Healthcare Professionals

Patient Profiles

Because of her family history she took her care into her own hands

Because of her family history she took her care into her own handsI am sharing my story to help other women survive ovarian cancer.

My story begins in February 2005. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer on the 29th. My younger sister at the age of 39 was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She had complained of many of the symptoms for almost a year until she finally insisted on a CT scan. She subsequently went to Iowa City for surgery and was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer. She began chemotherapy soon after. It was because of her that I went to my physician in June and requested a transvaginal ultrasound. I was told that my insurance would not cover a screening exam. I insisted and told her to document that I had pelvic pain. (I work in the medical field). I subsequently underwent additional diagnostic testing with included an ultrasound. My ultrasound showed a small tumor on my left ovary and cysts on both ovaries.

I was then sent on to a gynecologic oncologist in Des Moines. She had to argue with my insurance company to do a hysterectomy. They wanted her to just remove the ovary. She was finally able to convince them to authorize the hysterectomy. Prior to surgery, my physician did not feel that I would have cancer. I underwent the hysterectomy in July 2005 and was diagnosed with Stage 2 ovarian cancer. I had small tumors on both ovaries. One was encapsulated, the other was on the outside of the ovary. I proceeded with chemotherapy and was monitored with the CA125 test, which did not rise above 37. My last treatment was November 18, 2005.

Because of my family history, my mother, sister, and I proceeded with genetic testing. We were all three BRCA positive. I have been cancer free since my surgery and subsequent chemo. My sister, however, has passed away. She was cancer free for 9 months when she was rediagnosed. Chemo was ineffective for her and she passed away on December 29, 2006. I continue with periodic CT scans and the CA125 test. I also underwent bilateral mastectomies in September 2006 to decrease my chances of developing breast cancer.

I encourage all women to be their own advocate and be aware of any changes they experience. I also have several friends who have either had ovarian cancer or are currently undergoing treatment.

I continue to be cancer free at this time and live for every moment. Nothing ventured, nothing gained has been my own personal motto for many years. I continue to live that way. I plan on doing things that I have only dreamed about. My list keeps getting longer.

Diagnosed with Stage I-A ovarian cancer at the age of 37

Diagnosed with Stage I-A ovarian cancer at the age of 37The strange things is, when I was told I had cancer, I never got upset, and never thought I am going to die, I told myself you are going to be fine, be strong, and ask God to help me through this long journey... So far, he has not failed me, and it will be 6 years this coming October 3rd...

When I was diagnosed, I lost a lot of close friends, they could not deal with me having cancer, and some of them said they would rather end our friendship than to sit and watch me die in front of them, they said this made things easier for them to accept... They are missing so much, by not wanting to continue our friendships. Time heals all I guess...

On October 3rd, 2002, I was diagnosed with Stage 1-A ovarian cancer at the age of 37, by my GI physician, after he ordered an MRI. My symptoms were a large mass in the stomach area, pain, vomiting, and weight loss. My surgery was done without knowing I had cancer. The tumor was removed, and I was diagnosed with self-contained ovarian cancer.

I did 1 round of chemotherapy, and had complications so I was unable to continue. I have been monitored ever since 2002.

After being diagnosed I did see an Oncologist, but their bedside manner was too direct and too upsetting, so I got a second opinion in Charleston, S.C. with another Oncologist. Now I see a regular OB/Gyn Physician near my home, I am very pleased with him, and he also did my surgery ... I have been cancer free for over 5 years.

Received her ovarian cancer diagnosis on her 50th birthday

Received her ovarian cancer diagnosis on her 50th birthdayI am an ovarian cancer survivor. I just celebrated 7 years of survivorship. I was originally diagnosed in April of 2001. I received my diagnosis as a 50th birthday "present", after almost a year of constant complaints of all the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer. These included urinary frequency, which increased over that period of time, changes in bowel habits (alternately constipation and diarrhea), gas, bloating, extreme fatigue and finally pain. None of these symptoms, even the pelvic pain, sounded any alarms with the Internist or Gynecologist that were my treating physicians at the time. I finally requested additional testing from my physician. The results indicated that I needed to have an additional follow-up.

I had my initial surgery performed in April 2001 by a Gynecologic Oncologist. I switched hospitals after that, and am happy to report that I have the finest team of caring professionals as I could hope to find anywhere.

I have had two recurrences, both in 2004. I have had a total of three (3) surgeries related to my Ovarian Cancer, as well as a surgery to repair an incisional hernia in 2007. In total, I have undergone over 50 rounds of Chemotherapy.