You are looking at my old blog - posts from 2009-2016.
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Ovarian Cancer - briefly what happened to me
The symptoms of ovarian cancer are so unclear that you’d be lucky to pick it up in early stages. I had an advanced case but I was fit and healthy and unsuspecting till the 16cm tumour began to press on and obstruct my lymph and venous flow. I puffed up quite quickly at that point, and it was this phenomenon that led me to consult a doctor.
I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer on 18/12/09, underwent surgery on 29/12/09 and had chemotherapy at the Brisbane Mater from February to May 2010 (intraperitoneal cisplatin with paclitaxel). I had a temporary ileostomy all this time and it was reversed on 2/6/10.
Afterwards I regained health and fitness and felt fantastic for over a year till mysterious swollen glands in my groin indicated a recurrence of the cancer in August 2011. More chemotherapy followed (carboplatin with paclitaxel), in combination with a trial drug, farletuzumab (an immune therapy) which seemed to be very effective for me. After finishing chemo, I continued on weekly IV farletuzumab for 16 months till the trial was closed, and I still felt well for another 10 months without a care. However, that same tell-tale lymph gland swelled up in my groin again by the end of 2013. For a while I tried taking tamoxifen (an oestrogen-blocker) but that didn't help, so in 2014 I was on chemo for the 3rd time (carboplatin with gemcitabine). About 6 months later I noticed the swollen gland in my groin again. This time a CT scan showed that only one of the lumps had begun to grow so I had surgery to remove that tumour from my right groin. Sadly, it was only a month or two before the cancer progressed in my other abdominal lymph nodes, so I tried a different hormone blocker (letrozole) but it didn't work either. In October 2015 I joined another clinical trial for a targeted therapy which suited me brilliantly. Genetic tests at the time revealed that I have a somatic BRCA1 mutation and this looks like a perfect match for rucaparib therapy. I took those trial pills for 16 months and was very happy to nearly forget about cancer. By the end of 2016, however, one tumour had begun to grow again so I had to leave the clinical trial and go for some other treatment.
My story continues on the alisphere here https://alisphere.wordpress.com/contents/ovca-journal/
where there is a proper summary as well as the full blow-by-blow account (including old posts transferred from Caring Bridge). I hope you will visit the alisphere and keep in touch.