Uterine Cancer Survivor

Toni

My mother died of breast cancer at age 52. Her mother—my maternal grandmother—and my older sister each had breast cancer. Both had successful surgery. I had some calcification, but no breast cancer. (Calcifications are deposits of calcium in the tissues. Calcification in the breast can be seen on a mammogram.) I was waiting for my turn to get the dreaded disease, since it was obviously in my family history. Instead, this happened:

In late 2005, after going through menopause and not having a period for one year, I suddenly had a full flowing ‘period.’ I was 52 years old. Luckily, I already had a regular gynecologist appointment scheduled the first week in 2006. Read more here...

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Uterine Cancer Survivor

Dee

I am 53 years young, married, and the fourth child of 13. My oldest sister and my mother are my best friends. And I have the best cat ever—Pierre. Overall, I have always been pretty healthy—I try to eat right and exercise. I like yoga, ballet, writing, reading, and cooking.

In the spring of 2013, I kept seeing a commercial for the Inside Knowledge campaign and kept thinking about it—‘I have those symptoms—spotting after menopause, a bloated feeling, having to go to the bathroom a lot, and this pressure/pain that was not like the cramps and pain I used to get with my period.’ Read more here...

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Ovarian Cancer at 36

Jill

In December 2008, at 36 years old, Jill went in for endometriosis surgery. She was experiencing pain and the doctor thought it would be best to explore though he assured her it was Irritable Bowel Syndrome, which she knew she suffered from.

"Not knowing the signs of ovarian cancer, the day came for surgery and I went in thinking it would be easy with nothing to worry about since I have no family history of cancer. When I wakened, the doctor visited and said I would be in pain but fine – he had to remove part of my left ovary but it would not impede me or my ability to have children because it was still functional." says Jill.
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Ovarian Cancer at 25

Andreya

9 years ago Andreya was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She was 25 and according to most people, she was too young to be a cancer patient.

"I was misdiagnosed for a while. By the time we know what it was, “Alfred” (that’s what my friends and I named my tumor) had grown to an impressive 14.5 inches and weighed in at 10 lbs. I was looking forward to finishing my Associates Degree to hanging out with my friends for the summer. Sometimes I look back on that summer and think, “Man that summer SUCKED!”…And then I think that was the moment my life changed." says Andreya.
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Diagnosed with Stage 3b

Renate

At 46 years old Renate was diagnosed with Stage 3b ovarian cancer on New Year’s Day January 2012.

"Our family has been blind sided by all of this. There is no history of ovarian cancer in our family. I had experienced stomach aches and heavier menstrual symptoms. I had an ultra sound in March 2011 and there was no sign of anything. I have 3 daughters that are 17, 13 and 6. I want a test to be found in their lifetime to diagnose this disease early. My two daughters are doing their part to create awareness by participating in a legacy girls study at Princess Margaret Hospital." says Renate.
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Survivor of Stage 4 Epithelial Ovarian Cancer

Joy

It all started for Joy around the holidays of 2001. She was feeling uncomfortable and experiencing bloating (wearing only elastic-type pants), eating a very small amount before feeling a back-up in her throat, being very constipated, losing her breath sitting back in a chair. Because of the symptom of shortness of breath Joy was sent to urgent care. She received a diagnosis of reflux with a recommendation to take antacids.

"It was Christmas time and our travel plans were set. So my husband and I set off on our two-week vacation from our home outside of Minneapolis, Minn. to Connecticut. Upon arriving, my sister saw my discomfort (perhaps with fresh eyes). She set up an appointment immediately with her doctor. He examined me and took some blood tests. The next evening he called recommending I have a CAT scan when I returned home, which I did" says Joy.
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My doctor sent me for an ultrasound

Janet

Janet still doesn't know why she went to the doctor in January 2010, except to say that she thought she must be menopausal – not sleeping well, grumpy, and going to the loo more often. Janet was 54 years old with two teenage kids and a long-suffering husband! She had never thought about the possibility of getting a serious disease.

"My doctor sent me for an ultrasound, which in retrospect, was quite remarkable given my lack of symptoms. Within 10 days I was in hospital having a laparotomy. My life and that of my family was quickly turned upside down. I had Stage 3C ovarian cancer which had traveled to my lymph nodes. Following the surgery, I undertook 4 months of chemotherapy" says Janet.
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Ovarian Cancer Survivors - Page 5

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Beating Cancer

Written by Courtney Paret

In 2009, I was 23 and about to get married, 3 months before my wedding date I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer as well breast cancer, just weeks apart from each other. I was diagnosed with two unrelated cancers at the same time!

Back when I was 19, I complained to my gynecologist about having pain in my pelvic area on the right side. He told me I was a hypochondriac and he dismissed my symptoms as nothing we needed to be worried about! He felt no need to see why I was having pain. This made me feel like I was a hypochondriac. My doctor treated me as if I had no idea what I was talking about, with my own body. I trusted him because he was a doctor and rated one of the best doctors in his field within Los Angeles. One of my mothers also called me a hypochondriac after I told her I was worried about the pain I was having, so I began to think maybe I was wrong and they were right. I continued seeing the same doctor for 3 years.

One day I noticed a large mass in my abdomen that I had never felt before, so I asked my husband to feel it. My husband felt the mass and we both became extremely worried. I wasn’t sure what it was and my husband didn’t either. My husband and I both worried that I might have been pregnant. My husband told me I needed to see a doctor… but I didn’t bother setting up an appointment. I procrastinated going to a doctor until I had shown my personal trainer the mass one day at the gym. My trainer refused to work out with me again until I got the mass checked out, he also thought I might have been pregnant. I called my doctor up to make an appointment and the office told me to come in right away when I explained everything.

When I went to my gynecologist office, they immediately wanted me to get an ultrasound. I told the ultrasound tech about the mass and that my husband, my trainer, and I all thought I might be pregnant, she felt my belly and she thought the same too. She smiled and asked me a round of questions, we joked and laughed. Once she started the ultrasound, her facial expression went from happy to frightened. After looking at the screen she left the room in a hurry to grab a couple of doctors and a nurse. They were all looking at the screen together and not allowing me to view what they were all looking at. Nobody would tell me what was going on and they all basically ignored me while they discussed things amongst themselves. I could tell something was seriously wrong so I began to get really scared and I was trying to pry info out of them but they acted as if I wasn’t there. They finally asked me to get off the table and follow the nurse to my doctor’s office.

This whole time I was thinking I had a dead baby inside me. I sat in the office for 15 minutes waiting for the doctor, which felt like a lifetime because I had thousands of worried thoughts racing through my mind, which made me extremely anxious. When the doctor finally showed up, the first thing he said to me was that I needed to be scheduled for an emergency surgery the next morning. I asked if I was carrying a still born child and he said no, I had a huge tumor, about the size of a nerf football. He said the tumor was a ticking time bomb and needed to be attended to right away because it was extremely dangerous. So we scheduled my surgery to get the tumor removed.

The following morning I went for my operation, no one knew if I had cancer or just a benign tumor, not even the doctor was sure about it. While I was on the operating table my tumor had ended up rupturing after they had opened me up but they quickly got my bleeding under control and safely removed the tumor. When I woke up from the anesthesia, the doctor said my tumor was huge but he was excited to tell me the pathology report said the tumor was cancer free. I did get upset because I found out I had lost my one ovary but I was extremely happy about the news of being cancer free. I told my fiancé Josh (now my husband) to call all my family with the good news. Three days later, I received a phone call that changed my life forever… My doctor had called me to tell me that they had made a mistake and that they were wrong about the initial pathology report. He told me that in fact my tumor was beginning stages of cancer and what they removed was actually three tumors, two of them swallowed up by a third, and that the biopsy they took for pathology report was only a piece of one of the tumors, which is why they made a mistake.

They had done a more thorough pathology on the entire mass, which is how they found the cancer cells. My doctor said I needed to setup another surgery to get a hysterectomy in order to be safe from the cancer but I told him absolutely not. I stated that I want to get a second opinion with tests and screenings before any other operations were performed. He said I still needed to come in and see him so he could do a post-op checkup to make sure I was healing up well.

After informing one of my mothers about all the shocking news, she immediately flew from San Antonio to LA so that she could go to the doctor appointment with me. I’m extremely happy and thankful my mother was able to come help me. Before she left she had researched a lot about cancer and she spoke with some friends & doctors for some advice. My mother, my husband, and I all went to go see the doctor for my post-op appointment. My mother interrogated the doctor, and said that he neglected my condition and should have caught this much sooner. She demanded that we get several tests done to get a comprehensive review of my body to make sure I didn’t have any other cancers in my body.

He was hesitant about ordering the tests for me but my mother was insisting on it so he ordered me to get a whole round of tests and screenings done. My mother also demanded a copy of the medical report from my surgery so that we could get the full details of what occurred. The report is actually how I found out about my tumor rupturing because the doctor didn’t even bother disclosing that info to any of us. It made me very upset once I found out about my tumor rupturing because I realized how close I was to the tumor killing me… if I didn’t get the surgery when I did, the tumor might have ruptured and killed me before anybody would even know what happened. I was extremely angry because it made me recall telling the doctor about the pains I had when I was younger and how he ignored my symptoms. Had he done an ultrasound earlier on he may have saved me from losing an ovary or even letting the tumor turn cancerous.

The day after my post-op appointment, I went to go get PET/CT scans, blood screenings, and some other tests, followed up with an MRI just 2 days after. My family and I had to wait a few days to get the results from the doctor. My mother had to fly back to Texas before I could get the results, so I went to the hospital and got the PET/CT scans and MRI.

First thing I did was pop the discs into a DVD player and I watched them over 20 times through. I saw a small lump in my breast and suspected it as cancer and I saw a lot of other things in the scan that made me worried. A few days later I went back to the doctor for his findings from all the results. He told me I needed a hysterectomy because it was the safest way to make sure I wouldn’t have to worry about any more ovarian cancer. He then started to tell me that he noticed a lot of activity in my liver, colon, kidneys, and appendix and that I needed to go see a specialist to further investigate. He gave me a list of doctors to go see but I was shocked that he had not made any mention of my breast so mentioned to him that I saw activity in breast too but he said not to worry about it, that I was way too young for breast cancer and that’s not the kind of cancer I had, that I only had ovarian cancer.

My gut instinct was not to listen to him as he almost killed me from his medical neglect with my ovary. I told him that I was going to call my mother and tell her he was fighting me on investigating further to make sure I didn’t have any breast cancer. He asked me what I wanted to have done and I told him a I wanted a mammogram and needle biopsy so that I could take the results to a new set of doctors. So he called to make me an appointment at a breast doctor so that I could get the tests done.

