Author: larindalea

The diagnosis

My journey through ovarian cancer

Who would have ever thought I’d have something in common with Lance Armstrong?  Well, now I have 2 things in common with the former hero of cycling…granulosa cell tumor and a very knowledgeable oncologist.  I chose to blog about my experience because most of the information out there is about men fighting testicular cancer, but in VERY rare cases (like mine), the same cancer cells show up as ovarian cancer.  I did not have any symptoms that I recognized as ovarian cancer.  My primary doctor found some irregularities in my hormones while looking for menopause.  That led to a sonogram, then a pelvic MRI, then the  mass on my right ovary was identified as possible cancer.  I saw my gynecology oncologist and 10 days later I had a total hysterectomy and the dreaded cancer diagnosis was confirmed.  Officially, I have (or HAD because it was all removed) stage 1C granulosa cell cancer.  It had not spread to any other area inside or outside of my pelvic wall.  I am very fortunate to be diagnosed in a time when we know how to effectively treat my type of cancer.  My oncologist who will be managing my chemotherapy was part of the team that treated Lance Armstrong at MD Anderson and worked alongside the doctor who pioneered the current treatment protocol for my type of cancer.  I will start BEP chemotherapy on March 27th.  I will be given 3 21-day cycles and will have all the typical side effects of chemo.  I will be tired, sick and bald.  I consider it a necessary step because here’s the GOOD news…after treatment, my survival rate is 95% and the chance of reoccurrence is less than 10%!!!!  I am also praying that the chemo has a positive influence on my psoriatic arthritis.  Studies show that sometimes chemo can cause PsA to be put into remission.  So, in the words of my doctor “we are in good shape for the shape we are in.”

I will be blogging through my journey to update friends and family of my progress and to create a resource for other women going through a similar journey.  Thanks for joining me on this unexpected and unwanted, but somehow necessary journey.

Wait…what?  I DON’T WANT A RIBBON!!

Wait…what? I DON’T WANT A RIBBON!!

God has a unique way to show Himself to each of us.  I am still not 100% sure why He chose cancer to reveal more of Himself to me, but despite my resistance it has been an extremely effective method.  He began setting this path long before I knew it so that I could travel this road with as much “ease” as possible.  Here are a few things He placed in my life over the last few years…improved overall health, my loving husband became self-employed (flexible time), a supportive and loving church family, an amazing supportive work environment and supervisor.  There are many other specific details of how God has directed me here.  Just know that if you ask and if you really look, you will see Him in the chaos.  It is like the flood water rose without warning and pulled me into the rushing water, but it is a smooth ride.  Sounds strange huh?  Calm in the storm?  It’s real.

You may say…wow, how is she so peaceful about all this?  Let me be honest.  I threw a temper tantrum that would rival any toddler when the thought of cancer first entered my world.  I demanded that God choose somebody else.  I refused to have the “c” word be part of my story.  I cried, I screamed, I kicked my feet…you know…I acted like an angry toddler.  Slowly but surely, God began to show me that this journey has purpose.  I am not sure exactly why I have to do this, but I am sure that God is in it.  I am positive that I will come out on the other side stronger and better for having fought this fight.  God is faithful to show me the “why” along the way.  I pray daily for glimpses of how He is using my experience to change me and those around me.