Mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on July 7, 2013, after feeling awful for weeks before the diagnosis. She started chemo Tuesday, July 9th, and went through 3 rounds of chemo. This made her weak but really cut back her fluid build up that she was having in her stomach.
The plan was to go through chemo for 9 weeks - 1 dose every three weeks - then have surgery in September. September 10th mom had her first PET scan. The news came back to us that the chemo didn't do what they were hoping and that the surgery we were hoping and praying for would not be happening. The tumors that have formed are too close to too many vital organs and the surgery would be too risky.
On Friday, Sept. 13th, Mom and Dad met with Dr. Maria Bell (mom's gyn oncologist) to find out her options going forward. Dr. Bell mentioned she would be a great candidate for this experimental shot they were giving to ovarian cancer patient's to help to freeze the cancer. She went on to explain that mom would be living with the cancer for the rest of her life, but by doing this shot it should contain the cancer from spreading anywhere else.
Feeling frustrated and questioning everything she had gone through this far, we contacted Cancer Treatment Centers of America. They flew Mom and Dad out to their hospital in Chicago. After meeting with the doctors there, they agreed that this shot would be a good starting place of something to try. So, after many tests and hoops Mom had to jump through to be a part of this shot, finally, Oct. 2nd, 6 weeks after her last diagnosis, she finally received her first shot.
It seemed like immediately after receiving the shot - fluid starting showing up again. Mom would receive a shot once every three weeks, and every time the fluid would get worse. She was going in once a week to receive an periocentesis to remove the fluid from her stomach. Then the fluid went from not only being in her stomach but also in her legs. On October 26th, Mom had a drain placed in her stomach so she could drain the fluids on her own.
Unfortunately, from there her health spiraled downhill. The fluid build up became more and more. It was hard for Mom to even get out of bed or be able to eat anything. She was left with no energy or strength. On Dec. 2nd, Mom went in for an appointment with Dr. Bell and she said that Sanford didn't have any more options for her. She wouldn't be strong enough for any chemo treatments they had to offer, and Dr. Bell wouldn't be able to do much more so Mom was referred to Mayo Clinic.
Dec. 12th, Mom went to Mayo and they started testing at 8 am. By that evening they had met with the Doctor who stated 1st thing we needed to do was get her nutrition up and then she is going to start back on chemo.
And so that is as far as we are with this Ovarian Cancer Battle...