I went into the breast doctor get my mammogram and biopsy done. There were issues with the needle biopsy because they couldn’t numb the area very well so I ended up having a very unpleasant and painful biopsy, I could feel all of it. Since I had such large breasts, the tissue was very dense and they had a lot of difficulty getting to the tumor (my bra size was 34 J at the time, now they are 36HH). After I got my results from the breast tests, my mother had me Fedex over the results and imaging to her friend that was undergoing cancer treatment at MD Anderson clinic in Houston. After her friend checked it all out she told my mother to get me over to MD Anderson right away to get a through run of testing and research done. So with the help of my mother’s friend, I got a rushed appointment scheduled at MD Anderson even though they had a long waiting list for anybody that wanted to go to the clinic. Within 2 weeks, I flew out to Houston to go see a bunch of doctors and get a long list of tests, scans, and procedures performed. Basically I got a head to toe set of testing to check over my entire body. Two of the procedures I had performed at the clinic on my last day there were a colonoscopy and an esophagogastroduodenoscopy, both which were very painful… they didn’t sedate me for the colonoscopy.

I had to fly back to Los Angeles after my time at MD Anderson as I had a big wedding meeting I had to be back for. My family and I had to wait a few weeks for the team of doctors to review my results. All my doctors at MD Anderson had a meeting together and then conference called me to give me their findings. That’s when we all found out that I in fact had two separate kinds of cancer, one being an extremely rare, slow-growing cancer in my breast. The doctors told me that they wanted to “monitor” this cancer for about 6 months to see if it was going to grow at all, they also recommended that I get radiation treatment and a surgery to cut out the tumor. They got very pushy about wanting to study my breast and I got really annoyed with them insisting on treating me as a “guinea-pig”. I could tell they didn’t care about me getting treatment right away as they looked at me as a test subject. I explained to them that my gynecologist wanted me to get a hysterectomy, and they said I could do that if I wanted to play it safe or I could get radiation treatment. They said they felt radiation treatment was the best option for me especially for my breast and for the free-floating cancer cells that I had in the lower part of my body. I didn’t feel comfortable with any of the doctors suggested treatment plans. They did clear me of any cancer in my kidneys, liver, and colon. The MD Anderson doctors told me I need to keep an eye on all of my areas of concern to make sure nothing will show up in the future if I chose not to do the treatments they recommended. They did advise me to get my appendix removed as it had potential for cancer, as they often would see patients get cancer in the appendix after having the kind of ovarian cancer I had.

With all of the reports and results, I went and found more doctors back home in LA to get a third opinion. I’m glad I didn’t do what the MD Anderson doctors wanted me to do as it turned out my breast tumor, that they thought was slow-growing, was actually growing much faster than they had expected. My breast doctor told me not to sit around and get studied, that I was not a human guinea pig and it was not a good idea to gamble with my health and life. My breast doctor told me to operate right away and I trusted her opinion so I decided to get the surgery. I’m extremely thankful that I found her and happy that I listened to her advice. After my surgery on my breast, my doctor told me had I waited longer I could have lost my nipple and even my whole breast. She saved most of my breast thankfully! I also went with the advice to remove my appendix, as that was opinion that was consistent amongst all the doctors.

As for my ovarian cancer, I chose not to remove my other ovary or uterus because I found an amazing gynecologic oncology doctor that agreed it wasn’t necessary at least at this point, especially since I really wanted to have a child. I told her about a plan I had to take a chance and try changing my diet to try and rid my body of any remaining cancer cells. She thought it was crazy but her and my surgical oncologist respected my wishes. I told them I was going to do a major body cleanse, that I had read yeast, sugar, and alcohol feed cancer cells so I decided to not give my body any of that for one year so I could starve the cancer.

For one very long year I endured what was an extreme change and very difficult thing to stick to, but I did one full year of no sugars, yeast, alcohol, any kind of flour or gluten and plenty of other delicious foods cut out of my diet. It all ended up being worth it. I have been cancer free for quite a few years now! My team of doctors that didn't agree with my decision at first said I was being reckless and stupid but then they were happy with my decision when they started seeing results . But I did tell them if I didn't see results in the first 6months that I would listen to them but luckily we started seeing results and I was still going in every few weeks to get checked to make sure I wasn't getting worse, that in fact I was getting better and better!

What I did was best for me and I don't recommend it for everybody. I only did it because my cancer wasn't life threatening at the time. Since it was in the beginning stages I had a chance to try to do it myself first and I did. I'm proud of myself for that! I’m also thankful for the help of all the doctors that operated on me, they cut out pretty much all of the cancer. I wouldn't have been able to do my body cleanse if they didn’t do that because I would've had to do a whole different kind of treatment! I'm very thankful and glad I got to skip chemo and radiation and that I got to keep my uterus!

One year after all of my treatments my doctor cleared me to have a baby. She told me if I wanted to have baby this was my chance to go for it because she wasn't sure if my cancer was going to come back or not, but at the time that my health was perfect to go for it. So my husband and I finally went on a much-needed honeymoon to Europe for a month. We got pregnant on that trip but shortly after we lost the baby at nine weeks! We were sad to lose the baby but we tried a few months later and I got pregnant again on first try at a second pregnancy. My second pregnancy was successful and we had a very healthy baby boy in 2011.

The day my son was born I had a C-section and my doctor was really worried, she had a great idea to take biopsies and inspect that area. She took samples and everything came back cancer free.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my cancer journey and hearing my happy ending being able to live, survive, conquer and have a beautiful family. I'm truly blessed and grateful to still be alive and here today! Thank you so much for taking the time to read about my life. Every day is a struggle for me having to listen to my body and knowing if something is wrong and to take it seriously because in my head I still think I'm a hypochondriac.

My husband, my doctors and nurses, and my family have all tried talking to me about it and telling me I am not one. They have all told me not to ignore anything if I feel something is wrong but I still struggle with it. My whole family and my doctors have told me I’m a very strong person with everything I’ve gone through, but also because I have an extremely high tolerance for pain as I didn’t take many pain meds after my operations (which shocked my doctors and nurses). I'm just now overcoming my denial about having cancer and wanted to share my story hoping that maybe someone will hear and maybe I can help save a woman's life. Early detection can save your life so please don’t be afraid to get checked and don’t ever ignore when you feel something wrong in your body.


Connie Cluff, at 61 years old, is beautiful and full of light. Upon meeting her, one would never know that she has struggled for 20 years to defeat ovarian cancer.

Now cancer-free, she attributes her success to her family, God and the staff at LMH Oncology Center.

Cluff’s doctor found a nodule on her ovary in 1992 as a result of what she thought was a fairly routine doctor’s visit. At the time, Cluff was working in a medical office to help her husband pursue his dream of a second career.
Read her story here...


Georgette Leo was diagnosed with the disease in the summer of 2007. She has been cancer free for six years, but tells her story to encourage others who find themselves in the same boat. When she started to feel extremely nauseous and bloated. When more symptoms persisted, Leo called her gynecologist, who suspected it was just side effects of menopause. “I knew it wasn’t menopause but I didn’t expect cancer,” said Georgette. “It wasn’t in the family and nothing was warning us.” A series of tests confirmed the worst. Georgette had a 10-centimeter mass of cancer that had spread from her ovaries to her uterus and cervix. Within one week, she went in for surgery. “My gynecologist came out crying and told my husband, ‘I think it’s bad, and she’s not going to do very well.’ My husband fell to his knees,” said Georgette.
Read her stories here...


Laura Zawadiuk believes she’s still alive because she listened to her body. After weeks of a mild, cramp-like pain in her abdomen 12 years ago, Laura went to a doctor. “It was on the pelvic area and the pain didn’t go away,” she said. “My doctor thought it might be an irritable bowel or an ulcer, but I said ‘Nope, that’s not right’.” She went to hospital and doctors discovered a grape-sized tumor on her ovary.
Read her stories here...


Nine years ago, Sue Sigmon-Nosach heard devastating news on her answering machine. “‘Sue this is Dr. W. I’ve got bad news for you,’” she said, recounting the message. “‘You’ve got ovarian cancer. You’re going to be dead by the end of the year. I suggest you get your affairs in order.’ And that’s how I was told I had ovarian cancer.”

Sigmon-Nosach admitted her “oh, crap” moment came in February 2004 when she was diagnosed with stage 1 non-clear cell ovarian cancer. “My husband and I felt totally alone,” she said. “Cervial cancer took his brother’s wife. Ovarian cancer took his mother. And my husband was now told his wife had cancer. So he had been hit from every angle and it was an oh-crap moment for us.”
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It’s tough enough to face and beat breast cancer. Imagine having to face ovarian cancer too – and losing your husband during treatment.That’s what happened to Carol Rodman. Read on for the inspiring story of one ovarian cancer patient… Carol Rodman, a 65-year-old retired nurse from the Memphis, Tenn., area., wasn’t surprised when her gynecologist discovered a lump in her right breast in May 2003.
Read her story here...


Michelle Shepherd has survived nine years. Deanna Cosens, two. Elaine Greenberg, 13. Janet Schuler, two years. All were diagnosed at stage 3 ovarian cancer. Each lives with the fear that her cancer will come back. Some have already experienced recurrences. “We all look to the survivor who has lived longer than we have,” says Michelle. “We all look to that person. But the beast is always kind of looking over your shoulder.”
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Ivette says she was fortunate to have an amazing team of doctors by her side, they had encountered a large tumor that was pushing on her baby — one that needed to be excised as soon as possible. Ivette recalls she was rushed to the operating room where Dr. Syed exercised her God given talents, saved her baby and performed a partial hysterectomy. Then came the news that it wasn't only a tumor, but ovarian cancer. "The news came like an arrow to my heart. All I could think about was how can my baby survive this?" said Ivette.
Read her story here...


A lot has happened in the 12 years since Donna Trussell's diagnosis. Now she knows more about ovarian cancer, and the information is not exactly comforting. "In these dozen years I’ve buried new friends, which wasn’t surprising, since they had cancer too. I’ve also buried old friends, which was shocking. “You beat me to hospice,” I said to one. “How’d that happen?”" says Donna. She has not forgotten those left behind. She once heard Tim O’Brien read a short story about a dead sister. Her “ghost” was sad and lonely. She said she felt like a book on a library shelf that no one ever checks out. But Donna always remembers her friends who died. "I don’t know when I’ll be joining them." says Donna.
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For two months, Beth Knutson ignored the pain in her side. She brushed it off as it got more frequent, thinking it was nothing more than just a common side ache. Thanks to some good timing and pure luck, though, she found out it was more than just a little pain. It was ovarian cancer. “I had no doubt I would beat it,” Knutson said. “I relied on my faith, family and good doctors, but I knew I would.”
Read her story here...


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Patricia Egan was just 31 when she was diagnosed with the disease in 2005 but, luckily for her, it was detected and treated early. “I had just gone to Pope John Paul’s funeral in Rome and then did the Mini Marathon with a friend of mine and all was fine until a few days later when I had a pain in my lower abdomen. Firstly I put it down to muscle strain from the marathon and ignored it – but later that day, I got concerned and decided to see an out-of-hours doctor who told me I had a kidney infection.

