Stomach pain after chemo in stage 3 OC - SHARE Ovarian Can...

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Stomach pain after chemo in stage 3 OC

sara_mamani96 profile image

Hey everybody! Hope all are doing great. Again, I have a question for my mom. She has still some pain in her stomach afrer her first chemo which was about 10 days ago. I was wondering if it is normal? Could be a good sign that cancer cells are dieing. However, her pain is not compareble with the first days after chemo. My concern is that it might be that the chemo has not been effective. Her doctor told us the ascites in her stomack will be absorbed within two weeks after chemo.

Does anyone has the experience of having ascites and feeling pzin in the stomach? If so, you feel better how many days after chemo!? I know this might be different in each person, but can help me to find more..

I also would like to know about staging. The tumor spread in only pelvic and abdomen. Not any other organs yet and her CA125 before chemo was 532. Does anybody has the similar situation would appreciate a bit share your experience witj the number of chemo and your advancement.

Thank you so much.

17 Replies

Patients have different side effects to chemo. From what I understand, the side effects, or lack of, do not indicate whether the chemo is working or not. The chemo drugs used usually have strong help, so I would not worry about that. If your mom is having pain, see about getting other Meds to help. There are lots of different pain meds out there. Don't be afraid to ask.

I can't give you any help about the ascites. I did have some removed as part of my diagnosis, but it was very little for me.

I wish you and your mom the best in fighting the battle.

Thanks for your response. I wish you also a long remission ever.

When I was diagnosed back in 2005, my CA125 was over 6000 and I had both ascites and pleural effusion — fluid in both my belly and around my left lung. My first cycle of chemo alleviated any residue fluid that I had.

I did have abdominal pain for at least a year after my initial surgery. It’s not something that went away over night but rather very gradually. What was causing the pain was unclear. It could have been just part of the healing process from a very intense surgery.

I will say that when I had a second debunking after I recurred my recovery was much faster and much less pain.

I will look up a good reference regarding staging and post it later if someone hasn’t already done so. Just based on your description I am guessing she was diagnosed as a late stage.

Best wishes — Gwen.

GwenHP profile image
GwenHP in reply to GwenHP

Here is one link to what the stages mean.

GwenHP profile image
GwenHP in reply to GwenHP

Here is another link:

sara_mamani96 profile image
sara_mamani96 in reply to GwenHP

Thank you for your response. Really useful links with full explantion. Can O ask you what was your treatment plan during these years. Apparentlly, you are doing well with only one recurrence over the last 13 years. Also would be great if I could know what was your stage in 2005.

Thank you again for providing me with useful information.


GwenHP profile image
GwenHP in reply to sara_mamani96

I’ll answer gladly. I was dx (diagnosed) in Feb 2005 with stage 3c high grade serous Ovca (Ovarian cancer). I am not positive for any of the BRCA mutations that you may have heard about. We can go into that later if you have questions.

At the time I was dx the gold standard was to do a debulking surgery to debulk or remove as much of the cancer as possible and follow that with chemotherapy. I know a lot of women now days will often get 3 to as many as 8 cycles of chemo (chemotherapy) before having surgery especially if they are late stage like I was (and like most of us are).

That was followed by 6 cycles of carboplatin and taxol (often you will hear people say carbo/taxol). In my case there was a question as to whether I was truly in remission after the standard 6 cycles. In addition there was a study that suggested maintenance chemo might extend PFS or progression free survival. PFS is the time between when you go to NED (no evidence of disease also often interchangeable with the more common term remission) and when someone recurs. So my first 6 cycles of carbo/taxol was followed with 12 more cycles of just taxol at a lower dose and the cycle was every 4 not 3 weeks.

I started to recur late in 2007. By May of 2008 they knew that the recurrence was localized to a few spots deep in my pelvis. So I had a second debulking surgery followed by 6 cycles of carboplatin and gemzar, another kind of chemo. My last chemo was in Nov 2008. The summer of 2009 I participated in a phase I vaccine clinical trial for women in their second or third remission.

