Pamela's story

I am one of the rare, very few, people who can say I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, Stage IC. My journey started with what I thought was Kidney Stones.  After a trip to the emergency room and then to the Gynecologist, I was scheduled for an ultrasound.

Until this all occurred, I never went to the doctor. I have NEVER met my deductible on my insurance! I only agreed to the ultrasound because I was already off!

I remember sitting in the room, waiting for the Dr after the ultrasound thinking “I am hungry, I have stuff to do, I am ready to GO”! I still can remember the doctor’s exact words when she walked in the room “your ultrasound is quite remarkable, we need for you to talk to a surgeon”.

“Remarkable”, that was the word she chose to use.

I met with the surgeon, was told I had 2 cyst, and a few fibroids that needed to be removed.

The day I received the phone call from the hospital to schedule the surgery I told the lady on the phone “ma’am, I cannot be off of work, the ONLY way I am doing this, is if you can schedule this on a Friday”. After rearranging 2 doctor’s operating room time, my surgery was scheduled.

I had one surgery down, was sick for 2 days after and developed an infection 3 days after. The doctor saw nothing unusual, however nothing seemed normal. My body literally felt the worse it had ever felt. I was tired constantly, I had constant pressure in my stomach, and I had pains that were not going away.

The day of my post-op, work was extremely busy, my post-op appointment was at 10:00 and at 8:30 I had to call to tell them there was no way I could make it in. By 12:00, the doctor called and said, “you need to reschedule your post-op, we found cancerous spots on your left ovary”. I rescheduled the post op and sat and listened to the doctor tell me I am being referred to an oncologist and a hysterectomy is recommended, now. I remember the doctor saying, “if this was my wife, we would have this scheduled tomorrow”.

The next week, I sat and listened to the oncologist tell me “your cancer is Stage IC, I need to schedule you a hysterectomy as soon as possible, the cyst on your left ovary which has the cancer, ruptured during your last surgery”.  I was also scheduled for a CT scan, immediately to make sure nothing had spread after the last surgery. The CT scan came back, clear. The cancer was contained only in the left ovary.

I agreed to the hysterectomy. We agreed only to take the ovary that had the cancer. The right side had endometriosis on it so badly that it had grown into the uterus. He told me that he would remove the ovary from the uterus and put a stint in it. This would prevent me from going into menopause. I was only 39, going into menopause was not something I needed to do.

I remember waking up in the recovery room, my husband standing beside me. My first words were, “do I still have one ovary”. He said “we will talk about it later”…

A full hysterectomy with both ovaries gone, at age 39. The doctor took the right ovary because it seemed “abnormal”. The right ovary as well as several other biopsies were sent to the pathologist.

The next day while in the hospital they started me on the hormone replacement patch, to prevent me from going into menopause. 2 days later, I developed another infection and was placed on 2 different steroids. My emotions and body were literally on a roller coaster! 9 LONG days later, the pathology results came thru clear from the surgery. The surgery was successful and cancer was gone.

I remember listening to this and saying “so I am technically not a cancer patient anymore”. Which was not correct, I still have regular blood work and scans for 5 years, but for now I can say I am cancer free!

I am a FIRM believer from this point forward, that if ANYTHING seems unusual, if you feel like something needs to be checked, HAVE IT CHECKED! This saved my life!

For media enquiries please contact: cmackay@worldovariancancercoalition.