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Ovarian cancer entered my life via a phone call from my daughter. I was on a trip with my company in Las Vegas when my cell phone rang. My daughter was upset and telling me that mom’s stomach had become large and very hard in just the past two days, and that mom was in a lot of pain. Upon arriving home, to my shock, she wasn’t kidding. My wife’s stomach looked like she was three-months pregnant. Now, let’s stop and rewind more than two years before that phone call.
2003 The Warning Signs:
My wife’s daily activities began changing gradually. She began spending more and more time in the bathroom. She finally broke down and visited her gynecologist. The gynecologist told my wife that she had irritable bowel syndrome. He gave her a prescription for an over-the-counter laxative, and sent her home. Well the laxative did its job for what it was designed for, but the pressure and bloating feeling continued. So back to the gynecologist we went, and he told her to go to get a colonoscopy. Well, she did that, and she was fine. The doctor that did the colonoscopy told my wife that he thought her problem was gynecological-related and sent us back to her gynecologist. This cycle went on for about two years.
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When finally diagnosed with ovarian cancer it had already progressed to stage IIIC. If the gynecologist had caught the cancer when we first went in, it would have probably had been stage I. You can find more about the different stages online. In a nutshell, a stage IIIC patient has a 5-year, 30% chance of survival vs. a stage I patient who has a 90% chance of survival.