This is how my survivor story begins.

At my annual physical exam in September 2009, my doctor informed me that he felt something different – but not to worry, as he thought it was simply fibroids. My doctor then scheduled an ultrasound to be done the next day.

The ultrasound showed an 8cm and a 12cm tumor. This was quickly followed by an MRI and finding a gynecologic-oncologist. My CA-125 at the time of the surgery was 38.5. While it can be a good marker for other women, clearly, it was not a good marker for me.

My surgery took place on September 28, 2009. My ovaries, fallopian tubes, lymph nodes, cervix, uterus and omentum were removed. After surgery, I was informed that it was indeed ovarian cancer and I was staged at IIC.  After recovering from surgery, I started the standard chemo treatment of six rounds of Taxol and Carboplatin. I experienced severe bone pain and also had to receive Neulasta shots two or three times because of low white blood counts. I then went on Avastin but stopped after 9 treatments because of the side effects I experienced.

Four and a half years later, my cancer had returned. In March 2014 I had more surgery followed by chemo. This time they started with Carbo/Taxol and later switched to Gemcitabine/Carboplatin with the hope of tricking the cancer cells and getting rid of them permanently!

Following the chemo treatments, I agreed to participate in a PARP inhibitor research study which I am still on. I am monitored weekly and my hopes are that if any little cancer cells want to revisit, my body will let them know they are not welcome and to GO AWAY!

Cancer has been a very humbling experience and I have to say that I am a far better person as a result of it all. Lessons and challenges I would not wish on anyone, yet it is what it is.

I believe that family, friendship, laughter, healthy eating, along with exercise, are all that matters and it is always one day at a time.

MOCA is and always has been such a wonderful supportive organization that I am so happy being a part of.

Cancer can be so isolating and lonely, but with the support, love and caring, when coming together with others traveling on the same journey, there is a new found beauty that emerges bringing forth joy never imagined.

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.