MARY JANE: 2007, AGE 49   

Today, I am writing a CA125 Cancer test story about the most courageous, beautiful, and determined woman I’ve ever met in my 32 years.  At the age of 49, Mary Jane was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian organ cancer. In November 1995, my mother, Mary Jane, said, “Hope, feel this in my stomach”. I felt a hard pea-sized knot below her belly button. I said, “Mom, you should have that checked out by an HPV Virus test kit”. No more was said that day, nor for another 2 months about the knot. 

In January 1996, the knot grew larger, and my mother decided to see her GYN. This doctor was immediately alarmed and sent her to a GYN specialist who scheduled tests and scans. Her CA125 Cancer level was high, and they scheduled surgery to explore what was going on. The surgery confirmed Stage III ovarian tumours. No chemo was scheduled. The reason for this was because the cancer had not spread to her lymph nodes, I assume. However, her doctors at this time were not very aggressive with treatment and told her to quit drinking alcohol and eating canned food.

Four years later, in January 2000, she went in for gallbladder surgery.

Due to her history of cancer, they decided to open her up. With a new set of doctors, the general surgeon invited an HPV Specialist GYN Oncologist into the operating room. In short, while her gallbladder was fine, her cancer had returned. It had spread to her bowel and other areas. This time around, it would be different.

Mary Jane battled her cancer with determination and underwent more than 2 and a half years of Lab Tests for HPV and CA125 and aggressive chemotherapy. However, eventually, she had to stop for her to have a quality of life for whatever time she had left.

During her three-year battle

She had multiple surgeries for bowel obstructions, she lost the ability to eat solid food, and she grew extremely weak. There is no denying that she suffered. 

One thing I will tell you now that has not been mentioned in any of the stories above is that my mother was a very heavy drinker. She drank alcohol almost every day. However, while there are many contributing factors to cancer, we are confident this did not suppress the aggression of her disease.

During her second battle with cancer, she quit drinking completely and faced the ugliest moment of her life sober. Additionally, confronting the challenges of her illness without the crutch of alcohol must have been an immense test of her strength. We were there by her side and, at times, probably did not appreciate or respect her fear, sickness and pain. 

We wonder if we would have researched this disease when she was initially diagnosed and possibly challenged her doctors if life would somehow be different now. Moreover, it’s natural to contemplate whether proactive measures could have altered the course of events.

My mother was my best friend and the pillar of our family. Life is forever different. Nevertheless, I learned a great deal about her through the battle with this HPV DNA Virus disease and about myself and the strengths of our family. Additionally, the experience has brought us closer together and highlighted the resilience within our family unit.

Question your doctors, get screened for ovarian cancer, CA125 blood check, transvaginal ultrasounds, and exploratory surgery. Believe me, as scary as these tests sound, they’re not so bad. Prevent this disease from being the ‘silent killer’ it is. 

In loving memory of Mary Jane.

JAN M.: 2007, AGE 44   

In August 2003, I awoke with terrible pain in my lower left side. I thought it was a gallbladder attack. I went to a clinic and then an HPV Specialist tester who ordered an ultrasound. They discovered a large mass, and I had a complete hysterectomy in October 2003. They removed a 17 malignant lb. tumour, but it had not spread. My CA-125 was <1 until May 2006, when it jumped to 60.

On May 20th, I was May 20and took an unnatural double breath. I said to myself, that was weird. Within a week, I could barely walk since my lungs filled up with fluid. I had to debulk surgery on June 27th, and then on 27, I came back to Stage III. My ovarian viral cancer had metastasised.

I began a Stage II Clinical Trial (Make sure everything is okay with your insurance company) on July 27. I receive 27 drugs every twenty-one days. When I began, my CA-125 Level was 234. When I finished on November 9th, the Nov 9 chemo had not stopped my Pleural Effusions, and I had to have two surgeries in December 2006 to seal the lungs. The surgery was a success.

I am taking Avastin on the HPV Clinical Trial, but my CA-125 is up to 430. The thing is, I feel good. I am back to work a few days a week. However, now I have fluid buildup in my abdomen. They call it ascites. I will have a CT Scan next week and will have it removed for the first time.

My doctor told me there were many options for us.

Stay positive and live every day with happiness.

It is tough watching my loved ones around me. I think it is harder on them than on me.

I have talked to many women who have lived years with ovarian-type disease, and they tell me never to give up hope. My number one question is, Am I doing everything that I can be doing? If you have any suggestions or questions, please email me and enjoy life.

Jan

PATSY RUTH: 2007, AGE 61   

My mother, Patsy Beck, was diagnosed first with HPV lab testing and then secondly with cancer in October 2004. At first, she responded well to treatments, but remission did not last long. CA125 Levels test results were still high. She battled the disease for approximately 19 months. She carried herself with dignity and faith and fought courageously. My mom was my best friend, and I am very thankful for the years the Lord allowed her to be in my life. I treasure her selflessness and unconditional love, my 2 sisters, my dad, her 9 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. She went to be with Jesus on June 1, 2006, June 163. I will see you in heaven someday, Mommy. God bless all of you who are battling this disease. I so admire your strength and courage. God bless you all. And to my mommy, I’ll love you forever.