IRENE C: 2008, AGE 44  

While travelling, I experienced terrible constipation, tiredness, bloating and swollen legs. I put all this down to the travelling and being overweight. When I came back, I didn’t feel ‘right’. My usual HPV Test Doctor was away, so I saw her replacement, who thought I was just severely constipated and refused to refer me for an ultrasound and blood cancer tests, including a CA125 report.

Things didn’t improve – I eventually saw my usual doctor, who gave me a referral. A few days later, before I was due for the US, I felt so bad that I was crying, but I was unsure what was hurting. My husband rushed me off to the ER. I thought it must have been stoned in my gall bladder – I had all the symptoms – fat, over forty, fair and family history!

Two hours later, I was told I didn’t have stones, but I had what appeared to be cancerous tumours throughout my abdomen, and my CA125 report level was 1900. The shock was overwhelming. I wondered how I would tell my 3 daughters and my mum… They couldn’t operate because the tumours were so big, so they opted for 3 rounds of carbo/taxol to shrink the tumours, and then they would operate. At the same time, my youngest daughter (one of the twins) needed leg and spinal surgery. I couldn’t stop looking after her yet, so they gave me another round (4th) of chemo before scheduling the surgery.

The surgery went well

the tumours had responded to the chemo, my CA125 test was normal, and I had another 2 rounds of chemo, and things were improving for me. Unfortunately, although my daughter’s spinal surgery went well, they had a ventilating and positioning accident in the hospital, which caused permanent nerve damage in her leg – terrible for a teenager or anyone else to experience. The good news is that I had my 3rd anniversary on the 14th of July, and I am still in remission. Since diagnosis, I needed to change to a very healthy diet – no meat, salt, sugar, bad fat, caffeine, or alcohol. I eat mainly organic, unprocessed food and drink purified water. I also take vitamins and other supplements and drink freshly squeezed fruit/veggie juices daily. 

Last year, I had a bit of a fright when I developed a lump in my abdomen – it turned out to be an incisional hernia. I had that repaired in August 2007 – my gyn-onc surgeon had a look around during the operation and sent tissue samples to the lab – it all came back clear.

And I feel such gratitude—first to God for His mercy, then to my husband, children, family, and friends for their support and caring. Also, I feel a need to help others but don’t know how. I still worry about recurrence but try to make the most of each day and realise that I must pray for God’s will to be done, not my own.

I would like to offer hope and encouragement to others in this situation: Don’t lose hope in God’s mercy.


Jul 13, 2008 | Age: 59

I received the call at 1 am; Mom was sick and wanted to go to the ER. She is my best friend, and I am an only child, so as you can imagine, we are extremely close. After arriving, they did a CT and discovered Mom had a mass. She had been treated 6 months earlier by another OB/GYN and was told she had fibroids and not to worry.

Although they said her uterus was huge, they said don’t worry. Well, the size of the uterus was misdiagnosed, and after a CA125 test, they found out it was a tumour the size of a football. They had emergency surgery 3 days later. I was shocked when they told me my Mom had Ovarian Stage 3 cancer, and it had spread to the abdominal cavity, lymph nodes, small bowel and colon. After nearly 8 hours of surgery, I was faced with the decision to tell my Mom.

I have to admit my outlook was grim.

You read so many horror stories. Mom was to start chemo right away; however, she got MRSA in the hospital, and that set her back 3 months. In the meantime, her cancer appeared in her lymph nodes in her neck and upper chest area. Amazingly, the cancer did not stop in any of her vital organs. It went directly to the neck. Finally, we were able to start chemo.

On the day of Mom’s surgery, her CA125 level was 320…after four treatments, it was 60…and after all six treatments, it was 6, and there were no signs of any cancer anywhere. We feel very blessed, and we live every day to its fullest. Mom did very well with chemo. Very little nausea and no vomiting or diarrhoea; however, I took care of her very carefully. Moving in with her for 4 months. We are planning a family vacation this coming week. Mom still tires easily but is back to work full-time. She hasn’t missed a Little League game this year to see my son play, and she is looking forward to her hair being normal so she can get rid of the wigs…. Remember, anything is possible; cancer doesn’t always have to win.

PAMELA K: 2008, AGE 52 

My story starts in August of 2005.

I had been having irregular periods and felt that my belly was too large. And I had always been flabby in that area and thought it was just menopause starting and weight issues.

I was not good at seeing HPV Doctors routinely and just put it all out of my mind. Before moving to Florida, I worked as a medical assistant for 30 years. And I was always better at giving care than receiving it.

I was referred to an HPV GYN oncologist and had surgery the following week. And I was very lucky. My tumour was borderline cancer. And required no additional treatment other than a CA125 Levels test every 6 months to ensure nothing was recurring. I was out of my mind with fear.  If it weren’t for my husband, friends and good medical care, I would not have made it through.

My advice to all women is to listen to your body! If your stomach is getting big for no apparent reason, don’t ignore it. Facing the facts is so much better than living with fear of the unknown. I thank God every day that I was spared the worst.