When I was 49 years old, I noticed my abdomen was enlarged. I wasn’t having any significant pain, but I was still concerned. I had trouble with fibroids in the past and needed surgery to remove them, so my doctor initially suspected I had fibroids again. This time, when I went in for surgery—I was diagnosed with stage 2c ovarian cancer. That was back in 1992.

I am now a long-term survivor of 28 years, but I still remember being shocked and surprised by my diagnosis. I never knew of any other women in my family with the disease. I had no idea what to expect or what my life would look like.

After my surgery to remove the ovarian cancer, I had several rounds of chemotherapy treatments. Thankfully, I didn’t have many side effects from the chemo. I was able to continue working. Somehow, I got through it!

I believe my support system made a big difference in my recovery. My family and close network of friends gave me so much support. They were always there for me at my side when I needed them!

I also took part in a support group for people with cancer. (That was before MOCA was founded in 1999.) When I later heard about MOCA from my nurse practitioner, I started attending their support groups. Getting to know other ovarian cancer survivors helped me feel less alone and keep the faith. These women knew exactly where I was coming from. I feel so fortunate to have been a part of these groups over the years. Now, I want to be there to offer hope and support to other women.

I am so grateful I have never suffered a recurrence of ovarian cancer. I continue to attend MOCA’s support groups to listen and share my experiences. As a long-term ovarian cancer survivor, I want to let other women know there is always hope! I believe they should think in those terms. I also want women to know they should reach out to MOCA. There is always someone there to listen.

I enjoy staying connected with MOCA, attending the walk-run event and keeping up with the latest information and research about ovarian cancer. Treatments have come so far over the years since I was diagnosed. I feel grateful to be able to share my story of survival with other women and give them hope for the future!

The information enclosed in Survivor Stories should not be considered a substitute for the opinion of a qualified health care provider. MOCA does not recommend or guarantee any product mentioned. Please use this information to assist you in obtaining further information and in making your own health care decisions.

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