it through chemo or other drugs were slim to none. She did do the chemo for a while because I remember all of her hair falling and she grew thinnner day by day. My mom and her two sisters watched as my grandmother took her everyday struggle to breath. Looking back on the time spent with my grandmother I now realize how brave she was and it makes me sad to think of all the pain and struggling she went through.

I also know that my chances are very high, as my mom's as well. I go for regular check ups and I know that my grandmother is watching over me. That I am in confident in. Augusta Gluck I am age 67 and I had my fallopian tubes tied in and a hysterectomy in I had five pregnancies and so should have been low risk for ovarian cancer. I began having bowel problems in and after having a colonoscopy, I was diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome.

I began a diet that was dairy free, ate no salad or raw fruit. After another year, I had another colonoscopy. I was told everything was fine. I saw my gynecologist every year and told him about the irritable bowel syndrome. I told my internist about my irritable bowel syndrome. I continued to have bouts of constipation, gas and diarrhea. He quickly ordered a transvaginal sonogram and four days later I was debulked for adenocarcinoma stage 3c.

I had a 5 cm tumor wrapped around the bladder and colon. I regret that I accepted the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome and did not investigate further. Perhaps I would have learned that I could demand a transvaginal sonogram sooner and catch this disease in stage one. But I had seen my internist, my gynecologist, and a gastroenterologist.

OVARIAN CANCER: Personal Stories

No one ever mentioned that my symptoms might have been ovarian cancer and my life threatened by it. For a year or more I had been feeeling very tired, working long hours, sometimes 85 hours per week in a girl's boarding school. The catalyst came when I took a girl to the emergency room at the local hospital and stayed there for hours. The next morning I could not find the girl's personal file which I took with me. My mind had gone blank. My boss wasn't happy and I was threatened with dismissal.

I loved my job and for the life of me could not understand why this happened. So I went to my local GP who said that I was suffering from stress and wanted to put me on an antidepressants. I was tired but never really felt stressed out, so I went to another GP, a lady this time. She acknowledged that there was something very wrong and asked if I had any other symptoms.

So I mentioned that I had problems with my bowel, like if I was shopping and felt pain, I had to always run for the nearest bathroom. She sent me to have a virtual colonoscopy, and when the results came back it said I was OK, on reading the results I felt there was something wrong as they mentioned a tubal ligation and I had never had one.

I took it on myself to go back and make inquiries. The doctor took me aside and went through the x-ray then he admitted to me he had made a mistake. I asked him to send another report to my GP and he said yes. A week later no report so I went in to see them and finally a report came back to the GP. This time it was the same saying I was OK, she has had enough and trusting me sent me to had an abdominal scan. It came back saying I had a 15 cm tumor on my left ovary, I was then referred to a gynecologist. On seeing the gynecologist, he booked me into the hospital for a hysterectomy the following week.

I had the hysterectomy and spend the following 7 days in hospital, on release I was told to give the gynecologist a ring a few days later. On ringing the Gynecologist I was told the tumor was malignant and to come in and see him a few days later. I went to see him and was told I had the hysterectomy and debulking and that he felt he had removed all of the cancer. He then sent me to an oncologist and he said I needed to have 6 doses of Taxol and Carboplatin and started the following week, once every 3 weeks.

I was lucked out I guess, my nauses was kept to a minimum with steroids although I mostly ate salads. Lost my hair about the 3rd week and had very bad pains in the legs. So far the blood tests say I am cancer-free although before I was diagnosed, the blood tests also said I was cancer-free. I am still suffering from effects of the chemotherapy, peripheral neuropathy in my hands and feet, acute tiredness, memory problem, my skin keeps breaking out and I have tinnitus. I had many friends at one stage but when they found out about my cancer they dwindled away, but I have made new ones and they have been wonderful.

I don't know what will happen to me in the future although now I live each day as it comes and try not to worry about the future. Barbara I was 10 years old when I first started menstruating.

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At the time, my mother was dying of brain cancer. I can remember being so upset that something was happening to me, also, and was afraid to tell my father. He found some of my bloody underwear, which I was hiding from him, and had a female friend of the family tell me the facts of life because my mom was too sick. My periods were painful and heavy. I would spend the first day of every cycle lying in bed with a heating pad on my stomach and making frequent trips to the bathroom to throw up.

I missed a lot of school during my teen years. People would tell me that it was all in my mind, and if I would just get up and stay active, the pain would go away. I was taken to an osteopathic doctor for my first internal examination, and he put me on birth control pills to take care of the cramps.

I met my future husband when I was 16 and he was We were married in when I was After four years, I had my first pregnancy. I miscarried at three months. After a few months of letting my body get back to normal, I was able to conceive again. Except for occasional nausea, I had an uneventful pregnancy. He diagnosed an incompetent cervix and said he would have to perform a Shirodkar that day. I can remember crying and praying on the way that God would let me have this baby.

Thankfully, God heard my prayers and three months later, in , I had a healthy, beautiful baby boy.