Laura’s testimony

A year ago, I began this long journey when I was tested and diagnosed with ovarian HPV viral cancer. It was a hard, very hard year, but it ended, and I overcame the illness. Today, I feel grateful for life. I want to share it with all the CA125 test patients going through this process today, which is strong and difficult, but with a lot of strength, faith and the will to live, it can be overcome. A hug and courage, yes, it CAN!!!

Today, I celebrate 1 year of a long and difficult CA125 path I had to travel. A great shock that life gave me. A day like today, very early in the morning, without permission or prior preparation, just like that, I found out: I had CANCER!! And how to understand that word without feeling fear, trepidation and uncertainty?

I remember our meeting. Those encounters that one would never want to have but happen: the ultrasound office, your body on the screen, round, big, looking at me: the hidden enemy that was growing inside, without my consent, without even letting me know that it was taking over me, I was so surprised, stunned, without words… only a thousand questions but without an answer and there we were both very close together, holding hands knowing that we had to begin a hard path, and so we began facing a long and hard battle of many months full of operating rooms, doctors, exams, needles, medications, travel and every 21 days the battle, the day I fought directly against you.

The chemo sessions

I received the life that entered my veins drop by drop, but paradoxically, in that fight, I won, but I still deteriorated little by little. My hair fell out, I had discomfort and pain, my fears became great, and I hated you for every tear I shed, for every sleepless night, for every day I stopped sharing with my son when the mirror reminded me how bad I was. Saw. But that’s how our time passed; the months passed, and the big day arrived, June 5th.

Our last battle, long awaited by me. The day we let go of our hands. That hand that you held all these months reminded me that life is so short and that death is very close and safe for everyone. I remember the excitement of that day when I opened my eyes and saw the light of day, arriving at the chemo room and waiting for the best 7 hours that I had wanted so much: you left me, the enemy is gone!!! It was FREE, and she felt calm and at peace, proud of having achieved it. She repeated to me a thousand times: you did it!!!

And so I improved day by day. The CA125 discomforts passed, the hair began to grow, the confidence returned, the fears became small, and life smiled at me again but with another face different from the one I knew, a life where I was stronger, where I had to learn to enjoy of the simplest and simplest things.

Hope

I realised that happiness is so close. I should only worry about what is important and be happy today because tomorrow may not exist.

Despite how hard this year was and everything I experienced, I am happier: I am healed! All I have left is to count my HPV blessings and feel that my life does have meaning, that it doesn’t matter what happens, and that I can always move forward.

Testimony of Tina

I’m Tina. I am 31 years old, and in October 2011, I underwent a laparoscopy to remove my left ovary due to an HPV related cyst. They told me that they could also remove my left tube because they saw hydrosalpinx or damage to the tubes. After the operation and recovery (somewhat painful…), the CA125 level operation report came, and there I received the strongest news I have ever received… I had to have another operation urgently because what they had removed was a tumour.

I was tested and diagnosed with “Ca125 ovarian clear cell carcinoma” in its first stage. Lucky to catch it in the first stage, but not because of the type of cancer, since they told me that it was the most aggressive HPV viral type and hence its urgency, but because they did not give me much time to assimilate the situation and even less to inform me of more options. I wanted to find out about the possibility of freezing eggs. Still, it was a technique that was not highly recommended due to the overstimulation of the healthy ovary since there were already signs of cysts and hydrosalpinx.

Treatment plan

After consulting some people I knew, they told me the procedure was the established HPV protection protocol. So, I underwent the operation. I had a complete hysterectomy. That is to say, they even removed my appendix and numerous lymph nodes… After the CA125 operation, I had the worst moments… I feared more about not being able to be a mother and the effects of menopause than about the cancer itself. They were very strong days, both in pain and in patience, as well as psychologically.

The best thing about those days was seeing all the love your family and friends transmit. I did not feel alone for a second, and this is something that I will always appreciate: having my HPV-infected people with me and making me not worry about my illness. So, at first, I treated the CA125 disease as a gynaecological problem. I didn’t see an oncologist until the start of chemotherapy.

The first day of chemo… was the worst day of my life… That’s when I became aware of the CA125 disease and its severity. Before I thought of it as a cold with consequences… hehe. I knew my hair would fall out… but I thought that shaving my hair was enough… They recommended that I cut my hair… and that’s what I did… but even though I had it short, seeing how it fell out just by touching it… it was a very unpleasant feeling… Then it started falling out more, so I shaved my head, although it didn’t last long because I started to go bald. It bothered me to see myself bald… but since I hadn’t lost my eyebrows… I wore it well with my hats. It was winter.

Getting through chemo

After the HPV-related chemo sessions, I lost my eyebrows and eyelashes… Another unpleasant feeling is seeing how your face no longer has any expression… I didn’t opt for wigs because that would have ended me. For me, I opted for hats and handkerchiefs. As clumsy as I am at those things!!! Every time I looked in the mirror, I didn’t recognise myself: a bald woman, without eyebrows or eyelashes, without expression, yellowish, split into a canal… The scar reaches almost to the chest…

Your self-esteem is low, and look, it was already low… And on top of that… with the effects of menopause…: no lubrication, loss of appetite, hot flashes… They have been very hard times… although I have always tried to keep my smile. The one that…neither HPV cancer nor chemo have been able to erase me!!!!

But once the CA125 chemo sessions were over and my hair, eyelashes, and eyebrows had grown…, I felt proud to have worn it the way I did, and in a few moments, I fell apart… Although many nights and showers…, I take the opportunity to cry in the shower so no one sees my HPV tears… I’ve always known I was going to get through it!!!! I am in a clinical trial receiving Avastin for two years every 21 days… My reviews are going very well… Everything is going great!!!!

Final thoughts

However, now is when I feel most sensitive and cry (alone) when I read, write or do anything related to this (I’m crying right now). I know that it is over… but I know that it can also come back… Once the HPV disease has passed… I am left with the consequences of it… at 31 years old without the possibility of having children… and menopausal!!!!!

You will tell me that I can be a mother by adoption, but it is not biological, and it takes a long time and costs a lot… And regarding menopause (it is already overwhelming me), I do not sleep at night, I have a lack of sexual appetite, and I do not lubricate (which dislocates me). ), my bones hurt… I don’t know… this CA125 situation is beyond me.

Everyone tells me I am very strong and brave, but I don’t see myself like that…

I am grateful for everything I have and for the people around me. Without them, I would not have gotten through this HPV journey well. They are my life and my reason for existing.