Ster's Journey with Serous Type

Patient: Ovarian and Fallopian Tube Cancer > Epithelial Ovarian Carcinoma > Serous Type

Patient Info: Currently in active treatment (initial surgery, receiving chemo rounds/radiation), Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Female, Age: 51

  1. 1
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    After six months of abdominal pain, bloating and urinary pressure, my docs finally decided to remove my "cysts." My CA-125 was checked twice and was very low, the tumors appeared to shrink and grow, causing my gynecologist to believe it was not malignant. He was unfortunately wrong. Diagnosed as IIIc with two large cysts and spread to my diaphragm and bladder. I opted for debulking/hysterectomy 4 days later.

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  2. 2
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Abdominal hysterectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    The docs removed my uterus, fallopian tubes, both ovaries, two tumors, my appendix and my omentum (fatty layer around organs). They left two small tumors on my bladder and diaphragm as they did not want to interfere with urination or breathing. They believed that chemo would take care of the small tumors. I was not thrilled with this, but the docs seem to have the idea that they know best (I told em to take it all out).

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My doctor did not follow the standard of care as he believed strongly in following the results of tumor assay. So I did Carboplatin/Gemzar for six months. It was lousy but tolerable. I did not lose my hair and continued to try to work and live normally. I felt off, kinda flu-like but never threw up or ran a fever. Just felt nasty. The little tumors that were left disappeared after three rounds of chemo. I was happy that I was NED. Until August, when I recurred -- giving me the label of platinum-resistant.

    Easy to Do: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Anemia (low red blood cell counts)

    Side Effects

    Tired, felt "off". No longer could drink coffee. Ate lots and lots of carbs. Low platelets, white blood cells, red blood cells, etc. Got delayed a couple of times because of it but never had to stop. Never threw up or lost my hair. Just felt lousy but could still function.

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  5. 5
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    Felt some abdominal pain and moved up my CT scan by a couple of weeks and sure enough. There was a mass in the lower pelvis and spots on the liver. Could not get a biopsy of the mass, but did biopsy the liver. Cancer had returned. Immediately -- very bad news.

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  6. 6
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Was offered palliative care! No way, not yet. Found out that I was BRCA-1 positive and found a PARP clinical trial that suited me at NIH -- crossed fingers and took the plunge into experimental treatment.

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  7. 7
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Clinical Trial

    NIH trial testing Olaparib (Parp inhibitor) combined with 6 mos Carboplatin.

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  8. 8
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Fatigue (tiredness)

    Side Effects

    Chemo was worse second time around even though I got less of it. Perhaps it was the addition of parp --- very tired, digestive issues, sore, sleeplessness, just felt super crappy. I still could function though -- never had nausea, did have one set of mouth sores, bone pain....all kinds of things although nothing completely debilitating. Was happy when it was over.

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  9. 9
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    Told my pelvic tumor was growing too large and I needed to leave clinical trial to find different treatment. XXX.

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  10. 10
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Went to get 2d and 3d opinion. Got an MRI and PET and guess what -- no pelvic mass. None. Cannot confirm any active cancer right now at all -- liver spots might still be active but cannot tell. Might be NED. Whoo hoo. NIH is stunned, admits mistake and puts me back into clinical trial.

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  11. 11
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Breakthrough

    Celebration

    No big tumor No big tumor No big tumor. Hooray!!!!!

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  12. 12
    • Ster
    • Experience with Serous Type
    over 5 years ago
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    Clinical Trial

    Back on the parp with minimal side effect -- some fatigue, weight gain and sleeplessness. No complaints from me though!

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