Harts of Teal, a faith-based non-profit started by two ovarian cancer survivors.

Hi Everyone: friends, family, fellow cancer survivors! As I reach my 5 1/2 year cancerversary I realize I need to share my story and news. Since so many of you either don’t know my story or have forgotten forgive me for taking a minute to recap. My family tree is littered with cancer. My aunt had colon cancer, my grandfather had prostate cancer, my mom had breast cancer and my dad had kidney and three kinds of skin cancer. It should not have been a surprise that it came hunting me. When I was first diagnosed in Feb 2016 with stage 4a ovarian cancer I was told I wouldn’t see Christmas that year. I was handed a pile of papers to complete that included a DNR and form for a will, medical releases, etc. It was overwhelming! I have been on chemo for almost the entire time since then including 18 months on a phase 1 clinical trial. I have had some pretty rude reactions as well. Doxil left my skin looking like a Hereford cow. Carboplatin stopped my heart. The debulking surgery lead to multiple incisional hernias, a strangulated hernia, and an obstruction. I spent a month in the hospital and had a full mesh surgery to repair the hernias the the surgeon so kindly referred to as “swiss cheese.” The clinical trial caused debilitating neuropathy that stole the ability to use my hands properly, my ability to drive, and my ability to walk. Early this year I had a tumor break thru which lead to my third surgery followed by rounds of radiation and getting kicked off the clinical trial. Shortly after I was hospitalized again for pleural effusion which required two Thoracenteses and oxygen to come home with me. My oncologist gave me 6 months. But we decided to try what we could. He choose to put me on Taxol and Avastin with the hope that it would not only dry up the pleural effusion but maybe control the spread. I was given a 10% chance of it succeeding. With tumors in my lungs, many lymph nodes, spleen, diaphragm, liver and leopard spots of it scattered throughout the stomach and pelvis. Well, here we are with four rounds completed of taxol and avastin on weeks one and three and taxol only on week two. I get a week off for good behavior between rounds. Last week I had a chest-stomach-pelvis CT with contrast. Today I had my CA125.And today I got to meet with a doctor to figure out where I stand and what happens now. My CA125 has dropped from 267 down to 19. Probably up 3 due to leg inflammation due to an unrelated heal injury. The chest CT was used to check my lung. Although there is still a little pleural effusion in the bottom lobe it is not enough to do a thoracentesis. All the lung nodules are gone. There are still two lymph nodes in my chest that are involved, but stable. The stomach and pelvis there are no ascites. The liver lesion is half the size it was. There are 2-3 others that are still there but much smaller. As for all those other nodules,etc? Gone!! I feel sort of like a walking miracle. So many have prayed for me, reached out to help my family, kept me sane and grounded when I was spiraling into a glorious pity party. I do not know how this has happened to me but I am grateful and hopeful. I’m a fighter so I will continue to go toe to toe with this beast. But I’m also here for you.

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