Piebaby's Journey with Ovarian and Fallopian Tube Cancer

Survivor: Ovarian and Fallopian Tube Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: almost 10 years ago, Female, Age: 69, Stage IIIC

  1. 1
    • Piebaby
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Cancer is back/Recurred

    Oh No

    In 1990, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in my left breast. I had a left modified radical mastectomy, and clear margins, so no chemo. or radiation was needed. I declined to take the drug tamoxifin, which revents harmone productions. I attempted having breast reconstruction, but it was unsuccessful, so the implant was taken out.One of the drugs givien during Breast surgery gave me an abcess in my color, and later I developed diverticulitis aroundthat same scarring sit in my colon. I've had a colon resection..but ther is some scarring , and a few random diverticuli still active in the large colon, so from time to time I have bouts of diverticulitis. Clear fluids for a couple days usually take care of it. All went well, until 2007, in January, when I began to have lower abdominal pain. I thought the diverticulitis has returned, and did the clear fludluid regeme..but no sucess. I began to feel bloated, and very fatigued. I saw my family doctor 7 times during a five month period between January and May 2007, and he never did a vaginal/rectal exam on me to rul e out any problem in that area..he thought I either had really bad diverticulitis or a bladder infections. So he put me on an antibiotic. , which was no help. By May, I was spending probably 60% of my time laying down, because sitting up was painfull, my abdomen was so swolllen, and the pain had now migrated to the right side, and into my back. In the middle of this, my insurance changed, and I had anew HMO. So I went to the new physicaian. , an internst, who did examine me, ordered lab work, and a pet scan, and vaginal ultrasound, and with 48 hrs. had made a referral to a gyno-oncologist. The next day I was examined, had an ultrasound, and diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer with a tumor the size of small football....Surgery followed 3 days later, and chemo-therapy started 3 weeks after that.

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  2. 2
    • Piebaby
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Debulking surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    My recovering from the Mastectomy was not too eventful, except I was horribly allergic to the tapes they used, so rather than tape, I was bandaged, and ace bandaged for 3 months. Drains plugged, and had to be replaced. I was allergic to the antibiotic they gave me after surgery, and developed an abcess in my colon (there was no way to know I would be allergic to that medication, I'd never taken it before). So, I was dealing with recovering fom the mastectomy, being totally lopsided, and learing how to sleep comfortably with a pillow under my surgery site to balance me when I slept on my stomach... And then getting the abscess in the colon better..that look some time and a avery expensive drug that could only be purchased in a couple of places in town, and it was so expensive (because it was used on transplant patients) I had to pay up front for it and then wait for my insurance to reimburse me....which took months... Another night mare.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • Piebaby
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    My Chemo therapy consisted of a 5-6 hr. treatment , then off for 3 weeks,then return at week 4 and start all over again, returning for fluid replinishment every 2-3 days for the first 10 days following checotherapy. My hair fell out after the first treatment. And after learing how to use the drugs for pain, diarrhea, and vomiting, as each week went by, it became easier to control the symptoms. by the 3rd week after a treatment, I was actually able to get up, dressed, and work at my home office..and actually feel weak, but close to normal. It was wierd ...the things you can and can't eat, or dont' want to eat. Don't alway want to eat yourfavorite foods when you have chemo...becasue by the time you're finishe...your favorite foods....you won't be able to look at them without thinkiing about how sick you were during chemo. My best advise, is "imbrace" the drugs they give you to take, make a log, and take them faithfull...these medical professionals deal with chemo aftermath on a regular basis,....so do what they say, and take the drugs as prescribed, it will really help.

    Easy to Do: Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Piebaby
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemo brain

    Side Effects

    Chemo brain is something that happens to women being treated for ovarian cancer with chemotherapy. Chemo drugs are the onlyone that they know of that bridge the blood-brain barrier, and because of this, the chemo drugs effect ones cognative thinking skills. Difficut writing, spelling, working w/ numbers, remembering things, remembering the names ofthings, or calling things by the wrong name,..not usually people, but you might call a apple a shoe, and not even know you said it. They say it can last us to 9 years after treatment, but my subsided after 4 years. Doctors dont' tell you about this, becasue they're still not sure it really exists....but I'm here ..along with million of other survivors to tell you it does exist, and it's wierd....just know when you're confused, having trouble being on time, or remembering dates, or staying on a schedule...it's not just you, it's our chemo-brain at work...... Learn to write everything down....

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  5. 5
    • Piebaby
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Home care

    Other Care

    When you're in the throws of chemotherapy from ovarian cancer, you really need help. Help, showering, fixing meals, driving you to appointments, keeping your medicine logs straight, and making sure you're talking the right medication at the right time. This is a 4-5 month procedure, and maybe longer, depending on your receptiveness to the drugs in your chemo-cocktail asthey call it. So be smart, and line up friends and family members, to put together a schedule of care of care for you, from cleaning house, to doing laundry, grocery shopping, taking care of your kids, it that's in the picture, helping your spouse out as much as possible, and giving the major caregiver in the house a break once or twice a week. Remember that caregiver whos with you all the time, is a 24/7 person who's in this right along with you...Remember..there's always more than ONE PATIENT IN THE ROOM, whena family member has cancer.

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  6. 6
    • Piebaby
    • Experience with Ovarian and Fallopian ...
    over 4 years ago
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    Finished treatment

    Celebration

    When you take that last Chemo treatment....it's like a celebration. "I did it"...you feel like you won a marathon, or it's your birthday, ...You actually won the "LIFE" lottery. YOur hair is starting to grown back, you lab's are looking good, good and there's no evidence of disease anymore. Sucess is yours!!! Now just take the time to heal, and get your strenght back. Continue seeing the doctors and lab on a regular basis, and pray for complete remission. If you have port, they'll probably want you to keep that in for a year., so you'll have to go get it flushed every 6 weeks...no biggie...compared to what you've been thru, right? Spend your next 6 months gettng stronger, walk for exercise. It's easy to do, you get fresh air, and even if its only around the block, it feels good to get out. HORRAY...YOU'VE DONE IT.

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