Cheryl: Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer

Cheryl: Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer

Below, ovarian cancer survivor Cheryl recounts how she was diagnosed with stage 1 ovarian cancer.

"My name is Cheryl and I am one of the few women that are diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer. The cancer was found as a result of a follow-up CT scan I had for kidney stones. When my CT scan results came back, a cyst was noted on my left ovary, so I was referred to a gynecologist by my physician.

The gynecologist reviewed my test results, scheduled me for laparoscopic surgery and also had a CA125 test performed. After an anxious weekend of waiting for the CA125 test results, I was informed they came back negative for cancer, so there was nothing to worry about. Since cysts can just be water that come and go, a follow-up transvaginal ultrasound was scheduled a couple weeks before my surgery date to verify that wasn't the case. However, shortly before my ultrasound, I started experiencing extreme pain in my left side. The pain was so severe, I would double over.

During the actual ultrasound, the technician asked if I was experiencing any discomfort in my left side and I said yes. She said she could see something during her scan. When I met with the gynecologist, he told me the tumor had grown in size and that full invasive surgery would now be required. If the cyst was confined to just the ovary he would only remove that, but if that wasn't the case, he would have to do a full hysterectomy. My surgery was scheduled to take one hour. However, when I woke up in the recovery room, I learned the surgery had taken 4 hours.

When the gynecologist came to see me the next morning, he told me the tumor he removed was malignant and that I had ovarian cancer. I cried in his arms in disbelief and asked how that could be when the CA125 test results had been negative. I was 45 years old, had no history of ovarian cancer in my family and didn't even know the symptoms of ovarian cancer.

Learn more about the limits of CA125 testing for ovarian cancer here.

The gynecologist told me my treatment options were to go to a local oncologist who would schedule my treatment plan, or I could go out of town to a gynecologist/oncologist who specialized in just ovarian cancer. Since I had been diagnosed with a rarer form of ovarian cancer, I opted for the gynecologist/oncologist.

As part of my visit with the gynecologist/oncologist to learn about my cancer treatment, she asked to do a physical exam that included a rectal exam. After her exam, she informed me I had a mass on my rectum that would need to be removed before I could start any chemo treatments to fight the ovarian cancer. I was devastated. One month after my hysterectomy and ovarian cancer diagnosis, I was undergoing a second, more major surgery, to remove the rectum cancer. When the pathologist's report came back, the diagnosis was that I had a second, completely different cancer and my rectum cancer was not related to the ovarian cancer.

Two weeks after my rectum surgery, I started chemo treatments. The chemo treatments were extremely difficult on me. I had undergone two major surgeries in less than one month's time, so my body had very little time to recover. Chemo made some foods taste metallic. I was extremely sensitive to smells. The smell of hand soap and laundry detergents would make me nauseous in an instant, so I had to go to the grocery store to find products with scents that didn't upset me. In spite of various combinations and doses of medicine to prevent it, every chemo treatment made me sick for five days. I could barely maneuver between my bed, the bathroom and the couch. With each successive treatment, my white blood count took a severe nose dive. As a result, my planned three-week chemo regimen had to be stretched out to four or five weeks between treatments. After the third chemo treatment, my white blood count dropped so low I couldn't fight infections. I was hospitalized and placed in isolation for four days. I battled depression for several months and required medication to help control it. I was completely exhausted and found it impossible to even read the daily newspaper. I would read the same paragraph over and over several times, not comprehend it and then fall asleep.

In spite of all the challenges I went through battling both cancers, there are several items that stand out from my journey.

The medical staff that cared for me throughout all my surgeries and treatments were outstanding, compassionate and caring individuals. I credit the gynecologist/oncologist with saving my life by finding the rectum cancer and addressing it before starting my ovarian cancer treatments. I appreciated the loving care the nurses in particular provided me after both of my surgeries. One nurse on rounds held me in her arms at 3 a.m. while I wept dealing with the fact I had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

I'm single, live alone and was very independent. However, after two surgeries, I wasn't able to do anything for myself. I couldn't cook, clean, or drive. My family lived in another state and due to health issues they were unable to come and help care for me. I had to learn to rely on friends from work and my neighbors to help me care for my incisions, get to doctor's appointments, chemo treatments, buy groceries, do my laundry and cook for me.

