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14 year,stage 4 survivor

leesag's picture
Posts: 625
Joined: Jan 2010

Hi ladies!

I found this bit of happy news on the Inspire discussion board!

"What do you mean by long-time survivor? I am a 14 year ovarian, stage 4 survivor, and yes, I do take supplements and have since my initial surgery. I feel as if they are an important part of keeping my immune system built up so IT can control the cancer. I had a total "cleanout" surgery, and did 6 courses of taxol and carboplatin over a seven mos period. Fighting cancer became 'my job', and I researched any info I could find. I am very strong in my faith and spent a lot of time in prayer as well. I am and have been well since I finished up the chemo. I do no other meds or treatments and can do anything and have loads of energy. I feel very blessed."

sanam's picture
Posts: 112
Joined: May 2010

Thanks Leesag!
thanks for your boost.I was crying the whole evening after reading Melanie and Nancy's posts.I was not able to say a word to them.Speechless.
You made my night.

cptv8ing's picture
Posts: 25
Joined: Jun 2010

I desperately want to meet a stage IV long time survivor in person. So I know they exist! This is great! It really is all about the immune system and oxygen. I've read some really great stuff about what to do I just lack the time to put it in action.

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msfanciful's picture
Posts: 581
Joined: Nov 2009

Thanks Leesa,

This is truly inspiring and encouraging.

God, I pray we all can claim 14 years!

Thank you again,


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

Stage 4 & still here 14 years later. I'll buy a ticket for that ride


Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2010

In early 2008 I was passing blood. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a bladder infection. The bleeding continued and I was sent to the urologist for a look into my bladder. I also developed pneumonia. Finally the bleeding stopped. I had asked my primary care doctor if he thought I could have ovarian cancer. I had a complete hysterectomy at age 31 and now I was 64. He couldn't say. Anwway, a year later, January 2009, the blood appeared again. I went right to the urologist. Another scope said my bladder was fine. Then I went to the primary, another bladder infection. Five rounds of antibiotics, no relief. Also the odor was like something dead. I had zero energy. I borrowed two tampons from my daughter in law, to see if the blood was indeed coming from my bladder or from my vagina. The sight of blood on the tampon scared me. I called and made an appointment with a gynacologist. I had decided I was going to die if I continued to wait for the primary to find what was wrong. The gynacologist took a look and was very alarmed that there was tissue in my vagina that should not be there. She did a sonogram which showed a mass behind my bladder. She asked if I was sure they had removed my uterus, because this blob looked like one. She sent off the tissue and the next day gave myself and my family the bad news. She scheduled me in to see a gynecological oncologist. Two weeks later I had a very major surgery. I lost a section of my colon, my vagina and cuff had to be disected and put back together. The cancer was invasive in the lymph nodes in my pelvis, but not in the upper abdomen. Twenty days after surgery I started Taxol and Carboplatin. It was so difficult. I was in bed for eight days with severe pain. Then I was so weak, I could barely get to the bathroom. After three Taxol treatments he decided it was just too hard on me and changed to Taxotere. I had three more treatments. I still had pain, still spent many days in bed, but it was not quite as bad. Another CAT scan was done and my cancer markers on the blood tests were in the 4.5 to 6.6 range, so I did not have to have radiation. I feel good. The last blood test was 4.5. I just had another CAT scan. He told me the cancer can come back. I am just so thankful that God has given me more time with my family. I just work now and then. I rest and take care of my family. Each holiday and birthday that has been celebrated in the last year is cause to stop and say thank you to God for the blessing of life. As late spring and early summer came, I remembered where I was a year ago! Wow, I have so much to be thankful for. The skill of my surgeon/oncologist, the chemo and God, allowed me to see my oldest granddaughter have her 13th birthday. I keep asking God to please allow me to see her graduate-from high school, college and medical school-she wants to be a doctor. I try not to dwell on the "it can come back" and take each day as a wonderful gift.

kikz's picture
Posts: 1346
Joined: Jun 2010

I am so happy you are doing so well but at the same time the scenario of missed diagnosis or no diagnosis is appalling and yet so common to the many women faced with these diseases. We cling on to whatever bits of good news we hear but I pray for a time when good news is the norm.

I long to scream out about ovarian cancer. They say it is rare, it accounts for only 3% of cancers in women but to the women affected by this disease there is nothing rare about it. It seems because it is not that common it does not get the attention needed to find a cure or at the very least better treatment options.

This is a quote I took from the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance website:

According to the data, the mortality rates for ovarian cancer have not improved in thirty years since the “War on Cancer” was declared. However, other cancers have shown a marked reduction in mortality, due to the availability of early detection tests and improved treatments. Unfortunately, this is not the case with ovarian cancer, which is still the deadliest of all gynecologic cancers.

Well ladies, I guess we have the wrong kind of cancer. Each human life is as important as the next. To us ovarian cancer is THE most important cancer. Are they saying that because only 14,000 of us are dying each year we don't merit more vigilent research?

I'll get off my soapbox now. It feels good to get things off my chest. I just wish our voices could be heard by a broader audience.

Everyone have a great day!


Posts: 4
Joined: Jun 2010

I guess chemo brain took over and I forgot to say that when it was all said and done I did not have ovarian cancer but peritoneal cancer. They had some trouble identifying it because the cells didn't match anything they were looking for. The reason I was so weak was that the tumor which was over 10 cm in diameter was taking all of my blood to grow itself. I had to have four units of blood during and after surgery to get my blood pressure to stabalize.

Posts: 48
Joined: Jul 2009

It sure is good to vent Karen! I'm thinking those of us with this 'minority cancer' all need to get on a soapbox about it! All the research for the different illnesses started with a squeaky wheel...hopefully the time has come for Ovarian cancer sufferers to be heard. I think it is!! Beth

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