JDruding's Journey with Ovarian and Fallopian Tube Cancer

Survivor: Ovarian and Fallopian Tube Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment more than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 12 years ago, Female, Age: 59, Stage IIIC

  1. 1
    • JDruding
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian...
    about 5 years ago
    JDruding's Avatar

    Total abdominal hysterectomy, debulking, omentectomy

    Procedure or Surgery

    I would like to share these comments and may be adding to them as I feel inspired to do so. I know I'm a very fortunate and therefore grateful woman and owe so much to God, my wonderful family, especially my loving, caring, patient and understanding wonderful caregiver husband, and my amazing two oncologists. Only on the day of surgery did we obtain the diagnosis from the surgeon on a Sunday, after emergency surgery. I was totally blind-sided by the diagnosis and my doctor was able to reassure me and give all of us hope by having me admitted on a Friday after he was unable to perform an abdominal pelvic exam on me due to my severe pain, and he ordered the hospital to run testing, xrays, scans, bloodwork until they found out what was wrong with my abdomen and to not discharge me until a diagnosis was reached. My well being, and very survival depended on a good relationship between me and my doctors and nurses.ainful initially, recovering from the surgery with all the carterizing of internal areas where organ removal occurred, hospitalized for 3 days then home with pain meds to recover. Once the staples from the surgery were removed, after only 9 days, 8 days later I began chemotherapy with 6 mos first line treatment drugs of paclitaxol and carboplatin, weekly.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  2. 2
    • JDruding
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian...
    about 5 years ago
    JDruding's Avatar

    chemotherapy, low white and low red blood count meds of Leukine and Procrit respectively to treat chemo side effects, iron infusion treatments for developed anemia, and calcium infusions for replacement and neuropathy intervention therapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    I wanted most to live and survive my ordeal. I was a newly wed, having been married less than 5 years when diagnosed, so I did what I had to do to obliterate the cancer in my body, so although not easy to do, it was necessary evil. I survived the side effects, 15 - 18 days began and then total hair loss by the 18th day after beginning chemo, but had hair cut and donated to program, Lock for Love, which provides hair for wigs to youngster suffering illnesses which cause hair loss, so that made me feel somewhat better about losing my hair, at least before it all came out, I had my 14 inch length hair cut and donated, so only shorter hair to see collecting in the drain thereafter. I did save some locks, for color help, once I survived my ordeal I could at least have some to show colorist at beauty parlor whart it once looked like for help in matching it after chemo...assuming I would survive. Did obtain two free wigs from the cancer society program, AND participated eventually in ACS's Look Good, Feel Better program, and I did feel better after that sharing experience with others suffering cancer. Suffered headaches, insomnia, bloating, nose bleeds, which eventually blood vessels were carterized to stop the frequent nose bleeding. Developed yeast infection inside my mouth, thrush they called it, a chronic cough, congested due to fluid dumping side effect of chemo drug, which doctors erroneously feared was metesthesized cancer to lungs...horrible false alarm to endure, with fluid drawn from back between ribs to access lungs and obtain fluid sample to test for cancer presence.tolerated the ordeal but it definitely degraded my quality of life. I developed permanent peripheral neuropathy in both hands and both feet due to the chemo drugs, notice first tingling, burning after one month of chemo. Because of the neuropathy, was switched to taxotere and carboplatin after 4 months, neuropathy beginning to be severe, as were the nose bleeds. After 6 months, began 12 month single agent Taxol 2 weeks of treatment, one week off to recover, then 2 weeks of continued chemo, but was stopped after 8 mos and was placed on Gemzar and Carboplatin, but suffered allergic reaction after 2nd day of carboplatin, went anaphylaxis, after initial antidote epinephrine shots to counter my body going into shock, itchy hands, swollen tongue and throat, difficulty breathing, I was dying, but meds worked via quick action of 3 nurses and 1 doctor all tending to me, I lived and responded to the 2 or 3 antidote shots so the 911 call was never dialed. Then began the final chemo drug, that knocked down my CA125 to low normal levels, as they began rising under gemzar only treatment, underwent an emergency surgery for intussuception in the bowel, and then after recovery, dicontinued the gemzar all together and began 18 weeks regimen of Topotecan/Hycamptin 5 days on 2 weeks off, I think...needed lots of Leukine shots cause white blood counts very low .

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  3. 3
    • JDruding
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian...
    about 5 years ago
    JDruding's Avatar

    Ineligible due to too many drug treatments...

    Clinical Trial

    After 3 different treatment regimens of chemo, and 4 different chemo drugs, eventually I sought out another gyn-oncologist to seek info on participating in clinical trials taking place at Franklin Square Hospital under Dr. Wllm McGuire and was told basically I had already been treated with too many drugs to participate since the reliability of trials are to test a patient with recurrent cancer...he felt I NEVER suffered recurrence, and recommended I terminate the 28 month chemo treatments immediately, and go enjoy my life, until recurrence occurs...so on Good Friday, after 28 months, I had my last chemo treatment, and have been cancer free for more than 5 and one half years now, and no longer am treated by the chemo doctor for follow up visits, only see the gyn oncologist every 3 mos for check ups and narcotic perscriptions for my chronic peripheral chemo induced neuropathy and see a neurologist every 3 mos to monitor nerve damage stability or progression.

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  4. 4
    • JDruding
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian...
    about 5 years ago
    JDruding's Avatar

    Nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)

    Side Effects

    Probably the most bothersome permanent side effect is the chemo-induced peripheral neuropathy, requiring medical treatment of opiods and Lyrica, 2 of 3 meds have no generic, so are $$. But I am alive, and although I have gained weight, am less active, sometimes depressed, suffer chemo brain memory lapses, feel like my brain is swiss cheese with big holes, am glad to be alive.

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  5. 5
    • JDruding
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian...
    about 5 years ago
    JDruding's Avatar

    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    My nurses and doctor photographed with me and my mom and husband on final treatment/graduation from chemo day with a congratulations helium balloon, photo placed on a survivors board in the treatment room for others to see I had completed treatment, and survived, so all would know why I wasn't there anymore, NOT that I had passed. I have never once regretted the decision to partake in every one of the chemo regimens.... I was scared, truly afraid, but prayer made me braver. When I walked into a room full of machines and chairs and people in differing stages of treatment, I wanted to run, but of course I didn't and I'm so glad I didn't. I have never met anyone with more compassion and affection for others than my oncology nurses. More smiles, hugs and encouragement have never been given to me and although I know God himself, my successful surgery and the 28 months of chemo saved my life, those caring people rescued me from despair and depression; as God blessed, comforted and spared me, my husband nourished me, my body and my soul and took me out for a special romantic dinner evening in celebration of LIFE. Thank you Lord!!

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