Journal entry by Debi Davenport

I had low belly pain for 10 days before presenting to my medical provider, Marla Mathis. It was a Sunday and I texted her and said the pain was worse and my fever was 102 degrees, she was firm, go to the ER. I did and I had the nicest nurse practitioner in the ER, his name was Lee. Had a CT scan of my lower abdomen. Lee came to my room with x-ray type film and pointed to a large mass, at least 10 cm. He said the surgeon was on his way! 

Ovarian Cancer is usually not "caught" early, by the time the symptoms were bad enough to see a doctor, the cancer likely is already Stage III or IV - I'm Stage IIIc, just a notch from Stage IV. Stage IV is metastatic Ovarian Cancer which has already spread to lungs, pancreas, liver, stomach or bladder. I'm very lucky!

Listen to your body, if something doesn't feel right, go to your medical provider. There are no screening tests for OC, and research is far behind other cancers. There is much work to do, and I'm keeping all eyes on research. I'm hoping to be able to participate in a trial. There is one available called PARP, and it attacks the cancer cells and prohibits their replication. More on that later. 

Symptoms of OC are:
Feeling full
Frequent urinating
Painful Sex


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Journal entry by Debi Davenport

It's been amazing how clearly I see God and His works. I know his hand is right in the middle of this health scare, this Ovarian Cancer. Dr. Neal Holm was the wonderful surgeon that came to the ER at Forrest General at 3am to look at the CT scan and talk to me.  He said this could be a benign tumor, an abscess on my colon, or ovarian cancer. Let's do some more tests, specific to these diagnosis'. He ordered more labs, and with an Interventional Radiologist, would try to drain the mass. 

A Dr. McCarthy was the Interventional Radiologist....the first thing he said to me was "Ohhh, I'm glad that 'thing' is inside you and not ME". From then on out I called him Mr. Bedside Manners! This has been the most painful procedure yet. Mr. Bedside Manners, using a CT scan for preciseness, put a foot long humongous needle piercing the left side of my lower belly. Tears began to trickle down my cheek, I said loudly "STOP, THAT HURTS"!! To make a painful experience short, he then told the x-ray tech to go get his colleague, another radiologist. After 3 persistent, pleading calls, the other dude came in and instructed Mr. Bedside Manners how to proceed. I called him Dr. Smarticles, JUST BECAUSE! It took a total of 1 morphine shot in my room before going to radiology, and 2 more morphine shots during the procedure. The pain still left me in tears, and practically unable to even talk or converse for over an hour. All for extraction of about a cup of clear/reddish fluid. They were unable to pierce the tumor.

A part of the blood work was a test called CA125, it's the protein that's emitted from Ovarian Cancer cells. Normal is 35, mine was 4,447. The next day at 2:30, Dr. Holm came to my room. I was alone. He gave me all the evidence, and pronounced I had Ovarian Cancer. Afterwards, my only question was HOW WAS I GOING TO TELL MY SON, WHO WILL BE 17 IN A FEW SHORT DAYS. That sweet, soft spoken man offered to return later that night.

He left...I was alone...what do I do now? I was shaken, hardly able to believe what I had just been told. I thought for a moment, and not too much time passed before I texted Bruce, my pastor, and Susan, associate pastor, and Julie Collins, my Stephen's Minister Leader. I simply said "I've gotten bad news, can someone come to be with me?" Shortly thereafter, Bruce and Susan came. I told them, we all cried, I was the hardest thing to try and reconcile this thing called cancer. We had a talk, and I learned I didn't have to make any hard and fast decisions at that moment. We all three took turns praying and holding hands. Susan first, then me, then Bruce....I asked God to use me, enlarge my territory, help me reach others and tell them about Jesus Christ. I prayed that I journey through this with a large dose of grace. Friends, it was a HOLY TIME. It was a closeness to others and a drawing near to God. This too was a GOD SIGHTING!

Dr. Holm offered to come back that night after his church meeting, and he'd tell Sam with me. Sure enough, he walks in my hospital room, Sam there, at 10:45. BTW, what he did that night was surely a GOD SIGHTING, because I didn't have a single clue how I would tell Sam. I'm humbled, grateful and simply overwhelmed by the love he showed us late that night. He told Sam about the anatomy of a female, and what the ovaries do, and sometimes the cells are abnormal. I don't think he said the word cancer until much later in the conversation. 

He told Sam he made money by being a surgeon, but his love was church. Come to find out, he's Bishop of 11 Mormon Churches. The funny thing is 2 other times on the hospital floor, I was worked on by a Mormon. One was my night nurse, and the other guy they pulled from NICU to stick me, my veins are terrible. These folks were all wonderful to me. I'll never forget how they lovingly cared for me!!! 



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Debi’s Story

Site created on May 6, 2018

Welcome to my CaringBridge website. I'm using it to keep family and friends updated in one place.  My family joins me, with grateful hearts, for your words of hope, love and encouragement, but most of all your prayers, it truly sustains us. Keep praying, for it's a journey!