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In July 2010, I started feeling soooo tired. I would get out of bed in the morning and just lay on the couch most of the day. It seemed like I had no energy at all. Instead of going to the doctor and having to wait for test results, my husband took me right to the emergency room. We were there from 8:30 in the morning until about 8:30 at night. They ran tests and scans and more tests and finally gave me all the results. I had ovarian cancer. I was devastated, to say the least. I had never been sick before in my life.
My daughter and future son-in-law were getting married in Jamaica in April 2011. I had a 5 year old grandson. I wondered -- would I be able to go to the wedding . . . would I get a chance to see my grandson grow up. ???

The next few days were spent on the phone, making appointments and going to doctor offices. I ended up at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. My doctor there was wonderful. I knew she would take good care of me. I had surgery August 16, 2010 and started chemo about 2 weeks later.

My goal was to get better for my daughter's wedding. I did make it to my daughter and son-in-law's wedding in Jamaica. I had only 2 more chemo sessions to face when I got back.
But my blood work when I got home showed that my body couldn't take any more chemo. My doctor sent me for a PET scan and said the results would decide if I'd need more surgery or radiation. But the scan came back clear. I was cancer-free!!!!!

This past summer, I babysat for my grandson every day and was able to make many happy memories with him.

I am so grateful to my doctor and the whole team at the Cancer Institute of NJ. I am so grateful for my husband of 31 years. I truly could not have made it through the treatments without him. I am grateful to my family and friends who were so supportive and encouraging.

I was truly blessed to be surrounded by such wonderful people.

~Gail-Parlin
 NJ


"In the past couple of years, I have lost my Grandmother & Mother to this horrible thing! It was the worst 7 weeks of my life! Its a brutal thing to go through. I miss my Mom every day! I wish someone would have told my Mom the warning signs! I'm happy to see that women are getting more educated!"

~Kimberly G Perkins
Ringgold, Ga


"On the date of the teal walk this year will be the 2 anniversary of my moms passing. We thought that it was a sign that our family should be involved. In April 2008 my mom, Elizabeth Marino was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the age of 48. After a long struggle with treatments she succumbed to this terrible disease. She was a wonderful mother, wife, and friend to many and she is greatly missed. Last year was our teams first year doing the walk and it is known in our huge family now that this is an event that will be supported annually by the Marino's. We will walk in teal tye-dye for all the women who are struggling with this disease, families and friends who have lost loved ones, and those who have passed. Above all we will be walking With Love for Liz!"

~Kristina Marino
Oceanside NY


In January, 2016, I began experiencing sever pain in lower left side. It got to the point that I would just go home after work and lay in my bed with a heating pad until I fell asleep. I went to my primary and we both felt like I had pulled a muscle in my side somehow. I had a follow up two weeks later to check on my pain. At that time the pain had gotten to the point that when I was sitting and went to stand I would have to wait until I heard a pop before I could stand. My primary ordered a CT to be done the first week of February because while pressing on my stomach it was rock hard. The following Monday I went to have my CT done. I was told it would be a few days before I would hear from my Dr. I went to the gym that night and while putting my shoes on and talking to my friend, my Dr.'s office called and said that I had an appointment in three days with a gynecologic oncologist for a mass in my pelvis. My heart sank and I instantly started hyperventilating after hearing that. I went to the Gyn Onc and he said my report stated the mass was only 3 cm and wasn't that concerened about it and felt good about it. He began pushing on my stomach and felt how hard it was and sent me to have my CA 125 levels checked and to have an ultrasound down. The ultrasound tech had trouble finding my left ovary because the "3 cm" mass was actually 30cm and was not only blocking the view of the left ovary but extended up toward my rib cage. My CA 125 levels came back as 199.4 which alarmed my dr because at the age of 27 they should only be around 30 at most he said. He began telling me to prepare to have a full hysterectomy done and that cancer staging will most likely take place during the surgery. March 1, 2016 is when we did the surgery and the tumors were bigger than what the ultrasound first shown. The one on the right was about 40 cm long and completley covered the right ovary and the left one was the size of a soft ball and had actually started "eating" away the wall of the ovary, which they suspected was why I was having sharp pain in my side. The tumors were Stage 1 IC2. I lost my ovaries and fallopian tubes but he left my uterus since it had not spread there. I remember waking up from surgery with my dad telling me the news that I would not be able to have my own kids. I think at that point I was done with the emotional roller coaster from the past month and just shut down. I pretty much bottled all my emotion up and pretended I was ok with everything. I grew tired of the looks I would get when people came to visit and they learned about the not having kids. It is a sympathetic look that is frustrating to see. I can't blame them, they cared. I did not have to undergo any chemo or radiation. At my 3 month follow up in June my CA 125 levels were checked again and they went from 199.4 to a 10. At that point my Oncologist said I was officially in remission. The sense of relief I felt hearing that was amazing. I am beyond grateful that they found everything when they did. But I find it hard to find someone to talk to about it because none of my friends no what I am going thru and it is hard to explain how it is hard to watch a movie where someone is pregnant. It has been 6-7 months now and I am still working thru everything and trying to not become to paranoid when I feel pain in my pelvis or back.

~Lauren
St. Louis

 

 



"On January 2, 2007 I was at home on Christmas break with a tummy ache and leg cramps. When my dad felt my stomach, he said that it felt like a football, so he took me straight to the hospital. After hours of tests, the doctors just could not figure out what was wrong with me. Finally my mom got off work, and when they told her they didn't know what to do so she said ovarian tumors run in our family. So they did a CAT scan and yup, that's what it was, but there was just something weird about it. After an ambulance ride 50 miles in a blizzard, we ended up at the children's hospital. The next day, I had surgery to take out the tumor and one of my ovaries. Luckily, after I was all better that's when they found out what that weird thing was: it was cancer! So now, almost 5 years later, I am 11 years old and have a 7 inch scar and I can tell you my story. So now when someone asks me why I have a scar this is what I tell them."

~Meghan Thompson
Houston, AK


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