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My Story | Roberta, Pennsylvania, USA

Ovarian cancer, diagnosed 1991

I guess you could say my story with ovarian cancer is a good one. I had been going to my gynecologist for six months before it was discovered. From time to time, I'd had Grade II pap smears, and would go on medication.

One day, I was laying in a tanning bed when I felt something on my right side near my pelvic bone. I thought maybe (or hoped) it was gas. I was supposed to go away the next week, so my husband talked me into seeing Dr. C. She sent me for a sonogram. When they did it, they saw something, then did a vaginal sonogram.

The radiologist who read my x-ray said that he had no idea of what it was, and had never seen anything like it. I was getting really nervous at that point. They sent me to a special clinic right away where they had experience reading this type of x-ray.

My husband and I walked down the hill to Dr. C's office. We looked at the x-ray and saw a big black circle. Dr. C wasn't sure what to do, and we talked about doing surgery. She told me I could hold off until after my trip, but I chose not to do that.

I went to the short-stay surgery clinic at the hospital. When my doctor opened me up, she left me on the table and told my family that they found cancer. She said she had to call in an oncologist. They ended up doing 36 biopsies throughout my body and found that the cancer was self contained. I was so lucky because if I had waited just a little bit longer, it could have spread.

For five years I did C-125 testing. Prior to my surgery, this test showed no tumors or malignancy, which goes to show it isn't always correct. I also had CT (computed tomography) scans and sonograms twice a year.

November will be my ten-year anniversary. I am still cancer-free. Like I said, I am so lucky.

That is my story. Like everyone else, I hope and pray they will come up with a method of early detection.

August 2001

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