10 Year Survivor

I have not posted here before but read other posts regularly and find it inspiring how we all fight this disease. I can hardly believe that 10 years has passed since I was diagnosed with stage 4 oc and given a very poor prognosis which sounded like a death sentence. After chemo, hysterectomy and more chemo I was lucky enough to be in remission for 4 years and during that time resolved to live life to the full and enjoy every moment. I relapsed in 2007, just before my daughter's wedding, with a liver tumour, had the surgery after the wedding and had another year in remission. Since then rising CA125 and CT scans showed enlarged lymph nodes but as I was feeling well my oncologist wanted to hold off on the chemo and just keep an eye on things with regular checks. Finally I had chemo again last year - started with CA125 over 7000 and down to 16 after 6 monthly cycles of carboplatin. CA125 started to rise again almost immediately but again I'm feeling well so no treatment as yet. In the last 10 years I have seen all three of my children graduate from University and find jobs, two of them have married wonderful partners and I have a beautiful granddaughter with another grandchild due in August. My husband has been a wonderful support and we together we have enjoyed all these precious moments and many wonderful holidays, including a trip to Australia and New Zealand. I keep very active, climbing mountains, going to dance classes and playing golf. 8 years ago I started to jog and ran a 10K race to raise funds for a cancer support centre I used regularly. This Sunday I am very excited to be running the London Marathon and raising funds for Ovacome.I worked full time until a year ago but am now enjoying retirement. I am so thankful for the last 10 years - one thing oc does is teach you to enjoy the moment. So, on my 10 year anniversary I will raise a glass to all you ladies out there and pray that we can all enjoy many more years.

Catherine

22 Replies

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  • Dear Catherine!

    How wonderful to hear such good news. I agree about OC teaching us to enjoy the moment, totally! The very best of luck in the Marathon on Sunday .... what an inspiration you are to us all, especially your family. Well done.

    I'll be at my 10 year mark in December so will be posting on here then with a special celebration possibly.

    Keep on enjoying the moment, and many, many more of them for you

    Love Wendy xx

  • Hi Catherine

    What a wonderful inspirational story, thank you so much for posting it. I was diagnosed with stage 4 oc in February and was going through a bit of a "trough" today and then I read your post and now feel much better. Very best of luck in the Marathon.

    Moniquex

  • Hi Catherine

    What wonderful news you give hope to the many out there. I will achieve 13 years cancer free in december, fingers crossed , so we know that this disease can be beaten. Very best of luck with your marathon, and celebrate in style.

    love nana flo xxxx

  • hi Catherine what an uplifting story. I am supporting my mum at present who is awaiting a CT scan due to a large mass being found on her right ovary. Your account has given me hope that if this is ovarian cancer she may be around for another number of years yet. Shes a young 72 yr old who enjoys life to the full and I'm not ready to lose her yet. So thanks for your blog because it has lifted my very heavy heart.

    Goodluck for the future.

    Geralyn xx

  • Firstly well done you. I'm so pleased for you. It's great to hear such uplifting news. I'm just sitting here feeling slightly sorry for myself having just had a chemo session a. Couple of days ago and waiting for my mid scan next week, Like you it has reoccurred which is worrying but good to know there is hope for us all. Here's to your next 10 years adventures and memories :-)

  • I am very similar to you. I was diagnosed 2007 stage 4 with poor prognosis, CA125 at 6500. I had chemo/pelvic clearance/chemo and also was stable with a constant CA125 at 16 for 4 years. However my CA125 started to rise with a new peritoneal met on CTScan last October. As I feel well and my last CA125 was still at 33, met still only 16mm I am in waiting so to speak for when my oncologist thinks is the optimum time for 2nd line chemo. I have taken great comfort from your story and thinking of all your amazing ladies.

    PS At what point do they start chemo. It all seems a bit variable and up in the air a bit.

  • The official line my onc gives me is 'makes no difference if you start it earlier or later. If you are feeling well there is no point in starting the treatment'. Unfortunatley mine is fast growing one, so once I start it comes on quick.....had both fluid in the abdomen and in the lungs at various times, so would like to think he might get the message that I would rather start BEFORE it gets that bad in future!

    viv

  • Such an uplifting story, due for my first chemo today so couldn't come at a better time. Wishing you good luck in the marathon!

    ;-0

  • Dear Cath Thanks for posting your blog. It's given so many of us a boost and positive thoughts can only be a good thing. I agree with the replies that living with cancer does make us take stock of the blessings we have and that might be for just a year or so or for a good many years. I only wish that everyone could enjoy the latter. I was heartened by the breast cancer breakthrough this week that identified 10 genes linked to the cancer. That gave me hope thinking there might be a breakthrough for us too.

