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Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2004

Hi everyone,

I wanted to introduce myself. My name is Jane and I was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3C. I had a bilateral hysterectomy two weeks ago. It was a nightmare. I was so sick by the time I went to the ER that they couldn't do the surgery for a week. Even then they didn't know if I would make it. I was puking a bunch of black gunk but I don't remember the whole week before the surgery because I was on morphine. They said they pumped 7 liters of stuff out of my abdomen. So I'm home now but still having awful problems with constipation and cramps. Is the fairly normal? My home health care nurse put me on a bowel regimen but it makes me get terrible cramps and diarrhea, then I don't eat and go back to the constipation. I cry all the time I am so terrified. I have to go for my first visit to the oncologist tomorrow to discuss chemo which scares me to death. I don't feel well enough to start it yet. Any advice and encouragement would be greatly appreciated.

BonnieR's picture
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jan 2004

Hello, my name is Bonnie. I had stage 3c ovarian cancer also, the cancer was everywhere - even in my liver. I was terribly sick after surgery and actually had fluid pumped from my abdomen on a regualar basis. I also had bowel problems actually had a blockage that put me in the hospital for another 2 weeks. Chemo isn't fun but it is worth it. I finished 8 doses of chemo July 17th and no signs of cancer todate. I will keep you in my prayers as I know prayers are what made the difference in my health.

Bonnie Rose

Posts: 1995
Joined: May 2003

Hi Jane, this is Monika. My heart breaks when I hear of a situation such as yours. I know what you are going through. However, I had stage 1C, total hysterectomy and chemo. I am pleased to say that it will be 4 years in March since my surgery, and 4 years in September since I completed chemo. So as your other supportive replies say, 'keep your chin up'. I will tell you that you will probably never 'feel up to' chemo. Your body is going through so much. But your doctor is wise to start immediately. Originally I wasn't going to have chemo for about 2 months after my surgery. But my doctor rethought this and my first treatment was a few weeks after the surgery. I'm glad we moved forward quickly.

I agree with the suggestions regarding constipation. Colace is what I used (and it will tend to get worse with chemo - be sure to drink LOTS of fluids, mostly water). But fiber is vitally important also (ground psyllium is best). You can get that at any health food store.

If you have any other questions, feel free to e-mail me. I will try to set up my account on this site today so that you can do that.

My best to you. My prayers will be with you and your family. We are ALL survivors!

Posts: 650
Joined: Mar 2003

Hi Jane,

You've come to the right place, and I hope you get some comfort here!

I had constipation after my surgery, but I suspect it was largely due to the Vicodin, which is a blessing and a curse at the same time. Please try to keep with the regimen that the nurse suggests-she wants you to feel good, too.

I was terrified of chemo, but found little to be afraid of after the first session. Just be sure to drink lots of fluids the day before to get your veins plumped up-it really helps! I always felt well enough to drive myself to and from the treatments, and only "felt" the effects starting a couple of days after each treatment, and then it was just feeling tired. I would say, out of all the things I had done to me, that the chemo treatments were fairly innocuous.

I had ovarian stage 1C and uterine stage 1B, and had spent a week in a local hospital with a pulmonary embolism before going to a bigger hospital for my surgery.

It's all scary, but don't be afraid to admit it, and I hope you'll not be so afraid of the chemo! I'm sure you could find someone who has had the experience in your hometown who would be willing to tell you about it, if you wanted to talk to them. Perhaps the American Cancer Society could help, or you might jump into the chat room and see if you could start a discussion about it.

One thing I found very useful was doing "yoga breathing"-taking in deep breaths starting deep in my lungs and inflating them to the top, and then exhaling somewhat slowly. It has really helped me through all of this (believe me, I'm no yoga master).

Take some things to your chemo sessions-which tend to take almost a full day-to keep yourself busy, if you feel like it. I suggest something for music-a cd player or the like, a lunch and beverages you like (I had to ask if I could bring lunch, after discovering I would need it), slippers (so you can take your shoes or boots off), and reading materials. Maybe some of the others here can suggest some things, too. Make a day of it-your day!

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I see you are new and wanted to welcome you to 'our' site. There are so many wonderful people to talk to and to help you here.
I too was dx with Stage IIIC Ovarian Cancer on 12-22-2000. I understand you terror and fear. It's an awful place to be. There is not much I can add to the answers you have recieved except I will keep you in my prayers and am also available to you should you need one on one support.
With Much Love..SWScott (Teri50)

Posts: 1560
Joined: May 2006

I see you are new and wanted to welcome you to 'our' site. There are so many wonderful people to talk to and to help you here.
I too was dx with Stage IIIC Ovarian Cancer on 12-22-2000. I understand you terror and fear. It's an awful place to be. There is not much I can add to the answers you have recieved except I will keep you in my prayers and am also available to you should you need one on one support.
With Much Love..SWScott (Teri50)

