My Life Changed After Ovarian Cancer > Diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer

November 28, 2005

Diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer

My life changed on January 6, 2005 when at the age of 49, I was diagnosed with stage IIIc ovarian cancer. I awoke from surgery staring at my surgeon's masked face with his steel blue eyes peering at me. Prior to the operation, I was certain it was simply some benign growth and that I would be back "on top of my game" in a few short weeks. Imagine my shock when I heard that horrific word "cancer." The doctor said he was able to remove 90% of the cancer - shock number two! I knew it was bad. Ovarian cancer is deadly, that I knew. I considered myself an intelligent woman who stays informed about health issues. I was diligent about my own health care. I never missed my annual gynecologic exam and mammogram. But I didn’t know the symptoms for ovarian cancer. If I had, I would have seen a doctor earlier when it may have been the difference between stage I where the five year survival rate is 90% verses what I am facing now for stage III of somewhere around 20%. I live knowing these statistics but I am confident that I will beat it. I am strong and I will fight hard because I have so much to live for. I want to watch my five beautiful daughters (ages 26, 23, 21, 19 and 17) flourish in their careers, finish college, marry and have children. I want to watch my future grandchildren grow. I want to grow old with my loving and supportive husband. I want to continue to enjoy gardening with my mom, shop, bake and laugh with my sisters, enjoy time with my friends and laugh until my face hurts. I am very blessed to be surrounded with so much love. So fight I will, but while I am here I have been enjoying every single thing life has to offer. I spend my time making memories with my family and friends. It may sound cliché but every day I wake up is a bonus and for that I am thankful. It's amazing how cancer does that for us.

Posted by Marie Claire | Filed under: Diagnosis


Hi Marie - welcome to Health Diaries! Thank you for sharing your story. I know it's going to help a lot of people who are going through the same thing.

Posted by: Tracy at November 30, 2005 5:43 AM

Just the name and the date has been changed. I awoke from my surgery on January 5, 2006 to find that I, too, had stage IIIc ovarian cancer, at the age of 49 also. My story is almost the same as yours except that I have two daughters, ages 17 and 14. I, too, went for my annual exam once a year like clockwork and never missed a mammogram since age 35. How I wish now that I had heard of ovarian cancer and its symptoms sooner.

Posted by: Mary at February 15, 2006 8:24 AM

I am not like you at all. I had ovarian cancer stage III. I am 35, have not had children and I had a full hysterectomy.

I am now waiting - maybe it will come back, maybe it won't.

I don't jump out of bed every morning with a spring in my step. I think about dying and living all the time.

I don't think there is anything wrong with admitting that you are scared and exausted and that you wish it had never happened to you.

There is no big couragous fight. We just want to live like everyone else.

Posted by: Diane Bielik at April 20, 2006 2:43 PM

I was diagnosed with Stage III ovarian cancer on October 16, 2002. I also had three feet of my intestines removed. The stomach problems are my biggest issue. Diaherra alot of the time. I thank God for everyday I wake up to. I just turned 51 yesterday and I never expected to see that. I do feel with every ache and pain it is returning, but all you can do is be faithful about your checkups and lots of prayer. I too did all the things you were supposed to do before this happened, had I known the symptoms I would have probably seen the doctor sooner. It was only when I started haveing pain. My doctor did my surgery right away. They did not determine it was ovarian cancer until 5 weeks later. Unfortunately the part of the ovaries they checked first did not have cancer. Then my doctor sent all of my inners they removed to John Hopkins and thats how they found it.

Posted by: debbie thomas at May 18, 2006 5:10 AM

I was doing research on the web to find this site. My aunt is 49 (only a few years older than myself) had surgery on Wednesday. Today is Saturday and her doctor told her that the results were indeed cancer. The one tumor was longer than a football with it's own blood supply, only upon removal of the mass they discovered yet another small one growing that had wrapped itself around her intestines. The doctor had to remove 1 foot of it. Luckily it was on the right side, if it were on the left then a colostomy would have been prefformed. And to make matters worse there is a spot on her liver as well (she does not drink). Tests will come soon enough for that I imagine. With 3 of the 4 sisters having histerectomies due to female problem all before the age of 50, I now am going to be more dilegent upon discussing this matter with my doctor and make appointments for every 6 months instead of a year. I have always supported womens health and am now that determined not to become a victime myself. God Bless you all who suffer and are survivors!

