Carol-Charlie's Journey:

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

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 11 years ago, Female, Age: 74

  1. 1
    almost 5 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Cancer has spread/Metastasized

    Oh No

    From the time I had watched Gilda Radner discuss her ovarian cancer I held a special fear of it. I'd had several back injuries and when the most noticable symptom was back pain - I joked... boy just watch if I get cancer it will be that, and I'll never notice till I die. Then I placed the idea securely in the very last file drawer of my mind.

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  2. 2
    almost 5 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Debulking surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    When the doctor awakened me to say it had been cancer... it had spread to my intestines and euretha.. He said he had removed all (by scraping) that he could see. He had removed both ovaries and that the right side tumor was 39lbs. Yes you're reading that correctly. I was very very groggy... but as he started to leave the room I remember calling out to him. "Doctor... how long do I have?"... Through half closed eyes, I saw him turn, this handsome doctor had a heart broken look on his face... he punched the door frame... answered "six months." Then he all but ran from the room. I nestled back into the pillow... I must have been still very high on the drugs as my last thoughts were "lets see six months, it will be summer... the boys (my three adult sons) won't have to stand out in the cold like I did for my dad......" My breathing was affected... I'd just not breathe... really. The had alarms and nurses running in yelling CAROL BREATHE..BREATH!!!... A three day anticipated stay turned into 9 days. I went home and fell into bed that first night. My sweet kitties settled in one resting where my back hurt and one snuggled in my arms by my tummy. It was the best nights sleep. The next morning the home nurse came... (oh and I had oxygen for home use too to keep my oxygen level up) The home nurse didn't like the looks of the incision.... had me go to local hospital... Yup.... MRSA.... I had to head off to the hospital for another week of I/V intibiotics.... Then came home with $99.00 a pill antibiotics. Thank God I've been tested and retested and there is no sign of MRSA within or on me.... Thank you Lord!!!

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Disagree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    almost 5 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Bone strengthening drugs

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I was part of a "new" resurrection of an old treatment for OC.. They had implanted a port beneath my skin, above a rib, that would allow them to place a needle in and input the chemo directly into my abdomine. I looked it up on line... the wording scared the heck out of me... It said "due to the excrutiating pain" majority of women do not complete the six cycles of three infusions of chemo. HOWEVER... I never felt pain at any time during these infusions. NEVER! It was so new that I was the first patient that was having it and the chemo nurses 'learned' how to acces the port on me. They all kept appologizing, and I don't think they believed me that it didn't hurt. They inserted the needle through the scar and the nerves there were not working... so really no pain. The only thing about the chemo that bothered me was as it builds in your system, you become more and more tired. I finally called my doctor and mentioned I was so very tired... He responded that they were pouring a deadly poison into me, and my body was fighting that and the cancer cells.... no wonder I was tired. He said..."If you're tired - sleep!" which I then did. No guilt... kitty at my back, kitty in my arms... the sound of gentle purring... Life and sleep was good. My saint of a husband took such great care of me.... (and our diabetic cat who was insulin dependent). I was always Charlie's caregiver, but now Tom had to.... I would always sing to Charlie a "Charlie Song" when I was warming his ears to give him his blood test prior to giving the insulin. I remember a massive outpouring of love my Tom, when I heard him gently singing to Charlie while he heated his little ear. I forgot to mention, that my wonderful Gynacological Oncologist Surgeon (looks alot like Dugie Houser of TV Fame). When I came in prior to chemo he had me have a PET CT Scan and we looked at the results together... I saw nothing... He was jumping up and down in his seat... pounding on my arm and all but yelling..."OMG I got it all... Carol I got it all" But we decided together to fight this thing all the way... and we did the chemo anyway. I used clippers with my Tom and removed my hair after it had started falling out in gobs... We both looked in the mirror, both of us with a few tears... and he said. Carol...you look like your brother!... We laughed and laughed and hugged. When I told my brother... he took offense... he said "Now what's wrong with that?" I said... Dave... picture it... You with boobs... Dave laughed. I made it through with the doctor prescribing... anti-depression drug, neulasta, steroids, ... nausea drugs... I never felt pain, I never felt sick... I did however, lose my sense of taste... but, being me, I fought to eat and did... taste problem lasted about five to six months.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  4. 4
    almost 5 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Decision Point

    At the end of the year of chemo... both I/V and I/P.... my hair started growing in... had a rather cool white (honestly..pure white like my fathers had been) crew cut... Went in for checkup... The doctor said... Carol I want you to think about this. There have been recent studies regarding your cancer that showed that after reciving the treatment you've just finished, we had a control group that just went on with their lives and did the required check ins and blood test, and another group that went on to take a VERY STRONG (his accentuation not mine) chemo once a month for a year. My hand went up to my hair... he laughed and said yup it will go again.... I asked him if I were his mother would he advise that I do this. He responded.... "If you were my mother... I'd make you do it"... So okay... we hopped on another year of seeing the friends I'd made of the nurses and techs, PAs and my doctor for another year. BUT when we left his office... I was down... Tom said... come on lets go buy you a new wig.... a red one... We did. I even wore it to church... the priest hugged me and said.... Don't tell anyone, but you look kinda sexy in that. Bless his heart. I gave it to a lovely young woman with auburn hair (that was the color of my wig).

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  5. 5
    almost 5 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Side Effects

    I did have side effects... Chemo Brain stands out.... A dear friend let me know my complaints were chemo related (I was thinking... oh no.. now Alzimers too) This lovely lady let me know it was Chemo Brain... Anemia.... had these expensive shots - felt better

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  6. 6
    almost 5 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Survivor Party with other patients of my oncologist.

    Celebration

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    1 Comment
  7. 7
    over 4 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Oh No

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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  8. 8
    over 4 years ago
    Carol-Charlie's Avatar

    Procedure or Surgery

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

    Went as Expected: Not Specified
    Minimal Recovery: Not Specified
    Minimal Side Effects: Not Specified
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Not Specified
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