I was given antibiotics but this had a knock-on effect on my bowel so after the antibiotic course was finished, I returned to the doctor because I had pains when going to the toilet. I was put on different tablets and although these helped a bit, the pain still lingered. So much so that when I was at a friend’s wedding, I couldn’t dance because I was in pain.

By this point, I was fed-up and got my GP to refer me to Ballinasloe hospital. I was admitted straight away because numerous tests and scans had to be done. The following day, I was told I had a bladder stone. I was delighted as I knew it would only involve a small procedure. But two days later, my gynaecologist told me it wasn’t to do with my bladder after all: they had discovered an ovarian cyst the size of a melon.
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Nancy White had one thought while undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer. “All my friends would tell me that I would pray to live long enough to get (my children) through high school,” White recalls. “Then I would bargain with God and say, ‘If you let me live I will help other women,’”. Nancy was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer in 1996. Her children were still in middle school. White knew that she needed every prayer that she could muster along with those of her family, friends and members at Sunnyside Presbyterian Church in South Bend. “The prognosis was very grim,” she recalls. “There is less than five or 10 percent of more than a five-year survival.”
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In 2003, when Peggy was diagnosed with primary peritoneal cancer, she knew her life would never be the same, and she was afraid. Cancer is very scary. At a time when more than ever before you need to have your wits about you, the debilitating effects of surgery and chemotherapy drag you down.
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Barbara's quilting was interrupted in April during her husband’s time of tests and removal of his gall bladder. She started feeling like she would be next up for a gall bladder surgery; she just couldn’t keep any food down (another symptom of what was to come). But if Barbara was working on her quilt she didn’t seem to notice the discomfort of bloating and upset digestion system – although she was sipping one Coke a day and gaining weight! (Another symptom.) After she took her husband home from the hospital the last day of April 2003, she went to see the doctor. The doctor called a week later and said test results showed Barbara had an ovarian mass (tumor) that was likely ovarian cancer.
Read her story here...


Marissa Hosch was diagnosed with ovarian cancer when she was 15 years old and a freshman at Salisbury High School. Now, as she prepares to graduate with her class cancer-free, she said she hopes to encourage other young people who are fighting illness and other difficulties.

“That’s my goal after all this,” Hosch said. “I just want to be an inspiration to someone else to not give up.” Ovarian cancer is rarely diagnosed in teenage girls and typically causes few symptoms in the early stages. So when she complained of persistent, sharp pains in her side, doctors told her she had irritable bowel syndrome.
Read her story here...


More upsetting to Christine Chasse than finding out she had cancer and getting a full hysterectomy, was losing her hair. The whole process was devastating.

Christine vividly remembers one day while taking a shower, she looked down and found the tub completely covered in hair. It took her longer to clean the shower drain, than it did to actually bathe. She also remember times when she would go out for a drive with the windows down; to then find clumps of hair on her shoulders. She couldn’t believe that something as simple as the wind would make her hair fall off!

Christine is not vain, for all those people who say “It’s just hair”…. Well, its not! Her hair, once long and healthy, made her feel strong, confident, and sexy! To lose it meant losing all things that represented her femininity. More important, it was that sure tell sign that Christine had cancer. A visual for all people to see, point, and say: “oh, she must be sick”.
Read her story here...


Birthday presents usually come wrapped in carefully folded paper and shining bows, with warm smiles and celebration, but for Bonnie Donihi her 47th birthday was not quite as celebratory as she imagined. She was diagnosed with stage-three ovarian cancer, just three days before her birthday. “It certainly was a shock; I had no idea,” she said. “I didn’t even know what ovarian cancer was.” She never imagined the cancer would reoccur three times, and she’d still be educating others about the disease 18 years later. “I started realizing that people weren’t talking about ovarian cancer and I needed to get the discussion going,” she said.
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ANGELA WALKER is a medical miracle. The mother-of-three was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer a decade ago and it is thanks to her determination that she is in good health today. The 56-year-old has always been fit, active and “annoyingly healthy”. She says: “I cook everything from scratch, spend 10 hours a week at the gym and don’t drink or smoke.” So she was baffled when in January 2003 she started to feel exhausted. “It wasn’t the type of fatigue that an early night would put right. I felt drained. Soon after I developed a pain in the right side of my stomach and horrendous constipation. “I’d only ever been ill once in 30 years with a kidney infection so when I went to see my GP I immediately wanted to see a specialist. But she insisted on doing tests to rule out other conditions.”
Read her story here...


After a painstaking 90 hours of chemotherapy Katrina Ellis said she had no white blood cells left. She went on a journey of self-discovery, spending a lot of time meditating and thinking it was a mind-over-matter situation. A year later, she was still alive and visited a doctor who told her it was completely gone but, it was the most aggressive form of cancer and she would still be dead in a year.

She says she is still proving the doctor wrong 13 years later.

After her courageous battle she penned the international best-seller Shattering the Cancer Myth. The book details her personal journey as well as divulges some of the recipes she used to combat cancer. But this year the author, mum, cancer survivor, naturopath, iridologist and strong woman released Raw Addiction, a recipe book. She said her latest book was perfect for anyone who wanted to add more raw vegetables into their diet but didn't have a lot of time to do it.
Read her story here...


A cancer diagnosis can bring family life to a halt, bringing feelings of sorrow along with it. Carolyn Lane and her family have had their struggles since she was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in March of 2010. But she still loves to laugh, says daughter Brandi Barnhardt. “You know, the Lord’s in control … The devil’s not going to win,” Barnhardt says as she and her mother sit at the kitchen table in the family home.
Read her story here...


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It was 1993 when doctors again told Janice Carter she had cancer. She was shocked. This was her second time to be diagnosed with the same disease — a rare form of ovarian cancer. Five years prior, in 1988, doctors discovered a granulosa cell tumor on one of Carter’s ovaries. The infected organ was removed, but Carter and her husband still were trying to have children, so the decision was made to leave the healthy ovary. After the operation, she was told she was cancer-free but ...
Read her story here...


Donna Marushak was told she had a 20 percent chance to live. That was 12 years ago. What she thought was going to be a routine checkup in December 2000 eventually turned out to be a diagnosis for ovarian cancer. She has since undergone more than 80 chemotherapy treatments and survived eight bouts of ovarian cancer. But she hasn't let it bring her down. "I never once said I can't do this. I have the best husband in the world, parents, family," Marushak says. "I have my family and God. That's all there is to it."
Read her story here...


An otherwise healthy — and driven — woman, Caroline Raphael wasn’t initially overly worried when she developed stomach pain in March 2010.

‘I started experiencing intense abdominal pain just before I needed to go to the toilet,’ says Caroline. ‘It was like someone was gripping my insides and pinching them hard. It took my breath away and I couldn’t speak when it was happening, but then it would fade away and I’d feel fine. I also needed to wee more frequently. I had lost a bit of weight and wasn’t eating much, but I put that down to having just moved house. After about ten days I went to see my GP, telling him I thought I had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). My bowels had been a bit unpredictable for years, going from constipation to loose bowels, particularly if I’d had too much of something like strong coffee.
Read her story here...


Andrea Hynes-Whalley had the strongest gut feeling, she had never experienced anything like it before. She kept going to the doctor and kept being turned away,” Andrea said “But I knew [something] was wrong.” Over the next two weeks, Andrea’s health continued to decline. Then she suddenly started to bleed uncontrollably. “It was like a bag had burst inside me, suddenly all this blood just came rushing out,” she said. She went to the doctor yet again, and again, doctors missed the tumor. “I just knew something wasn’t right,” Andrea said. “That’s why I kept going to the doctors – although I didn’t have the typical symptoms of ovarian cancer. The doctor actually asked me, ‘Are you sure you’re not having your period?’ I was so frustrated.”
Read her story here...


Seana Roubinek has reviewed the known symptoms repeatedly and did not have any of them. She kept searching for “the whispers” that ovarian cancer provides but she has not located any yet. "I can honestly say that I truly understand why ovarian cancer is sometimes called 'the silent killer'" says Seana.

Seana carries the BRCA1 gene mutation which puts her at a higher risk for both breast and ovarian cancer so she has breast screenings every six months (mammograms alternating with breast MRIs). Because ovarian cancer can start in the fallopian tubes and doesn’t show up on ultrasound and she was done with having kids, she had a "prophylactic" oophorectomy in September 2011 – a surgery to remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes in an effort to prevent ovarian cancer as much as possible – but instead of being a preventative measure, Seana learned that she had ovarian cancer.
Read her story here...


Lorna Skelly, 30, survived Ovarian Cancer. She tells her story. "I was dragging a ­bookcase when I suddenly doubled up with abdominal pain, I took paracetamol and a hot water bottle and went to bed – but by 3am the pain was unbelievable and I knew I had to get to hospital. I’d had abdominal pain for a few months before – but not as severe."

She continues "At first doctors thought it might be an ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis. A doctor thought he’d spotted a big bladder in a scan – then realised it was a huge cyst that had ruptured. Doctors warned that until they operated they wouldn’t know whether both ovaries were affected."
Read her story here...


Tracy Pepper, who now lives in Mount Maunganui New Zealand, was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer in 1985 at the age of 10 (at the time was the 20th diagnosed case of the disease with no survivors), and through remarkable odds-survived.

Tracy now plans on climbing the highest mountain in Africa this September in support of multiple charities who work to educate, and support women diagnosed with the disease.
Read her story here... and a recent story here...
Follow her adventure on facebook here...


At age 26, Amber had already been through two surgeries to remove benign ovarian cysts so she was very familiar with the symptoms to look for. She and her husband decided it was time to have a baby. She thought she may have had a cyst when she got pregnant because she was having the same symptoms as before, so being the realist that she is, Amber was hopeful but knew the likelihood of losing the baby early in her pregnancy. Amber's OB didn’t want her first visit to be until my eleventh week (which seemed late to her because she thought she needed to be seen NOW!), but she agreed and scheduled the appointment. When Amber was 8 weeks pregnant, she started having mild abdominal pain which quickly turned to sharp shooting pains and nausea.
Read her story here.


Linda's story began on a Monday morning in October of 2004 as she was getting ready for work, the pain in her right lower quadrant was so sharp it took her breath away.

Linda had noticed a small bulge in her groin a few weeks prior to that and had just seen her doctor. The doctor confirmed what Linda had suspected; this was an inguinal hernia and needed surgical repair. Her friends jokingly asked her if she was all of a sudden turning into some powerhouse weight lifter.
Read her story here.


Shannon Miller was one of the gutsiest gymnasts American has seen, winning a combined total of 16 Olympic medals and World Championships. So it’s no surprise that she approached her recent battle with a rare form of ovarian cancer like the ultra-strong athlete she is. She took control of what she knew had control over, and decided to fight every day.

