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surguryMay 15,I'm afraid surguryMay 15,I'm afraid

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Unread 05-01-2003, 02:46 PM
surguryMay 15,I'm afraid

Iwas diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Jan/03 after spending a total of 44 days in various hospitals. I've had 4 chemo treatments trying to get the cancer to shrink and it has,some. My oncologist suggests that I go to the city(5 1/2 hrs by car) and have a TAh as recommended by the gyn/onc that I saw in Jan, then come home have my last 2 chemo treatments and hope that it doesn"t spread. Sounds encouraging doesn"t it. The gyn/onc called me at home and he didn't sound too optimistic either. I don"t know if they"re just trying to prepare me for the worst case senario or what.I do know that they both would've liked this thing to have shrunk more tan just a few centimetres to lessen the chance of spreading.I spent such a long time in hospital earlier this year and I just dread going back but I'm going too.I just have to keep telling myself that this is going to work and that this nightmare I"m in will end soon(in a good way)Anyhow I'm a nervous wreck and the closer my travel date gets the (May 11) the more stressed out I'm getting.My husband is doing his best but its getting tougher.I live in a very small town in northern Ontario (Canada) with no support system other than my spouse and ocassionally my daughter who lives out of town,Mention cancer in this town and automatically people assume the worst. Its hard to remain positive. I really hope that today is just a bad day for me and I'll wake up tomorrow and not be so scared. Thanks for listening,.
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Unread 05-01-2003, 03:12 PM
It's OK to be afraid

We all were when we got the diagnosis and looked to the surgery. It's important that you're having a gyn/onc do the surgery as they're the experts. Once they actually get in there and see what's there, things may not look so bad as you think right now. They'll be able to see and remove quite a bit and resume the chemo. Wishing you the best and please keep posting and let us know the outcome. Also, hit the Pre-Op and Post-Op boards to get a lot of woman-to-woman info. Ellen
Unread 05-01-2003, 03:12 PM
surguryMay 15,I'm afraid

Hi Susan

Welcome to the organization of an elite group of women.

Please do not fall apart. I know how scary an ovarian cancer diagnosis can be. A year ago, April 18th I had one too.

In my case, they operated and did a total hysterectomy before I started chemo. My ca125 number was 454 after the surgery and went down to 42 after my first chemo. It has been steadily going down.

However, I know someone who also had chemo before the surgery because they were also trying to shrink her tumor before surgery. Her ca125 was 7600 and the last time I spoke to her it was 100. What a difference!!

Please make sure that your surgeon is an oncologist gynocologist . They are the experts in the field and know exactly what to look for, what to remove, and what treatments are best.

Treatments for ovarian cancer have come a long way. My oncologist told me,,,"Althought there is no cure, right now, it is very treatable. Think of it as a chronic disease like arthritis. There may not be a cure but there is always new and wonderful teatments coming about!"

Hang in there.

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Unread 05-01-2003, 03:15 PM
You'll Make It!


I am a Canadian gal, too, but far from home at the moment, and I, too, have ovarian cancer. My TAH is scheduled for next Thursday. I have decided to take it one step and one day at a time. Smaller Ontario towns can have support groups. You have my prayers and support. Sent you an e-mail.
Unread 05-01-2003, 03:45 PM
surguryMay 15,I'm afraid

Dear Susan,

I'd never heard of someone having chemo before surgery to shrink a tumor, but then again, I've only been educating myself on all things ovarian cancer since my own diagnosis in late February.

If you don't mind my asking, is the tumor rather large? I guess I'm curious as to when decisons are made to do chemo before surgery, etc. Does your doctor have a rationale behind wanting to do only two more chemo treatments after surgery? I guess I'm wondering, as many of us have six chemo treatments *after* surgery, and it appears as though you will have two.

I was scared, too, so you're not alone. Every single person on this board was scared -- and shocked -- when they received this life-changing news. I am so sorry to hear that you were in the hospital for such a long time, and that you're having to go back. The TAH surgery was doable, and for some reason recovery was less painful to me than recovering from an unrelated appendectomy I had two months prior. Not sure why.

In any case, HysterSisters has proven to be such a great place to learn and be supported and connect with others who are facing the same things. HS has definitely been my primary support system, though I am blessed to have caring friends who visit me or send cards or call. I have made so many wonderful friends on HS, so this is a great place to turn to for support.

We all wish the best for you during surgery, and I'm sure it will be successful. This is a treatable disease, and your spirit and willingness to fight will play a role in your recovery. My thoughts and prayers are with you. s!
Unread 05-01-2003, 03:51 PM
Please Don't Fall Apart!!

Hi Susan,
I was in your shoes(or rather, nightmare) 8 weeks ago.
But pay heed to everything everyone here ahead of me has said.
I know your head is spinning with too much information at the moment. The shock of the diagnosis is enough to cope with hey?
MY gyn/oncoligist was exactly the same as yours.....all doom and gloom but beleive me the chemo team I am under has put a different light on everything. Have you not found this to be with yours?
My gyni talked as though I had a few weeks to live before I saw the gyn/oncologist. He was a little better and he did my TAH/BSO
which he told me went extemely well. Before the op he was looking for all sorts of problems.
The head of the chemo team has already told me I can be put into remission. So from the first shock to now has definitely not been as bad as they made things sound. Keep positive as this is a big help.
Please have a gyn/oncologist perform your hyst. This is so important.
Please E-mail me for anything you want to ask or keep in touch through the boards.
Thinking of you lots.
Unread 05-01-2003, 04:01 PM
surguryMay 15,I'm afraid

s SusanLee

It is becoming more common to hear of women undergoing chemo before debulking surgery. I believe it depends on the anticipated stage of the cancer. And many of these ladies are having very good results.
You say the gyn onc is quite a distance from your home. But it is so important
that he/she be the one doing your surgery.
Please just try and take everything one day at a time. Like previous ladies have suggested, check out the pre and post op forums to get yourself ready for the surgery.
My thoughts and prayers are with you. Stay in touch.
And keep in mind, there is life after ovarian cancer!!!!!

Unread 05-01-2003, 05:36 PM
surguryMay 15,I'm afraid

Thank you all so very much for your replies,I don't feel so isolated any more. My VON nurse Pam got me onto this siteand I hesitated for weeks about writing in but I have been reading your letters during that time,but I am basically computer challengedand even this is a stretch. I cried as I read every one of your replies,still am as a matter of fact. I'm not going to say that I'm not afraid any more because I am but you wonderful women out there are showing me that maybe there is a light at the end of thisand that maybe I will be around for awhile yet. My CA125has not dropped much and I think that that is what has the Drs concerned at my last test it was still 401after chemo treatments. I'm told that the cancer is still about the size of an orange but not a round shape. Anyway I seem to hear a phrase everyday in my life this past year and that is "we'll just have to wait and see and take it one day at a time" Thank you again ladies and I can guarantee you'll be hearing from me again. Susan Lee.
Unread 05-01-2003, 05:47 PM
surguryMay 15,I'm afraid

Hi Susan,
I met a woman having chemo the same time I was who was in a situation similar to yours. She had three chemo treatments before her surgery, and then resumed them afterward. When she had surgery they found the tumor had shrunk significantly and was not as wide spread as they first thought. I have kept in touch with her, she finished her chemo a couple of months ago and is doing very well. You will get through this too. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
Unread 05-01-2003, 06:26 PM
Hang in there

I was in your shoes last July and know how terrifying the unknown is, but you will make it thru this. i am praying good news for you from the surgery.

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