    Enjoy your ten years celebration. you've given us something to celebrate.

    Love Annie

  • Well done you and thanks for the inspiration. Your stamina is amazing!

    Margaret

  • Well done Catherine. I've just finished my 2nd course of chemo (carbo/gem) and have my CT scan on 2nd May - find out results on 15th. I was diagnosed in mid 2009 stg 3c. When not on chemo I feel fine so now looking forward to getting my fitness, and my life!, back for the summer. I will be a bit stressed out until I get my results, but whatever happens I intend to enjoy myself. I too have visited Australia while in remission, also joined a gym, ran the Race for Life twice and went water skiing and kayaking while on holiday in Greece last year, so will have a go at (almost) anything if I feel up to it. Life is for living!! I intend to be around to celebrate in 10 years time too!! Thanks for the inspiration.

    Love Colette

  • So good to hear your story. Thanks for sharing and good look with the marathon. Will be thinking of you Sunday xx

  • How lovely to read a success story - it gives us all hope. This disease can be beaten!!

    Liz xxx

  • Thank you so much for sharing your story- I am at the beginning of my 'journey' awaiting hysterectomy on 1st May for removal of large mass on my ovary, and elevated CA125 levels, so reading your story has really lifted my spirits and given me hope, very best of luck with the marathon xx

  • Thank you Catherine for your inspiring story, I was also diagnosed with stage 4 oc in 2010 although chemo worked well I couldnt have the hysterectomy due to complications..unfortunately it has returned and I am having 2nd line chemo so very hopeful this might get rid of the stray cells..I often feel that I can't look forward but your story has been a wonderful boost thank you so much good luck love nikkix

  • Dear Catherine

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have made my day. I am nearly 2 years into remission from stage 4 oc and it's blogs like yours that give me hope. When I was diagnosed with such a late stage I too didn't think I would make the year out, but here I am, just back from swimming and nearly back to my old self, with a better outlook on life. Good luck with the marathon like all the other ladies on this site I will be thinking of you. What an inspiration...............

    Love and hugs Chris x x

  • Thank you all for your good wishes. I'm glad that telling my story has boosted the spirits of so many of you. I will be thinking of you all during my run on Sunday.

    xx

  • What hope you give out to others ..Thank you so much xxx

    Have a great run on Sunday xxx

    Love Janet xx

  • Hi Catherine

    Our stories are almost identical! I too was diagnosed with stage 4 almost 10 years ago. In that 10 years I have watched my 3 special children grow into 3 very special young people and I am expecting my first Grandchild in September.

    I am so grateful for the year’s I have been given with my special family and friends. Particularly as in addition to OC my husband was diagnosed with bowel cancer and that was a fight we could not win.

    I have just started another lot of treatment but I am determined that I will make another 10 years. I take each day as it comes and enjoy life to the full. You are an inspiration and lets hope we will all be on here celebrating our 15th.

    Sending you good luck for the marathon and I too will be raising a class to you for your 10 year anniversary.

    Hugs xx

  • Hi Catherine,

    I'm raising my glass to you to add my congratulations! May you have many more anniversaries to report! I know how you feel.

    Here's another Stage 4 survivor / thriver with a similar story. I was diagnosed 13 years ago and have seen my 4 sons get married (oldest was already married when I was dx). I've also had the pleasure of becoming a "Nanna" 5 times (youngest is 4) ... AND .... fingers crossed, still in remission after initial treatment. I feel humbled and blessed, and say "THANKS" every day.

    I wish you good luck and another remission after you finish your next treatment, what ever it is. You have accomplished so much Catherine. I walk 3-5 miles every day, but to do the London Marathon, is just a dream for me (besides the fact that I live in Canada now:-) I'm originally from Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, now live in beautiful British Columbia where the snow is finally leaving the ground.

    I love this forum, and as Tracy said,<< lets hope we will all be on here celebrating our 15th.>>

    Sandy.

  • Wow! So inspiring Thanks for sharing your story and good luck on Sunday. That's fantastic!

  • What a wonderful advert for getting on with life. I wish I was so active......and looking back there is so much I wish I had done, but am unable to do now as I have has so much chemo the onc won't let me fly. I'm making do with Europe now and we are away in our motorhome whenever we can. |Life is for living, so while you have life you must live every day.

    Good luck for the marathon - wave the flag for Ovacome and give us some publicity when you can.

    Love n hugs

    Viv

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