Posted by: Sandy Curry at May 20, 2006 8:03 PM


my mum was told she had stage 3 ovaian cancer febuary this year, they did take out most of it, but one growth has attached it self to the bowel, she has had three sessions of chemo, and today she finds out the results of the scan, my mum is 61, and i am 7 months pregnant, i am finding hard to cope with the idea than my mum might not be around to help and watch our family grow.

Posted by: nina smith at June 6, 2006 7:20 AM

My mom is 63 and just found out she has stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. She had a total Hysterectomy last Thursday. They had to remove her ovaries, cervix, utereus, 3/4 of her colon and some of the intestines. She had to have a colostomy bag. Mom is still in the hospital today (1 week after surgery)and is having a tough time. I went to a site to get awareness out there about Ovarian Cancer. The have a petition that you can sign, we are trying to get a stamp about Ovarian Cancer. This would make more sense than another friut stamp. Please sign the petition. Go to
Thank You

Posted by: amy english at July 5, 2006 11:09 PM

I am 63, was dianosed with Stage IIIc Ovarian cancer April 2005. I had seven hours of surgery, three weeks later and then six cycles of chemo. I entered the Ovarex Study and was given a CT Scan every 12 weeks. In June, I had a recurrence. I go tomorrow for my 5th cycle this time around. But my CA125 is back in the normal range and my last Ct showed no eveidence of disease. Lots of people are praying for me and I know prayer works.
My question is for anyone that is having pain still after your surgery. I have had a extreme tight feeling around the area where alot of my colon was cut out. I had a resection. I have tried to describe it to the doctors many times and first they said it was scar tissue and now they say it is probably spasms. Has anyone had this kind of problem and any success in explaining it to the docs and any relief?

Thanks for your help. I am grateful to be alive and can live with the pain but would appreciate hearing from anyone with the same kind of pain. FayeLynn

Posted by: FayeLynn Hollenbaugh at September 20, 2006 9:09 AM

I am 44 and I started having trouble 2 years ago. My doctor sent me for blood work for premenopause, it was slightly elevated. I stopped having my period,felt like I had flu, and was very moody. My doctor said I was depressed and gave me antidepressives, which did nothing but make me fat. After months of this I was laying in bed one night and felt the tumor in my abdomin.I was diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer in July 2005. I had a complete hysterectomy,my omentum removed along with a 16cm tumor. They scraped my peritineal cavity and the doctors said there was minimal cancer left. I had six rounds chemo that ended in January this year. I just had an elevated CA125 test result on Sept. 30. Went for chest, abdomin, and pelvis CT today. I have to see my doctor tomorrow and I am scared to death. I have had a lot of pain in my abdomin and under ribcage they said was scar tissue. Now I wonder if that is what it was or is my cancer back. I used to work circles around anyone and now I'm tired all the time. I wish I had more energy. I have 6 grandchildren I want to see grow up.

Posted by: vickie at October 5, 2006 9:04 PM

October 19, 2006 - the day my heart was ripped from my chest. My 18 year old daugther went in for surgery for a tumor that the doctors thought was benign. Due to Ashley's age and really having no symptoms at all the doctors felt that the chance of the tumor being malignant was less than 1%. Imagine our surprise when the doctor came from the operating room with what we thought was a death sentence for our daughter. Ashley was diagnosed with Stage 3 Ovarian cancer. The doctor performed a complete hystorectomy and removed the majority of the cancer. However, the cancer had spread to parts of her intestines. We met with the doctor on the 25th for her 1st post-op appointment and was told that she would have to take chemo. Ashley's doctor stated that in his entire career he has never heard of anyone this young with this problem. Ashley does have her youth on her side in battling this disease. I have to say that for the first two days after her surgery all I did was start planning her funeral. But I now have a peace that has come over me and I feel more positive. Ashley has been a trooper through the whole ordeal. She took the news better than any of us did. She has such a positive attitude and determination to beat this. We all have faith that God can bring her through this. We know that Ashley can be healed. But if God chooses not to heal her we know that he has a plan for our baby. We don't know what that plan is but by his grace we will all get through this.