The one challenge I was unable to resolve during my treatment and recuperation period was finding another ovarian cancer survivor with whom I desperately wanted to talk. I asked all the doctors I was involved with, but none were aware of any ovarian cancer groups or organizations to refer me to. Even if there had been a survivor group, it would have been very difficult to get to a meeting and participate, because I couldn't go anywhere on my own.

In 2006, I decided to call the American Cancer Society about volunteer opportunities for ovarian cancer and was directed to SHARE's Ovarian Cancer Helpline. As a SHARE volunteer, I am now able to fill a void for other ovarian cancer survivors that I was unable to fill for myself. If a person is having a difficult time with chemo, like I did, they can pick up the phone and talk to someone that has been there without ever leaving home. I frequently speak with women that had a bad day in general, or their latest treatment was tougher than normal, or their friends/family can't accept the fact they have ovarian cancer or are nearing the end of their life. They just need someone to talk with that has been in their shoes. I've had callers panicking because they believed being diagnosed at stage 3 was an automatic death sentence. Since a majority of SHARE's volunteers are stage 3 survivors, I can offer to arrange an opportunity for the caller to talk with another stage 3 volunteer survivor.

Whenever I talk to someone about SHARE's ovarian cancer hotline, I say it is the most rewarding activity an ovarian cancer survivor can do. I have the honor of being an Ovarian Cancer Helpline volunteer, but the callers are the ones who inspire me. I personally believe I receive a lot more from the women I speak with than I give because I am amazed at their stories, their challenges and their courage. They continue to reinforce that this is the greatest volunteer job available.

Thank you for reading my story."

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  • Elizabeth J. K.

    Hi all
    I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 1, 6 months ago when my gyne was removing a benign cyst on my other ovary. The cancer was an estrogen secreting tumor. That extra estrogen caused the cyst to form on my other noncancerous ovary. I kept getting cysts on my remaining ovary, so they put me on progesterone. Cystic ovaries are usually caused by a hormone imbalance of too much estrogen. Adding progesterone only, balanced this and I no longer form cysts and my migraines, multiple sclerosis symptoms, endometriosis pain and massive PMS are gone too. If you research it, so many foods, soaps, shampoos, even the plastics we store our food in (BPA) act as hormone disruptors and increase estrogen in our bodies. Adding progesterone can be protective for us with ovarian cancer and other estrogen dominant diseases. Hope this helps.

  • Leza Costello

    Hi, My mom is 64 yrs old. She has had severe abdominal pain for bout 4weeks… Her doctor sent her for a ct scan1/10/14 and they found a 8.0cm right ovarian malignacy.. Diffuse omental carcinomatosis.. She had a hysterectomy at 37 but left her ovaries. Their is no family history of ovarian cancer. She'll see a gyn/oncology 1/13/14…I guess thats when we will fine out what stage she is.We are all extremely SCARED! Please if anyone has had this or know anyone who has… Please respond…I would greatly appreciate it.

  • Jennifer

    You can't go by CA125 alone. Mine was only 47 and it was in both my ovaries and uterus. Mine were well differentiated and each cancer was non-synchronous. I was 39 when diagnosed. Single and no kids. Stage 1a on each. No chemo or radiation needed. Three years since diagnosed. Instant menopause was no fun. No hormones. Take vitamin d, e and c daily. Keep these levels normal or slightly high. They make vitamin d and e with olive oil. Stay away from soy.

