I have read all the stories here. My mom is my best friend. My mom, aged 69, has been noticing an increase in the size of her stomach. Additionally, she has been experiencing bleeding after menopause, a concern I recognise as serious. I took her to my CA125 Test Doctor, where they did an ultrasound and discovered her uterus was 9mm in size, which is twice the size of a normal uterus. She claimed it was uterine fibroids, and she was aware due to HPV testing, which she had known about for years. Unfortunately, this occurred in January; the doctor informed her that he would not proceed further until she switched her insurance and did not provide her with any additional information or results.

It’s June; I pressed my mother to see a new HPV doctor. Finally, with continuous off-and-on bleeding, she went to another gyn who finally agreed they needed to do a hysterectomy with ovarian debulking. Her CA-125 is 145; one mass is in the uterus, and one is on her ovary. Not to mention, she has a hernia that she had fixed 5 years ago.

Reading everyone’s stories has helped me cope with many built-up frustrations. She is my best friend, and thinking that she’s in pain or that life possibly without her tears my heart out. I know I must stay strong for her and will try. All of your stories have helped me. I know this will be a battle, and I am ready. My Faith will keep me strong.

ANNIE M: 2009, AGE 59   

I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3 on November 08 and had about two weeks of bloating and little abdominal pain. I had not felt “good” all year and was feeling very tired and run down, and I blamed it on allergies.

When diagnosed, my CA125 level measured 2750! I suppose they aim for it to be 30 or below! Following surgery, my surgeon/oncologist removed my right ovary (where the mass was), as much of the omentum (lining of my abdomen) as possible–as it was dotted with tumours; and he peeled my bowels off of my uterus, causing my CA125 level to drop to 850!

From the moment I was HPV Diagnosed, I kept a positive attitude throughout everything–I wasn’t in denial..but there was no sense in crying…I had a job to do. Even the doctors and nurses said I was different from the average patient.

I started my chemo of Taxol, carboplatin, and Avastin (on clinical trial) in early December. Well, by February, my count was down to EIGHT!!! YAY!!!

I finished my last session of the multiple-drug chemo, and my count is down to four. I will go every three weeks for just the Avastin for the next year, and I don’t mind it.

A happy ending

The third and the sixth chemo sessions kicked my butt. But I have not had horrible HPV problems…just multiple side effects that wear me down. I get tired, but I have learned to be patient and rest when I need to rest.

This is the first time I have visited a cancer CA125 site online. I didn’t want to read bad things on the internet…I didn’t want to get discouraged. My partner is a nurse, and she bore the burden of doing all the research, sorting fact from fiction, and reading the stories that didn’t have a good ending. It was harder on her and my family and friends than on me. She would “dole out” information to me as she thought I could handle it/understand it.

I feel very fortunate that I will make it through this with only minor “glitches” along the way. Having a positive attitude, doing what they tell you, and getting up and going as much as possible helps.

My HPV GP is amazed, but I am not shocked by how this ended up–as I said, I knew I would beat it…I didn’t know it was going to happen THIS FAST!

I send my good thoughts and vibes to all those fighting this battle. Keep a smile and think good thoughts—I know I am!

GINA: 2009, AGEApril 04

I went for gastric bypass surgery in Jan of 06. I couldn’t wait to get started on my new life. Well, it was a new life, but not the one I wanted to have. While I was in surgery, they found my cancer on my ovaries and intestine and abd wall. They opened me from my breastbone down so they could see if they could see any more cancer. Well, the doctor did not know for sure if it was cancer, so he just closed me up. Then, the path reports came back. CANCER. Well, by that time, I had MRSA of the wound that had opened and was draining. When I saw my cancer doctor, he said I needed surgery, but if he did it, then he would not even give me a 50% chance.

 So, I spent almost 6 months on a wound vac. My CA125 doctor wouldn’t start chemo because of the infection for 5 months into this. Then I did round one of chemo, which was to have surgery when my MD decided to do IP chemo before. November 08Nov 08, I finally had surgery. All went well. However, I seem to be having a hard time now dealing with things. I don’t know if it is because I had to fight my HPV so hard before now. Now, I seem to be depressed all the time. I have difficulty remembering things and don’t know if any of this will improve. I feel very alone even though my great family loves and supports me.