“Treatment for me was all about relying on all of those lessons I had learned growing up through the sport of gymnastics, Olympic competition,” she tells Newsmax Health. It was about “just getting back to the basics, and taking it one step at a time, putting one foot in front of the other each and every day, so that I’d just keep going with the treatment.”
Read her story here.

Two years after discovering she had a rare form of ovarian cancer, Olympic champion gymnast Shannon Miller is expecting her second child. Read that story here...


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Shenelle had traveled the world and "have been there done that" in so many realms of life, but her biggest journey came in 2008 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. In February 2008 when Shenelle found out that she was three months pregnant while in London her celebrations were marred by sharp pains in her stomach followed by dizziness. The doctors were confused by her medical state as the pains continued and she became dehydrated. When she returned to her home in Trinidad, local doctors were confused as to her prognosis as well.
Read her story here.


Laura was diagnosed with Stage 2b ovarian cancer in June of 2000, at the age of 28. Laura's story started in January of 2000 when she had a routine physical. The doctor, a general practitioner, discovered a cyst on my right ovary and referred her to a gynecologist. After watching the 5.5-centimeter cyst for a few months to see if it would go away on its own (which it didn’t), he wanted to remove it even though he figured at her age it wasn’t causing any problems. Laura certainly wasn’t exhibiting any symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Read her story here.


In the spring of 1997 Kristen began having pains in her abdomen. These pains were like no other stomach ache or cramp she had ever felt in her 17 years of life. Soon to follow, she began gaining weight quickly and it appeared as though this weight was only going to her stomach area. As odd as it may sound, Kristen did not associate the pain with the weight gain.
Read her story here.


Susun Hosford: "As strange as it may sound, having ovarian cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me" says Susun Hosford who this year is celebrating her 10th of being cancer free. "Being an ovarian cancer survivor has helped me to be more compassionate, has strengthened my ability to deal with adversity, and has permanently instilled in me a passion for living life intentionally."
Read her story here.


It came as a surprise; it usually does. Kippy is a tour director and was scheduled to take a group to California in two days, when she started experiencing discomfort that she thought was indigestion. Her mother, a retired nurse, suggested that she see a doctor before she left — and follow up for further treatment, if necessary, when she got home. Kippy had no problem getting in to see the doctor on Thursday afternoon. He started with the usual questions, along with the poking and prodding. He finished all of this with the suggestion that she get a CAT scan. And so it began…
Read her story here.


Karen's journey with ovarian cancer started about 34 years ago when she was a freshman in college. Even though her actual surgery was 30 years ago all the events are still so vivid in her mind. During one spring break in college, Karen experienced a pain in her side that didn’t seem to go away. When she returned to campus after the break, she went to see the college physician about the pain, and he did a blood test to first check if she had appendicitis. Of course, she didn’t.
Read her story here.


Joy is a survivor of stage IV epithelial ovarian cancer since January of 2001 and she feels very optimistic. Joy started feeling pretty uncomfortable around the holidays in 2001. She felt Bloated (wearing only elastic-type pants), eating a very small amount before feeling a back-up in her throat, being very constipated and losing her breath sitting back in a chair. Because of the symptom of shortness of breath Joy was sent to urgent care where she received a diagnosis of reflux with a recommendation to take antacids. "It was Christmas time and our travel plans were set. So my husband and I set off on our two-week vacation to the East Coast."
Read her story here.


Every spring, within 2-3 days of hanging a fern on the patio outside of June Stokes' bedroom, birds have built nests. One year the nest was built by a dove, and she believes it was sent by God to comfort and strengthen her during some very difficult days.

"From the day I had felt this large, palpable mass on March 23, 2000, I was calm and unafraid. I wanted to have surgery, see what options were available and begin a treatment plan.

I had surgery on April 5, 2000. The tumor mass was the size of a soccer ball. It had twisted and turned around all the organs in my pelvis, including the colon, and had moved my bladder to my right side.

Pathology findings were stage IV cancer in both ovaries and the fallopian tubes, and it had spread to the omentum and spleen. The prognosis was devastating to my family. We were told I had one year to live; two years at the most."
Read her story here.


At the conclusion of Megan Silianoff's most recent CT scan, her doctor sat across from her and happily told her she had “no evidence of disease.” It was news that millions of cancer patients dream of hearing. Yet for some reason, Megan didn’t feel the overwhelming satisfaction you’d imagine.

"I was happy, sure. But I didn’t pop any champagne nor did I high-five anyone on my way out of the hospital. (Though I did buy myself a Snickers bar and tip the valet guy an extra dollar.)

I love that phrase, though, “no evidence of disease,” and have given it a lot of thought since my doctor used it. I’ve decided it’s just not true.

My body may have rid itself of all the cancer (good job, body!) but the evidence that it was once there remains both literally and figuratively within me, and I’d have it no other way.
Read her story here.


Less than a year after Jesse Robinson married, she started having severe abdominal pains. So she called her mother, a nurse at Huntsville Hospital, who said it might be appendicitis. Jesse was just 27 at the time. But after reviewing Jesse's hospital records, her mom, Charlotte, discovered her daughter had ovarian cancer, a disease more often associated with women over 50. She couldn't bear to tell her daughter. Instead, she asked her daughter's husband, Robbie Robinson, to break the news. "I don't know that I've ever been that scared in my life," said Robbie. "I was shaking all over."
Read her story here.


Vanessa Price was diagnosed in 2008, she had been suffering from indigestion and bloating and had pains in her pelvis. Vanessa went to the doctor. Over the next eight months she was treated for a stomach ulcer, then a urinary tract infection, then irritable bowel syndrome. It gradually got worse and one evening she collapsed and had to be taken to the hospital. She was sent home with painkillers. It wasn't until she collapsed a week later that she was given a scan. Vanessa was left lying on the floor for 12 hours because she couldn't move and was drifting in and out of consciousness. Vanessa lived alone so it was only when she managed to drag herself to a phone and call an ambulance that she was rescued. It was there, lying on the cold, hard floor of her bathroom when she realized that there was something very badly wrong.
Read her story here.


Angela Shepard was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 24 years old. She was shocked, stunned, angry, upset, scared, and didn’t understand why this was happening to her. A month after Angela graduated with a BS in Social Work she was diagnosed. After working only one month at a “real” job she was let go. Angela had four rounds of chemotherapy and when she was done with treatment she tried to live my life like she did “before” cancer. Angela didn’t want to be a survivor, didn’t want to tell her story. She wanted to forget her story. Then at 9 years with no sign of disease "my wonderful husband looked at me one day and said how long are you going to let cancer rule your life?"
Read her story here.



While on a business trip in 2006, Krista Ventresco felt a severe pain in her abdomen. "If you ever had colitis, that’s what it felt like. It was like a really stabbing pain, and it only lasted about 24 hours," said Krista. On a hunch, she went to the doctor that day. "If I hadn’t gone that day, I probably wouldn’t have ever gone back," she said. And that was how doctors discovered her Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer.


Jackie Thompson considers herself one of the lucky ones. In 2003 she didn’t have a clue she had ovarian cancer, but her abdomen was growing and she had cysts. "(Ovarian cancer) wasn’t on my radar or the doctor’s,” she said. “It doesn’t even cross your mind that’s what could be wrong with you." As fate would have it, Jackie went to the hospital to get a hysterectomy and when she woke-up in the recovery room, she was informed she had ovarian cancer.
Read her story here.


During the summer of 1991 Ellen noticed that while walking around Lake Calhoun she would have to stop and use the outhouse, which was unusual for her. she also had a brief twinge of pain once in awhile, she was not concerned. Even so, Ellen went to see her gynecologist a month earlier than her scheduled annual checkup. He put his hand on her tummy and remarked that he would think she was pregnant if didn’t know better. (He had done a tubal ligation on her 15 years earlier.) He scheduled an ultrasound for a few days later because during the pelvic exam he felt a mass pressing on Ellen's bladder. He couldn’t tell where the mass was attached, but said even if it is on the ovary, there was only a 15 percent chance that it would be cancerous. He also scheduled a hysterectomy the next week.
Read her story here.


Rory Lau was a competitive swimmer and healthy when an ultrasound for an intestinal hernia revealed she had ovarian cancer. The tumour in the 16-year-old’s body was the size of a football. But because her abdominal muscles were so strong, the doctors couldn’t tell from the outside that something was wrong. Rory had her left ovary and fallopian tube removed, underwent chemo and beat the odds. She wasn’t expected to survive.

That was 20 years ago. Today, Rory remains cancer-free.
Read her story here.


Liza Sunley was 38 years old when she discovered that she had ovarian cancer accidentally after working out ten years ago. She had not been feeling her best, but didn’t think much of it until she felt a lump in her abdomen while doing some sit-ups.

"I thought that didn’t seem normal but I wasn’t normally pressing around there so I didn’t know. After a couple of weeks, I thought I should really get this checked," she said, adding, "Looking back I actually had a lot of symptoms. They’re so subtle."

"They don’t really know the cause for me. For some people, it’s genetics but for most it seems to be a little more random," she remarked, "It’s a relatively rare type of cancer but the problem with it is it’s the most deadly for women."
Read her story here.


Carmen is celebrating her 13th year as an ovca survivor. Experiencing the shock of being diagnosed with cancer has diminished over the years, but its shadow still resides in her mind. Walking (sometimes crawling) the ovarian cancer journey was not always pleasant but she says her life has been enriched despite the disease.
Read her story here.


Looking back on it now, Meghan is not entirely certain if she experienced very many symptoms prior to being diagnosed; if she did, she disregarded them, as many of the ones that are typically cited tend to be those which most young women are not accustomed to viewing as indicative of anything more serious than stress or an upcoming period. As a result, it was not until after at least a month or so of having a slightly hardened and distended stomach that Meghan made an appointment with a gynecologist.
Read her story here.


In January 1998, Chris noticed that she had been having some heavy periods, and upon further thought realized she had been bleeding off and on for a few months. Chris went to her family doctor in late January and did a pregnancy test, when the doctor found that her uterus was enlarged. When that came back negative, the doctor said he thought she had uterine fibroids and referred her to an OB/GYN. He recommended that she have a transvaginal ultrasound to confirm the diagnosis.
Read her story here.


10 years ago Naomi Whitacre had been working out on the beach, but when she got home, she walked in the door with a 103-degree fever. Immediately she called her doctor, Lawrence Schlitt of Scripps Health. “I think he saved my life,” she said. Her doctor said he suspected appendicitis and told her to get to the hospital immediately, but she replied that she was too busy. Set to leave for Europe and teaching classes in human resources at UCSD, she just couldn’t be bothered, she said. “He said no, go now,” she said. “I was reluctant and annoyed” but headed for Scripps anyway. An MRI of her abdomen to check for appendicitis revealed a cantaloupe-sized tumor that had formed around a fibrotic ovarian cyst. Three days later Dr. Conlay Lacy and Dr. Bridgette Duggan removed the growth, which turned out to be stage 2C ovarian cancer.
Read her story here.


