LYDIA: 2007, AGE 35   

As a 35-year-old mother of two boys, life is full of tasks and challenges. Although I never find motherhood particularly difficult, it sometimes has hard steps, like the HPV Virus tests that hit me unexpectedly. It all began with stress, which left me feeling tired and overworked. Unexpectedly, on Jul 27, 2007, a trip to the emergency room revealed a severe pelvic organ prolapse. Despite lacking symptoms, a shower revealed my dropped cervix, prompting a hospital visit on Sept 19, 2007. A CA125 Tumour Marker Blood test detected an ovarian mass labelled as a benign tumour. The doctors swiftly scheduled surgery, which resulted in them removing my right ovary, appendix, and uterus.

Thankfully, the procedure went smoothly, but adjusting to life without menstrual cycles has proven challenging. With one ovary retained for estrogen, avoiding severe menopause was crucial. Coping with mood swings and occasional sadness has been tough, leading me to wonder, “Why me?” I urge all women, especially those 35 and older, to prioritize their HPV health Tests and not ignore warning signs like cysts. I’ve learned firsthand that stress-free living is essential. I’m relieved to report that the tumour has disappeared, and the appearance of a six-month pregnancy has vanished as the journey continues.

TRISH: 2007, AGE 61   

At 61 years old, I have Well-Differentiated (which I have learned means it is a slow-growing cancer at this point) Primary Peritoneal Cancer, Stage 3C. My HPV diagnosis mirrors the test for ovarian cancer and is treated similarly. Discovered after undergoing exploratory surgery in April ’06, it affected everything except the cervix, requiring extensive debulking. Following 6 cycles of Carbo/Taxol, I entered “partial remission” in August ’06. This remission is partial because my CA125 Count Test has steadily climbed from 12 after chemo to 43 at my last doctor’s visit, with each CT showing slight increases in areas of suspicion. The term “NED report” is unfamiliar to me.

I refuse to wait for my CA125 to reach alarming levels before my doctors decide to take action. I insist on being proactive and taking immediate steps. Therefore, I have been advised to start taking Tamoxifen.


I must say, the side effects and serious risks listed on the drug sheet are scary! I would love to hear from anyone who has used or been advised to use Tamoxifen. Please, I need some help and some hope!

To end my CA125 Level story, I want to tell all women everywhere to “Listen and get tests” on their bodies. Do not ignore aches and pains, bloating, unexplained weight gain, gas, inability to eat much at a time, going to the bathroom constantly, and low backaches. Go to your ob-gyn and ask demand! The HPV Virus tests can rule in or rule out cancer. I ignored what my body was saying, and now I am very sorry I didn’t “Listen and do something much sooner! Thank you for “listening to me” Blessings to all. Trish Holmes

CARMEN: 2007, AGE 44   

It started in November 1999 with a CA125 Lab Test. My mom, who was 44 at the time, had abdominal pain and bloating. Her GYN doctor told her that her CA-125 was also up. So, she had to attend Loma Linda University in Loma Linda, California. There, the GYN’s Oncologist said she had OVCA and had to have a hysterectomy immediately. Once she had the surgery, she had 6 months of chemo to “kill any remaining cells”. They also told her that they had “got it all”.

In June 2000, after completing chemotherapy, Mom began experiencing severe back pain. It was initially attributed to holding my 4-year-old son at a recent fair. There were three months of persistent pain. Her primary care test physician ordered a full-body CT scan due to her previous HPV diagnosis. When my second son was just one month old, my parents visited my house and delivered the devastating news: ovarian-level cancer had metastasized throughout her entire body, including multiple bones.

Final message

My mom did chemo and radiation for the next 9 months, but the doctors finally said on May 1 2001, when she was 46 and my first son’s 5th birthday, they would no longer do the chemo. It was doing no good. So we called hospice, which was very nice and helpful, and then on May 28, 2001, at 11:45 am, my mom took her last breaths. Mom often said, “I should have fought harder,” but she felt it was too far gone.

I had to do the hardest thing I ever had to do in my 26 years of living: put my two fingers on mom’s neck to see if her heart was still beating; it was then that I felt it slipped slowly away.

My mom had not been tested at the GYN or CA125 doctor for her yearly checkup in about 12 years. She said, “It hurt to have the HPV pap smear test” Well, mom, it hurt a lot worse to DIE. Please listen to your body and go for early checkups. Also, if a doctor ever looks at you and tells you, “You are too young to have cancer”, change doctors!!!!