I didn't know how to write my first entry so my Ninang Cora, my amazing Superwoman of an aunt, was kind enough to write the first post. This is a great summary of what my last two months of hell have been...
Bloating and fullness. Those were Katrina's only symptoms aside from an insignificant rectal bleeding. She was found to have a 19 cm right ovarian cyst with a high CA - 125 blood tumor marker. Katrina was scheduled for an exploratory laparotomy with removal of right ovary and Fallopian tube and biopsies of lymph nodes and omentum on May 4, 2015. We were very optimistic that prognosis was good because frozen section/intra-operative pathology diagnosis was borderline ovarian tumor. Post-operative follow up revealed invasive mucinous adenocarcinoma (malignancy) involving the right ovary. Her disease was staged 1C most likely ovarian primary (arising from the ovary) but highly suspicious for metastasis (spread to ovary from elsewhere) judging by microscopic findings and special stains. She was to undergo ovarian cancer chemotherapy with drugs that will most likely make her lose her hair and will affect her left ovary, with a chance of sterility.
After further work up-up in endoscopy, a 2-3 cm tumor on her stomach was seen and biopsy confirmed in pathology as adenocarcinoma. Cells from ovary and stomach were compared and found to be indentical. Additional PET-CT scan confirmed lesions elsewhere: liver and lymph nodes. She now has Stage IV gastric (stomach) cancer. She will start her chemotherapy shortly but genomic testing on her tumor may hold promising targeted therapy. Her new set of gastric cancer chemo drugs will not affect her hair or her left ovary.
This past Monday was a very fruitful one. After being monitored for several weeks including receiving numerous drugs to stimulate follicle growth and prevent premature rupture (menstrual period), she successfully underwent egg harvesting (25 eggs) at USC Fertility. Of those 25 eggs, 21 were found to be mature enough for cryopreservation (freezing in the bank).
Katrina is surrounded by loving family and friends. She remains positive and will fight this dreadful disease. Together, with your support and prayers, we hope to find a cure for Katrina. Let's all keep the faith and continue to believe in miracles.
"When you walk through a storm, hold your head up high and don't be afraid of the dark. Walk on with hope in your heart and you'll never walk alone!"