In 1997, Barbara Nuorala was having trouble breathing and walking, often finding herself short of breath. When she noticed she was having trouble eating, yet still expanding, she decided to go to the doctor. After an ultrasound and CT scan, Barb was sent down to Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis to see a specialist the next day. It was there she was diagnosed with stage 3C ovarian cancer. It has spread throughout her abdominal cavity and omentum. “It’s a silent thing,” Barb said. “You have all these weird symptoms and you don’t really realize what’s going on.” Barb underwent surgery to remove her ovaries, uterus and omentum, spending nearly two weeks in recovery. At the time, ovarian cancer patients had a 25 to 30 percent survival rate, Barb’s husband Marv said. After several months of chemotherapy treatment, however, Barb went into remission. There hasn’t been a sign of cancer growth since. Barb has been cancer-free for 14 years.
Read her story here.


Amanda Seyderhelm has penned a book on her battle with cancer and how it inspired her to change her life for the better. She wrote a diary of her experiences while she battled ovarian cancer between 2002 and 2005. Amanda has since turned the diary into her memoirs and has self-published her book, which is called Coming To My Senses: Finding My Voice Through Ovarian Cancer. The book tells how Amanda, 50, decided to re-evaluate what was important in her life. Before she was diagnosed, she was a businesswoman running a literary agency in London but when she received her five-year clearance in 2010, she and her husband Peter moved to Stamford.
Read her story here.
Or visit here website here.


In August of 2007, at the age of 27 Melanie was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. After bring misdiagnosed Melanie’s final diagnosises and treatment was under the care of Dr. Steven Poliakoff, in South Miami. Dr. Poliakoff outlined a specific treatment for her that was designed specifically for her condition. After being educated about ovarian cancer she realized she had most of the symptoms associated with ovarian cancer. Because ovarian cancer symptoms can be attributed to other medical conditions her symptoms were all previously overlooked until she saw Dr. Poliakoff. Dr. Poliakoff diagnosed her in early stage so the prognosis was good. After five surgeries and twenty-two chemotherapy treatments Melanie successfully won the fight against cancer.
Read her story here.


Vanessa first discovered that she had a tumor mass in her left ovary in August of 2009. Doctors went in to remove her left ovary; a biopsy proved that she had ovarian cancer. Doctors recommended that she have her right ovary removed as well; this would leave her infertile. So before starting any further treatments, Vanessa went for a second opinion at Women’s Health Dexeus in January of 2010. It was here that she would learn that there was a way to enable her to have children later on...
Read her story here.


Katie Horn says "In 1970, I was a mother of 2 sons..hoping to have a daugher to add to our family. We were excited to learn I was pregnant again and on a routine office visit with my OB doctor…I was told that there was a possible problem. I was over 4 months into the pregnancy and surprised. A mass was felt and so they decided to do an exploratory surgery."
Read her story here.


Holly Miller says "My cancer journey began with a routine yearly exam. What began with, "is there anything going on that I need to be aware of” question from my doctor turned into “it’s probably nothing but let me schedule an ultrasound just to be sure." My complaint to her was that I had been experiencing what I thought was severe fatigue over the past few months. I would be ready to take a nap at 2 p.m. and not get up until the next morning, that’s how tired I was. I thought this to be strange because I exercised regularly and ate healthy. I also told her my menstrual cycle was out of whack. Dr. Rebecca Walker was just the beginning of many doctors that would, in a sense, save my life. The ultrasound revealed a tumor on my right ovary."
Read her story here. Or here here.


Daphne Evans is a multi-cancer survivor: ovarian, breast and spinal cancer. She is the CFO advisor to start-up companies including the fashion industry. But her real passion is the foundation that she started in 2005: Heaven’s Door Cancer Foundation Heaven’s Door is a foundation and wellness spa treatment advocacy program for women over the age of 18 with advanced life threatening illnesses.
Read her story here. Or read about Heaven's Door Foundation here.


Laurey Masterton says “Being a 20-year ovarian cancer survivor is a special victory because sadly most of its victims don’t reach this milestone. I’m one of the lucky ones because I was able to feel symptoms early on and was diagnosed in Stage I. I was in touch with my body, I knew something was wrong, I was persistent with the doctors and it saved my life. Early detection and awareness of ovarian cancer is the message that I want my bike ride to convey.”
Read her story here. Or follow her blog here.


Luci Berardi was diagnosed in October 2010 with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer at the age of 42. After going through a hysterectomy with debulking and the convention regimen of chemotherapy, Luci remains cancer free.

This journey was the inspiration for Luci to write a book about her trials, mental state and triumph over this diagnosis.

The use of conventional, alternative and spiritual therapies were paramount in her recovery. She provides hope and a renewal of Faith for the patient, the spouse and family members and friends who walk a similar journey.
Read her story here...


Kathy Bates quietly underwent surgery and nine rounds of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer in 2003 while filming “Little Black Book” with the late Brittany Murphy. “I caught it early. And because of my celebrity, I didn’t have to wait even for an operating table. I got in really quickly,” she said, snapping her fingers twice. “But a lot of people aren’t so fortunate.”
Read her story here...


In August 1993, while waiting to be discharged from the hospital after what she thought was a routine surgery, Marge Tautkus Gunnar learned that she had ovarian cancer. The ensuing months of chemotherapy were long, difficult, and completely life altering. During the course of her treatment, Marge not only derived courage and strength from the love and devotion of family and friends, but also from the deep and soulful connection she had to her Lipizzan stallion, Neapolitano IV Farica (Max).
Read her story here...
You can read about the program she started, BraveHearts, by clicking here


Diagnosed at stage 4, Phyllis has survived without any recurrence. Here she describes how she was diagnosed.

Joanne & James - Ovarian cancer is more than a woman's disease.


Susan Gubar, a 63 year-old author, had her ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, appendix and part of her intestine removed — a process called debulking. Gubar describes both the emotional and physical effects of debulking in her recent critically acclaimed book, “Memoir of a Debulked Woman: Enduring Ovarian Cancer.”
Read her story here...


Annette shares what symptoms she experienced that indicated she had ovarian cancer.


A 23 year-old ovarian cancer survivor.


“You can choose to (dwell) on the negatives, but you are only wasting your time,” says Hannah Brengman. “Yeah, it sucks that I had to go through all that, but it has made me the person I am today. I have a better understanding of life and the full meaning of being thankful for what you have.” In January 2012, Hannah had her last mandatory checkup and the doctor gave her a clean bill of health. Brengman tries to live each day to the fullest and never take anything for granted. Her battle with cancer has given her a heart to reach out to others and work to improve the world we live in.
Read her story here...


Ang Ying Chun has given birth to a son despite having both ovaries removed, three years after being diagnosed with the disease. The 24-year-old was able to become a mother because doctors extracted eggs from one of her ovaries after it was taken out.
Read her story here...


When Tina Grist got the call from her surgeon to meet him in the oncology department of the hospital the next day, Tina was very confused. She had been in for tests after months of discomfort in her stomach and severe bloating which had culminated in the removal of an unknown mass, but she never imagined it could be cancer. Tina had to look up the word oncology. At the time her doctor really didn’t think it was anything serious and reassured Tina that it was a benign growth, which he had sent for a routine biopsy. He seemed convinced everything would be fine.
Read her story here...


It was just a normal morning in March 2010 when Laura Batey woke up with a stabbing pain in the lower part of my tummy. Laura went to the walk-in clinic in Leeds, and was diagnosed with a urinary tract infection and given antibiotics. A few days later the pain persisted – it varied from something intense and horrendous to a constant dull ache – so Laura visited her doctor who suspected appendicitis. She was admitted to hospital and told that she had a nonspecific gynecological issue. She thought she had a cyst – it never occurred to her that it could be cancer.
Read her story here...


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Linda's Story: Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Sandhy always had a flat tummy and narrow waist, so the first sign that something wasn’t right was noticeable bloating and feeling sick. It was when she was in the shower that she felt a bump in the lower part of my stomach. Sandhy was convinced that it was a hernia. Over the weeks the bump got progressively bigger and she started feeling more and more exhausted. Eventually she went to my doctor who had an instinct that she needed urgent attention and sent me for a CT scan.
Read her story here...


After doctors discovered a cancerous tumour on her right ovary six years ago, Nancy O'Brien managed to avoid the devastating statistics the majority of ovarian cancer patients face - 1,750 deaths per 2,600 diagnoses in Canada. That's more than 67 per cent, compared to the 21 per cent death rate for female breast cancer patients.
Read her story here...


Susan, in her positive and forthright way, ignored the statistics, the lousy diagnosis and any doom and gloom. Her doctor and she fought long and hard, with lots of laughter, loads of complementary herbal and dietary support, and tons of hard core chemo...
Read her story here...


This all came to a screeching halt in January 2006. After a trip to the urgent care clinic with lower abdominal pain, a routine ultrasound revealed “simple ovarian cysts”. I wasn’t convinced. The whispering voice of intuition told me that it must be something more. On the ultrasound table, I demanded a transvaginal ultrasound even though the procedure wasn’t ordered. The look on the technician’s face told me it wasn’t good...
Read her story here...


Angel Gnau was diagnosed with IIB, Grade 3 ovarian cancer on March 20, 2006. It took more than a year of telling the doctor something was seriously wrong before Angel was diagnosed…her doctor wasn’t listening to her, which seems to be a prevalent complaint in diagnosing ovarian cancer...
Read her story here...


Rohana Miller: "For six months my normally flat belly was enlarging until I appeared to be 5 mos pregnant. I kept seeking medical help, felt bloated, thought I was just getting older. Dieting made me skinny but my belly kept growing and I gained 13 lbs in one month! I was exhausted.

I worked at a major medical hospital. Finally, I had a little ovulation pain and got a pelvic and an abdominal ultrasound (no vaginal ultrasounds in those days) showed "massive tumors" as the radiologist described into his dictation microphone during the procedure.

I had surgery June 10, 1981 and the surgeon told my parents I "might not make it" (my mom told me this not long ago). Diagnosis was IIIa Ovarian Cancer.

Wanting to take drastic action asap, I chose most aggressive chemo of that time, which included cisplatin and other chemo drugs, given during two day hospital stay every 4 weeks.

Six months later, 2nd look surgery was positive for cancer cells in my peritoneal cavity. After debulking, there sure as hell was NOTHING else left in that area.

NCI turned me down for further trials citing my likely resistance to more chemo - there was nothing else chemical to give me. Their letter to my oncologist recommended radiation as "this patient's only hope for long term remission".

I received 6 weeks of daily radiation to entire torso, front and back until I reached maximum. No more radiation was allowed. My gyn/oncologist decided against 3rd look surgery because there was nothing left to give me if they found more cancer and he said the radiation damage would make it too hard to put me back again. So, frequent pelvics were my only follow-up and as time went on, those became annual exams.

My life expectancy was a 30% chance to live to age 40 and I was 35 at diagnosis with an 8 and 10 year old.

