just getting started...very scared

special123 Member Posts: 22
edited March 2014 in Ovarian Cancer #1
Hi! I'm 39 years old. Two years ago I had my right ovary removed (borderline ovarian tumor). We have closely monitored my left ovary. I do not have any children and have been trying since the right ovary was removed. Sadly, I had surgery two weeks ago to remove the left ovary. While I was in the hospital, my doctor said initial reports appeared that it was borderline, and everything was good.

I went back Friday for my post surgery appointment. He said we needed to talk in his office that the finally pathology had come back. My heart sank. The final pathology indicated stage 1 epithelial ovarian cancer. I feel very lucky that it is stage one, however, he went on to say that the cancer was very confined to a small area, however, my ovary ruptured during surgery. I guess he was not going to tell me this if it had just been borderline. He said the fluid was thouroughly tested and was clear, but that since it had ruptured, I now have to have chemotherapy. How often do these things rupture during surgery? Should this have happened? I am devastated. I thought this horrible chapter of my life was over. I am TERRIFIED of needles and iv's. They had a horrible time starting an IV in the hospital, and then of course a vein/line blew. It's just horrible. I have horrible veins. I am terrifed of chemo bacause I know how hard it is to get a line started on me, and of course my hair. The doctor said I will loose my hair four weeks after my first treatment. I know some people who have chemo and don't lose their hair. Does it depend on the kind you get?

He pulled up the national cancer website and showed me where I am and my treatment. I am stage 1c grade 1. The chemo will be in 6 cycles. I think he said one cycle every three weeks (taxane/carboplatin).

I know I sound like a rambling idiot, but this is very new to me. Does anyone have any encouraging words about what the actual process is like, how soon I will experience nausea, and will I have a port or pic line? Not that I even know what those are, just words I have heard so far. I will be beginning my treatment in two to three weeks. Any words of advice will be so grately appreciated.

Thank you for listening!


  • kayandok
    kayandok Member Posts: 1,202 Member
    starting the journey
    Dear Special, I'm so sorry that you had to come here. You don't sound at all like a "rambling idiot" just someone who just heard they have cancer and will never be able to birth the baby that you really wanted. It is a shock and everyone feels many of the same feelings. There are answers for your questions and these ladies are great. You can also learn a lot from reading the archives.

    Carbo/taxol is the gold standard for ovarian cancer and with the anti-nausea and steriods, many women have minimal side effects. I was one of them. If you get a port, your vein issue shouldn't be a problem. I began loosing my hair two weeks after chemo, and just chose to shave it all off. Check out the "bald is beautiful" website for a positive look on bald. It is just hair and it does grow back. That's not to say that it can be an emotional issue, but one of those things you have to do to save your life I guess.... 1C grade 1 is not a bad place to be at all and there is a lot of hope for you that it was caught so early.

    Let's see, words of advice. It is a journey with all sorts of valleys, peaks, side roads and even beautiful scenery at times. Open yourself up for what you can learn, receive strength from the love and support of your love ones. Prayer, meditation, journaling and counseling were all helpful for me. Cry when you need to but don't forget to laugh too. Find the positive things you can in this. Even though it hasn't been easy, I have found so much to be thankful for in the last two years that I just took for granted. I know you can too. I am a 2 year survivor OVCA 3C.

    Prayers and warm hugs,
  • beckyracn
    beckyracn Member Posts: 322
    Special...grab yourself by
    Special...grab yourself by your boots straps and stand up tall...you can do this. Yes, being diagnosed is very scary and there are so many unanswered questions bouncing around in your head. Now is the time to advocate for yourself. If you have bad veins...get an infusaport. It's a simple procedure where they place a port into your chest, usually the left side, that they can use to administer the chemo. After treatments it will need to be flushed with Heparin every 4-6 weeks to prevent it from clogging (in the event you may need it again). My veins were shot due to receiving a medication, Vancomycin, several months prior to my diagnosis. It's been a God Send. And they can do blood draws through it.
    I didn't loose my hair during treatments, Cisplatin, but I did experience nausea/vomiting right away even with all the antiemetics they gave me. After several weeks of trial and error with combination meds, we did come up with a concoction that really helped. It never took all the symptoms away, but did make it tolerable. I also used acupuncture, which really helped, and still does with the on going symptoms.
    I'm baffled that the doc was going to withhold the information of your ovary ruptured during surgery...glad to hear that the fluid was clear.
    You've come to the right place for support and answers. You will find that although most of us have experienced some over-lapping symptoms/treatments, each one of our experiences are different. Keep your chin up and deal with each day as it comes...it's less stressful that way.
  • Carolhodnett
    Carolhodnett Member Posts: 27
    You'll be OK
    Hi: I read your post and it was as if I had written it. That is exactly what happened to me. I had a total hysterectomy in October to remove a tumor on my left ovary. It ruptured when they removed it and because of that I had to have six rounds of Chemo. I never ,ever expected to hear that I had ovarian cancer stage 1C. Like you I was terrified of the chemo and like you I have very tiny veins. I was asked if I wanted a port put in but I didn't. My nurses were excellent and able to get my vein every time. The chemo only made me sick twice. They will give you meds for that. My hair did fall out nine days after my first Chemo. I bought four different wigs and wore each one depending on my mood! I finished my Chemo on 2/13/09 and my husband took me to Mexico to celebrate. I've been tested several times and I am now considered cancer free. My hair is growing back. Everyone loves it. It is blionde, curly and spikey. I am just thrilled to have hair. You will get some great advice from the wonderful girls on here. They have been so helpful to me. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like. You are not alone. We have all been through it and we are all here for you every step of the way. You will be just fine! Take care, Carol
  • mopar
    mopar Member Posts: 1,972 Member
    SPECIAL 123!
    While I am saddened to hear that you must go through this journey, I am VERY encouraged regarding your stage and prognosis! Someday I will post my story on this website. In the meantime, in a nutshell, I was dx in 2000 with Stage 1C. Total hysterectomy, omentum, lymph node removal. My ovary had also ruptured. My doctor did not do a 'wash', as he felt it would surely show cancer cells and he knew I would be going through chemo anway. I managed the 6 Taxol/Carboplatin treatments (every 3 weeks) and was cancer free until 2006. I then developed another small mass which was removed along with my appendix and some lymph nodes, when through 6 more treatments. This time, the wash was clear and so were the lymph nodes. I will see my doctor this week, and hopefully I am on a continued remission.

