2019: The Year My Ovarian Cancer Journey Began
Last updated: April 2023
I thought I was having another diverticulitis flare but a CT scan showed right ovarian cancer. I underwent a TAH (all reproductive organs removed). Staging showed 1C3 with positive cancer cells in the abdominal washing. Then 3 rounds of Taxol/Carboplatin chemo without complication. Genetic testing I am negative for BRCA and others.
Recurrent ovarian cancer
About 16 months later I was symptomatic in my left lower quadrant. CT showed a mass that was golf ball sized and I needed a biopsy. IR (interventional radiology) performed this and the biopsy confirmed a recurrent ovarian cancer. I had this surgery in June 2021. In just 2 months, this mass had grown to small grapefruit size. The pathology report showed a "remnant" from the initial surgery. I only made it through 5 of 6 planned treatments, using the same drugs.
I had a lot of complications: After #2-C-dif, then terrible GERD, hospitalized in November 2021 for a perforated bowel, and last but not least....extensive blood clots in my legs. January 2022 found to have a right lower lobe nodule that "lit" up on PET. But...IR and Pulmonary said the nodule was too small/risky to biopsy and wait 3 months. The oncologist was confident this was metastasis but needed a biopsy. In May I had chest CT (w/o contrast) and this radiologist's interpretation said " lessening inflammatory process" and to repeat the study in 3 months.
My journey continues
I'm baffled by this because I always thought a PET scan was 100%. August I will receive CTs for the abdomen/pelvis and chest so I'm in limbo yet again. I don't think I'm a candidate for chemo again nor do I think I'd be willing to go through those treatments. The Neulasta shots were very painful too. Oncology "mentioned" immunotherapy in the future.
Sooooo my journey continues. . . .
The 3rd episode of cancer
In November 2022 my CA-125 remained WNL at 12.8 but a couple of points higher than in previous months. BUT my CT scans of abdomen/pelvis/chest revealed another mass in my left lower pelvic area. Once again it was too small to be biopsied and so the repeat study showed an increase in size and CA-125 had risen to 15. It’s still within normal limits. IR (interventional radiology) successfully obtained a biopsy and once again my ovarian cancer had returned. This makes the #3 episode of cancer.
This time I will undergo 5 radiation treatments beginning on 3/31/23. They will be given every other day and the final one on 4/7. I’ve already gone thru a simulation appointment in preparation. They have suggested side effects likely would include rectal pain, diarrhea, urinary frequency/pain (like a UTI), and fatigue. Oh boy! Everyone continues to say radiation will be a piece of cake compared to chemotherapy. Does anyone care to share their experience with radiation? Any hints on how to deal with the fallout?
Which word, if any, best describes your reaction to being diagnosed with ovarian cancer?
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