Cici: 2009, AGE 44  

It was mid-July this year, and I thought I was gaining more weight than usual. I looked down at my upper stomach and noticed it was getting bigger; as I said, I thought I was putting on weight. I took a CA125 Blood Test to check my levels. After a couple of weeks, it felt like a big lump about the size of a large grapefruit (that’s how big I thought it was, anyway).

I went to the doctor at the beginning of August and told him that I was experiencing a slight pull in my lower abdomen and that my stomach looked and felt bloated. Get this!! He told me yeah, that’ll be right, (insinuating that I was just fat. I said to him yeah, yeah, I know I’m fat blah blah blah). So we left it at that. I didn’t think about an HPV Check. I thought I would go home and start watching what I ate AGAIN!!!

Nov 23, 2009 

But, 2 weeks later, it felt like it was getting bigger, so I went back to him, who then, bloody hell, gave me some D-Gas tablets; how’s that for a diagnosis? So I went away for 2 weeks and took the D-Gas tablets (it was very funny as my husband laughed a bit and said, why on earth did he give you those? You have no problem D-Gasing (A—Hole); I thought it was also funny, and we both started laughing.

Anyhow, a couple of weeks later, I went back and said that something was not right; even though I was not experiencing any pain whatsoever, I knew something was not quite right.

He then got me to lie on the bed in his surgery, and he had a look and feel around my stomach, then said oh, you’re right. There is something there. We both talked, and he said he was sure it was only a cyst (probably dermoid in origin). He got me to go and have another CA125 Cancer test, which showed that there was an ovarian cyst the size of a rugby ball (about 23/16cm in total).

The surgery

At that stage, still thinking it was a dermoid cyst, I didn’t think much more, really; I knew I had to have it out at some stage. He then acted quite fast. A referral went to the Gynaecologist at our local hospital. Another referral was made to the radiology department for a CT scan. Everything more or less started from there. A week later, I had an appointment with Radiology and an exam (CA125 Blood Test). I had an appointment to see the Gynaecologist a couple of days later about HPV Variants and Test results. The blood test came back quite raised (even tho I was told it was slightly raised – whatever), and he could see something untoward in the cyst and other affected areas.

I was in the hospital the following week, having a total abdominal hysterectomy, supposedly. I could say all went well, but I am not going to. The next day, he came and saw me with the news. I had Ovarian Cancer, in which cells had also attached to my bladder, bowel, omentum and appendix. A total hysterectomy was a bit too complicated.

He ended up having a subtotal hysterectomy; he left the cervix in, and now I have to see an Oncologist/Gynaecologist from another hospital who will probably need to do further surgery. (I didn’t know what to say, really, or what to think). I asked him to return the next day so that I could have time to review things. The next day came, and I told him I wanted to know everything I did, no matter how trivial or how bad it may be, I wanted to know.

Final message

He told me they were not there to prolong life but to cure it. This meant a lot to me at the time (but I have learnt a lot since then that it all starts with the HPV Virus Test for infections).

I went into the hospital on Oct 17 and needed to get over the hysterectomy first. I had my first lot of chemo treatment on Nov 17, which consisted of two drugs, Paclitaxel and Carboplatin. Interestingly, you can compare your CA125 Test levels each week. And a Complete blood clot also. The Paclitaxel (Taxol) took three 3-hour to administer, and the Carboplatin was 1 hour. I was 8 minutes into the Taxol and had a really bad allergic reaction to it.

They had to give me something to hurry up and counteract it.

Then they flushed this through as fast as possible, and then half an hour later, they tried the Carboplatin, which was fine. They must find something else to replace the Taxol while I continue on the Carboplatin. Today is the seventh-day post-chemo, and I haven’t felt too bad, but I am still in the early days.

I have a husband (really supportive) and a son who is home from University for 3 months, and the rest of my family is wonderful and supportive also (mum, dad, sisters, brothers, etc). Oh yeah, live in New Zealand.

TERRIs MOM: 2009, AGE 64 

First, I want to say how glad I found this HPV Discussion Website. The stories have been an inspiration, and they fill me with hope. In March 2008, my mother, age 64, began losing weight, and her hands swelled. She and my father were under extreme stress and depression. They were on the verge of losing their home of 30 years and business of 40 years because of the bad economy. I am the 2nd eldest daughter and older sister, and I thought the tiredness and weight loss were all part of her life situation.

She went to the HPV Test doctor for her hands in December 2007, and they told her to take ibuprofen. Finally, in May 2008, she was sent to an arthritis specialist. They gave her a lung x-ray because he suspected a deadly auto-immune disease that turns your body to stone. We were terrified, but not as much as when they found a mass on the x-ray in her abdomen.

Hope

Immediate hysterectomy with debulking. She was 3C. After the operation, the first question out of my mouth was: How many years has a patient of yours with the same stage of ovarian organ cancer survived? He answered 22 years. I have clung to those words since Six months of chemo up in Jan 2009. CA-125 at 6. It is October 2009, and her CA125 Home Kit Level Test is creeping up the first 25, now 67. We have a CT scan on Wednesday; we will go from there. My mother had not been to a gynaecologist in 5 years since hers moved to Florida. She had been to every other doctor for high blood pressure and cholesterol. Why was CA-125 not standard? I am scared but hopeful. I want survival stories from all of you brave, courageous, and inspiring women. Thank You!