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My mom is having surgery tomorrow

kschzcake
Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2004

Hello. I am new to this site. My mom was feeling completely fine and normal until Friday night when she suddenly started having bad abdominal pains. She threw up once and the pain continued through the night. Saturday she went to the emergency room. They thought she had appendicitis. After a CT scan and X-ray they saw either an enlarged left ovary or a mass on the left ovary. She has a small amount of fluid in her abdomen. The pain went away after administering antibiotics. On Monday they did a transvaginal ultrasound. They said that the mass on the ovary appeared to be cancerous. Her CA125 was over 3000. Today we meet with the gyn/onc who will do the surgery (hopefully tomorrow). She is terrified and confused because she doesn't feel bad. Even though we know that ovarian cancer can have no symptoms it is still baffling. She has asked me to go with her to the appointment today. We are terrified as to what they are going to find during her surgery. My mom is my best friend in the entire world and is like a second mom to my small boys. The thought of losing her is just unbearable and unbelievable. She is going to be 58 this month. All of our relatives have lived into their 80's and 90's and we just didn't see this coming! Any support is appreciated.

mopar
Posts: 1954
Joined: Apr 2003

Hello - I understand all of your fears. I am a 4-year OVCA survivor. It was Stage 1C. I too had NO symptoms. But I did have a uterine fibroid and during surgery is when they found the OVCA. So I am very fortunate. Otherwise, I might never had known until it was too late. So, I am pleased that they are moving on this quickly for your mom.

There are so many new medications (chemo) and treatments available these days, so take comfort in that. Just follow up thoroughly. Ask questions, and by all means come back here for support and info. I will be praying for all of you, especially that the Lord will be your Peace during this difficult time. Please keep us informed.

Monika

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. I am a survivor of stage 3c,grade3 ovarian cancer. My sister is a survivor of 4 years. Try not to focus on the ca125 but on the fact it doesnt' sound like it has spread bad. Praise the lord for the Ctscans. We will keep you both in our prayers.

Bonnie

kschzcake
Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2004

We met with my mom's gyn/onc yesterday. Her surgery is going to be Friday. He said he didn't see any other masses anywhere else in the CT scan. He reminded us that that doesn't mean there wasn't microscopic cancer cells elsewhere but no masses that could be seen. He said he didn't like the fact that there was some fluid in her abdomen because that suggests that the tumor has spread somewhere. Her physical exam didn't reveal any concerns (swollen glands, rectal irregularities). He said he was glad she wasn't having any symptoms.
BonnieR-what was your battle like with stage 3, grade 3? What was your sister's situation? How stressful to have to battle yourself and watch someone you love battle. Thank you for your responses. This is so surreal to me.

BonnieR's picture
BonnieR
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Glad to hear no other cancer seen and that surgery is scheduled. We'll continue to keep you both in my prayers. If you want to know more about my story I have created a webpage, just search BonnieR and you'll find it.

Take Care and God Bless

kschzcake
Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2004

We met with my mom's gyn/onc yesterday. Her surgery is going to be Friday. He said he didn't see any other masses anywhere else in the CT scan. He reminded us that that doesn't mean there wasn't microscopic cancer cells elsewhere but no masses that could be seen. He said he didn't like the fact that there was some fluid in her abdomen because that suggests that the tumor has spread somewhere. Her physical exam didn't reveal any concerns (swollen glands, rectal irregularities). He said he was glad she wasn't having any symptoms.
BonnieR-what was your battle like with stage 3, grade 3? What was your sister's situation? How stressful to have to battle yourself and watch someone you love battle. Thank you for your responses. This is so surreal to me.

groundeffect
Posts: 651
Joined: Mar 2003

Hello, and welcome to the site. Please don't become too unnerved at the prospect of your mom's surgery, and the outcome. I'm a two year survivor, but there is at least one woman in my support group who is a 10 year survivor. I draw inspiration from them! A friend was diagnosed with Stage 3A just after I was done with my chemo, and she is doing just fine, also. I was glad to advise her on what to expect from the surgery.

