Small Cell Ovarian Cancer Hypercalcemic Type - Survivor
Hello out there. I'm new here... but I probably shouldn't be. I was diagnosed with small cell ovarian cancer hypercalcemic type stage 3c last year around this time (March timeframe). It is a very rare cancer with a very low survival rate: 10% chance to make it to 5 years.
----------------------------------------------My story: I had an IUD (paragard) placed sometime in 2013. It just never seemed to work the way it was supposed to; I had an almost constant period and a bit of abdominal pain relatively regularly. Last year in February, I had noticed pressure in my abdomen while running (I am active duty Air Force, so I was training for a PT test) and it felt as though one of my organs had come loose and was bouncing around in there. I was getting fat, like I was pregnant or something...
I had also been feeling sick and had a hard time eating much. I had no idea that these were all signs of ovarian cancer at the time... I wish I would have acted sooner.
I went back to my gynocologist on base and she decided that we would remove the IUD. Before this I had gone to the doc a few times, complaining of all these symptoms... I was just sent home for the duty day and there was no follow up on the matter. My GYN though, she actually had some concern, so she ordered a bunch of tests and an ultrasound. I completed the ultrasound and they found a potato sized mass (about 13x11x15cm): my extra organ; the one bouncing around while I was running... the one that made my pants so tight...
The next few weeks were kind of a blur. I waited for an appointment on the army base that was set for about 3 weeks after the ultrasound. In the meantime, symptoms got worse and I ended up at the ER on a friday. I ended up having the mass removed that next monday and it was the size of a volley ball... It had grown from potato to volley ball in 2 weeks...
I recovered from surgery and awaited my results. My new GYN oncologist called me back about 2 weeks later and said I needed to get a port put in right away because were would start chemotherapy in three days. I had been diagnosed with SCOC stage 3c... I was 26 years old.
So, the war began and after about 6 months of aggressive inpatient treatment (I won't go into the chemo drugs) I completed 5 chemo treatments of 6 drugs each time. I finished in July of last year (2015). There have been no signs of recurrence. My hair has grown back and everything seems normal...
(((Sorry for the long story there)))
Anyway... I guess why I finally decided to come here is that I am having a hard time dealing with the prognosis. The 10% chance of making it to 5 years... It's too real. I wanted to be a geologist one day... I am being medical boarded and separated/retired from the AF.
I had heard of one or two more patients with this diagnosis lately and I want to help them... I'm not sure how to help because I don't know them, but I want to help. But I also realized that I need to get help first. I am trying to be optimistic, but my mental health is off. I have PTS about it a lot.
So, if anyone can give me some words of wisdom from a fellow cancer survivor, that would be awesome.
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