In retrospect how long do you think you had symptoms before your diagnosis?
Thanks for your response Teth. What stage were you dx'd at?
Had no symptoms whatsoever. It was only detected because of a uterine fibroid that needed to be removed.
Stage? What stage were you dx'd at mo?
In retrospect, I was having off and on pelvic pain for several months (at least six months). The pain wasn't bad, just annoying, and I assumed the pain was from ovulation cramps or my irritable bowel syndrome or my uterine fibroid. What actually got me to the doctor was the fact that I suddenly had unexplained, severe bloating that got progressively worse within just a few days.
A baseball-size mass on my right ovary was discovered on September 16, 2010 through an ultrasound and after my debulking surgery, I was staged at 2b. October 11, 2012 will mark my second-year anniversary of being NED (no evidence of disease).
Fortunately, it was confined to one ovary, but it ruptured as they were removing it. That was in 2000. Had a recurrance in 2006, and I am due to have my yearly follow-up tests.
I think Mom had been ovc for at least six months before she was diagnosed. Her behavior changed, i know it sounds odd but it's true. She had a very good friend's husband die very suddenly of pancreatic cancer on New Year's Eve. Two days before his funeral Mom and I were talking about it and she said she didn't think she could go. Of course I asked why to which she replied the funeral was at the same time she walked her dog. I was dumbfounded and found this very strange. This was not the person my Mom was. There were other things to in reprospect that were very, very odd.
Mom was diagnosed June 18th, 2010 but she had been going to her doctor for a few months telling him she had cancer and he told her she didn't. No CA 125 ordered only routine blood work that all appeared relatively normal. It wasn't until she went from 135 lbs to 112 and then 102 8 days later when she began to bloat that her sent her for a CT scan. I still get angry over this.
with minimal symptoms; feeling bloated and full, slight indigestion and stomach sticking out more than usual I went in to see my doctor. She treated me for constipation and within a few days I was bedridden. CT a week later gave me my diagnosis.
Looking back I remember feeling very tired in the mornings when I took my shower. I used to feel like laying down. Then as I left my room I would look at my bed, thinking I couldn't wait to come back to it. This was even before the other symptoms started.
Another thing that may or may not be related was that when I interviewed clients I would often have to suck on a cough drop because I felt like coughing. I think this may have been the beginning of fluid pressing up against my lungs.
I asked my surgeon how long I may have had the cancer and he estimated six months to a year. Of course no one knows.
I know for three months for sure but looking back a few years I was having symptoms and just did not know it. I am stage four and I believe that is because it went unnoticed for many years.
No symptoms at all untill I dropped to my knees in awful pain while we were away on vacatioin. An ultra sound and scan cat scan revealed I had 'an ovarian cyst'... Followed up with doc when I returned home and I got " You have a clear fluid filled cyst on EACH ovary. We will watch they are fine and will probably pop". That was in Sept. 6 wks later anothre u s showed they grew. Still clear no biggie. If they grow by next time they should come out. Ok felt fine and all was well. Nov u s showed they grew again. Doc said they were too big for him and he was referring me to a gyno/Onc for surgery. She was that discovered it was in fact cancer. And here I am. 8 months later, debulking surgery, Stage 3Cdetected, port implant surgery, 6 rounds of cisplatin/taxol, Port implant removal surgery later and I am NED.....
I had symptoms for about three years. I was originally diagnoised as borderline at the age of 24. I had been having severe (sharp, stabing pain) cramps every six months for about 3 years. These episodes lasted about a week and then went away. The only way I had a doctor pursue my issues any farther was when I mentioned I had not been using any form of birth control since I had been married (at age 18) and have not been able to concieve. Originally the doctor thought it was endometriosis. I had a pelvescopy done at which time my doctor was surprised by what he saw, tissue samples were taken and I was closed up and he waited for path reports to decide the next step. My doctor told me that I had abnormal cell groth throughout my pelvis. When the path report showed borderline cancer cells I was told my only option (if I wanted to live a long life) was a complete hysterectomy. I wanted a family and took this very hard at the time. I did have the hysterectomy but it took many years to get over the mental trauma. More than anything else in life I wanted to have a family. I was adopted and just wanted to have a connection in life that was related by blood. I as never close to my adoptive parents and I dont think anyone but my husband knew how this really effected me over the next few years. I did come to terms with this, but only after I found some of my birth family. Sometimes doctors are great at treating the disease but terrible at treating the patient. That's the knid of doctor I had at that time. Now, 25 years latter I am having a re-occurance. It has matastisis to the lymph nodes in my neck and chest. It is now a low grade cancer. Had the doctors done more when I originally presented with symptoms my outcome may have been completely different. Early detection and knowing when to push your doctors can make a big difference in outcomes. This is a lesson I have learned and am now my best advocate.Don't ever let a doctor make you think your symptoms are all in your head. Have them pursue your complaints and fine the cause of any pain or discomfort you may have!
Thank you all for your responses. I have decided to go ahead with the hysterectomy because I just feel there could be something more going on and having already been told that I have squamous cell skin cancer it seems my body may be in a place where it is harboring some not so good things. At this point I just need it out and hope its not cancer. I've been having bloating nausea some tugging type pains in my pelvic area and all of that is enough for me to be persistent after reading all of your experiences. My heart goes out to all of you beautiful, strong warriors. Much love to all of you xoxoxo
Litapita please let us know how you make out with your surgery...... We have all been through it so if you need any advice on what to expect please let us know.
It is hard for me to say how long I had symptoms. For at least a 1-2 years I had increasing fatigue. Then six months prior to my diagnosis I had the month or two of diarrhea and I thought it was related to my antidepressant and use of melatonin for sleep (that was August 2011. Then in March 2012 I had an episode in my office of severe right groin pain. It was so bad, I vomited my lunch. But it resolved as quickly as it came. Then two weeks later I had another episode of severe abdominal pain that awakened me in the night. I gain vomited from the pain and the pain did not go away like the episode before. So that day, I had a CT of my abdomen and pelvis. It showed enlarged right ovary. From their appointment with my gynecologist, OVA 1 test which turned out positive. Sent to gyn/oncologist and then surgery finding the ovarian cancer stage 3c. It was in my right and left ovary, right fallopian tube, abdomen washings, and lesions in my omentum. All through those months I had had fatigue, constipation, bloating. But did not feel they were symptoms to seek care for until I had the pain. I asked my gyn/oncologist how long she thinks I had the cancer. She thinks only a few months and she said if I had not reacted when I did it would have been a fast progression. The pain saved me. But what we learn as nurse practitioners and doctors is that most of the time if you have pain it most likely is not cancer. I think my body was trying to alert me!!! Kim
I started having abdominal pains about 3 months prior to being diagnosed. Pains were localized to the right side, so I thought it was gallbladder. I sometimes drive long distances for work (up to 10 hours) and several times I had to park on the side of the road and sleep for an hour or two. I did not think twice of it, just being tired.
It took me about a month to get to the walk-in clinic. Pelvic ultrasound showed 1 small ovarian cyst, doctor dismissed it as nothing to worry about; that wasted another 6 weeks. On my last business trip to Detroit in May when I noticed bloating (my belly looked like I was 8 months pregnant and spanx were not hiding it), I finally took it seriously. I did not want to get hospitalized in the States without insurance, so I drove back up to Canada, went to the ER, where I was diagnosed with stage 3 OVCA.