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Sep 3, 2016
I remember when Gilda Radner had ovarian cancer. I thought "why can they not help her, she is so famous?" From that point on I assumed ovarian cancer was a bad cancer to get, and I knew NOTHING about it.
Lawrence figures I had the tumor for about a year. By the time I had "symptoms" it was already in stage III B. The first "oddity" I remember was the first week in June experiencing a little sort of "acid reflux." I bought my first small bottle of Tums, and when it was gone I did not need to buy another.
The 2nd sort of "off" feeling was near the end of June. I felt a sudden feeling in my stomach like a brick, and my body was lethargic. I was planning a beach weekend and I noticed my stomach stuck out. I was not able to "suck it in." I thought this was all middle age.This too passed.
By July I was getting more frequent stomach cramping, so I purchased some Midol and Motrin believing I was starting menopause. Gradually the cramps increased in intensity and I was using heating pads at home. I also noticed when I first sat down on anything it was uncomfortable, but I just adjusted my seating. Nothing was unbearable or seemed worthy of a Dr. visit.
I was getting more tired and unable to finish my days. The pain became more intense and more frequent so I called my primary care physician. He did not have anything for a few weeks so I saw someone else in his office.
By this date it was July 11. I told the Dr. that driving into her office I felt as if an organ in my stomach was going to rupture. She came up with many "ideas" none of them ovarian cancer. She ordered several blood tests, but not a CA-125 . She ordered an ultrasound for Friday afternoon.
On Monday the Dr. called me and basically said the blood work was "OK", but the ultrasound showed masses in my stomach. I needed a CT scan to see if it was malignant and the 1st she had was on Wednesday.
By this point Lawrence called my regular Dr. and the 2 of them agreed I needed to be admitted through the ER at MGH ASAP. They arranged it for Tuesday July 16th. I spent a comfortable day going through the "system" and having more lab work and a CT scan.They did a CA-125 blood test which may/may not indicate ovarian cancer. Normal is 35. Mine was 1200. I was admitted with the OB/GYN team.
Upon admission they explained my "tumor" was the size of a small baby. Cancer was NEVER mentioned. I strongly believed I would be OK and able to fly to Maryland on Saturday for Michaela's baby shower. The surgical team was discussing 3 types of plans for me, but the real issue was fitting me into the OR schedule. They were willing to tack me on either Thurs or Fri evening after all their scheduled surgeries, but anesthesiology did not allow them.
By Friday I was in such pain they had me on both a morphine pump and Oxycodone. The surgery was Saturday July 20th from 8AM to 2PM. On Sunday July 21st when I was alert in the ICU, that was the first I had heard I had ovarian cancer.