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This Is What Happens When You Have Had Ovarian Cancer

cancer survivor x 4's picture
cancer survivor x 4
Posts: 183
Joined: Sep 2009

Good Morning,
I will back up to a couple of weeks ago. I start a new part-time job. I am on my feet for a couple of hours a day, so I start taking alot of advil and aleve for joint pain. 2 weeks go by and I start having alot of stomach pain. Shooting pains when I eat very high up and just all over abdominal pain. I know I have ovarian mets, because I am in alot of distress when I eat. Not normal. I have my weekly therapy appointment. I have the therapist almost in tears, because I tell her "I have been in the cancer game long enough to know what is going on". I call my oncologist, who sends me up to the local hospital to have a scan done. I do not want to do it, but I have to go. So I go. I am a thin, tall person, so he checks me and says he can feel every organ all the way back to my kidneys and he does not feel a mass. So I get scanned. The ER doctor comes back into the room and says "you have nothing". I said " I do not believe you". What do you mean you do not believe me? Your just an ER doctor. YOU DO NOT HAVE CANCER!!!! Do I have any spots or lesions? No, YOU DO NOT HAVE CANCER!!!!!! Well, I still think I have cancer and you guys just can not see it. Your CA-125 is 7. Okay, I can not argue with him anymore. He lets me see the films. He says "you will go on your cruise in April and go on a cruise next year and finish nursing school". Well, you don't know that for sure, but thanks for trying to make me feel better. The funny thing is, as soon as I walked out of that hospital, all of my symptoms disappeared. I think I can talk myself into having symptoms, when there are none. I guess I just want to know if anyone else thinks every ache and pain is a cancer mets. All the advil and aleve ate a small hole in my stomach lining. It has healed. Ulcer. I might have learned a lesson from all of this. I hope. Thank-You, Paula

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Hissy_Fitz
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

Absolutely....every headache is a brain tumor, every bout of constipation is a bowel obstruction. When I discovered a lump protruding from my belly, I almost had a heart attack. I thought it was a huge tumor. It was an incisional hernia.

Last year, when my mammogram place wanted to take a second look, I was sertain the OC had spread to my breasts. It hadn't.

I talked my GI doctor into doing a colonoscopy a year before I was due to have one, just in case it had spread to that area. It was perfect.

When my CA125 jumped from 6 to 7.5, I though it indicated a recurrence. My doctor looked at me like I had lost my mind.

I have to keep telling myself what my doctor said, back in one of my panic moments. It's not always about the cancer.

Carlene

anicca's picture
anicca
Posts: 324
Joined: Dec 2010

Hi Paula. I am very new to this, having been diagnosed in May, 2010, and finishing 6 rounds of carbo/taxol in Sept. I was NED at my 3 month check up on Dec 14. On the night before New Years Eve, I ate something that didn't agree with me (so I thought), and was sick the next day. Then I was fine, but within two weeks, was having GI symptoms again, with no let up. I totally freaked, sure it was cancer again, and sure it was really bad, so soon after chemo. My NP told me to see my doctor for cultures, which I did. The day after he called to tell me all but two tests were in, and all were negative, and my CA-125 was about the same as before, my symptoms disappeared. Three weeks later, I'm still perfectly fine. I posted here about the problem, and intend to keep in mind Carlene's (Hissy-Fitz) wise words "it's not always about the cancer." I think when we have so much anxiety (sometimes not consciously,) about our health, a perfectly ordinary problem gets exacerbated and becomes a larger problem than it would have been otherwise.

Tina Brown's picture
Tina Brown
Posts: 1054
Joined: Nov 2009

What an uplifting story - I have tears in my eyes for you. Wow you must be still pinching yourself after this incrediable news. Thank-you for posting it is so nice to read a story of hope.My hope is disappearing a bit at the moment but I am so happy with your news.

Its funny but on New Years eve (the day after my chemo) I was vomitting so bad I had to go to the ER. All the doctors said it was a reaction to the chemo but I knew it wasn't. I discovered I had eaten a "ham" sandwich which was out of date and thus I had "food poisoning". So it is not only us that jump to conclusions about all the aches and pains being cancer related - some doctors and nurses do. (I just knew it wasn't the chemo because the vomitting was so violent)

It is so hard to switch off to the cancer and accept we may get OTHER things wrong with us.
Tina x

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

When my CA125 staretd climbing I was so sure it was the lymph node metastasis in my armpit that was growing because it HURT there and I could even feel a tender spot a little below my armpit where I was sure my CT/PET would show cancer spread. Well, my CT/PET showed that my cancer in my armpit had SHRUNK!! (the increase in CA125 tuned out to be spread of my liver mets.) And as soon as I saw that scan, the pain in that underawrm spot disappeared and asn't returned. ARGH! All in my head!! We do it to ourselves!!

jloe's picture
jloe
Posts: 175
Joined: Sep 2010

I always think it's spreading like wild fire. Sometimes I think the mental stress is as bad as this horrible disease.

kayandok
Posts: 1223
Joined: Jun 2008

thanks for sharing. I laughed so hard, and could so relate to your story. I have had my "moments" too.
Have a wonderful trip!
kathleen

poopergirl14052's picture
poopergirl14052
Posts: 1143
Joined: Nov 2010

yes I know exactly how you feel. We are all so scared of our illness coming back or getting worse that every little ache and pain panics us. We do not want to have more chemo or surery. We all want to be ned. We know our pwn bodies and when something doen't feel right we tend to think the worst, and that is normal...val

Mwee's picture
Mwee
Posts: 1316
Joined: Nov 2009

Every little thing and my first thought is progression and it can get overwhelming. I think that is normal and it's how we handle that stress that is important. One of the first things I do is come here to the board. I find that "being here" reminds me that I have today to enjoy. I hope you plan that cruise!
(((HUGS))) Maria

Cafewoman53's picture
Cafewoman53
Posts: 732
Joined: Jul 2010

We are told we have this horrid disease then in the next breath are told it will come back after we get rid of it. If you don't think every twinge and ache is the cancer then you are just not thinking. Do I think every pain is cancer ? Yes but with my dr monitoring me I am able to push those thoughts aside so I can enjoy my life with or without cancer.
I am so glad it was an ulcer that has healed, have fun on those cruises and good luck in nursing school. You will be a great nurse after having the perspective of being a patient.
Colleen

jbendola's picture
jbendola
Posts: 6
Joined: Dec 2010

i think i have every disease possible... cancer related or not now. im relieved to see that i am not the only one that experiences this.

carolenk's picture
carolenk
Posts: 909
Joined: Feb 2011

I can totally relate to your story as I had every symptom we ever studied when I was a student nurse! I am almost in remission from stage IIIc OC and I can relate again.

However, I do think I saved myself from a post-op bowel obstruction by doing deep visceral massage to break up adhesions that were causing my abdominal conture to be asymmetric as well as causing some scary abnormal bowel sounds.

Being a nurse is a blessing AND a curse.

Carolen

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