Posted by: Kami Manuel at October 26, 2006 5:58 PM


I was diagnosed in April of this year, turned 50 in August. Stage III/C and am now done with the extensive surgery and 6 treatments of chemo. I have been working all along, although some days for only 4 hours, I am a Registered Nurse for 27 years. Now going on with my life around this disease. Me, dealing with this as a chronic problem of my health. As if I were a heart patient or had lung disease. The treatments are the best they have ever been and that is my hope. I feel fortunate to live in this time and place. Still smiling and going on with this challange. But, it doesn't mean I am not scared.

Posted by: Danna Gill at November 2, 2006 6:18 AM

I am scared. I try to tell myself to be positive. The doctors tell you "statistics say you will get it back in 6 months to a year" I don't want to hear that at all. I want to remain positive. I am 49 years old. My grandparents on both sides died of cancers. I have been diagnosed with stage 3 C also. Of course, because we are silently affected until the symptoms show up and they come when your cancer is advanced. A pap test does not reveal it. An ultra sound would. Perhaps we should stress to our daughters to get them instead of or in addition to the pap test. Anyway, I have completed my 6 rounds of Taxol and Carboplatin. I have returned to work on a part time basis. My 3 month check up was normal for the CA_125. I wonder how accurate that is? Women, none of us want to go just yet. I don't believe we would ever be ready. Death is part of life and I suggest we make the best of it. I want to see my children and grand children grow up. I love life. I pray every day that the good Lord gives me the strength to accept what he decides even if his answer to me is NO. I feel so sad when I read of all your hardships and what we all face together. My heart breaks. Please let us have no fear for tomorrow. I pray it does not overwhelm us so that the time we do have left is spent in fear, unhappy and wasted. Let us pray together for that girls. I love you all and I am praying for each of us. God bless you and keep you safe in his arms.

Posted by: Michelle Abbott at November 9, 2006 2:44 PM

was good to come across your messages.i have had ov cancer for 2 years.late diagnosis also.irritable bowel and ulcers was all iheard.will be 2yrs past it in feb .think there are some signs of recuurence tho.i try to fill my days with vol work n family nfriends deirdre
hope to enjoy the christmas

Posted by: deirdre macfadden at November 17, 2006 12:07 PM

Hello all, My sister has been battling with this horrible disease for the past 2 years. I feel that she may be near the end. She is now in the hospital with a feeding tube down her nostril to her small intestine. I have a hard time finding more info on the last stages. She does not tell us everything and she lives on th west coast and I live on the east coast. I am so scared for her but she has so much faith in the Lord that she is ready for whatever comes her way. Does anyone out there know of this procedure and the outcome? Is this permanent? any help is appreciated. Thanks Joan

Posted by: Joan at December 4, 2006 8:13 AM

hi joan
if you find out anything, i'd really like to know

Posted by: eric at January 26, 2007 8:27 AM

My sister has been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer and is currently undergoing her 2nd chemo treatment.
Because of the trend in families I had the CA_125 which came back negative. I expected it to, since I had a total hysterectomy over 20 years ago (aged 33) due to severe & extensive endometriosis.
I send hugs to all of you.

Posted by: Kay at January 26, 2007 2:08 PM

My mother was diagnosed in late June of 2005 at the age of 46 with stage III C ovarian cancer. Since her initial hysterectomy she's already had two reoccurances, and a second surgery where they removed part of her colan leaving her with a colostomy bag. I won't go through the details of the various drugs and treatments but yesterday she told me she had been having some pain about an inch below her rib cage. She had a cat scan and is waiting for the results but given the rate at which her's has re-occured, I'm sick with worry. As much as I would like to think for the best, the facts say she's already on the edge of the odds, and her health is against her. I wish there was something I could do.

Posted by: K at February 1, 2007 9:00 PM

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