When I finished chemo, my doctor ordered a follow-up CT and another CA 125. My CT showed no signs of cancer, and my CA 125 was in the normal range, so he told me I was in "clinical remission". I assumed there was a specific time range one had to be cancer free before the word "remission" was used, but not according to what my doctor told me. That was three months ago, and so far, so good.
My gynocologist/oncologist told me I would not be in remission for 5 years...anything short of that is really not remission. This is a disease, a wait and see, when will the next shoe drop. You can think of it like diabetes or MS; you just try to control it. Depending on what stage you were diagnosed at, depends on the ability for you to be in remission, and actually cured. Stages I and II, your chance of remission is much higher. With late stages... Stages III or IV, it is just a matter of time. There are many great websites to check out: American Cancer Society, Ovarian Cancer.org to name a couple.
Kathy, I am not certain if remission is defined while the patient is still on chemotherapy or whether the patient must have completed the latest rounds. I conclude from all my hours in the chemo ward that they consider a cancer in remission when it cannot be detected. Then, the patient remains in the status of "remission" until the cancer returns/can be detected, OR, when the patient has remained cancer-free for a length of time when he or she is determined to be 'permanently' cancer-free. This time varies depending on the type of cancer, but once the patient reaches this time limit, the cancer is no longer considered in remission; the patient is considered cured.
I am as optimistic as they come, but from all research on websites ( such as american cancer society, ovariancancer.org, etc.)..It is not an overwhelming good outcome. I am struggling with my Stage III, going to begin my 2nd round of chemo on May 1. I had my last chemo treatment on 12/22/05, had clear x-rays, ct scans, and PET scan done in January...however, by March 1, my CA125 had risen again, and some new undefinable shadows showed up on my liver and rt lower lung in the ct scans and x-rays.
My faith keeps me going. It is difficult to talk with people who do not realize you are staring death...or better said, your life....straight in the face. Until we actually face it, no one else is on the "same page".
I am living with cancer, not dying with it. A beautiful website to go to is: thesurvivormovie.com Just type that in, no downloading needed. A really awesome short video will begin. You will feel compelled to share it with everyone your mom is close to. My prayers go out to your mom, and you. How old is your mom? I will turn 57 later this month. I was actually in shock for about 2 months when I was first diagnosed on August 26, 2005.
Does that mean that anyone dx with stage 3 or 4 will develope a reocurrence sooner or later? It is a wait and see type of a deal, I know, but I still like to believe that even those with stage 3 or 4 have chances to be in a complete remission and cancer free. My mothers doctor said the same thing its like diabetes, but I have hopes that my Mom after 6 treatments has a chance to survive and get through this with no reocurrences and live a normal life expectancy.
Hi careylyn, my Mom is 46 dx in Dec 27th 2005. "Shock" doesnt even describe my feeling at the time. I felt like my life was nolonger meaningful it was all about her, my Mom. I was walking around like a zombie for a very long time. But now, many things fell back into place. She's doing great, and we are all very optimistic. Today she had her 4th treatment and she has 2 more left. Her doctor was talking about maintanance chemo, but Im not too sure about it we still have a little while to go until we decide.
Those scary websites that you mentioned are horrible. I stopped reading them and refuse to do any research on the statistics. They drive me nutts, I cannot handle them. They make me very depressed.
I really wish you the best with your second round of chemo in May and hope it kills the monster for good. You mentioned your Bday is this month...what day? Im on 30th. Taurus. Very strong people. That makes you a very strong woman. God Bless
Well that adorable little potty machine is a Poodle!!! I always tell everyone that when I resuced him it was my punishment for never having kids!!! Really he is a wonderful little Dog and we love him lots... Going in for my last chemo next Thurs. YAY!!!!!
I was wondering about the Remission because no body had ever told me that I was in it, so maybe this time will do the trick. I am feeling surprisingly well and hope it continues.
I trust your mom comes through her 4th and 5th treatments well. I found that the cumulative of chemo built up in my system, with each treatment...much worse with the 4th and 5th. My last of the 6 treatments was Dec. 22. Good news. I came through it.
