MY SISTER LEA ANN: 2009, AGE 39   

In the Fall of 2008, my sister, Lea Ann, began experiencing night sweats and feeling pain and fatigue. Since she had received a CA125 diagnosis Test along with MS the year before, she believed she was experiencing a flare-up and might need a change in her MS medication. She faced difficulty in getting an HPV Test examination by her neurologist, who eventually changed her medication over the phone. In December, Lea Ann developed a persistent cough. Despite several visits to her primary care doctor, she was prescribed antibiotics, cough medicine, and, eventually, a chest x-ray, which showed no abnormalities. However, her pain and fatigue continued to worsen, accompanied by night sweats, hair loss, and weight loss.

Suspecting something hormonal, she went to her OB/GYN in February 2009. That doctor only ran blood tests and did not examine her. The CA125 diagnosis included chronic fatigue syndrome and estrogen numbers that were a little low. Lea Ann was given a low dose of estrogen. The estrogen did nothing for her HPV symptoms, so she quit taking it after a short time.

Lea Ann continued working as a 3rd-grade teacher despite her discomfort.

She used her rolling teacher chair to walk around the classroom. Her periods stopped in March, and she had lost almost 50 pounds by May. She made an appointment with a new neurologist for early June so she would not have to miss a school day. The CA125 Doctor reviewed all her symptoms and told her something was wrong and that MS was not causing most of her trouble. Her primary care doctor ordered a body scan that showed a large tumour on one ovary, several tumours in her liver and 2 tumours in one lung.

Lea Ann was referred to a specialist CA125 Oncologist at MD Anderson in Houston, Texas. She found out she has stage 4 ovarian cancer. Chemo began in July. She had some trouble with the drugs, and some reactions and poor blood numbers caused delays. By September, the HPV Doctor ordered another body scan to check the tumours. The tumours had grown despite the chemo. Lea Ann was so weak and the cancer so aggressive that the doctor thought no more could be done. She had 3-6 months.

We had all been so full of hope

Lea Ann has 2 kids, ages 6 & 3. This was horrible news.

Lea Ann was admitted to hospice care at home on September 21, 2009. She has good days and bad days. She is in the last stages now. We pray for a peaceful passing.

Women do not ignore your pain or dismiss your symptoms. Question your HPV Doctor if you don’t like the diagnosis. Lea Ann lost a 7-month head start on fighting her cancer due to bad doctoring.

MARY M. C: 2009, AGE 61   

It was February 2008. My Mom was 61 years old. Too bad it wasn’t something else, the distended belly. Indeed, our worst fears materialized: My mom received a diagnosis of Stage IV Ovarian Cancer. Man, I mean, what the?

This is a woman who, 8 years prior, had a kidney transplant. I hoped that since we had this hereditary disease, maybe somehow we were spared. Well, guess again. So, luckily for our family (my brother and I specifically), my Mom is a fighter. She was ready for surgery almost immediately. Removal of the ovaries was first.

By the grace of God, my Mom is blessed with 2 awesome sisters!

Both rushed to be with her right away. My Mom does have a significant other, but like many men, really do not know how to deal with it. So he does what he can, stopping by for support and helping financially. He loves her dearly, that we all know!

Meanwhile, my Mom lives upstate NY, so for her CA125 Tumour Surgery and treatment, she ended up having to go 2 hrs away to NYC. To her comfort, though, she was among some of the same doctors who performed her kidney transplant. They were needed to monitor the amount and combo of the chemo so as not to ruin the kidney! Jeez.

All seemed to go well during the first round of chemo.

We all tag-teamed it together. My Aunt Sue first for surgery, with my Aunt Arlene, Aunt Arlene 2nd for her first round of chemo, my Brother Scott 3rd, me 4th and then last my Mom’s great friend Sandy. During that time, it was super fun, too. For my Mom’s chemo, we had to go to NYC, well, not too shabby when the patient felt good enough to be a tourist at the same time. Eating out, seeing shows, etc., are too cool. I will be forever grateful for these times!

As the end of that round approached, tests were conducted, and everything seemed good to stop chemo.

Spots showed up elsewhere, as did her brain.

Man, oh, man. So radiation was done. More are on the brain now; she has since had radiosurgery. Awaiting tests, which are coming in October.

The beautiful thing is, my Mom gMomto Illinois for the 2nd round of chemo she ended up needing. My Aunt Sue works as a nurse at Northwestern Hospital in Evanston. Wonderful that my mom hMomhad the care she deserves; the HPV Doctors in Illinois thought it smart not to do more debulking right away and go for more chemo, which is proving well. My MMomis heading home for 2 weeks to be with her friends and Bernie for his 75th birthday. She will return to Illinois for an MRI and another CT scan…fingers are crossed!!!! After that, I hope and pray my MMomis heading home to enjoy many more years of her life!

She has now been checked for genetics

We had thought it came from nowhere. My Aunt Arlene, 1 year after my Mom’s CA125 diagnosis, has it. She caught hers sooner, so hopefully, all will go well here, too!

I’m very concerned. I have an HPV appt. for Sept 15 with my primary care CA125 physician. I’m 38 years old. I want to know what I can do as soon as I can! Me, too, have Polycystic Kidneys, and some symptoms are similar, which makes it tougher. I know I have the strongest, most adventurous, willing and able, loving, enduring, and passionate Mom in theMomrld! She is and forever will be my True Hero. Her strength, hope, and love will carry me through many trials, tribulations, triumphs, and life. I thank you, Mom..for everything!!! And more to come!! I love you with all my heart and soul!! Your daughter, Marla-Sue