different each time

From Sarah P.

If your O.C returns does that mean it will be a different type of tumour? or are they the same each time? and does the tumour always return to the same place? if there is no ovaries guess that's impossible? that sounds a little worrying to me, does that mean it goes somewhere else where they cant do surgery, and they can only srink the tumours just using Chemo, is that why they call it cronic? because it never goes away? and you get different tumours growing back eack time, I have been very worried about what lies for the future!!

Sarah P.

6 Replies

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  • Hi Sarah

    I was diagnosed with OC 6 years ago and had chemo and full hysterectomy etc. Three years later I had another tumour near my pancreas and it turned out to be OC again, which really flummoxed me as if no ovaries how could that be!?! But my onc explained that if a few cancerous OC cells escape surgery they can migrate to another part of the body and lay low there, minding their own business until they decide to make their evil presence felt again. This time I was treated just with chemo and the tumour disappeared. Then last year the OC cropped up again in a few lymph nodes in my abdomen and once again they have been successfully zapped. So I am still very much alive and kicking and fully expect any further recurrence to be successfully treated as well. So I do feel optimistic for my future especially as I seem to respond well to the chemo drugs.

    I hope this helps a bit to put things in perspective for you but of course we are all different and you may be lucky enough to be in remission for a very long time, if not forever..

    All the best

    Patsy

  • HI Sarah P, sorry you are sounding so worried.

    I am not a Dr just an ovarian cancer patient. I was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer which had spread to many areas outside the ovaries. I had de baulking surgery followed 6 weeks later by 6 sessions of Carboplatin and Plaxitaxiol. My cancer unfortunately returned in the form of secondary to the lungs, lympth nodes, liver, kidney and another tumour in the abdomen. Now just because this has happened to me doesn't necessarily mean it will happen to you. They still call it Ovarian but they are secondary tumours to the original one.

    Some people with early diagnosis go for many many years. You could have a very long future ahead of you. No two people on the same.

    The most important thing is DON'T WORRY. I always say cancer is 'mind over matter'. Keep the mind positive, the body healthy.

    My cancer will never be in remission, I am on maintenance chemotherapy but I make the most of my life and intend to keep going for a long time yet. Incidentally it is almost 5 years since my diagnosis and when diagnosed no one thought I would still be here 5 years later. Don't worry and ignore statics.

    Anna xx

  • Hi Anna,

    I'm about to go onto maintenance therapy and have been told that I could expect to live 2 to 3 years in doing so. I'm interested in any advice you have re living on a regime like this and what sort of effects it has had on you physically as well as emotionally. At the moment, it seems a very difficult road to travel and I wonder how you keep your spirits up. Mary

  • Hi Mary, How do I cope living on maintenance chemo ?

    Well first of all I say I am thankful to still be here, not everyone is as fortunate as I was given my prognosis.

    My husband and myself do cruises instead of a normal hotel type holiday. Simply because we are well looked after. He is registered blind so I am his carer and he in turn my carer. On a small cruise line we get great food, wonderful accommodation and just generally t.l.c. It is a relaxing holiday. I also stay with in Med area just in case anything should happen, we know how quickly things can soon go wrong when suffering o.c..

    I eat a good diet, red meat only once a week, try and eat organic wherever possible and take supplements, agreed by my GP and Oncologist. Tincture of Milk Thistle which is a liver protector. Echinecea to help my immune system, a good multi vitamin and also Spirulina. This is a lake grown algae and contains all the nutrients your body needs, as you know chemo does so much damage to your system. Other than the cancer I have never been healthier.

    I also listen to my body, I will get to a point around lunch time where I hit the proverbial brick wall, I am shattered, so I cook at lunch time and then have my Spanish siesta in the afternoon. I also try and arrange my days out. If I go out one day, I stay in the next. Rest is of the most importance. Also when I am busy or go on holiday I take a 5mg dose of steroid every day with a stomach protector. This just gives me a bit more energy and I can keep going a bit longer. I also have Reiki once or twice a week.

    Depending on the chemo I am on,depends on your quality of life. The last one I was crippled with pain and struggled with pain killers. I think this is one of the harder sides of dealing with chemo getting the pain from the chemo under control.

    I also set myself goals. The first was to see my first grandchild being born, then to see her walk. She is now 18 months old and we are visiting the UK again next week to see her. Oh gosh how I would love to see her start school.

    I think be positive, live a tranquil life, good diet, plenty of support and love from your family - it all helps. I will be honest and say yes I do worry about the future at times. We can't plan a cruise for next summer, what state will my health be in ? We don't pre plan too much just in case.

    But I have a good life here in Spain,wonderful medical treatment, no mental or physical support which I why I have found being involved with a Cancer based web sites helps me get through it. Some of my friends on the main site I belong too really keep me going. They are brilliant, we have a laugh, a rant and a cry together but they are my Buddies and we all understand each other. To me they are the best people to help me through any bad times I may have - and to be truthful I don't have too many.

    Yes there are times I do get down but only when I have a lot of pain. Most of the time friends think I have been misdiagnosed as I look so well.

    In my mind this cancer is not going to beat me, I am determined and strong willed and ovarian cancer has come up against a fighter with me !!

    Copy and paste -

    This is The Cancer Survivor Movie. Have the sound up on your computer. The music made me cry the first time I watched it, but keep watching it, take in the words, they really do make so much sense.

    What maintenance chemo are you going on Mary ?

    Anna xx

  • Hi Anna!

    Great link, it's really beautiful and so true. Good luck to you. You have a great attitude, and I'm sure you will achieve many more of your goals xx

  • Hi Sarah

    I think we all have the same worries. I've just been to see my Oncologist and one of the questions I asked was how will I know if it returns. She told me that if it returns it will be in the abdominal area and to be aware of any pain or bloating that doesn't go away. I was diagnosed Stage 4 and had radical surgery and chemo starting April 2010. I would echo the thoughts of many ladies on here, that you enjoy everything about life and try and keep a positive attitude. Our minds and bodies are very powerful and I'm sure this goes a long way to helping us deal with this awful illness. Try not to worry (easily said I know) x x

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