I have been an athlete all of my adult life; ate correctly. Not only was I in shock, but all of my family and friends were as well. I have lived a very healthy life...so having this diagnosis just surprised everyone. The day before I had my complete hysterectomy and exploratory surgery, Aug. 26, I ran 3 miles.
Yes, I, too am Taurus, the Bull. Very strong. My faith is even more strong. I am not depressed by learning as much as I can about this insidious disease. Searching for new info, daily, feeds my hunger for learning. God walks with me, holds me, and I am not afraid. My prayers are with your mom, Hazel30.
In addition, I am in a woman's cancer support group; it is the most beneficial. We are able to talk freely about all of our feelings. I have come so far in the past 8 months, from aug 26, when I was diagnosed with Stage III...denial, shock, sadness,...to where I have been for about the past month, praising God and thankful for each day and night.
God Bless you and your mom.
My mother was my best friend as well. I know the bond you must share. I lost my mother just 8 months before I was diagnosed...so unreal! I had been her caregiver the past few months of her life, so when I got diagnosed....wow! No way, I just couldn't and wouldn't believe it was at all possible. My mom lived 80 yrs, and I had just thrown a great big BD party for her in July, 5 months before she passed (she wasn't even sick then). My cancer is most likely genetic, as my dad passed from colon cancer at a young age of 62. Studies show that colon, ovarian, breast cancers are of the same pedigree. I am strong, and I praise God for each day. I cry for my mom still. I talk with her, and I even journal to her. I feel the need to talk with her so much; so I still do. :) I know she and my dad are walking this journey with me. I can feel their presence. I feel blessed for everyday I live on earth, all my family, and for the very many friends I have.
May 1 is a Holiday where you are from; good, then I will celebrate May Day as the beginning of another opportunity to rid this insidious disease from my body. I continue to say: I am living with cancer, not dying with it. I have cancer; cancer does not have me.
Bless you today, and Bless your mom. I will definitely keep you in my prayers this day. Careylyn
Hi careylyn, You sound like a very strong person with a great positive attitude, thats great. Im sure it was very shocking for you and everyone knowing how athletic and fit you are. You are probobly more fit then me and Im 25 soon. But I guess this diseas can get to anyone fit or not, any size form or shape. I wish my Mom could join a support group but she's too old school. We came here from Europe 16 yrs ago, where its known to cope with your own problems and deal with them and there were no such things as support groups or anything like here so for her its different. She says Im her support. I've done lots and lots of reading and read this forum everyday so I've learned a lot since she was dx 3.5 months ago. I come to her and give her info everytime I've read or heard something new. Thats how we work, we're a team. She is my Best Friend, not since this all happened but from as long as I remember she is always my number 1. Your a very nice woman and thank you for writing back to me. I wish you all the best for your new treatment May 1st. Where I come from May 1st is a major holiday a happy Holiday also so hopefully it will be a new HAPPY begining for you. Keep in touch. -Fiana
You brought tears to my eyes. Your Mom seems like she was a very strong woman living till 80 is wonderful you must have many beautiful memories with her. I know these cancers are genetic but nobody in our family ever had ovarian or any other cancers. But my great grandfather had lung or throat cancer, not sure. Im going to my gyn in May so I will ask what are the procedures for my to get screened often for any detections.
You remind me little of my Mom she is also emotionaly a strong woman. She does not let this cancer get to her. Now, she lives just the same as she did before diagnosis. This morning I just got her result of ca-125 before her 4th treatment and it went down to 8. WOW, you can only imagine my reliefe and feeling and excitement. Its like the happies thing for me to get these good results. Words cant even explain how I feel. She has 2 more to go so I hope these last two sessions take care of anything microscopic if any left that way she will be clean and clear. Everyday I live life beliving that my Mom will make it out of this HEALTHY and cancer free, I dont want those stupid statistics get to me and bring me down. Im a strong believer that your mind and attitude has a lot to do with the outcome in life.
Thanks Carelyn, again, for chatting with me. I dont get to talk much to women that are dealing with what my Mom is dealing with. I pray for you and hope only the best for your Health.
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