  • Jackie A

    Hi, I am just starting out on this roller coaster. 2 weeks ago I had episode of terrible abdomen pain and lower area. Had infection in colan. Mass showed up on ovary. Flew to FL for my Dads 90th birthday and reunion with my 3 sisters . It had been 7 yrs since all 4 girls were together. Got back yesterday had appt with gym, did exam, probe ultra sound. Cysts are at 8 cm on one ovary pushing into intestines. So here I go. BUT! I am a breast cancer surveyor of 27 yrs. a kidney removed at age 10. So just found this site and so here we go. I will fight this darn cancer. Had the c125 , I think it is done today. They will call tomorrow, either way. Cysts must come out. I have my husband of over 50 yrs. wonderful friends and very close to granddaughter we raised. We watch her little 3 yrs old girl a couple of times a week. Her family makes my sunshine. So as a saying I am claiming says, "meet you at the end of the race!" This is what I told my Dad day before yesterday. He is very healthy, but misses my mother so very much. Thank you for this site.

  • Anonymous

    Lez a,
    I had surgery for ovarian cancer stage 1a 3 years ago. So far, I'm fine. I had 4 1/2 months of chemo, once a week and now i go for, scans every 5 – 6 months and see my oncologist every 4 months.

    My family had no history of ovarian cancer. But I have two daughters and they need to be checked regularly.

    I hope this helped you. I wish I can say I that I
    was cured, but there is no cure for ovarian cancer. The best I can hope for, is to stay in remission.

  • AHM

    I too had only one ovary and tube taken out because I was stage 1 grade 2 and 30 years old. my CA 125 was negative as well. I opted for no chemo. I have had 3 children since. 16 years later we have just discovered a cyst on my remaining ovary. I will go in on May 6th to have it removed and diagnosed.
    I'm scared but can only hope it will be as last time. No spread to the lymph nodes..all self contained. We'll have to wait and see.

  • kimberly

    I have not found out yet if I have this cancer but am pretty sure I do. I went to a e.r because I've been in so much pain and looking like am 4 months pregnant i hurt on my belly like am on my period but I had a fume hysterectomy 2 years ago my lower part of my back hurts. My belly is always talking to me I have heartburn sometimes and my right legs is always hurting. Plus am so tired all the time. At the e.r I had a ultrasound done they found a cyst on my only ovary I have but my blood work was normal. Doctors will not help me can someone that's has been though the same thing help me tell what I need to know or if am just going out of my mind.

  • Beth Kling, Communications Director

    Leza and Peg, you can feel free to call our Ovarian Cancer Helpline at 866-537-4273 to speak with an ovarian cancer survivor trained to provide support. Call any time!

  • Nichole Proctor

    I just found out my 21 year old daughter has stage 1 ovarian cancer. She will be starting chemo end of August for 3 months with a two week break between each. She has to go 5 days a week for 6 hours. She has a 3 year old son. I'm scared and pray this will cure her. She has to go through another ct- scan and more blood work before she can begin.

  • kim

    I had stage 4 I had 30 radiation treatments but the Dr left my ovaries now they are covered in cysts. Scared iam afaird it may be cancer again any one else have this problem

  • Imrana

    I myself am an Ovarian cancer survivor and diagnosed myself in stage 3c. With the help of God's mercy and prayers from all family and friends I am so much better now!
    My advise to whoever reads this "just have faith and true faith in God and the latest treatements that are out there and by the help these resources all sufferers will make it through. Be strong!".

    Imrana Y Hamdi MD,MPH

  • Liz Smith

    My 16 year old daughter went to the ER Friday with pain and problems urinating. Upon doing a CT scan and a vaginal ultrasound they discovered a Mass on her left ovary that was about 4cm x 6cm, that was solid with blood flow and has fluid around it -but not in it. She was also diagnosed with Kidney stones. Today we go to a specialist and will be scheduling surgery for removal. I am terrified, as a Cervical Cancer survivor. I mean- she is only 16 years old. It scares me to death. I had poly-cystic Ovaries, endometriosis and cervical cancer, but never a tumor that big. I have been racking my brain trying figure out what can cause something like this in a young girl. I mean- she did have a twin that I lost (They said it reabsorbed into the placenta at about 8 or 9 weeks gestation) and I have heard of cases where people had tumors biopsied and bits of tooth and hair were found from a twin but I am terrified bc she has a family history of cancer on both sides. I had it when I was only 23 years old. Thanks for sharing your story, it has been helpful. I will post any news.

