I'm glad that my husband gave me my box of chocolates the day before, because I quickly lost my taste for them from the chemo. I'm taking one day at a time. It is hard not being able to plan ahead. It is hard not knowing whether I'll be feeling well enough to go camping with my daughter's Girl Scout troop in May. It is hard not knowing whether I will be able to go with my daughter and her friend to the In-Sync concert in June. Last June we saw Ricky Martin. On October 4th, I was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer. I want to tell my story. I went from being overweight and unmotivated to losing 39lbs and I really had accomplished something for myself finishing in the top 1, out of , entered.
I had a goal mentally and physically and even exceeded what I thought was possible. My doctor decided that I needed to have a hysterectomy and when I had the surgery he found a quarter pound tumor the size of a softball. After my debulking surgery I was told that I had Stage 3C ovarian cancer. I had worked out six days a week to build the strongest body I could and now I have cancer???
I would like to tell my story that you can go from overweight to your dream body then to where I am now with a permanent colostomy, groshong catheter, and no hair. To tell people that you can deal with anything that life throws at you. If I can touch even one life of someone recently diagnosed it would mean the world to me! She then have a follow-up check up every three months. We are advice to have another chemotheraphy same as the first one the soonest possible.
Amy Chaiklin My story is unlike any other. My story is about a young woman who had at least eight years of documented medical history, a variety of diagnoses, and the laparoscopic discovery of ovarian cancer after thirteen years of suffering. I am that woman. I went from being a healthy athlete, aerobic instructor, and child development specialist Shortly after turning 29, and moving back to the United States after nearly four years of working in Europe, I woke up from a routine laparoscopic procedure on January 26, to hear; "We now know what is wrong.
You have borderline ovarian cancer. Let me take you back to the beginning. At age 16, and in high school, I began experiencing abdominal pain and irregular menstrual cycles.
Since I was not sexually active, several possibilities were ruled out. However, I was on the verge of developing an eating disorder.
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After graduating in , my schooling and employment opportunities kept me moving every years. Although the symptoms varied, I always had abdominal pain, and often very excruciating. Every time I moved, I had to tell a new doctor my medical history. And each time I was provided with a new diagnosis. In , I began documenting my problems and getting copies of medical papers whenever possible.
I was put on and taken off of oral contraceptives and was given many diagnoses. After moving to Germany in April , my ailments only became worse. With no conclusive answers, I learned to endure pain and suffer in silence. In , while living in Spain, vaginal ultrasounds revealed a mass on one ovary.
For the next four months, I was re-tested to rule out ovarian cysts.
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I was told the problem had resolved itself and was once again put on oral contraceptives. He was adamant that the surgery was necessary to determine the cause of my ailments. At the conclusion of my contract, I opted not to extend for six additional months and returned back to Connecticut, Thanksgiving of It was one of the best decisions I have ever made. This time, she was able to reproduce the excruciating pain I had been experiencing and immediately scheduled me for surgery. The day I had longed for came on January 26, That day changed my life forever.
I went to sleep thinking I had Endometriosis or a hernia, but I woke up to "borderline ovarian cancer. I now awaited major surgery. Decisions were being made about my medical status, yet I never had the time to absorb two words On February 17, , I again went to sleep believing I was on the way to healing.
Instead, I woke up to learn that the cancer was more aggressive than initially thought and there was a potential I would be returning for a third surgery. I spent the next week trying to recover in the hospital and was on the verge of dehydration and malnutrition. My recovery was very difficult, and only made my battle that much harder. A six-week bed rest followed as my journey back to a healthy recovery began.
Six five-hour cycles of very aggressive chemotherapy, which included a cocktail of Taxol and Carboplatin as well as intermittent injections of Neupogen and Epogen, killed the bad and the good. I was left week, exhausted, and many times sick. It was an "outer body experience" that kept me fighting. And again, I am taking oral contraceptives -- a known preventative of ovarian cancer. I am now "cancer free" and have been since September 9, Throughout my ordeal, I continued to teach aerobics and began working full-time in July of I have since taken my tragedy and turned it into something positive.
On June 7, I established R.
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Research for Ovarian Cancer and Continued Survival. It is a non-profit tax-exempt charity dedicated to educating women about ovarian cancer and raising money for education and public awareness. In addition, I was interviewed by a Connecticut hometown newspaper, which was subsequently featured in several other town papers in that region.
I also was asked to share my story with pharmaceutical sales representatives of Smithkline Beechum in November I continue to tell my story as an avenue for getting awareness about ovarian cancer into the public. The organization has produced and distributed information pamphlets about R.
That interview was read by producers of the Lifetime TV show Speaking of Women's Health and provided me with another opportunity to speak publicly about ovarian cancer. It will be aired on Saturday, November 2nd The interview was re-broadcast on the news the following morning. I learned I was pregnant. Unfortunately, the being growing inside of me lost its life after 3 months.
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I hope that we will soon be able to have another miracle of life for all those who have suffered, survived, and past away from this horrid disease. After nearly four years of being cancer-free, I am looking at my options to determine if I am having a recurrence and the possibility of losing my fertility.
It's a battle I sadly must continue to fight. My motto is as follows: For every battle, there is an ending. For every ending, there is a beginning. For every beginning, there is success. When we have success, this battle will end.
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It is with the hopes of my story that no other woman will have to suffer like I have. And that with the help of volunteers, friends and family members, my motto will be achieved.
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Amy's grandmother My grandmother was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on August 3, The doctor estimated how long my grandmother had to live, but little did he know my grandmother was a very strong woman. She was given 1 year to live without chemotherapy, with chemotherapy, she was given 5 years. My grandmother made the choice of losing her hair and feeling sick one day out of every week while taking chemotherapy.
After a while my grandmother started to feel sick every day, no matter what.
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