I followed a lot of augmentative therapies to counteract chemo and radiation damage, including Linus Pauling's megavitamin therapy, organic food, visualization, self-hypnosis, juicing and more. Docs were amazed at my lack of skin burns from the radiation. Over the next couple of years I regained my strength and was able to return to work and a normal life.

Years later, my siblings tested positive for BRCA-1 and had prophylactic oophorectomies. I now have late stage kidney disease due to cisplatin damage (which did NOT kill those cancer cells), cannot have dialysis due to vein damage from chemo, but I am now 66 and have lived long enough to see my kids grow up and I love being a grandmother.

I am open to speaking candidly about my post surgical recovery and any other ov-ca experiences or knowledge I have. I wish you who read this courage and fortitude.

My number one advice is to educate yourself and eat well and healthily - yes, forget about artificial sweeteners, processed foods, pesticided and GM foods. You want to give yourself best nutrition to get through this."
Rohana Miller


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Peggy Johnson was sitting in church one April watching the church Easter canata. Before the cantata started, a friend and Peggy chatted, as we sat side by side in the pew. Peggy told her friend that she was having some physical problems, her stomach was swollen and uncomfortable. Peggy's friend looked alarmed, saying that she should see a physician right away.

So a week later, Peggy found herself in her doctor's office, describing the symptoms. With a scope, the doctor listened to her abdomen, punched around, asking questions, trying to pinpoint the pain...
Read her story here...


A student who survived an ovarian tumour the size of two grapefruits said her recovery is a "miracle". April Moss was diagnosed with a rare ovarian cancer when she was only 19 years old.The City College Plymouth student, who is in remission following surgery, urged other women to be aware of the disease's symptoms.
Read her story here...


Ali Mills was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 26. Fortunately the cancer had not spread when it was caught by doctors, but Ali, now 36, had to have lots of surgery, including a hysterectomy. Now she is back to full health, Ali has decided to take on the renowned Fred Whitton Challenge in the Lake District to raise money for Macmillan Nurses.
Read her story here...


After 13 years of chasing fugitives and guarding federal prisoners, a deputy U.S. Marshal faced a more daunting foe: stage 3 ovarian cancer. After five hours of surgery and 10 months of chemotherapy, Lisa Alfonso is back at work, still hoping to catch a notorious drug fugitive while trying to help other women who are fighting cancer alone.
Read her story here...


ONE day Sandra Rumney found two large lumps in her stomach – one the size of a melon and the other the size of a grapefruit. After seeing various doctors, she was told she had to have a hysterectomy and have her ovaries taken away. She didn’t panic. She was just glad it was getting sorted out. The word ‘cancer’ was never mentioned.

After surgery the surgeon told her he’d decided to leave a little bit on her bowel so that she didn’t have to have a colostomy bag but not to worry because the chemotherapy would get rid of it and that they were going to use two types of chemotherapy, Taxol and Carboplatin, which would make her lose her hair. When they said that, Sandra broke down because no one had said it was cancer before this point. Sandra thought they were taking away ovarian cysts. It turned out it was stage 3 ovarian cancer, which they say means you usually have three years to live.
Read her story here...


Aimee Jungman: "I was devastated and shocked. I couldn’t believe that a woman who had been in the business of healthcare for 20 years, had earned an MBA from a top-tier school, and lived in a city with some of the best doctors in the world could have this happen to her."
Read her story here...


Fueled by her desire to spread the word about ovarian cancer, Jenn Sommermann, who will celebrate five years of being cancer-free this summer, is letting her competitive streak run rampant. She has 12 races planned this season. No. 33 on her state-by-state list took place Saturday when she finished first in her age group in New Mexico's Coyote Carrera Triathlon. That leaves just a handful of races for 2013, the year Sommermann turns 50 and has pledged to complete her campaign.
Read her story here... and her most recent update here...


Donna LaBargo was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in January 2009. Ovarian cancer has symptoms that can be very vague, and most often it’s not diagnosed until in the later stages. When Donna looks back now, she realizes she had all the typical symptoms. But like most women, they really didn’t seem unusual at the time. Her gynecological oncologist later told her that she could have been checked every month and still not have been diagnosed in an early stage – that’s how fast it can spread. She compared it to blowing on a dandelion.
Read her story here...


Diem Brown was a 22-year-old freelance entertainment reporter when MTV came calling five years ago. The network wanted to cast her on “Real World/Road Rules.” Just before the show started shooting, Diem discovered that intense abdominal pain she’d been living with for months was cancer — ovarian cancer at age 22.
Read her story here...
Follow her blog here...


“A lot of people, when they get cancer, think their life is over,” said Anne Leeb, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008. “But it’s not over. I mean, I have a baby now. I never would have thought that was possible a few years ago.”
Read her story here...


Donna Trussell recently bought a sewing machine. She knows it’s cheaper to buy finished clothing than to buy cloth and sew a dress yourself. But she bought a sewing machine.

Compounding the horror, she says, she also bought a waffle iron. "Waffle irons are frivolous. Ridiculous. One more thing to lug around. And what’s wrong with pancakes?" says Donna. Despite all that, she bought a waffle iron. And she's been gardening. Hauling dirt. Planting bulbs. She kills almost everything she plants, but that’s beside the point. She is trying.

"Perhaps my 2001 diagnosis of ovarian cancer is to blame? Brain damage from the chemo? Or is it something deeper?"
Read her story here... or read more about Sandra by clicking here...

Michelle Present says faith and love have kept her alive, she is one of the lucky ones. She beat ovarian cancer, "the silent killer." Present's cancer was an advanced stage three when she was officially diagnosed almost one year ago. She was sent to an oncologist after complaining of abdominal discomfort. All tests came back negative, and surgery was scheduled.

"It was more exploratory than anything," Present says. "And it was where they discovered I had a mass that was back deep in my pelvis that had attached itself to the muscles in my lower back and left leg. But it did not show up on a scan or a test." Present says she kept pushing for answers because she just didn't feel right and Barnes says Present did exactly the right thing.

"You certainly need to look into things. Never minimize symptoms," Barnes says. According to Barnes, any abdominal discomfort that lasts for more than a week or two should be checked out.
Read her story here...

Like most fifth-graders, Cassidy Brozovich wants to be around her friends. That is why she returned to North Road Intermediate School in Howland last week despite being diagnosed with a rare childhood ovarian cancer on March 6th.

Cassidy said it was "kind of a shocker" when the doctor told her she had cancer. Bolchalk said her daughter complained of a stomach ache that morning, but wanted to go to school because she was doing a presentation and there were school pictures scheduled. When her stomach ache got worse and she developed a low-grade fever, Bolchalk, a nurse, thought Cassidy was having an appendicitis attack and took her to her pediatrician, who also thought it was her appendix. From there, she went to Akron Children's Hospital in Boardman, where a CT Scan revealed a mass the size of a baseball on her right ovary.
Read her story here...

Michelle Hutchinson, of Langford, knew nothing about ovarian cancer until she was diagnosed with the disease in February last year. The 30-year-old said all she could think of when she was diagnosed was her young sons. “I thought I was going to die and leave my beautiful boys behind,” she said.
Read her story here...

For years, Jordan suffered with heavy, painful menstrual periods. She sought medical help, but none of the remedies her doctor prescribed worked. The mother of 2 teenagers, Jordan decided in 2010 to have a hysterectomy to take care of the problem once and for all. Jordan’s doctor told her he planned to do the hysterectomy vaginally, but warned that if there were any complications, he might have to do it abdominal.

When she came to after the surgery, Jordan found that she had had abdominal surgery. The surgeon explained that when he pressed on her abdomen, he had felt something hard on one of her ovaries. Once inside, he could see cancer on both ovaries and the omentum, which is a layer of fatty tissue that covers the organs. He removed Jordan’s ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and omentum.
Read her story here...

At 10 years-old Tathra's grandmother, was diagnosed with breast cancer, she fought hard, AND WON, but was soon diagnosed with Gynecological cancer, this fight was also won. Then she had an aunt diagnosed with BC, then another and then ANOTHER all within a short time.
Read her story here...


In 2010, photographer and ovarian cancer survivor Carolyn Taylor began a photo documentary project to show that the battle against cancer is universal. She planned to use photography to illustrate that regardless of race, religion, nationality or economic status, we are all one in the fight against the disease.
Read her story here...
Or visit her website by clicking here.

Many gynecologists do not ask their patients about ovarian cancer symptoms, and many patients are unaware of the symptoms to ask questions. Alice Laurendine knows because she had her ovaries removed in a complete hysterectomy 23 years prior to getting Ovarian cancer.
Read her story here...

Chrissy Deutsch was diagnosed at age 43 with ovarian cancer Stage IIIC on May 10, 2009.
Read her story here...

10 year old Elizabeth Dimas was diagnosed last summer.
Read her story here...

53 weeks to the day that Olivia's sister had major surgery at Mayo Clinic for an Ovarian tumor – Olivia (age 32) underwent surgery to remove her right ovary.
Read her story here...

Susan Engels was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian cancer on December 23rd, 2009 at the age of 49. She spent almost three weeks in the hospital after having major surgery that involved removing cancerous tumors and her ovaries.
Read her story here...

Aileen Coleman was diagnosed with ovarian cancer during the birth of her second son through a repeat cesarean section
Read her story here...

A beautiful young woman, diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, a nightmare for any woman when they hear those words “You have ovarian cancer”.

Elana heard those words not only once but 3 times.

A young woman with a darling young daughter hearing the words that just might kill her. “Who’s going to raise my daughter, will I live long enough to see her graduate? Her first boyfriend? What about seeing her walk down the isle? Will she forget me?

I can not imagine the thoughts that run through her mind, the personal struggle she is going though.

Elana wants to live! Please help and donate for early detection of ovarian cancer.

Elana Waldman - Ovarian Cancer Survivor Story

Kelly Paulus, was 48 years old and diagnosed with stage I ovarian cancer January 7th this year.
Read her story here...


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Ovarian Cancer Survivors - Page 2

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Doreen Braverman was pale and gaunt.

She could barely walk, much less run.

And she was facing rounds three and four of chemotherapy.

How she got out of bed to participate in her first run for her® 5k Run and Friendship Walk, a charity fundraiser hosted by Cedars-Sinai to generate funding for ovarian cancer research and awareness, is a mystery – yet it's not.

"I remember sitting on the median on Third Street and waiting for my team members to finish. A friend from the Writers Guild, at the time, was one of the first to finish. After crossing the finish line, he came and sat on the curb alongside me," Braverman said of the experience four years ago. "Seeing all the Team Doreen signs, family, friends and former colleagues was an emotional boost that was tremendously meaningful at a time when my physical and emotional resources were very low."