  • Tina

    Hi everyone,
    I am 44 years old and very concerned about OC. I have been going through perimenopause for years and no doctors believe me, even if I have a history of early peri in my family. For the past few months, I have had bloating, burping and some pains in my sides,nausea. I had a vaginal and pelvic u/s that showed nothing. I had a CT abdomen which they said showed cysts on both ovaries. I asked the doc how did they know they were cysts and he didn't have a good answer and said to follow up with my GYN if I was still concerned. These docs are horrible and they're the same ones that have blown me off for years. I have been to a few medical groups (we live in a small town) and they're all the same. HMOs are no good but in the mean time, what can I do other than ordering my own CA-125 and request a f/u CT in a few months? I am nervous but I think having them on both ovaries is a good sign but know it's not 100%? I also know that perimenopause could cause many of these things. Thanks for any suggestions and God bless all!

  • Shirley

    I just found this and now I'm wondering if I should see an oncologist gynecologist. About 5 years ago while xraying my hip 2 cysts were found on my right ovary. I've had 2 vaginal ultrasounds and they say the cysts are getting smaller. It's time for another check up but here is my problem. I had a total knee replacement in Jan. it completely turned me inside out.. I had a blood transfusion and have not been the same since. I am 66 and at first I thought its just my age and taking me longer to get over this. But it's been almost 4 months and I still have no energy. I thought it was slowly getting better. For 2 months after the surgery I was not able to function because I was extremely exhausted and felt like I was going to pass out. I have a good week then it starts all over. So now I'm wondering if I have cancer. I have had a heart and lungs work up and numerous blood tests. So far nothing!! I'm at my wits end! Did anyone else have these symptoms?

  • Brandi

    Did you have any genetic testing to see why you had two different cancers at the same time?

  • LA

    I don't know when you wrote this but I trust you are still well and I want to say thank you. I am also alone with no near family able to help. I faced early stage BC (no chemo just surgery) but that was a relative breeze compared to what I may be facing with this potential OC find. Something in your post gave me encouragement. As hard as it was to be on your own you came through. Thank you for sharing.

  • Limar

    Hi, i am Limar for Indonesia, i was seaching for ovarian cancer and found this web. I had stage 1c ovarian cancer, dysgerminoma kind of rare ovarian cancer that happens to young women, i was 26 when i had it. My left ovary was removed together with 20cm width of tumor (very big), i had big tummy n i thought i was overweight so i kept ignoring it until i felt pain and check to doctor. I finished my 6cycle chemo last year…. Am i able to still have kids in the future? 🙁 i started to have mens again few months back but blood is not so many compare to the past…

  • lisa

    What kind of treatment did you do for the stage 1 cancer? how are things now. thank you for sharing. i have stage one and my doctor wants to do just carboplatin and not taxol. curious.

  • Anna

    Hello everyone, I have been having severe upper and lower abdominal pain, heavy clotting periods, and extreme exhaustion.

    Went to OB, pap came back normal, bloodwork was good no anemia. Then she ordered a vaginal ultrasound because I had prior small cysts and fibroids. After about 10 minutes the tech excused herself and went a got the doc. She confirmed a dermoid and said it had to be removed, then she took me in and gave me a uterine biopsy and a CA-125 test, and a CT scan. Results were on left ovary was a 6.6 cm mass, and behind that is a 3.6 cm cyst on same ovary. Also, abnormal precancerous cells in uterine lining from biopsy, and CA -125 of a 38. She wants to just remove mass by laproscopic surgery, and treat cells with Provera 10mg, for 3 months to see if cells are gone. I'm almost 40, had tubes tied years ago. Should I be concerned about the precancerous cells?

  • Eileen

    When were you diagnosed with the Stage I ovarian cancer? Also, what stage was the rectal cancer?

