Sara. Debbie. Becky. Allison. Amy. Dr. S. Dr. L. Dr. G. Nancy. Lynn's mom. Megan's mom. L. M. The sweet lady who likes my scarves. The man who likes to gamble. The sweet man who reminds me of Angie's dad from hockey. The man Monty knew from his old job. The professor from BA who's name I've forgotten. The man who has had all the chemo. The sweet lady with the trees. The lady from WalMart. And myself.
When I was diagnosed, I didn't really know anyone who had ovarian cancer. There was one lady who was a friend of a friend that I talked to on the phone once, but once I switch doctor's to a regular oncologist, I was just one of many cancer patients with a wide range of types of cancer. While Sara had some similar symptoms to mine, there are some symptoms that are specific to ovarian cancer - and I had no idea if it was really normal or not. It took me a long time to find any support groups online, and until I found the message board on Inspire.com, I couldn't find any groups on Facebook either.
It was a lonely time.
I got through it, but when I had my first reaction to carbo this year, I finally met another ovarian cancer patient who was also in her first recurrence. We both had reactions to carbo on the same day, had second reactions when our doctor tried to de-sensitize us 3 weeks later, and are now currently on the same weekly Taxol/every other week Avastin schedule. We have treatment on the same day, and odd as it may seem, it's nice to have someone to visit with every week - to compare our lack of side effects, our energy levels, who's hair is growing back quicker (woohoo - I win on that one so far).
Debbie's experience is different from mine. Her cancer was a surprise found during a hysterectomy. It wasn't as advanced stage as mine. We had the same front line treatment, but she had a little over a year before she recurred. And her recurrence is in her liver and viewable on CT scans - unlike mine that was found via a rising CA-125 and the return of ascites. They've never been able to see anything on the CT scans. She's also responding well to our Taxol/Avastin combo - her tumor is shrinking, and she will likely have surgery to remove it in a month or so. But she's my chemo buddy - and I'm going to miss her when I switch treatment centers this summer.
We share a love of gardening, and living in the country. We share a craptastic diagnosis. She's tough as nails though - while I rely quite a bit on my husband and sons to get some of the more strenuous gardening work done right now, Debbie does it all herself. I don't know how she does it - maybe since she's not working, it gives her more energy to do it. And while I have gone scarfless for weeks now, she still wears a wig - a great looking one to be sure, but a wig none the less. She always has all of her makeup on, and actually drives herself home after treatment each week.
I'm asking that you all add Debbie to your prayer list for a few weeks. I'd love to hear from her in a month or two that your prayers have led to her tumor shrinking enough that she *doesn't* have to have surgery. Wouldn't that be awesome?