Posts: 9
Joined: Jan 2004

Hello Janey!
I'm sorry to hear that we have added another member the infamous ovarian cancer club. I was diagnosed with ovaria cancer stage IIID in 1999 and have been fighting it ever since. I went through the traditional treatments of surgery and chemo, but had 3 recurrences during the last 4 years. My last recurrence was in 2003 and in October my tumormarkers went all the way to 720, I was looking chemo straight in the eye, AGAIN. But this time I decided to try something different, Why repeat the same stuff over and over, when the results are just not there. I am now in remission and my tumormarkers are below 20! I did treatments with Dr. Stephen Edelson in Atlanta without any side effects, no hair loss, no nausea, no numbness in the hands and feet, etc. Please give him a call and see if he can do something for you. His number is 404 841-0088.
Good Luck!

Posts: 1
Joined: Jan 2004

HI!~ My name is Sherry! I am in remission my last treatment was 2001 in November!~As of now I am looking for assstance for check-up I have not been able to find anyone to help me find a place to check my blood count.
I live in Anaheim, Calif

Posts: 12
Joined: Apr 2003

Hang in there girl! I was diagnosed stage 2 in 7-03, total Hyst by a gyn/Onc 8-03, began 6 chemo treatments in 9-03. I remember the throwing up, had it in the hosp after surgery, lasted about a week. Still get hiccups when my stomach is too full with fluids or food. I process everything slower I guess. All is well now. Finished chemo 1-03. I have ca125 and checkups every 3 mos, will graduate to 6 mos checkups now. Hang in there, I was told by an encouraging friend that all that builds character, I have enough already! You will get past it, and will be glad to have the chemo right away. Prayers and best wishes to you.

pshnyc's picture
Posts: 45
Joined: Feb 2003

I had terrible constipation after surgery and during/after chemo. Unfortunately, it gets worse with chemo. Also had terrible gas pains. Still have constipation. Believe it or not, what helped me the most was getting reflexology from a massage therapist the day after chemo. Reflexology is foot massage concentrated on "pressure points" on the feet that correspond to all your body's organs. It feels wonderful. It not only helped with my symptoms of constipation/gas, but helped me relax, breath better and recover more quickly. And, don't be afriad of chemo -- this was actually the easiest part of treatment for me. I was dx with Stage 1C ovarian in April 01 and have remained cancer free. Good luck -- let us know how you are doing. Stay strong.

Posts: 5
Joined: Jan 2004

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Mwee's picture
Posts: 1341
Joined: Nov 2009

We understand the nightmare that you are in. I was diagnosed 3C in 2006. Chemo sounds very scary, but in fact it can be the gateway to giving you back your life. We will help you each step of the way. There are several posters on this site that are just starting their chemo regiment like you. Constipation and diarrhea are common problems here and we discuss "poo" often. Hang on tight and please know that you will find friends and comfort here.
(((HUGS))) Maria

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

Hello Jane. I am sorry you have had such a hard time with your health, but the surgery is over now which is one good thing. Chemotherapy is a means to an end. For me the 1st round of chemo was hardly noticable and I only felt mildy effected by it.

Something else which I have learnt is: the beginning bit is by far the most frightening because everything is new and scary. As the days and weeks go on you will begin to feel a little calmer as you realise and come to terms with what is happening to you. The hardest bit is behind you - the diagnosis. Chemotherapy drugs today are fantastic and they can give you drugs to stop the awful side effects.

I really wish you well. Love tina xxxxx

Keep in touch so we know how you are doing

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009


Your story is so familiar. I was diagnosed in Sept of 2009, also stage IIIc. I was in the hospital 16 days with my surgery, due to one complication after another. I had blood transfusions, TPN feedings (due to uncontrollable vomiting), etc. It was a nightmare.

Like you, I was still very, very sick when I came home and my doctor ordered home health care nurses twice a day.

Constipation was a given for me, for quite a while. I don't know if it contributed to it or not, but I had 8-10 inches of intestine removed during the debulking surgery. I know the pain meds make it much worse. I used Miralax twice a day and it worked quite well, plus I took a lot of stool softeners. Now that I am off the pain meds, I take two stool softeners daily and have had no bowel issues for quite some time.

I cried at the drop of a hat for weeks. Every day, I threw myself a pity party. Finally, I got past that and learned to focus on treatment and quality of life.

I had a terrible first session with the chemo, but after that, it was almost easy. Now I am finished with first line treatment and have signed up for a year of maintenance chemo. I recently ordered a tee shirt that says, "I love the smell of chemo in the morning". Don't be afraid of the chemo. Embrace it. It is the stuff that's going to keep you alive. Everything else is just small potatoes, believe me.


nancy591's picture
Posts: 1057
Joined: Sep 2009

Does anyone know how this posting got bumped up? The original posting datge is 2004.

Hissy_Fitz's picture
Posts: 1869
Joined: Sep 2009

It looks like Susan Holly bumped it/responded, then removed her comments.

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