    As for you, you have come to a place of support and encouragement beyond words. Please let us know how things are going and if you have any questions. Try to drink lots of liquids prior to chemo. It helps prepare your veins. Hopefully, your doctor will give you pre-meds the day before, the day of, and after chemo treatments. These will help minimize allergic reactions, prevent constipation, nausea, etc. Yes, with this regimine you will lose your hair, approximately day 21. It can be difficult, but the second time around I realized I would just have my hairdresser buzz off my hair really short. It minimized that anxiety when you see your hair first fall out. And actually, when my hair started to grow back and was super short, everyone loved it! It sure was easy to take care of. Before that I wore wigs to work and sometimes out. Otherwise, bandannas, hats, etc. Whatever you are comfortble in.

    Well, I have lots more to offer in the way of suggestions and support, but I won't overwhelm you. You let us know when you're ready for more. In the meantime, Stay Strong! If you have a strong faith, now's the time to really lean on that. If you like to read, get some books together to pass the time during chemo, and sometimes sleepless nights. Start a journal - how you're feeling, other thoughts, things you eat, how you respond to meds, etc. Mints, gum or hard candy can help the 'yucky' feeling in the mouth. Drink lots of fluids to help prevent constipation. I got a snow-cone machine that I used constantly. Even if I didn't feel up to drinking or eating, I could freeze some healthy beverages and let the ice chips melt slowly in my mouth. It was refreshing and at least I got some much-needed nutrients.

    Keep us informed. Lots of Luv and Hugs and Prayers to you! There are lots of brave, helpful warriors here. You will get through this!

  • BonnieR
    BonnieR Member Posts: 1,526 Member
    Hugs ♥ Prayers
    Special 123, I like that ~ for you are very special ~ and you will find the women here are all very special also. As you can tell by the responses to far. So glad you found this site as you well find it a great place to share, get support and answers.

    I am so sorry that you had to find us but in the same breath how fortunate to be diagnosed at an early stage. Follow the advice you have gotten so far and you shall do fine, especially the water one. Also get some straws and maybe plastic silverware as they help if things smell or taste off.

    If you visit your local American Cancer Society they will give you a free wig if you don't think you want to do the hats and scarfs. I personally prefer bald over a wig. Also ACS can refer to you someone who will usually cut the wig for you free or a minimal cost, they usually have a bit more hair than a person cares for.

    If you are afraid of the iv pokes ask your Dr about a port ~ especially if you have horrible veins. I will end here as I know you will get many many responses and it can all be a bit overwhelming. Come back often and let us know how you are doing and by the way you did not sound like a rambling idiot.

    Hugs ♥ Prayers Bonnie
  • special123
    special123 Member Posts: 22
    thank you!
    Dear friends,

    Thank you ALL so much for your words of encouragement. I teared up as I read each one. We are all in a place in our lives that we do not want to be, and yet if you look and listen, there are words of love and caring support all around.

    I am going to be strong, stronger than I ever knew I could or would have to be. I am not a person who feels that everything in life happens for a reason. Sometimes crappy things just happen. However, I do believe that we shape our lives by the choices we make in response to the crap. I'm sure I sound very poetic huh (tee hee)?

    Anyway, I should hear from my oncologist tomorrow who has to set up the referral for the chemo. I am sure I will have many questions to come. Maybe one day soon I will be strong enough to lend support to someone else.

    Thanks to all
    hugs & kisses
  • saundra
    saundra Member Posts: 1,370 Member
    You are developing the right attitude to be a great Teal Warrior! It is a process and doesn't come all at once. Not every one has nausea. I had very little. The message is that everyone has a little different side effects so don't put the idea in your head that you will have any. Just learn what the "might be's" are.
    I had Taxol plus carboplatin and the first treatment through me into constipation that I was not accustomed to dealing with so that was the hardest part for me. No nausea at all! I did have the nausea pills just in case and after 20 treatments still have some left. I did take Vit. B-6 and L-glutamin to ward off the numbness in fingers and toes and had little of that. I did take L-lutein to prevent mouth sores and had none of that. I did have a port and still do. Love it. My blood test are in the arm. I only get chemo in the port. Hope this helps... Saundra
  • ladyjogger31
    ladyjogger31 Member Posts: 289
    Hi Special123, you will definitely find this a place to share your ups and downs, ask questions and help others. These are amazing woman here full of encouragement, enthusiam, compassion and support. Please come here as often as you want.
    I wouldn't know what to do with out my friends here.It's an awesome bunch of "Teal Warriors".
    Hugs and Prayers, Terry
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