  • peg fraser-smith

    Hi! I am 66 years old and have just had both ovaries remoned and my right ovary had a large cyst on it. I opted to have both ovaries removed. I had major abdominal surgery done when I was 6 months old at Sick Kid's Hospital in Toronto, a perforated bowel in my 30's and in and out of hospital several times with twisted bowel problems. The blood work indicated that all was well but now almost a month after my surgery my doctor told me that cancer was found in the cyst when it was removed., he believes that the cyst was removed intact and is almost 100% sure it has not spread. He has forwarded my results to the cancer unit and they will decide what to do if anything. Will they do chemo as a precautionary method or what can they do to be sure it didn't spread? Thank you for any advise. Peg

  • vera

    I Am Mrs vera, i live in Texas (USA).
    Truthfully, i was having an ovarian cancer since last 3years. I

    keep on managing the drugs i usually purchase from the

    health care agency to keep me healthy and strenghtful, i tried

    all i can too make this disease leave me alone, but

    unfortunately, it keep on eating up my life, . So last few 4days

    i came in contact with a lively article on the internet on how

    this Powerful Herbal Healer get a woman well and healed of

    her cancer. So as a patient i knew this will took my life 1 day,

    and i need to live with other friends and relatives too. So i

    copied out the Dr agbadil the traditional healer's email id:

    [email protected], and I mailed him

    immediately, in a little while he mail me back that i was

    welcome to his temple home wereby all what i seek for are

    granted. I was please at that time. And i continue with him, he

    took some few details from me and told me that he shall get

    back to me as soon as he is through with my work. I was very

    happy as heard that from him. So Yesterday, as i was just

    coming from my friends house, Dr agbadi called me to go for

    checkup in the hospital and see his marvelous work that i was

    cured from my ovarian cancer, i was very glad to hear that

    from him, so i quickly rush down to the nearest hospital to

    found out, only to hear from my hospital doctor called

    Browning Lewis saying that i i am healed . I jump up at him

    with the test note, he ask me how does it happen and i recide

    to him all i went through with Dr agbadil. I am now glad, so i

    am a gentle type of person that need to share this testimonies

    to everyone who seek for healings, because once you get calm

    and quiet, so the disease get to finish your life off. So i will

    advice you contact him today for your healing at the above

    details: Email ID: [email protected]


    LIFE:[email protected] AS HE IS SO


    or visit his website at http://dr-agbadi-home-of-

  • Elia Mueller

    I am an ovarian cancer survivor. A year ago at age 35 a one pound tumor was removed from my lower abdomen. The right ovary was consumed by the cancer. My left ovary and uterus were left in hopes I can still be a mom. My treatments did not include chemo by choice. I was blessed to find an alternative treatment at Delta Institute. Cancer is caused by a virus and chemo does not kill this virus. I take injections every 6 weeks to destroy only this virus and does not damage anyother cells in the body. I am cancer free, but continue to have extreme fatigue during my periods. Does anyone know of anyone around my age, a cancer survivor with one ovary and uterus left?

  • Zoraida Venetiou

    Hi, I am an ovarian cancer survivor, I wish I had a support program to turn to. i was alone with a teen age daughter & a 21 yr old son. My husband had passed away 4 yrs before, from kidney cancer. my kids were devastated, and i was so frighten, because i had no one to turn to. I hope no one has to go through this illness alone like i did. I'm know trying to recover from a kidney disease, and doing fairly well. It is my wish to be able to help someone who was in my shoes.Just to have someone to talk to would have been wonderful.

  • Eileen in Longview

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am a single woman And will be 50 in August. I have a family history of breast cancer with my aunt and ovarian and uterine cancer with my mother so I have been a high risk for several years now. I do have cysts my breasts that they are monitoring at this time and I'm not showing any signs of growth. I recently have had a bout of incontinence so I made an appointment with my doctor. Assuming I had a UTI. My urine came back negative which was good. The Dr then started asking questionus and asked if I had any new symptoms. I stated that I am sure I was going through menopause but gave her my symptoms
    Fatigue, bloated, abdominal pressure with pain,etc. I told her i feel like I am pregnant. She then did a pelvic and felt a mass on my right ovary. I did have a partial hysterectomy in 1990 for a prolapsed uterus and the left ovary removed. She was very concerned with my family history .she ordered an ultrasound and I have a cyst the size of golf ball.I then was referred to gynecologist who reviewed the ultrasound. The cysts did show it was made of compound tissue so she ordered the C125 but it could be normal. The c125 did show normal. The gynecologist does not want to refer me to another gynecology /oncology appointment for now. She wants to repeat the ultrasound in 6 weeks then make a determination. Its not like I want to have surgery however I want to be proactive. She says it might not be malignant. And it might just be stage 1 so it could wait. I'm so frustrated and scared at the same time. How do you handle the wait and should I just call someone and make an appointment over her head? Any direction will be helpful. If I wait ….I could be just like you. I want to work and live life.

