Avatar universal

ovca stage 3c

HI, I'm new to this Forum,My mom was just diagnosed with ovca stage3c and had her surgery last week,I was just wondering if anyone out there was in the same situation.,just looking for some positive information that help us go through these difficult times.,she will be starting her chemo nxt week.how reliable are the survival rates?We are trying to be strong infront of her but when she is not around we all break in tears. Dr. said 50/50 chances, two years after chemo.what should I ask her Dr. at pre chemo visit other than all the side effects that she'll have?
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523728 tn?1264621521
Do you know if her debulking surgery was optimal?  How old is your mom?
Survival rates are just numbers but there is a basis for them.  This disease is a fierce battle.  Is your mom prepared to fight long and hard?
My oncologist will answer any questions we present, however he is unwilling to predict too far ahead.  Your questions to her doc should center on what is happening now.
Best wishes to you and your family,
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Avatar universal
Hi Melissa,
I am sorry to hear the news about your mother. I am in a similar situation. My sister, 48, was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in Dec 08. We are trying to be positive and strong as well. It is challenging but she looks for us to be strong. She has been depressed which is normal and the chemo is tough. I'm sure you may have heard. Unfortunately for my sister, her cancer has just returned. She had her ovaries removed and now the cancer is on her bowel. At this pt., they do not think they can operate any more. She began chemo treatments immed. 3 weeks ago after her cancer count reached 84. This time she will not lose her hair since the chemo is not as strong. She has been feeling pretty good, pretty strong, no hair loss this time around and  is looking great! In Dec. the chemo was very strong and she only rec'd it once every 3 weeks. Now she is receiving chemo treatments every week for 3 weeks then the 4th week she has off of every month for 6 months. She was given 2-3 years last week. That was a tough wk. end.  I myself have the same questions. Be Strong, Positive and tell her to Fight with everything she has! Don't give up. I will be contacting my sister's dr. this week. I just posted my second question to the forum ahort while ago tonight. I look forward to some updates with your mother and will keep you in my prayers. I believe they can beat this.
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Avatar universal
thankyou guys for your support, at this point we are being her strength and just thinking about what could be done now.She is a strong woman,been through a lot in her life, she just turned 60.Dr. did some aggressive debulking, we have appointment tomorrow to discuss the chemo.,SAK did you mean your sister was diagnosed last year in Dec.,what are the reasons they can't operate anymore?I"ll keep her in my prayers and all those who are going through this. I have faith and we can't let the future control our present.
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415684 tn?1257329318
I was diagnosed with IIIC in 11/06 .. had debulking surgery ... 6 rounds of Cisplatin/taxol .. some IP (in belly) and some IV.  CA125 started rising a month or so after chemo and hit 100+ in July 2007 (8 months after I finished chemo).  My Gyn/onc put me on tamoxifen (10mg twice a day) and the counts went down to normal by the end of last year and are rising again.  The only thing showing on a PET/CT is a very small lymph node near my liver so we are waiting before heading back into more chemo.  I write all of this to show it's an up and down battle.  I have been VERY lucky that the tamoxifen has kept MY cancer in check.  Some women go for years with nothing and the CA125 is is normal .. and then the cancer will strike again.  It is very individual and you need to focus on getting through the chemo and praying that Mom will be good for at least a couple/three years.  The space between chemos definately helps the bone marrow return to a normal state.  New drugs are coming out all of the time .... she (I) will be on some form of chemo for as long as she can ... hopefully, for a very long time with good remissions inbetween.

RE:  chemo now.  I drank cranberry juice (cut with water) in the chemo room .. every day I had chemo.  Cranberry juice is very good for the kidneys that are being assaulted with chemo.  I ate while getting the chemo .. lots of peanut butter stuff (crackers, sandwiches).  I ate bananas every chemo for potassium.  The reason I ate during chemo was because after it "checked in", I didn't feel much like eating ... some mild nausea.  When at home, I ate protein ... eggs, peanut butter, hamburgers.  For me, protein was a must as was keeping something constantly on my stomach.  Make sure your Mom gets a Rx for EMEND (anti-nausea), and that they give her Aloxi (more anti-nausea) during treatment ... much better and longer acting than Zofran.  Losing hair is very demoralizing.  Try on wigs now while she has hair to find one that looks "right" ... have it trimmed if necessary.  The day will come when she will need to shave her head .. it's a rough day .. seeing yourself bald.  She hopefully will be OK the next day.  

If I can explain anything more, please drop me a note.  Meantime, prayers for you and the family.  Judy
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Avatar universal
Thanks Judy for the info. as what to eat during chemo, this will be a great help, she had her pre chemo appt.last week and dr. said that the good news is that he took 100% of the visible tumor out but the problem was that it was very aggressive and it went in the lymph nodes,we're still waiting for her first chemo appt. to be set up, dr. said his nurse will call this week, i don't know how long they wait after surgery,she had surgery on the 17th of nov,i thought sooner they do chemo,the better.,she will be on taxol/carboplatin thru the mediport in vein., i'll post more after she starts chemo.
I'll keep you and your family in my prayers and wish you well.
Helpful - 0
282804 tn?1236833591
Although there are things you do need to know now I would not be looking ahead to awfully far if I were you.  There is so much to know, but it really is best if you learn it in stages.  It becomes overwhelming.  

I am confused about something.  Did her onc say she had about a 50/50 shot at making it two years?  I don't think Drs should guess to far out like that because so much could happen in that time. Who knows? They may come up with a new operation, new drugs, new something that will keep us alive just a little longer.  

