My name is Terri and I am seventeen and was diagnosed with stageII ovarian cancer in November of 2008. It was like a nightmare I couldn’t really explain and living through something like this. My story is a little different then most but I want to share it in order to give hope to those who are going through the same hardships I am right now. It was school break, and I was enjoying the holiday with my family when I started to get strange stomachaches and pains and it got to a point where I found it hard to move. December came and the pain had grown and so had my belly. My friends had made a joke and would ask me when I was expecting and as funny as it was I knew deep inside something was not right. My mother took me to go to the ER (cause she thought it was appendices) , and I went and she felt my belly and told me I was severely constipated and I needed was some laxatives and I would be good to go. I felt a sense of relief when she told me because I had been getting a feeling it would turn into more than that. After I had taken my laxatives, I expected to feel better, but that wasn’t the case. Christmas came and went and I spent most of it on the couch in a pain I couldn’t explain as my stomach continued to grow. I asked my mother to take me to the emergency room once again. It was December when my mother too me to the emergency room the second time and I spent about 12 to 14 hours there with my mom.
When they told me I had to be transferred from Orange Medical Center to CHOC Hospital, something in my mind clicked and I knew I wasn’t okay. The doctors were not allowed to tell me anything because my mother didn’t wanna worry me if it was nothing. I spent the night and the next day, after a restless night,and CT/blood work had come back,I was told the reason I had been feeling so much pain and growth in the abdominal area was the result of stage II ovarian cancer and as the doctor said it herself, it was like she couldn’t believe she was saying it either. She had seen my CT scans and she sees ovarian cancer everyday so she didn’t think anything of it until she looked at my birthday and said the two couldn’t coincide because I was too young. I am one of the youngest patient known to have stage II ovarian cancer. After I found out, they had planned surgery for me. On January 2,2009, I went under the knife. They removed both my fallopian tubes. The recovery was painful and hard but I underwent it with the strength and support of my family,friends, and hospital staff. My first chemotherapy treatment began on January 13, and I was released from the hospital the next day. I had spent almost an entire month surrounded by disease and weakness and was finally able to get up and breathe in fresh air; but that didn’t last too long. I spent most of Feburary in and out of the hospital because of my blood cell count until finally in mid March I was stabilized and okay and home for good.
My mom[who is a nurse] draws my labs [takes blood out of my body] through my Broviac in the mornings when needed. My mom puts in the GCSF and I finish it sometimes. Mother does alot of the work [It sucks for her, she comes home from the hospital just so she can still treat me, so she is a nurse 24/7:/]. She have to learn how to give meds and learn how to read the special thermametors that are in Celcius form and She learn to translate them. She has to know alot so that you are safe when you are home. Its a bummer cuz when my counts are low they will be low for days or more and I have to be careful and when I go somewhere I have to be careful about things I touch and always be washing my hands and make sure I don’t get around alot of people because anyone could be sick.
Since January I have undergone 2 sessions of chemotherapy, and 4 radiations every three weeks. My CA125 is checked every two weeks. When I was first diagnosed with cancer my CA125 was over 900. With surgery alone it went down to around the 230′s. After two treatments, it was around 220′s and it didn’t budge, so my doctor decided to up my chemo meds to see if the numbers would change, and they did. My CA125 went from 230′s to THIRTY FOUR. I was thrilled, excited, and for the first time in four months I felt alive. The last visit to the doctor my CA125 had went down again, now to 22. Every time my CA goes down it ups my confidence to fight this terrible silent killer and the boost I need to carry on each day.
However, on June 17, I went in for an emergency surgery, cause I was bleeding 8x the amount then I was suppose to during my period. While I was under the knife, the surgeon, made a mistake and cut one of my arteries and I bled out on the table, and went into a set coma. After 3,000 cc of blood transfers,and 5 night in IUC I awoke, with a a stable condition. After being told what has happened, I saw this to be a calling, that I am meant to beat this. That I was not meant to go, this soon. That I am a fighter. I am on carboplatin and taxol, and since my body is responding so well she plans to keep me on it for three more rounds, and then to a CT scan and see if secondary surgery will be needed hopefully to finally to remove my ovaries, with out any complications. Even if it is, when I see my numbers going down so drastically, I think of how one day my life could possibly be normal, my life could possibly one day be cancer free. I will fight, and I will defeat this.
I was put on an oxygen tank thing a few times because I keep choking and coughing on fucking air/spit and not being able to breathe. I just recently started using this new medication called Atavand to help breath and be somewhat calm but most of the time I don’t get it in time. Cause when I call nurse A she doesn’t answer while I’m fucking choking and I don’t know what to do, cause well face it I’m in a room with a bitchy roommate all fucking day. They did fix the machine though Well I think:DD. Because also we found out that while I was calling they picked up we told them I needed help and it was urgent. They didn’t tell a nurse to come in. Stupid fucking nurses and stupid fucking machines. Its very frusterating. But I think they fixed the machine. But yeah I’ve been choking/coughing alot some days[Thanks to blood clot/side effects to medication], SOO I don’t know what else to do but deal, So they gave me this oxygin thing to help me get air. And my medication to stop the clot/coughing. [However it makes me blotted so I look like a blow fish.]