  • Jo Riley

    This has all been so helpful and scary.
    I need advice! I have a 7cm endometrial cyst on my right over that continues to grow and get more "junk" in it. I've have awful periods and off and on spot between.
    My gyn has suggested a hysterectomy. I'm 44 and nervousness and declined. He says it doesn't look suspicious but after reading these post I just don't know. Someone please tell me… What would you do??!

  • Madeline

    Hello everyone,
    I am 26 years old. A year ago I went to the emergency room for severe abdominal pain to find out I had a cyst the size of a grapefruit on my right ovary. Weeks later after seeing a gynecologist they decided obviously it needed to be removed. Afterwards the pathology report came back benign and that was the end of that. A year later I received a call from my doctor saying there was a mistake in my pathology report and that I needed to come in and speak with her that it would change everything in terms of treatment. So I went in, was then sent to an oncologist(personal friend of my doctor) was asked what it was I wanted them to do for me, if I wanted children…not taken serious what so ever. Then back to my first doctor where I was told that my right ovary was the source of the cancer and as long as I removed it I would be in the clear. Also, I'm just going to add..I have no medical history of any kind. This is the first time I've ever been or around anything like this so I've been very inexperienced in the right and wrongs. before making a decision they did one of those internal ultrasounds on me and told me both my ovaries were fine but that due to the history of what I had a year ago it was up to me. I decided to remove my ovary only to find out actually my right ovary was not okay. It was doubled in size and full of cancer. A non agrgressive cancer. They left my left ovary and all my tests came back clean that they did during surgery. Then my doctor took a "3 month leave for family reasons" and I was referred to a different doctor. 5 weeks later I went to my post op appointment where I was then told that as long as I kept my other ovary I was still in danger and that I need to decide whether I'm going to have a child or not or freeze my eggs and then to remove my ovary immediately and that I had 10 years to do it. That was last week. This has been the most ridiculous experience I think I've ever been through. I'm in the process of going to a new doctor asap and am hoping to finally put an end to all of this. I personally think waiting up to 10 years is the worst advice ever. At the time they removed the cyst my ovaries looked normal and within a year it doubled in size. They never tested anything on my left ovary when they were in there because they didn't want to mess with it. They clearly can't see anything in the ultra sounds they've been doing so even when I go every 6 months to monitor it how am I supposed to trust that ? I'm writing on here now searching for people who are experienced in ovarian cancer curious to see what they think about my experience. Thank you
    [email protected]

  • Wendy in Florida

    I am a 63 y/o female who has a newly diagnosed Ovarian Cancer. I started with postmenopausal bleeding in June 2015, by July diagnostic tests revealed a 10 " tumor on my R ovary. In July I had a total hysterectomy with removal of all of my tubes and ovaries. All washes, nodes, and path studies showed no cancer cells and the tumor was intact. So I am stage 1a0 stromal sexcell juvenile granulosa type. Because this is a very rare tumor (less than 5% of all ovarian tumors), there is very limited scientific data showing that chemo makes any difference in a 95% survival rate for this cell and stage. My Ca 125 dropped from 600 pre-op to 9 (very good) 2 months post op. After LOTs of thought and prayer I have elected not to receive chemo. Although I am comfortable with my decision and accept that this is my decision, my treatment team (Oncologist, gyn oncologist, and gyn) are uncomfortable but accept my decision. I do plan to have the close monitoring (Ca 125, scans). My family is supportive of my decision.

    I have read this entire thread and hope that one (or more) of you may have the same type of tumor with the same clinical staging. I am new at this and although I understand the science of it, I am also looking for someone who walked this path before me. .

