Life Changing Experience

Posted September 29, 2013 by Carolyn Robbins in Ovarian Cancer Awareness / 10 Comments

Ok so, I am definitely a writer, but I must share with you a very recent life changing experience. I have been in menopause for quite a while now, and was gaining weight (oh not good). The more I read about the subject, the more I thought I understood about weight gain and various other things.  Well the weight continued to pile on the upper abdomen and was quite rapid over a couple of months. I must have gained 25 to 30 pounds. This did not seem right, but what do I know – I have never been in menopause before!   
I began a weight loss program to lose this weight, and the better I ate the more I gained!  Now what in the world is going on!. I thought my age and the hormone changes was causing the difficulty of the weight loss.

The other things I was experiencing was swelling in my ankles and general water retention. I did have some shortness of breath – but this was suppose to be part of menopause also – right.

I finally thought it might be good to have a physical to see what was going on. So the first thing the doctor asked me was “Do you think you are Pregnant?” Well, I said, I don’t think so.. . . but this lead to a pregnancy test in the doctors office. Which of course came up negative. She seemed kind of concerned about the swelling in my ankles as it was pretty bad!

 So she sent me, the same day, for an ultrasound of my abdomen. Which lead to an immediate CT scan of the same area.  WELL. Live and learn – they found a large cyst that they thought was attached to an ovary! This all happened on a Tuesday; two days later I saw a specialist and was scheduled for major surgery the next Monday, less than a week later!

Needless to say it was a very frightening week and after lots of prayer I checked in for my surgery. Upon waking – half coherent mind you – I was told that the cyst initially tested as not cancerous!. Prayers answered! I needed to wait a couple of weeks to get the results of continued testing.
Ok so needless to say I wasn’t thrilled with having to wait for the final results, but as determined to heal and feel better. Once I got home I realized that I had lost 25 pounds really fast and began feeling better each day. I do not recommend this method of weight loss by the way!

After the first two week wait ,and another couple of weeks wait, as they discussed the “cyst” at the tumor board ( I don’t like the sound of this); I finally got the results. Well. . . after fearing all of my life that I would get cancer it has happened.  I was told they found a small amount of cancer sells in a cyst the size of a basket ball!. My diagnosis is Stage One High Risk Ovarian Cancer. I must begin three rounds of chemotherapy with a possibility of 3 more rounds for a total of 6!

I was pretty shocked to say the least but there has been a few positives in this.  First, I went to the doctor at the right time and did not wait any longer. Things moved pretty fast from there and the tumor was removed. Second, the diagnosis of Stage One, I am told, is very rare. Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are usually stage 4 or 5 as it is a silent killer of women. I will write another post on this later.

I am very thankful that things have happened as they have. If I could share anything from this experience. . . when you detect even the slightest change in your body, please – please have it checked!

Olivia was created in 2012 to support Bears that Care that raise money for Ovarian Cancer Research. More to come about her soon.  Have you had a life changing experience that you never would have believed would happen to you?

Bear Hugs, Carolyn


10 responses to “Life Changing Experience

  1. Oh, Carolyn, I am so thankful that you went to the doctor and that you are now on the mend! Will be praying for you as you go through your treatments. Please keep us posted in how we can pray. xx ~Debora

  2. I am so glad you went to the doctor and I am so glad you had symptoms because it is an easy cure at an early stage. Not many are as lucky as you….Christine

  3. Sharing the story and the symptoms are going to be a life saver to someone and perhaps more than one. My prayers for your healing and for keeping up the good attitude you have.

  4. What a story – we should all be linking back to you to let other women know about paying attention to their bodies! Thank you – and bless you – and I will pray.

  5. LV

    We just never know if we will be next. So sorry to hear, but maybe you will be one of the lucky ones and go through everything fine. Take care and many blessings.

  6. Your experience was much like my sister just a month ago. She ended up having a complete hysterectomy two weeks ago. The tumors on her ovaries were not cancer but they found cancer in her uterus. It too was stage 1. After all the tests were done she did not have to have further treatments. It is a blessing that you did seek answers early on. I Pray your treatments will end the chance of this type of cancer spreading. I am sure this life changing experience has left you in a bit of shock. Thank you for sharing your experience Carolyn. Your advice is well taken.

    xo, Jeanne

  7. What a scary thing to have to go through! I'm very glad you caught it at an early stage though. My thoughts are with you and thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  8. Carolyn,
    I am thankful you listened to your inner voice and got treatment. Think positive-stay connected with family friends and nourish yourself with food, poetry, flowers and your darling bears!
    Thank you for visiting my blog!
    Many Blessings,

  9. Thank you for sharing. You probably have alerted some other woman to listen to her inner voice. I too have had a journey with breast cancer and fortunately only had to have radio therapy , but the lump I discovered 10 years after my first pre-cancer lump was a bit scary to say the least. So one day at a time xxoo