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

Meet Tina. Wife to Phil of 25 years and mom to two of the most beautiful daughters. She is another OC Warrior I am proud to have met along my journey. She is super active, a dedicated Peloton rider. She still rode her bike all through treatment, even if it was for just 20 minutes. She just celebrated her 1000th ride! Go Tina!

In May – Aug of 2019 I spotted daily (I have always had a normal cycle). In Sept 2019 I had a vaginal ultrasound, they found nothing, told me welcome to menopause. Dec 2019 I had a very sharp pain on left side, was told I was having a diverticulitis flair up (I’ve had it for years, managed very well). I took 10 days of of antibiotics and when done still didn’t feel right. At the time so was about 50lbs overweight and decided to take my health back, doctor said diet contributed to my flair up. In February, March, May, June I kept going back to the doctor – dismissed as diverticulitis, pulled muscle, diet, lactose intolerant…. I continued to exercise daily all during this time, lost 40lbs but still had a very distended belly (think 7 months pregnant). I went to an urgent care early August, had an X-ray, nothing showed up, once again dismissed as my diet, told me to start a probiotic.

While exercising I noticed I was getting winded quicker, wasn’t getting stronger, but felt weaker and now had lost 50 lbs and was asked almost daily if I was pregnant. Next doctors visit he said he would order a CT scan. An hour after my CT scan I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. For an entire year (almost to the date if my first visit and ultrasound) the cancer had grown. They think it was in my Fallopian tube back in 2019 and that’s why it didn’t show. Within two days of being diagnosed I was having my abdomen drained, oh and the having trouble breathing was a crushed left lung. I started chemo within a week of being diagnosed Stage 4 HGSOC with a CA-125 of 1400.

I began the three chemos that are the protocol for OC. You have 3 chemos, surgery and then three more chemos. After the first three rounds, I would go through abdominal debulking with HIPEC, heated chemo poured into her abdomen and they shake you on a table for an hour and a half. Its a very lengthy surgery and hospital stay for several days. Then 5-6 weeks to recover and then back to chemo I went. After round 5, my platelets were just too low and I did everything that I could do to get them to come up, but it just didn’t happen. So I was not able to complete my last chemo round. That made me very apprehensive and frustrated as I waited and waited for weeks to see if there was any improvement. Nope, they went down even more. So the doctors decided that we would go ahead and do a CT Scan and see where I stood. CT scan results looked good, so we skipped my last treatment. I was so happy to report that there was no more cancer found on the scan and I was declared NED (no evidence of disease). Halleluiah! So back to living my best life! Stay away OC!

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