    So my question is is there anyone in this community who has experience with this type of cancer and decision? What counsel can you provide?

  • Beth Kling, Communications Director, SHARE

    Thanks so much for sharing, Debbie. You can call SHARE's Ovarian Cancer Helpline and ask to talk with someone about this. The number is 866-537-4273.

  • Cheryl

    Thank you for reading my story. A few people have asked when I was diagnosed and my treatment. I was diagnosed with both cancers in 2002, so I have been cancer free for 11 years now. My chemo treatments for the stage 1 ovarian cancer consisted of carboplatin and taxol. For the rectal cancer, which was also stage 1, I underwent 30 radiation treatments.

  • dbt

    I'm 57, partial hysterectomy at age 44 because fibroid tumors made insanely heavy flows. Few weeks ago got up 2 a.m. to tinkle, excruciating pain tore through my right side (lower back/abdomen, just all over right side). Couldn't take a step w/o involuntarily shrieking with pain. ER, inflammatory drugs, pain meds, dialed pain mostly down to a bad but bearable low dull back pain, pain in right groin/ovary area, all on right side. Days that followed bloated, nauseated, constant headaches (rare for me), felt like having a bad period, urine tests over a week showed blood in urine but kidney infection unlikely. Had a CT scan this morning, waiting to hear. Hoping for kidney stone because I read many of my symptoms are like ovarian cancer. Question: How many went thinking (hoping) kidney stone and it turned out to be ovarian cancer? I saw in these posts that one woman got the scan for kidney stones and they found ovarian cancer.

  • Debbie

    Cheryl –

    Thank you for your story. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 ovarian cancer on 4/9/13. I am 43. I was married for the first time last July and my husband and I were in the process of seeing a fertility doctor. They found a cyst on my right ovary during a hysterosonogram. I then had a full pelvic ultrasound and they said it was an 8 cm cyst on my right ovary. I was referred to a gyn oncologist and had surgery on 4/1. They found 2 large endometriomas attached to my left ovary (not the right) and removed the cysts as well as the left ovary. The cancer was found in the ovary and not the cysts. On 4/29 I will be having a hysterectomy and all chances of becoming pregnant will be gone. Just wondering if there is anyone I can talk to about the never being able to become pregnant part of this. that is what I am struggling with most at this point.

    I won't know my treatment plan until after surgery.

    Thanks for sharing.

  • Jennifer Lin

    Thnk u for sharing your story I'm jennifer age 42 diagnosed with rectal cancer on Xmas eve 12/24/2012. I had rectal bleeding symptoms prior several months that led me to do a colon screening.
    My life changed completely overnight on Xmas eve. I woke up Xmas day saying on my I have a cancer . Dec 26 2012 I was proactive and I met a colorectal surgeon in Orlando right away we did a flex sig in his office . This deco firmed the diagnosis. I was able to look on this tv screen this large 2.5 multilobular polyp (tubular villious adenomatous polyp)
    I was told I need rectal us the next day to stage polyp .The next day I was put to sleep to get this rectal ultra sound . The next day was ordered a rectal MRI to get a more accurate study of the staging . I later received a phone call by surgeon that so far so good tumor was at T-one stage.
    T- one meant that at early stage it was on one surface it did not invade the wall to the next layer. My surgeon was confident that the cat scan would be negative the next day. I was on Saturday to get abdominal ,pelvis. And lung cts work up . This was to rule out any metasasis work up. The surgeon was happy to say in follow up the cat scans were negative mets. Still at T-one my treatment would be surgery .(Low anterior resection of rectum)
    another procedure was offered transanal approach but recurrence of cancer could be 8-15 percent . I had surgery Jan 15 2013 lower anterior resection
    4 th day of my stay my surgeon held my hand and had tissue pathology back. I had defied typical T-1 cancers I was told the cancer hit three of the 18 lymph nodes. I knew that it meant chemo and possibly radiation.
    I cried that day since my first day crying on the day of my rectal cancer diagnosis. I'm still in a week of recovery of surgery, and here I'm distracted
    What journey lies ahead . Md Anderson called me within 3 days and I go in next Monday to discuss my plan approach. I am single unmarried
    I ve had my parents come from Ohio to help but it's a strain on them as they are in their 70s . I feel that it's a burden in them . My sister also came down
    But she's a mother and pharmacist so she could stay temporarily.
    This has been a difficult process I have relied on friends few times a week
    To bring food . Many friends have come and facebooked you realize the importance of friendship in such an alone feeling process .
    I will share my story as cancer survivors tell that is the best thing to help others. jennifer Lin

