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Readers Respond: Ovarian Cancer Support - Diagnosis, Treatment and Survivor Stories

Responses: 15

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Compared to breast cancer, we don't hear many stories of ovarian cancer survivors. Yet women have survived every stage of the disease some have dubbed "the silent killer" because of its lack of symptoms. If you're an ovarian cancer survivor, or have cared for a mother, sister, or relative with the disease, share your story and personal experiences with diagnosis, treatment, and recovery.

In the dark...

I am a 27 year old female. In 2010 I had found out that I had a cyst on my left ovary. I had not felt ill at that time and the cyst was very small. It went from 1.3 cm to 4.5 cm in a couple of months, but doctors wouldn't remove it due to lack of insurance. For the past two years I have suffered with nausea, 90 lbs weight loss without diet or exercise, bloating, gas, abdominal pain and discomfort and pain in my legs along with heavy periods. Doctors are perplexed and I am suffering. I have been told I am too young for certain things and I know something is being overlooked. I know I am not too young! I don't know what else to do. I constantly have to urinate and I am tired all of the time. I feel like I have a chronic infection but I don't have an infection according to doctors. Is it possible this could be ovarian cancer? The doctor noticed free fluid in my pelvic area in the beginning but they said this was normal. Does anyone know if this true? I am worried it may be cancer.
—Guest Jessica

Not a survivor yet

I had my surgery for ovarian cancer Feb.23/12.They removed a 25 cm. tumor, and a whole lot of other stuff. I was first diagnosed to be constipated. I could feel the lump in my belly. I went back to my Dr.he then did a CT scan and found a tumor the size of a grapfruit. Over the next 10 days my abdomen grew huge, like I was 9 months pregnant. Tomorrow I go for my follow up appt. the Dr. has already called me to let me know I will need chemo treatments. I don't know what to expect tomorrow, I'm just scared, of whats coming up.I just hope I ask all the right questions and don't forget anything. I'm 56 years old and have 3 daughters and 3 grandchildren. Love them all, and really want to spend much more time with them. It really makes you take a good look at your life, and maybe now I will do some things that make me happy (I might be a little more selfesh)LOL! It's certainly not an easy road girls! My heart goes out to each and everyone of you!!!
—Guest Dee Dee

You Can Beat it!

9/2010, surgery, I was IIb. Just finished 22cycles on a phase 3 trial today! I am doing well, been in remission since 2/2011. Stay the Fight, YOU WIN! I wish I had found survivors, someone to talk with earlier on. It is so scary when you can only find the bad news about it. There is such a darkness and fear around it. I was lucky to have a good surgeon/gyne-oncologist and good surgical results and to make it through a hard Chemo/trial. I have hope.... there is hope! Love to all my sisters in the fight! Keep up the Fight... we WIN!
—Guest Lois Pervier

I am losing weight. Nothing is working.

I am 65 yrs old.I am a stage 2 ovarian cancer.I had my debulking done. I am on my 3rd chemo. I am losing weight every day. I am 90 lbs now, down from 120 lbs. What should I do? I NEED HELP.
—Guest krl

never give up hope

During your useful treatments - have you ever have Gemzar chemo? It'what my onc recommends now - haven't responded to Doxil - and all I read about Gemzar it is truly frightening.
—Guest sue 1111

Stage 2C Survivor

My period had stopped and then started suddenly a year later and was very heavy. I was under a lot of stress and went to my GP a month later asking for an ultrasound. She put me on novo-medrone to stop the bleeding which delayed me another 2.5 months. In the meantime I kept going back to her and asking for an ultrasound. After asking about 5 times I finally told her that I needed an ultrasound as I felt my uterus was decaying inside me. My stomach had swollen even though I was eating nothing and I either had diahrea or constipation. Turns out I had ovarian cancer, stage 2C and my tumour was the size of a grapefruit. The tumour was attached to my rectum, colon and pelvic wall. Chemotherapy was not a choice and was 6 sessions at 6 hours a session. This all began in January 2010 (the worst year of my life) and I am still recovering. My hair is growing back and I am suffering from neuropathy. I lost my mom that year too. Stay strong ladies. I love you all. Your fellow survivor. Janice
—Guest Janice Baird

Working from the inside out

I too received a re-do of my life. Diagnosed Stage IIIC 10/06/09, later Stage 4 after cancer cells found in water behind my lungs. I use Louise Hay's CDs & books to work on my emotional trauma as well as no red-meat, sugar or white flour diet. I believe that we are special people who squelch our emotional pain trying not to hurt others. I needed to relive many things in order to forgive and release many feelings & people, including myself. I truly love and accept myself -now- just as I am. I am magnificent and I accept and deserve abundance and health. I love all you women out there that share ovarian cancer. Go to ovationsforthecure.org. It is beautiful. Founded by Patty, who eventually lost her battle but left a beautiful legacy. My advice, read YOU CAN HEAL YOUR LIFE and Dr Kim's 9 SECRETS TO PERFECT HEALTH, do retail therapy (even if you put most things back!), good girlfriends, lunches & laughter. Love your Hubby & family. TEAL is our color ladies. Wear it proudly. Luv, Me
—Villajaams

