Sep 18, 2010 - 1:59 pm
One year ago yesterday I was diagnosed with Stage IIIc Ovarian Cancer. I had seen my PCP the week before, about a gall bladder issue. At least I assumed it was my gall bladder, and was already fussing and complaining about having to have surgery. (Gee....I wish I could have had gall bladder surgery surgery instead. I promise not to complain, God, if you could just give me a do-over on that one.)
My doctor sent me for a trans vaginal ultrasound of my abdomen, and the next day I had an atomic gall bladder test at the same facility. I suspected something wasn't right because when I went back for the GB test, the tech who had done my US came over to chat and was just really, really out-of-the-ordinary nice and kind to me. I know I'm a fascinating person, with a magnetic personality (LOL), but I've had scans and tests and such before, and no one was ever this solicitous.
My doctor called me the next day, from his cell phone, on his way out of town. The radiologist had read my films and called to give him an urgent heads-up. "It's not your gall bladder," he said, "It looks like you have Ovarian Cancer." For the first time in my life, I was truly speechless. He went on to mention that I had a large (12.5cm) tumor on my left ovary and two small ones in my abdomen, then added, "The long-term survival rate is less than 30%." Charming bedside manner.
I saw a Gyn/Oncologist right away (actually, I was hysterical when his office told me they had no openings until the following week) and my surgery was scheduled for Sept 29, 2009. My body had other ideas, however, and on Sept 26 I was admitted to the hospital thru the ER with a total bowel obstruction. Had I not had the US, this would have been my wakeup call, I'm sure. I had a lot of complications and spent a total of 16 days in the hospital.
I was staged at IIIc and had Carbo/Taxol treatments, after which I was deemed NED with a clear CT scan and a CA125 in the single digits. I am now on "chicken soup" therapy....maintenance Taxol, which can't hurt and might actually help forestall a recurrence. At least that's the plan.
This evening when I go to Mass, I will offer up a huge prayer of thanks, and prayers for all "my girls", that we may all live long and prosper, as the Trekkies say.
This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad.