Thursday, August 04, 2005


Mom had some serious complications after that last chemo treatment. She was in the hospital for several days, and left ready to fight some more.

I was able to talk with mom about her prognosis and her doctor's latest plan of action. I was able to see that she does understand what is happening, but was in denial. She told me about a young woman with ovarian cancer, who has been a patient of her doctor for over ten years, and receives "maintenance" treatments. The difference between mom and the other woman is that mom's cancer has not yet been in remission- the other woman's was caught in time to get her to remission.

Mom and I talked to her doctor together. They're going to spend the next several weeks trying to get mom's blood counts back in order and get her stronger. Then, if possible, they will do another surgery and try to remove the rest of the tumor that was left behind after the first surgery.

We were told in the beginning that only 5% of the mass was left because it had adhered to other organs. The problem with that is this is a fast growing cancer and by the time they started chemo it was already out of control. So much for "optimal debulking". The sad thing is that the entire tumor and part of the affected organ could have been removed in the beginning. But I guess that's why they say hind sight is 20-20...

Doc explained to mom that they may not be able to get her strong enough for this surgery. Then he explained that, if they do the surgery, afterward they will discuss other treatment options. He also told her she would have to decide if all of this is worth it to her because there may be nothing left that will work.

I feel that I have the answers to my questions now. Even though the answers were not what I wanted to hear. The most important thing is that mom understands, and she still has hope. I believe that, and all of the prayers that are being said for her are the greatest weapons of all...


Blogger Mama Mouse said...

I'm so sorry you didn't get the answers you wanted ... but at least you did get some. Your mother knows what is happening and hopefully once she gets stronger her options will be better.

My heart goes out to both of you ... I've been there and I know.

I will pray for you both.

2:18 AM, August 04, 2005  
Anonymous Spike said...

Oh, I am so sorry.

My heart goes out to you and your mom and your dad.

11:04 PM, August 08, 2005  

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(written September of 2005) I have learned much in the last nine months. I have read that ovarian cancer whispers. I say it screams. It just needs someone to listen. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 16,210 deaths in 2005. This is a death rate FOUR TIMES that of breast cancer.Almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage. The 5-year survival rate for these women is only 15 to 20 percent. This is unacceptable. Women need to be made more aware of the symptoms, and doctors need to listen to their patients. Especially when the patient tells them that they fear they have ovca, as my mother did for almost a year before she was finally diagnosed. It’s so sad and senseless when a woman knows the symptoms but can’t get anyone to listen to what she is saying.