Right now you should know that the combo she will be on will have side effects that are very similar to having the flu.  A BAD flu.  If she gets a neulasta shot the day after chemo (or day of, if you have to drive a long way) than she may have some bone pain as well. It usually settles in around the hip bones for most people.

Stay on top of the pain meds and nausea meds. Those are both things that are easier to prevent than to cure.  She should take them every 4-6 hours whether she thinks she needs them or not. She should make sure she has prescriptions for at least two different nausea meds and I would recommend 3.  Zofran, Phenergan suppositories and Phenergan pills.  (Emend is good, but it can cost between $60. and $200. for those 3 pills and that is WITH insurance. The Zofran comes in a pill but she will get an IV of it before chemo also. I would try to get them to give her Aloxi as it works for 5 days but I think they get a big discount for having all of their patients on zofran. The phenergan suppositories work very quickly and is the exception to the "easier to prevent than treat" rule. However, they make me sleepy and put me out so I don't want to have to take them.  Have her take the pain meds whether she wants them or not.

As for food, it is sort of like when you are pregnant and nauseous. Whatever she thinks she can eat she should eat it.  Sometimes meat is hard to handl though.  I found the smell of ground beef was something akin to road kill and bacon smelled and tasted like a burning tire factory.  Small meals more often are better than large meals.  Protein is very important though. My nutritionist said I had to have 75g a day and that is a humongous amount of food.   A serving of salmon has 33g, but I am not eating 4 pcs of salmon a day. Sometimes she will be able to eat, but the smell of food cooking might make her nauseous so on her good weeks she should cook up extra stuff so she can pop stuff in the wave.  Also, frozen fruit was a life saver for me. I freeze a lot of fresh fruit anyway and I had peaches, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, pear slices, & grapes.  When she is feeling a little feverish they will be welcome especially if she doesn' t want to smell anything.  Cold food is best for awhile after chemo anyway.  Sorry to prattle on, but I consider myself the resident expert of heaving.  When I was on another drug I was in the hospital every week. It was a chemo drug you do every week.

She should sleep a lot. Have her take a xanax if she isn't sleepy.  It really helps to avoid some of the more unpleasant side affects if she has any and it really does make you feel better.  Most of all she shouldn't rush herself to get "well".  She will have about 1-2 good weeks between chemos so she will have time to do stuff.  Oh, I bought a wig but now I only wear it for my husband. It is long and blond and not like my own hair so it is fun, but way to hot.  I like hats.  It is funny how with hair I didn't look good with hats, but without hair I look stunning, even if I do say so myself.  LOL

This is the MOST important thing. When the chemo nurses start saying [email protected] like, "we don't see that here", "we have found that xyz doesn't work well", "that has nothing to do with your cancer",  "we find that xyz is generally well tolerated...", "none of our other patients complain of that" etc., don't worry, just come here and you will find out the truth!!!!  They can and they will make her feel stupid and like she is the only one having a problem with whatever. It is NOT true. They don't do it because they are mean, they do it because they don't want us to worry about stuff, but they don't get it...we worry more when they try to make us feel nuts.

Good luck and have your mom come on here.  I think it would be good for her.
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Avatar universal
thanks Jan, I'll let her know what to expect,she might start her chemo this thurs., finally nurse called last night..When Dr. told us about 50/50, it really hit us hard and did a number on all of us. We didn't think until then that it could be that bad especially when we didn't have any family member with hx of cancer. but we're keeping our heads high now. the only other thing worries me is that it is so hard to get hold of her dr. or nurse,we just have to leave a message and they call us back after couple of hrs so now her being on chemo if there is anything that concerns us about her health that we don't know if its normal or not what should we do, i guess we just have to wait for their call back. thanks for the suggestion on eating, she loves baked salmon.she doesn't know how to use computer,so I'll be communicating on her behalf.she's a strong lady and I'm sure everyone else out there in this situation is very strong too, orelse we wouldn't have been going through this right now,HE picked us because we can HANDLE this!!
Thanks again.
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703858 tn?1274669802
My mom (63) was diagnosed with stage 3c ovarian cancer in July 2008.  She had a massive surgery at the end of July and has just finished 5 of 6 chemo treatments. He Ca 125 levels were off the charts, and they weren't able to remove all the cancer during her surgery.   I totally understand what you are going through.  I am her primary caregiver and supporter.  In the middle of all this my grandmother (my mom's mom) passed away on my mom's birthday in August and the next day my mom began her chemo.  It has been an unbelievable emotional roller coaster.  When my mom was diagnosed we were just totally shellshocked.  Still are to some degree.  Hard to get your head around this aggresive disease.  My mom is one of the most healthy living people you could know and there is no history in our family.  I am still learning a lot about this disease and things that will help my mom.  On thing that helped me was tojust focus on the here and now, and not speculate about the future.  It is just to overwhelming to absorb everything at once, and as others have pointed out, there is a lot of hope to have.  Each case is different.  Support her through chemo and be as positive as you can.  Focus on Living!  Good luck to you all.  
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Avatar universal
Hi there, thanks for the support, she just finished her first chemo last week and she felt fine until just yesterday she had fever, her neutrophils are low and now they have admitted her in the hospital and monitoring her.They keep checking her temp. and glucose.she's been strong and she knows what to expect but I think we'll just have to take one day at a time and just pray that at the end of the day everything goes o.k.
thanks again for your prayers..and wish well to your mom.
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