Stay strong and keep fighting. Nice picture too.
- Member Since Sep 2012
Their Diagnoses (2)
- Survivor: Ovarian and Fallopian Tube Cancer
- Patient Info: Living with cancer as a chronic illness (undergoing adjuvant therapy), Diagnosed: over 7 years ago, Female, Age: 70, Stage IV
- View this journey (5 Experiences)
- Patient: Ovarian and Fallopian Tube Cancer
- Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago
- View this journey (0 Experiences)
Corky shared a photo
2012 "Run for Her" for Ovarian Cancer. Diagnosed in 1994 and have had Ovarian Cancer twice since being re-diagnosed in 2010. I'm living with cancer and the cancer is very stable, so no chemo as of yet. I've developed kidney disease (Dec 2012) and could be related to the cancer, but it's so vary rare for me to have this particular kidney disease I'm being treated for the kidney problem and putting the cancer on the back burner for now. I'm very ill and on 14 different drugs that have terrible side effects. So the cancer will have to wait till I get stronger to deal with it all. Good luck to all of my cancer friends out there and keep the faith!!
Corky shared an experience
Oh No (Cancer has spread/Metastasized): The following is my story of an event that has happened to me in addition to struggling with Ovarian Cancer for 19 years (1994). Since it’s so very rare, I would like to know if anyone else out there has had this experience.
I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer for the third time in 2010. The cancer has metastasized to my bladder as well. I will be having chemo as some point in time, but since it was only one year since my last chemo, the doctor’s want to wait (long story). I have now, early in December, 2012 been diagnosed with kidney disease (Minimal Change Kidney Disease). And it is very rare to have that and ovarian cancer. There are only 9 other’s, besides me, who have this is the world and the treatment is very difficult to determine at this time. I also have autoimmune disease, which means my immune system is attacking my kidneys instead of healing them. I’m on two different kinds of immunosuppressant’s to try to get my immune system calmed down and do its job, but so far it’s not working. I’m very weak and fatigued and have been very swollen all over my body. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks and because of my compromised immune system I was sent home to avoid infection. Needless to say it’s been a huge struggle for me and I’m extremely worried about the outcome. If the treatment I am on right now does not work within another month or so, I will start chemo for the ovarian cancer, since there may be a link between the ovarian cancer and the kidney disease. I and the doctor’s at Kaiser Permanente are reaching out to other research facilities, but no other hospital has experienced any other patients with my situation.
My husband Daryl also has Leukemia, but has been rock during my time of need. He struggles with his weakness and fatigue, but tries not to show it. I am on a restricted diet and he does all of the grocery shopping to the dismay of his relentless searches for the right foods. He tends to my every need and I feel so very blessed to have him in my life. I’m very limited in my movement and because of my compromised immune system we don’t have many visitors, nor do I go out much, except to see a doctor. Right now my health seems to be improving very, very slowly, but I’m still taking lots of medication. My doctor keeps lowering my doses on some meds to wean me off completely. I just pray the improvement will continue and I will be able to be cured.
Thanks for reading. Corky McLellan
Corky shared an experience
Procedure or Surgery (Surgery): Corky’s Cancer Story
I have experienced ovarian cancer three times now, starting in 1994. I was 49 years old and was having my regular yearly Gynecological exam. I had been having a very slight pain in my right pelvic area, but only once in a while and I wasn’t even going to mention it to the doctor, but I thought I should. While examining me the Gynecologist said she was going to explore a little further and when she did, wow did I feel the pain.
I immediately went for a vaginal ultrasound and there was a pelvic mass found, which had grown around my right ovary. Around 1988 I had my left ovary removed because of a benign tumor and the doctor performing the surgery, for some reason, took out most of my right ovary. I believe to this day he should have taken the whole thing. Anyway, that 1/5 of my ovary turned out to be Ovarian Cancer. I did not know the stage, but I believe it was a pretty early stage. I guess I was pretty naïve at that time and I don’t remember what my ovarian cancer tumor marker, CA125 level was.
I had surgery, to remove the tumor mass, 6 rounds of chemotherapy with Carboplatin and Cytoxan, every 3 weeks. I was out of work for 6 months. I reacted to the chemo very well, but had a lot of nausea and fatigue. I did not lose my hair so that was a good thing. I did not have any significant side effects and was able to go back to work in May, 1995. I started having CT scans every 3 months for the first year then 6 months then a year. After about 3 years, I stopped having scans.
Then in April, 2009 ovarian cancer raised its ugly head once again, after almost 15 years in remission, to the surprise of the doctor’s. Again during a regular yearly physical, my blood work showed that my CA125 had started to elevate. At that point I had a CT scan and a tumor mass was found in my left pelvic area. One might ask, if you had no ovary on that side why was there an ovarian mass? I asked that question and it turns out that even if you don’t have any ovaries, there can still be ovarian cells floating around, and in my case that’s what happened and unfortunately the cells were ovarian cancer cells.
The surgery went well, except for the fact that the tumor had started to grow into my colon and the surgeon had to remove part of the lower area of my colon (sigmoid). So my recovery took a little longer than normal. I had six more rounds of chemo and this time with Carboplatin and Taxol. I lost my hair this time, but I went through it better than I expected. Nonetheless that experience was a very interesting and very humbling one. This time my nausea was worse and I got sick more than the first time I had chemo. I had a little neuropathy in my hands and feet, which passed after I finished chemo in September of 2009. Again I tolerated the treatment very well and my CA125 went down to 10, which was a good thing. The good range if from 0-35. Again I’ve been having CT scans every 3-4 months.
Much to my surprise, in January 2010, my CA125 started to elevate again and I was devastated! It was discovered that the cancer had now moved into my lymph nodes in my pelvic area. I have three different doctors that consult me in my diagnosis and my decisions and they are all extremely wonderful, competent Oncologists/Gynecological Oncologists. My prognosis is such that all of the doctor’s want me to wait to have chemotherapy until I become “symptomatic”. What is that I ask? And the answer was not clearly defined. From what I understand, as long as I’m not in pain, have a tumor/mass or feel anything that would cause me to feel really sick, I can wait to have treatment. And at this time September 2012, I’m still waiting. Having chemo twice already and not knowing what kind of side effects I may encounter if I have chemo a third time is a big risk. The cancer is growing inside my lymph nodes, as they get bigger, and my CA125 keeps elevating as well. I’m feeling OK, but I do have symptoms of ovarian cancer, which is bloating, fatigue, lack of appetite and when I do eat I get full really quickly. Other than that I’m doing really well and will continue to hold out as long as I can.
From my way of thinking I believe that it is possible for me to end up “living with cancer” and I’m sure the less time I can be on chemo the better my quality of life will be. I’m hoping and praying, if I live long enough, the ongoing research will discover either a cure for ovarian cancer or at least some kind of treatment I can have to hold it at bay.
I sincerely hope my story helps someone out there who may be going through something similar or someone who just needs a shred of hope. Yes, I have gone through a lot, but I remain a very positive person and I hold out a lot of hope, thinking in the back of my mind, that it’s not my time to leave this earth and that I have a lot more living to do.
Footnote: My husband of 28 years was diagnosed in 2011 with Leukemia. What are the odds of a married couple both struggling with cancer. But again, we both remain very positive and have the love and support of a wonderful family, who give us hope!