  • Jessica

    Nichole Proctor,

    Im 20 years old with a four year old daughter.
    How did your daughter find out?
    About a year ago i was in the emergency room
    In pain and ending up, they found a
    3.5 cm cyst. Its gone away, i havent been
    In pain, but im scared…
    If i had ovarian cancer,
    Would I be in pain?
    Symptoms please.. I have no insurance…

  • None

    Hi, I'm 38 and was diagnosed with Stage 1A ovarian cancer (mucinous adenocarcinoma) at 27. My first symptom was an abnormal period. Mine were like clockwork and I got an early period late in the year before. It then happened again a few months later and I went to the doctor inquiring about depo provera. I had heard it can stop your period and was sick of soiling my underwear. He told me it could also make you bleed non-stop, so I didn't pursue it. About August, I was away on vacation with my then, boyfriend. I started getting up in the middle of the night to pee. When I got back home, I started treating myself for a UTI. That didn't work. So, I figured it wasn't a UTI. Then I noticed I was getting bloating. The internet suggested cancer or a yeast infection. I thought I was too young for ovarian cancer, so got a diflucan one pill OTC at the pharmacy. I was trying to avoid the doctor. Finally, a few weeks later and I was a the pub watching a stand-up comedian and drinking a beer, I noticed I couldn't finish the beer. I had no room in my stomach for it. I'd also begun experiencing migraine auras in the time leading up to this. I finally bit the bullet, went to the doctor who was confident I was roughly 5 months pregnant and I said it wasn't possible. If there was anything in there, it wasn't human. They performed a pregnancy test that came back negative but were still convinced I was pregnant, so sent me off for an ultrasound. It all kind of went from there. Phone call from the hospital requesting me there immediately. Within a month, I would be diagnosed post-surgery with ovarian cancer after having one fallopian tube and one ovary removed, omentum from bowel, appendix and removal of two pelvic lymph nodes, just to be sure. The mass weighed 2.78 kg, 10% cancer and growing in mass and cancer. I got very lucky. I did not require chemo or radiation and was told I could still have children (I had never been pregnant by 27). I will say yes, I got lucky, but there was a price with the surgery too. From then on, I began to have GI issues and while my husband of 3 years and I were able to conceive a healthy baby girl back in 2011, I've continued to have gastric issues, including non-h. pylori gastritis, chronic inflammation internally and my bowel totally obstructed at least once, requiring surgery. The survivor's guilt I had at being the lucky one at 27 (a 17 year old had passed in the same ward 3 months prior for the same cancer), is now replaced by the concern that that new strange symptom might be cancer. I think that's how it is for many of us. My mother has just informed me that she has found a lump in her breast and is waiting to return from her visit halfway across the world with me to see a doctor (she refused to go before the trip, which leaves m e suspect). She is 70. I am now wondering if I should have had the BRCA-2 test, or whether I should because I have a daughter, or if I should wait until we find out what's going on with my Mum. There was no known history of ovarian cancer, or breast cancer in my mother's side – to my knowledge, at least.

  • Tiffany

    Thanks for sharing your story. Thank all of you ladies 🙂 I'm 24 married with 2 little girls I had a vaginal ultrasound 2 days ago and the tec kept talking about sister cysts to the other tec in the room she said I had some on my left ovary. I'm terribly scared now and haven't heard from my doc yet and I keep having this pain in my left side now when I move certain ways or eat something saucy. My question is should I be worried? Should I call my doc instead of waiting for her to call ? I'm freaking out. Advice please? ?

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