I have had a few scares but have remained NED since my last chemo in 2008. No one knows what has enabled me to remain NED. There are all sorts of things that could contribute to how well I am doing. But data based on just one person doesn’t mean the next will have the same experience. What is important though is that long term survival can happen. We just don’t know all the things that can maximize a woman’s chances of doing so. May your mother be one who is able to join the ranks of long term survival.

Best wishes


sara_mamani96 profile image
sara_mamani96 in reply to GwenHP

Thank you Gwn for your very prompt and inspiring message. I am spending very fearfull time these days. I am in Canada but my mom is in Asia. I’ll travel soon to get more update about how she is doing. I know that she is done with her first chemo and next week she will go for test before her second chemo. Today , she is two weeks after her first chemo, but has some pain in her stomach not continuously but sometimes during day and night.

I do not have any info yet about BRCA mutation yet. But my aunts had breast cancer. I ‘ll do research about BRCA if it could help me to ask her doctor to do more test. (Please advise)

Just try to stay positive and wish she could join your club and live for long time in remission.

Wish you a long life ahead.


sara_mamani96 profile image
sara_mamani96 in reply to GwenHP

Just forgot to ask you what They had done on you in vaccin clinical trial. What you do believe have helped you to do well. I know there might be all different factors can help you to stay NED. But I am thinking apart from the treatment you also helped yourself like being on special diet , medication, regular work out..

My mom is 56 and I know she is young to deal with this illness. I want to help her to do well and live for long time with us.


sara_mamani96 profile image
sara_mamani96 in reply to GwenHP


Today, I visited my mom oncologist. As one out of two lymphs is positive. Also, it is labaled positive for malignancy in peritoneal cytology report. So, the doctor suggested we could chose Avastin in the chemotherapy in the last two chemo. However, he suggested three chemo after surgery. Then, we can again opt to have Avastin alone every three weeks to increase ( I guess) free survival only by three months.

I am seeing most of the people here also use Avastin after they finish their chemotherapy, but I have not seen anyone here to use Avastin with Chemo post surgery.

I am so confused if it could be that much helpful why he put it as an option not use it in his protocol as a regular drug during the main chemotherapy. I also read some online source that explains how the side effects of Avastin+ chemotherapy could be increased, if this is true, please let me know according to the articles and different cases, there is anyone who does not use Avastin and could have a long free survival or it is good to choose it. If choosing is the best option, please let me know ususally up to how many times would be suggested?

Thanks again for all your support here.


sara_mamani96 profile image
sara_mamani96 in reply to GwenHP

Hello Gwen,

Hope you are doing great. Can you please give me advice if you have any info about “lymphvascular invasion present”. My mom had the surgery last week and I found it in her pathology report today. I googled it and understand there isnot any clear explanation in the case of overian cancer. However, I find it relates to the present of cancer cells in small vessels.

I want to know if this increases the risk of recurrence or reduce the survival. As I am guessing it means the cancer spreads in the blood.

Best of wishes- Sara

GwenHP profile image
GwenHP in reply to sara_mamani96

Ovarian cancer tends to spread via two mechanisms - along the surfaces in the abdominal and pelvic cavities and via the lymph system. I haven’t read anything that says one way or the other regarding recurrence or survival. What I can say is that statistics don’t apply to individuals. And I’m living proof that those statistics can’t predict survival. I was stage 3C high grade and I’m still here 13 years later even after one recurrence. Give your mom a smile and a special hug. Best wishes - Gwen

sara_mamani96 profile image
sara_mamani96 in reply to GwenHP

Thanks a lot for your reply and positive energy. I’ll do.

If the pain is not so bad after chemo it is probably the steroids taking care of that.

Just a thought.

Take care x

Margiedolly profile image
Margiedolly in reply to Howick01

You got that right! When the steroids quit, the pain kicked in!

Hi Sara

I had ascites when I started chemo and it cleared two weeks after second chemo. 4 more to go but feeling good no stomach pain

sara_mamani96 profile image
sara_mamani96 in reply to Nyabog

Hi, Thanks for sharing your experience. Hope your treatment goes well and get NED very soon. S

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