Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Surviving Cancer

Wednesday June 4, 1992

We're on our way to Kaiser on Sunset in Hollywood by 9:30 for a 10:45 a.m. appointment. I'm hoping to see the oncologist I saw in November 1991 about using the pump/drip on me. I strike it rich and all 3 oncologists confer in the exam room with Frank and I. Two examine my pelvis area and concur there is a 3x3 mass on the right and a smaller mass on the left. Dr. Simrad says he could put me on the pump now because I do have measurable cancer. He's had some success with it. He says ovarian cancer keeps coming back and the goal is to keep me alive 1-5 years. I'm OK with that but of course hope there will be a new cure before it's too late for me. This is a devil cancer. It keeps dividing and resists treatment.

We see Dr. Schwartz in the afternoon and tell him where we've been. We have all decided to try the pills he offers first. If that fails then the pump.

As shown on the American Cancer Society's chart above, in 2009 ovarian cancer represents 3% of cancers in women, but 5% of deaths from cancer. It is a deadly cancer because it's symptoms are vague and there is no diagnostic testing to catch it in it's early stages. On the other hand breast cancer respresents 27% of cancers in women and only 15% of cancer deaths. I had my annual mammogram last week and then received a phone call yesterday that they needed another image of my left breast. What does that mean? Did they see something suspicious on the mammogram? My appointment is tomorrow morning, 25 days before my 59th birthday. Mom died 25 days before her 59th birthday.

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