My Story

The story begins: Friday, the 13th of July, 2012. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

I started this page after a life-changing week which resulted in a diagnosis of primary peritoneal carcinomatosis. I’ve heard stories from people who have conquered other hopeless-sounding cancers, & I hope I’m as lucky. Treatment for peritoneal cancer is identical to the treatment for ovarian cancer & many issues are the same.

“Primary peritoneal carcinoma is very uncommon. Primary peritoneal carcinoma usually manifests with abdominal distention and diffuse nonspecific abdominal pain secondary to ascites [fluid in abdomen]. Survival is poor for patients with primary peritoneal carcinoma, with 100% mortality; the median survival reported is 12-25 months, even with extensive surgery and chemotherapy.”
--Medscape reference section, 8/10/2010

“Peritoneal carcinomatosis represents an advanced form of intra-abdominal and pelvic malignant tumors that has been generally associated with a grim prognosis. The peritoneal component of cancer is often the major source of morbidity and mortality. . . .” 
 --Principles of Perioperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy for Peritoneal Carcinomatosis, de Bree & Tsiftsis, in Recent Results in Cancer Research, Vol. 169, Springer-Verlag, 2007

“Malignant peritoneal disease in its various forms is a devastating condition for patients who suffer from it and it poses a significant challenge for the clinicians taking care of them. Research efforts in this field have traditionally been scarce under the assumption of a uniformly fatal and hopeless outcome. In the last few decades a renewed interest in peritoneal carcinomatosis and primary peritoneal malignancies has occurred.  Unprecedented favorable results reported with the employment of aggressive cytoreductive surgery combined with perioperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy have catalyzed a change in the conception and treatment alternatives for these diseases. Selected patients can now be offered a curative-intent combination therapy, whereas in the past only the best possible palliation could be considered.” 
--Advances in Peritoneal Surface Oncology, González-Moreno, Ed.

Through Thanksgiving 2013, I've been grateful for several months of remission and a benchmark CA 125 blood test (measuring disease in both my peritoneal cancer & in closely related ovarian cancer) still in the normal range--but just barely. I was hoping it would stay there, but the CA 125 reading in December was above the normal range. By March 2014 it was much higher, signifying recurrence: 
  • "High values of CA-125 in a woman who has been treated for ovarian cancer may mean that the cancer has returned. Often the high CA-125 level is found many months before the return of cancer can be found in another way."--WebMD
  • "Among patients in complete clinical remission, a progressive low-level increase in serum CA-125 levels is strongly predictive of disease recurrence."--Journal of Clinical Oncology
So as of April 2014, with the benchmark CA 125 number at 327, I'm back on chemotherapy but still without clinical symptoms.

As you can see, Doug has not been entirely successful in his efforts to keep me away from internet search results.


Carole Towne Seaton posted a new journal entry, "Something to think about".

There’s an interesting story in the NY Times today which says women of Ashkenazi Jewish descent have a much higher rate of breast & ovarian cancer than the general ... Read more

Melissa Morgan signed Carole's Guestbook.

Hi Carole, I keep meaning to come look at your site and then loose the address.  I usually have 3 -5 pages open at a time so it is a wonder I can find anything at all. ... Read more

Carole Towne Seaton posted a new journal entry, "Same-old, same-old".

In medical waiting rooms all around town, there’s a magazine called Living with Cancer. Haven’t read it, but I guess I should, because that’s me. Just back from a ... Read more

Marilyn Kirk signed Carole's Guestbook.

Carole:  What a difficult time with the mice!  I had not idea that they could do that kind of damage.  You are blessed to have such good neighbors.  I'm sorry the pain ... Read more

Carole Towne Seaton posted a new journal entry, "Change of scenery".

I think there's a toast, or an old Chinese proverb or something, that says, "May you live in interesting times." One could say that recent times have been at least ... Read more

Carla Anderson signed Carole's Guestbook.

Such happy news!  You and Doug have really toughed it out.  Now you can both look forward to better health and happy trails! Your old pal, Carla Read more

Carole Towne Seaton posted a new journal entry, "Nearly normal -- again.".

I am so lucky. I’ve been reflecting on the fact that two years ago tomorrow, I heard the well-intentioned gastroenterologist say over the phone, "Adenocarcinoma, stage ... Read more

Virginia signed Carole's Guestbook.

As someone who has done cardio rehab, tell husband they don't like it when you race on the stationary bikes.  I was always getting yelled at!  But look out for the ... Read more

Carole Towne Seaton posted a new journal entry, "Good news on all fronts".

Numbers are good, progress is good, problems are being addressed.First, the news about the patient whose heart was stopped for over an hour 2 weeks ago. Doctors were ... Read more

Carole Towne Seaton added a new photo.

Linda Jokela signed Carole's Guestbook.

Hello Carole,Sorry you need to go through chemo again; however, am hoping you will enjoy another round of positive results.  Think of you and Doug often.  Take gentle ... Read more

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