Your family's history may not show cancer, but you may want to dig into it. I thought my family was bullet proof (from cancer), but after I was diagnosed and spent time investigating, I found breast, colon, and prostate cancers in my dad's family. They are all related to the breast cancer gene, as is ovarian. I went to a talk by a geneticist recently, and she said it does not matter if it's your mother or father (or both) that carry the gene, but if it's passed on to you, other factors (environment, diet, etc.) can help trigger cancer.

I learned that the earlier one of these cancer develops, the more likely it is that the gene is in the family. After the age of 50, it is considered that it may be a random case, unless there is a family history.

This is hard to explain. If anyone thinks I'm wrong on any of this, feel free to jump in!

I had surgery to remove fibroids 6 years before my cancer was discovered, and I don't think the hysterectomy was much worse than that surgery (myomectomy). The chemo wasn't fun, but I don't think it should be feared. Some people have allergic reactions to taxol, which is derived from tree bark (my gyn said that when she was doing her residency, they were still filtering bark out of the liquid!). Your mom's oncologist will go over all that, if they haven't all ready.

I hope you can take some comfort in all of this. Many people live long and happy lives after having cancer. I had a little time to contemplate the outcome after my initial diagnosis (with uterine cancer 1B), and wasn't too suprised to hear about having ovarian cancer 1C; now I'm grateful they were found in such early stages. Please come back and let us know your mom's outcome, and know many of us will be saying prayers for her tomorrow.

PBP
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2004

Dear groundeffect: I just read the ovarian cancer discussion board. I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC ovarian cancer in August. My GYN/ONC also thought I should delve into family history. I have had breast cancer at the age of 41, and now at age 48 am battling ovarian cancer. He suggested that this type of gene may skip a generation. In other words, my immediate family may not have history of breast or ovarian, but grandmother/grandfathers might. Both of my grandmothers died from colon cancer. I have two sisters and many female cousins that have not had any type of cancer. What type of testing did the geneticist do? Did he test your children?

I also desperately need to hear success stories from women who have beat Stage IIIC ovarian cancer. My CA-125 was 1306 at diagnosis, but after surgery it was down to 400. I am now on my second cycle of taxol/carboplatin. Please let me hear some good news!!

Kschzcake: Hope treatment is going well for your Mom now. Let us know.

Paula

MissiJoy
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2004

I am so sorry to hear about your mom. It is a very scary thing to go thru. I want you to know that there is light at the end of your frustrations. I am a 22 year old single mother of 2 and i was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer in feb 04'. I had an emergency 9 hour surgery at the mayo in rochester, mn. I have gonr thru chimo untill this month. I am so happy to say i am now in remission!!! It is a long hard road but with your help she can and will be another surviver of many years! I believe it is all in your head of whether you will or wont survive... I managed a 40,000 foot furniture showroom all thru my chimo treatments, and never 1 time did i quit because i am all my kids have and i need to do everything for them just as i did before cancer entered my life! I too experienced No symptemss untill it was too late. I had to have a complete historectomy, spleen removed, fat layer, liver, diafram and kidneys scraped and much, much more. My ca125 before surgery was 2700 and now it is 8! please write me with any and all questions you have. i have been through it and will be here if you need anyone...it helps to talk about it so you dont get in the " why me...why her" moood...thats a dead end. Your mother is in my prayers. please write if you need to, sincerely,
melissa
missisaddress@yahoo.com

kschzcake
Posts: 13
Joined: Oct 2004

My mom was told yesterday that her cancer is stage IIB. It was in both ovaries but the other biopsies were negative. She starts the Taxol/Carboplatin? next week. She will have chemo once a month for eight months. Any insight into that would be appreciated.
Missijoy, I can't imagine your struggle with being a single mother of two and so young. Just that part seems stressful to me even before you throw in ovarian cancer. It sounds like you are doing well and that you have a great attitude. Thank you for keeping my mom in your prayers, You will be in mine.
Kendall

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