Team Doreen was started by her husband and two daughters in 2008, the year Braverman's ovarian cancer was discovered. However, her relationship with the disease, like many, began with the tragic death of a loved one. A 20-year-old family friend, Robin Babbini, lost a battle with the disease. Babbini was diagnosed at age 17 with stage-three ovarian cancer, Braverman said.

"She complained of abdominal pain and had other symptoms for a year prior to her diagnosis," she said. "Her disease was quite advanced. She did manage to graduate high school and complete one year of college. … This was someone who went to nursery school with one of my daughters."

Babbini's mother, Paulinda, founded the Ovarian Cancer Circle to educate women about the symptoms of the disease. During a Lunch and Learn event co-chaired by Paulinda in spring 2008, Braverman remembers picking up a bookmark with Babbini's picture on it, as well as a list of ovarian cancer symptoms. One of those symptoms – bloating – stuck with Braverman.

In August, while out of town, Braverman experienced bloating around her abdomen. Instead of thinking it might have been gas, Braverman thought, "Oh my gosh, I have ovarian cancer."

When she returned, she scheduled an appointment with her gynecologist. On Friday, Aug. 15, the doctor conducted a transvaginal ultrasound.

"All he could visualize was fluid, a sign cancer cells were multiplying," she said.

Braverman was referred that afternoon to Andrew Li, a gynecologic oncologist at Cedars-Sinai, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. That following Monday, three days after her diagnosis, she underwent debulking surgery to remove the cancer. Braverman spent a week in the hospital, and on the eighth day after her surgery, she began chemotherapy

Braverman had no family history of ovarian cancer.

Skip ahead four years, and Braverman's run for her story, albeit with cancer still looming, is much more defined. Braverman and her youngest daughter, Lizzie, are co-captains of Team Doreen.

The team has dozens of regular participants each year and has raised more than $35,000 for the cause. Team Doreen has been among the largest teams three times.

This year's event – scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 10, 2013, at Pan Pacific Park – will continue to raise much needed funds and awareness of ovarian cancer. Money raised by run for her is strictly for research and awareness. Run for her was designed, in partnership with Cedars-Sinai, by Kelli Sargent, who lost her mother to ovarian cancer. Sargent is now a senior team lead and producer in Community Relations and Development. The inaugural event took place in a Cedars-Sinai parking lot in 2005.

Although her daughters have tested negative for any genetic mutations linked to ovarian cancer, Braverman said, the recommendation is for them to take birth control for at least five years. As for herself, Braverman's cancer has been in remission since December 2008.

"I'm like a diabetic. At stages three and four, there's no cure but it's manageable," she said.

More info available at runforher.com.



Ovarian Cancer Survivors Teaching Students
Mary, a survivor of ovarian cancer, shares her story with medical students at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). These women tell their tales in part to inform future physicians of the often silent signals of ovarian cancer. Video courtesy of the Richmond, VA Chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC).


A 23 Year-Old Ovarian and Endometrial Cancer Survivor
With no family history of cancer, Hillary Gozigian had her entire reproductive system removed all before her 24th birthday. Here is her story.


Ovarian Cancer Survivor: Andrea Herzberg

Ovarian Cancer Survivor: Annie Eliis

The day before the Army mobilization Kat learned that the ovarian cancer she thought she beat nearly four years earlier had returned--and in a more virulent form.
Read her story here...

At the age of 23 Blake was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Read her story here...

Angie’s story shares her journey through Ovarian cancer from the beginning to the end of her chemo treatments. It was important to Angie to share this very difficult time, her personal daily journal. It is a very compelling account of Angie’s ability to continue working, attending college and getting her Masters degree.

This is very insightful as we need to know that life does go on when we might feel its over. It’s important to never give up hope, to keep a positive attitude.

If you are able to work or were attending college keep going as Angie did, God will get you through this, as He did with Angie, and myself.

Angie's Story - This is what ovarian cancer looks like

Naomi was spending a typical weekend day working out with her trainer at the beach, but came home and felt feverish. Within an hour her fever was 103 degrees.
Read her story here...

At 17 Jenn was a senior in high school, had a serious boyfriend, loved being with her girlfriends, and basically did what normal 17 year-olds do when she was diagnosed with a stage 1-B complex dysgerminoma of the left ovary
Read her story here...

Ovarian Cancer, Silent no more!

Mitzi had a physical in July with a Nurse Practioner (NP) at her primary care clinic. Several weeks later she received a call that her PAP was abnormal and to follow-up in October, 2001 for a repeat test. She did and it came back normal. Mitzi had been having some burning pain on her right side but didn't pay much attention to it. During the October exam, the NP mentioned that her uterus was pressing down and to have it checked by a gynecologist. Mitzi didn't get the impression it was urgent and asked if she should do it soon. The nurse answered that it didn't seem like a problem but told her when she had the time get it checked.
Read her story here...

Pat's story includes her mother, younger sister, and herself. Pat's journey with cancer began in February 2005 with her diagnosis in July 2005 at the age of 46 at Stage II.
Read her story here...

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Amanda was 24 when she was forced to fight for her life, at a much younger age than the usual age group that ovarian cancer is known to target.
Read her story here...

Great video for information on the tests used for diagnosing Ovarian cancer. Dr. Poynor address’s the fact that there are early warnings of this disease. The warnings are vague, it’s important we know our bodies.

I highly recommend you watch this and be alert to any changes in your bodies no matter how small or insignificant. Insist on tests. No one wants to hear at a late stage that they have cancer.

Finding Signs of Ovarian Cancer

Amanda Weinrich was 19 years old and diagnosed in September 2010 with a dysgerminoma of the right ovary.
Read her story here...

Tina was 29 when diagnosed with stage 111c Ovarian Cancer during the fall of 2007. She had been experiencing pain in the abdomen, painful intercourse and her periods where longer and heavier for the previous 5 years.
Read her story here...

Haley Mellert was touched by ovarian cancer back in 2006, when she was 25 years old. She had left work early due to severe lower back pain, which ultimately led to her going to the ER later that night.
Read her story here...

Tina O’Boy was told at the age of 36, that she had ovarian cancer and would need a hysterectomy. She was devastated. She been undergoing infertility treatments, so physically and mentally Tina had already felt pretty beaten up. But now, everyday, she feels lucky she is a survivor. Going on 4 years of remission, she has never felt healthier or happier.
Read her story here...

Pregnant with Ovarian Cancer Video Diary

Liz Hyatt, was 13 weeks pregnant when she experienced pain in her side, Liz visited her doctor, she was advised it was not serious. The pain was worsening, she then saw another doctor who advised the same. The doctors felt this was a benign tumor. A third doctor suggested they perform surgery and biopsy the mass. Liz was diagnosed with a form of ovarian cancer, this was different as the mass was not attached to the ovaries, it was attached to the abdomen. The suggestion that she might have to terminate the pregnancy was the worst news she and her husband could hear.

This message is emotional, Liz has taken us through her entire passage from the first day of discovery to the delivery of her healthy baby boy. News that could have been horrific became victorious. Liz is now active with Relay for Life.




Ovarian Cancer Survivor: "I am 7 months pregnant, and I am a survivor."


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Ovarian Cancer Survivors

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"When I heard [I had] cancer I immediately thought it was a death sentence," said Brandi Maxiell, who was just 24 when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. "I had all of the symptoms. I had the bloating ... I looked 5-6 months pregnant. If I had to go to the bathroom I couldn't hold it," she said of her symptoms. "The hardest part was not knowing what to do or what was going to happen." After her life-changing diagnosis in 2007, Brandi, now 30, soon began chemotherapy which had many side effects including hair loss. At the time, she and Jason, 31, were engaged to be married, however, the joy of their engagement was overshadowed by Brandi's cancer battle. Read more here.



A cancer survivor is taking on an epic 3,300-mile Welsh walking challenge to and from hospital appointments in a bid to highlight issues surrounding the disease. Ursula Martin hopes her eight-month odyssey, criss-crossing Wales, will raise awareness of ovarian cancer, which struck her unexpectedly two years ago. The former care worker is hiking the length and breadth of Wales, crossing the River Severn for hospital appointments in Bristol. Along the way she aims to speak to every Welsh AM and MP in their constituency to raise awareness of ovarian cancer. Read more here.



A cancer survivor, told she had less than a year to live 16 years ago, hopes to inspire others who are still fighting.



As new grandmother Pauline Keating finished cancer treatment last year, she promised herself that if she made it through she would buy her dream motorcycle. Today, the 54-year-old is in remission from advanced ovarian cancer and a proud owner of a shiny Harley-Davidson. Before December 2012, she considered herself anything but a candidate for cancer. She was fit and healthy and training for a half marathon, hampered only by occasional bouts of painful bloating in her abdomen which she and her doctor dismissed as symptoms of her coeliac disease. here.



She talks about it now so matter-of-factly that it's hard to believe just three years ago at this very moment, Shannon Miller had no idea what was coming next. In January 2011, following a routine exam that she almost skipped, doctors removed a malignant tumor the size of a baseball and Miller's left ovary. "Relying on those lessons learned through sports, getting up back after a fall, setting goals for each day, especially throughout chemotherapy throughout treatment it was really important." This cancer was the biggest test on Miller. At the time of her diagnosis, she had a 15-month-old son. She says she relied on humor and faith to conquer her fears.
Read more of Shannon Miller's story here... and read why Shannon is Alexis De La Garza's favorite gymnast here.



Patty Knox was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 48, 2 years ago. Though she’s now cancer-free, her life views and habits have been forever altered. Trivial things that once bothered her, like a broken copier or crowded lane at a big box store, no longer affect her. She has made a point to be in the stands when her grandson takes the field for Little League games. And instead of staying home to clean the house, as she often did before, she now joins her husband, Jerry, on motorcycle rides through Kansas and Missouri. And the biggest change in her day-to-day life? “I’m happier,” Knox says. “People would think that’s hard to believe, going through cancer. But I am.” But without an event that forces us to confront our own mortality, Young said, it can be difficult to make that mental transition – particularly in a world in which we’re bombarded with commitments and responsibilities.
Read more of Patty's story here...



Early Detection & Awareness a Life Saver for Ovarian Cancer Survivor Jane Lucas

Jane Lucas first experienced abdominal pain in a yoga session in late 2011. First believing it to be a pulled muscle, nothing could prepare her for the harrowing diagnosis of Ovarian Cancer at the age of just 31. “The pain gradually became sharper so I thought it best to go and see a doctor just in case. The doctor felt a mass in my abdominal area which was similar in size to that of a five month pregnant belly. I told her I just thought I had been eating too much cheese,” Jane recalls.
Read more of Jane's story here...



Katie is 21 and has stage 3 breast cancer. She is being treated at University College London Hospital. See what she has to say about her experience



Phoebe was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 17. "It's been hard to come to terms with being told that I'll never be able to have my own children, especially finding out at such a young age. I always saw myself having a family, but cancer has taken that decision away from me." says Phoebe.



