Would you like to participate in a research study about gratitude? Learn More
On the longest day of the year, and it lived up to it's name, Thursday June 21, 2012 Paula was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer by Santa Rosa Oncologist Dr. Brett.
This is our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated in one place so we can focus on being caregivers and not have our time consumed with endless phone calls giving updates. This will be the best place for you to learn what is happening, share your well wishes and learn of changes.
We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
It seems like this all started back in December 2011. My stomach was bothering me and I was already scheduled to see my doctor for my normal annual female exam. I actually felt a little silly saying that my stomach's been bothering me. So at the time she prescribed a ultrasound to be done on my upper and lower abdomen. There didn't seem to be anything abnormal with the test results.
At the end of February, my tummy was still bothering me and now my far right side gallbladder area was painful. And I had a stitch in my side. It really hurt to laugh. Saw the doctor and I was prescribed a stomach acid reduction medication which I took for 1 month and it worked.
In May, I was thinking I needed to see a gastroenterologist because my abdomen and gut were now bothering me and I didn't know if I had picked up up bug or parasite while on vacation in the middle East.
In June, I was scheduled to visit my gynecologist & my GP scheduled an appointment to see a gastroenterologist. The appointment was scheduled for six weeks out. My GP decided to schedule a CT scan to rule out any gastroenteritis or irritable bowel disease, CT scan scheduled for June 18.
June 19, I visited my gynecologist I had an ultrasound done of my uterus and ovaries. This was typical first visit stuff. Dr. Drexler discovered I had some major cysts/masses on my ovaries and fluid in my abdomen. He reviewed my CT scan and ordered a visit with Dr. Peter Brett, oncologist in Santa Rosa. Dr. Drexler felt I possibly had stage III ovarian cancer based on the fluid in my chest, fluid in my abdomen and some bumps in my omentum (the fat layer by the stomach). Nothing confirmed my condition, so a CA – 125 blood test was ordered (CA stands for cancer antigen) biopsies are not regularly taken so that things are not disturbed.
June 20, I had a hard time breathing and I called my friend Hannah, who accompanied me to see a pulmonologist who would do a lung tap. The lung tap took 2 liters of fluid off my right lung pleural area and this fluid would then be tested. I could breathe again . The fluid tested atypical and no cancer cells found. The next day I would be visiting the oncologist with Lindsay and Carrie.