Cancer Survivor 3c

I too am a cancer survivor. I was diagnosed Sept. 27, 2007. After multiple trips to doctors I was told I was peri-menoposal at the age of 42. I had a complete hysterectomy, bowel resection and debulking. I completed chemotherapy. In 2008 I had my liver resectioned. In Sept 2009 my abdomen was loaded with cancer. I went for stem cell therapy and alterrnative therapy in the States and Mexico. I came back home to Canada and was considered palilative. My family was told I had two days to live. It wasn't looking good. By the grace of God, prayers and sheer determination I went into remission after my chemotherapy treatment. Never, never, never give up. It has caused a disconnect with my life and I am now looking to find a way to live as a survivor for as long as God grants me breath.
—Guest Ilona

Hello again, Linda

It's been many years since we "met" because of our shared experiences. Reaching out to you, helped me heal as well!
—Guest Clare Braham

Healing may just be - Within

I underwent two ovarian cyst surgeries; each time the doctor thought it was cancerous since they would grow from the size of an olive to an orange in less than 60 days. Then I was diagnosed with my third -- growing to the size of a grapefruit with the speed of light two years after the last surgery. Then the magic -- my acupuncturist told to give Hypnotherapy a try. In less than five intensive sessions, I felt I had some control over my body and understood why my body kept creating the cysts, water retention, pain and all the emotional turmoil. Not only did I become a believer, but the (9.1 centimeter) cyst had dissolved, not needing the last surgery. This modality of therapy changed the course of my career from legal to healing. I'm now practicing as a Clinical Hypnotherapist (over 11 years) specializing in women's issues. Helping women "Listen to Their Body," delve deeper to help themselves in healing and becoming better physically, mentally and emotionally has become my journey in life!
—HealWithin

Have just been through it

In October 2009 I had surgery for ovarian cancer. Three weeks later I attended my oldest daughter's wedding. I was very lucky and have not needed any chemo or further therapy. My diagnosis is good but I still struggle to feel fully confident that I really am okay. I do however thank God everyday for the love of my wonderful husband and my children and grandchild.
—Guest Debra

It's not always bad as it sounds

After having periodic stomache cramps and weight gain, even though I had no appetite, I finally went to the doctor. I've had tons of medical problems and doctors rarely believed me with all of them so I was reluctent to go to te doctor for my problems. When I went they told me I had fluid in my abdomen and my left ovary was very large. A week later I was in Seattle for surgery. They did laproscopic surgery to remove my left ovary. During the surgery they had the tumor that my ovary had become tested as the fluid in my abdomen. The tests came back that it was cancer. The doctors are now saying that the cancer was in the seven liters of fluid that the tumor had leaked. The doctors think that the cancer is gone, no chemo needed, but they will test me every six months to make sure the cancer didn't spread. Because of my young age I have great chances of never having to deal with the worst parts of cancer treatment. I'm fifteen years old and I'm an ovarian cancer survivor.
—Guest Marisa

Ovarian Survivor 25 yrs and still strong

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage on November 3, 1984. It was a terrifying experience. I had chemo and lost my hair, had seizures, neuropathy, and had a difficult time with food. I developed recipes that helped me eat and also fight the effects of chemo. Developed exercises for neuropathy. Today I practice weight bearing exercises to help fight against osteoporosis so I can stay active.
—pasoslady

Never Give Up Hope

If I can give anyone words of encouragement it would be to stay strong and keep your focus on God. Always get a second opinion. Step out of the box. I was diagnosed with stage IIIC ovarian cancer in February 2009 and rediagnosed with stage IV in April 2009 at the age of 30. I went in to get my cholesterol checked and had an elevated liver count and the testing went from there. I always received my yearly pap exams. I received aggressive surgery. All of my female organs were removed along with some of my bowel and my spleen. I received 9 chemotherapy treatments and had 3 pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in my lungs) in June 2009. I am very blessed to say that I finished my treatments in September 2009 and went for my 3 month check up in December and my scans were clear and I do blood work every month and my CA-125 has been 8. You have to be comfortable with your doctor. Don't ever go into something without a second opinion. I am very thankful to God and my cancer team.
—Guest Shannon

Going through it right now

I had bloating and discomfort in my abdomen and was uncomfortable sleeping on my side for many months before I called my doctor. It has been a slow process for me. Right now I am in the care of a very good gynecological oncologist, a cancer specialist in the female reproductive system. I am halfway through treatment and have lost my hair. It is also difficult to eat as my taste buds have been affected. I hope to be done with everything before Christmas so I can enjoy the holidays with my family. You do what you need to do to get better, even when some days are hard to face.
—Guest Catherine

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