A letter on the table saved Sheila Davis’ life. Like so many seemingly unimportant letters, she almost threw it away. But, a decade later and after surviving a life-threatening cancer, Sheila is glad she went with her gut instinct and kept the letter, knowing that she has been able to see her grandchildren grow up. In 2001, the letter was sent out to many over-60s, inviting them to take part in a trial screening for ovarian cancer, sometimes called ‘the silent killer’ as it can grow inside you and only show vague symptoms such as bloating and a feeling of fullness. Then in her early 60s, Sheila was going about her everyday life, working as a cook at Wyeth Laboratory in Havant, but something made her phone the hospital after seeing the letter.
Read her story here...



Samantha, ovarian cancer survivor

Samantha was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 17. She fought hard and beat this disease; and works together with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance to increase federal funding for ovarian cancer research.



Jamie's Story



Heatheran's Story - Ovarian Cancer Survivor

Read more here...



Marilyn Williams believes knowledge is power. But the knowledge Williams needed wasn't available to her in time to take action against ovarian cancer. "I would have had a hysterectomy, so I could have avoided cancer, but genetic testing wasn't available 20 years ago," she said. The first clues that something was wrong with Williams came in late 2007, when she lost 28 pounds over several months, experienced bowel changes and suffered indigestion. One of her daughters urged her to get a checkup.
Read her story here...



Caitlin Nespoli, Ovarian Cancer Survivor

This is the story about a woman who won the battle against ovarian cancer. Her condition was so severe, her cancer had spread to her lungs ,heart, her liver. There was very little chance that she will survive, but she did. THIS is her story!

I just went to my doctors appointment to see how I am doing with the chemo treatments. When I left there I was feeling depressed and for some reason had some negative thoughts. I was feeling kinda sad and trying to get rid of all those bombarding thoughts.

Then I got home and I got a phone call from my doctors office. She said she couldn't wait til Friday when I came in, she had to share the news with me. She got the results of my CA-125 and my number is now in the normal range!!!!! It has come down in 3 treatments from 605 to 39!!!

I have soooooo much to be thankful for! Praising God for His love and His comfort, His amazing grace and His loving kindness! I CAN'T PRAISE HIM ENOUGH!!!! I tell you without God in my life I am pretty sure I would not be alive right now. He gives me such strength when I think I can't make it. He is the lifter of my head! He is Alive and He truly is our Redeemer. He can be trusted!!!

God Bless All of you and thank you for all the prayers!!! To God be ALL the Glory!!! Praying that God bless All of you with a beautiful Thanksgiving with family and friends and good health!!!! Heres to a year of good reports!!! Praying this for ALL OF YOU!!!!!
Karolyn Wagatsuma

An inspirational story of triumph over ovarian cancer. Dr. Lisa Anzisi shares her journey from diagnosis, treatment, survival and advocacy!

In June 2009, ovarian cancer survivor Julia Ozburn will celebrate two years of being cancer free. It is a significant moment worthy of celebration marking a ten-plus year journey and it will be shared with family, friends and a large and growing number of fellow cancer patients and survivors who know Julia most for the way in which she has touched their lives.

Ellen tells the story of her diagnosis and how she learned that both she and her daughter have the BRCA1 gene mutation.

A 20 year survivor, Phyllis describes her diagnosis and how treatment and awareness of the disease has changed over the years.

Karen is an ovarian cancer survivor and this is her story.

When Marcy Weight of Coon Rapids found out at the age of 57 that she had ovarian cancer, she knew nothing about the disease or the fact that three other family members had it. She thought her aunt, cousin and grandmother had stomach cancer, but she later learned they had ovarian cancer. Weight’s story is fairly common for those who have or know someone with ovarian cancer.
Read her story here...



Chris was happily planning his wedding to Pamela in April 2001 when her diagnosis of ovarian cancer hit them like a ton of bricks.

After postponing their wedding so she could undergo chemotherapy, Pamela & Chris were married in November of 2001 and Chris thought they would simply put this diagnosis behind them. They both soon realized it wasn't so easy.

Both Pamela and Chris began a journey together and separately in their new life as cancer survivors, she as a volunteer with Woman to Woman and Chris on his own journey to try to gain insight and understanding about the effect on men when their partners are diagnosed with ovarian cancer.

Over these past 10 years, Chris has also had to adjust to a new reality post-cancer and to learn to live with the constant vigilance and worry about whether the cancer will come back. Chris helped craft the Men's Guide to Ovarian Cancer and co-hosted along with his wife a Mount Sinai event on "Sexuality for Couples After Gynecologic Cancer."

To learn more about Ovarian Cancer treatment, services and early detection at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, please click here.

To view the "Guide for Male Partners of Women with Gynecologic Cancer", please click here.

Sharon Blynn is an ovarian cancer survivor and has been cancer free since January 2003. Most recently she was the host of the PBS documentary, The Whisper: The Silent Crisis of Ovarian Cancer. She is the founder of the website BaldisBeautiful.org.

She wants to send a message to women that they can "flip the script" on the many traumatic aspects of the cancer experience, and embrace every part of their journey with self-love, empowerment, and a deep knowing that their beauty and femininity radiate from within and are not diminished in any way by the effects of having cancer.

The Whisper: the silent crisis of ovarian cancer:

For many women, the early symptoms of ovarian cancer are relatively obscure: abdominal discomfort, bloating, or pressure; changes in urinary or bowel habits, or vaginal spotting, leading some to refer to this disease as "the whisper." Some whisper. Each year, nearly 15,000 women will die from ovarian cancer, making it the deadliest form of gynecological cancer. This documentary, hosted by ovarian cancer survivor and activist Sharon Blynn, explores the diagnosis, treatment, and research advances of ovarian cancer, and empowers women to take steps that could save their own lives through earlier diagnosis.
The Whisper: the silent crisis of ovarian cancer Facebook.

At age 24, Britt Kascjak was experiencing abdominal pain that wouldn’t go away. She saw four doctors before she was finally sent for proper testing and diagnosed. When the ovarian cancer was finally caught, she said she was lucky because it was in its early stages.

Early on in their relationship, Britt and Jano Kascjak spent their second date discussing treatment options for the ovarian cancer with which Britt had just been diagnosed. “I just assumed that I wouldn’t hear from Jano again,” recalls Britt, now 27. She’d been diagnosed only three days after their first date. “I mean, it’s not like he had anything invested in a relationship at that point.” But she said he kept in contact with her regularly, checking up on her often and offering to sit with her in the hospital. She said she blew him off in the beginning, not wanting to burden him with it all.

Now, three years after that second date, the couple is planning to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary in September by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
Read her story here...


Note: we just received an email from Britt, she made it to the top!

Congratulations from all of us at the Sharon Leigh Cancer Organization!



"I looked pregnant," said Kim Snyder. One doctor said it was the fertility treatment she was undergoing. A bad cold, said another. A third told her it was irritable bowel syndrome. Back in 2008, Kim felt as if she had the flu. She coughed all the time and could barely eat. Yet her belly was getting bigger. When the condition worsened, she went to the emergency room. "In 15 minutes, they knew what it was, and I had a diagnosis of ovarian cancer," Snyder said. "My gynecologic oncologist said the tumor was the size of a volleyball. If I hadn't kept going to doctors, I could be dead by now."
Read her story here...


In July of 2009, Shannon had just returned from her dream vacation to France. Not even a month later, following a few trips to the gynecologist with complaints of abdominal pain, Shannon was sitting in the office of a gynecologic oncologist. She had never even heard those words used in a sentence. Shannon was being prepped for surgery to remove a cyst. One week later, she was diagnosed with Stage IIa clear cell carcinoma, a form of ovarian cancer considered rare in younger women. Within two weeks of being diagnosed, Shannon had a radical hysterectomy and a few weeks later, she began six rounds of chemotherapy. She was 32 years old and approaching her three year wedding anniversary.
Read her story here...


As a woman diagnosed at the age of 27 with Stage IIIc ovarian cancer, Marcia Donziger went through a dark time. According the stats, only 22% of women live another 10 years. Although Marcia can’t remember what she had for breakfast yesterday, she does remember the smallest details of my Diagnosis Day (D-Day). Today, she's 44 and grateful for every birthday. It was March 1997 when Marcia was living the “normal” life of a 27-year old – newly married, just bought a house, working full-time, and traveling. That’s when she started feeling some vague symptoms like bloating and abdominal discomfort. Marcia asked her doctor for antibiotics assuming she had a bladder infection. Never in a million years would Marcia have guessed a grapefruit-sized tumor was growing on her left ovary.
Read her story here...


At 45 years old Alice appeared to all to be in excellent physical condition and was about to embark on a new career in nursing. In the previous six months she had run an eight-mile race in September and hiked 24 miles in the Grand Canyon in November.

" In January of 2010 I was working full time in a research lab, and I had just completed all of my prerequisite classes and applied to nursing school…On Saturday, January 30, I went for a 3-mile run and noticed some discomfort in my lower abdomen, but I finished the run and didn’t think much about it. On Sunday I went hiking and noticed that it felt like I needed to urinate when my bladder wasn’t full, and I can usually go six hours between bathroom breaks. On Monday morning I set out running with my husband but after half a mile I stopped and said to him “something isn’t right, I’d better walk back and try to get in to see my doctor today.” I thought maybe I had a urinary tract infection."
Read her story here...


Three years ago, Michelle Escobar-Gonzalez led a different life. She was a self-described “happy-go-lucky” fiancée and mother with a full-time job, like many women in the Rio Grande Valley. In January 2010, as many women do, Michelle set a goal to lose weight and get “dress-ready.” In March, she noticed something wasn’t right. “I notice my shorts are feeling a little tight, and I’m like, ‘OK, I’m losing weight and I’m exercising — what’s going on here?’” she said. “I didn’t pay much attention to it. I went ahead and just continued. I noticed, about two weeks later, that I started getting a belly. So at this point, I’m worried: Am I pregnant? I think I bought three or four pregnancy tests and they all came back negative."
Read her story here...


Marci Houff is an ovarian cancer survivor and is on a mission to educate women about the signs of this deadly cancer, as early prevention saves lives. "I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2008 and our world was instantly turned upside down." says Marci. "Ovarian cancer has signs and symptoms, but they do “whisper.” Symptoms include: Bloating Pelvic or abdominal pain Feeling full quickly or trouble eating Feeling the need to urinate urgently or often I explained away my “symptoms” as a new Kashi 12 grain cereal I was eating, Pilates classes that were tough on my abdomen and don’t women always feel “bloated?”"
Read her story here...


At the time, Heather Swift owned a restaurant and coffeehouse in Bowling Green, Ohio which her husband and she sold in 1997 after the birth of their son to move to Ithaca. Once in town Heather aspired to become active in the birth community, but her husband and her separated within 6 months, she went to live with the kids and a family whom she barely knew with no car, no job, no money, and very little self-esteem left. Two weeks later, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Read her story here... and here.


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Wednesday, November 22, 2017
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