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Thread: stage 1A, grade 3 serous ovarian carinoma

  1. #1

    stage 1A, grade 3 serous ovarian carinoma

    I had a radical hysterectomy about five weeks ago. Due to the grade 3 rating, my onc is recommending chemotherapy, but I'm concerned about taking chemo. I have been very healthy all my life until now (which I am very thankful for). When I heard stage 1A, I was also very thankful, as I know it's not often found in this stage. It's the grade 3 that is prompting the chemo recommendation. There just isn't much research out there for my stage/grade of cancer to help me in my decision. Any encouragement/discouragement out there?

  2. #2
    Hi Brooklyn girl. I took the liberty of moving your thread to its own thread where I think more people will see it. I am sorry to hear of your diagnosis, but glad to hear that it was 1A. Heartofsoul has pointed you to some good resources. I'm a big believer in doing your own research if you are able and willing to do so (not everyone wants to look at statistics about their disease). Also (if you can focus on the statistics) you might want to ask your doctor about survival statistcs both with and without treatment. Finally, getting a second opinion is a good idea. I found that not all doctors have the same approach. All the best to you.
    Endometrial adenocarcinoma
    stage 1 (10% penetration of myometrium), grade 2
    daVinci hysterectomy March 2011
    No further treatment. Feeling great!

  3. #3
    Dear HeartofSoul1 and endosophie - thank you so much for your comments and help. I have been doing a lot of research, but your information is new to me and was very helpful. I will be making my decision (chemo or not) by Friday, and this is very helpful. I did get a second opinion from a Doctor who specializes in chemotherapy, and she also had given me some great counsel, and I believe that combined with what you've provided is sending me in the direction of chemo. The second opinion doctor also told me that statistics have not shown a difference with 3 rounds of chemo vs. 6 rounds for my stage and grade, so if I am having trouble tolerating it, I could stop after 3 rounds. So much to think about - but at least I do have options. My biggest concern with taking the chemo is the "chemo brain" I keep hearing about - not sure if this happens to all, but I would say that's my biggest concern. Again, I am so glad I located this forum, so I don't feel as alone out here.

  4. #4
    Hi Brooklyn Girl, no matter what you've heard about chemo, it'll probably be a lot easier than you expect. Usually for ovarian cancer they use a combination of carboplatin and taxol (paclitaxel). They have fantastic anti-nausea medications. The taxol does make the hair fall out. I'm sorry! But it comes back, honest! Chemobrain... we joke about it, but I really think that's mainly a complaint of people who are in long-term chemo. I've been in chemo for ovarian cancer for 2-1/2 years, and it..... ah..... um..... what was I saying?

    Just kidding! Side effects like chemo brain happen gradually with repeated exposures. When I told my oncologist how worried I was about that sort of thing she assured me I would be meeting with her before each chemo treatment and she wanted to hear about everything I was experiencing. She assured me if something bad started to happen we could stop or change the treatment plan. She's been true to her word, and I've never had to ask her to change anything.
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  5. #5
    Hey Serous2c - thanks for your comments. This decision is much more difficult than I had thought it would be, but if I go forward with the chemo I won't have to ever look back. I have the chance now to be sure that if it's traveled it will be knocked out for good. Still not entirely sure I'm committed to chemo, but I'll know for sure by Friday, when I'll be talking with my onc about the decision. I guess it comes down to disappointment that the surgery wasn't enough, but yet, glad I've got some options on the chemo. I suppose it's the classic "WHY ME?", but then again, "WHY NOT?". It seems so many other people have gone thru so much worse - best of all, people still seem to have a sense of humor about it. So, I'm starting to change my thinking about this, and getting ready to own it, as life is random, and things happen and you just have to deal with it and move on.

  6. #6
    Brooklyn Girl, I think you're really handling this very calmly. My way of thinking is like yours -- if you do the chemo, you never have to look back and wonder if you should have. It's fantastic that you caught it at Stage 1!!! Most people with ovarian cancer are diagnosed at stage 3 or 4, so you really have the odds in your favor, and with the chemo even more in your favor. And really -- it's not what I thought it would be at all. Listen to the doctor and especially to the chemo nurses, please! They'll say drink lots lots of fluids, and they mean it -- that's step one in warding off side effects, and it really does keep you from feeling sick. Take the anti-nausea meds! I had never wanted to take a pill unless I really, really needed it but in chemo you don't get any medals for being stoic. I took the meds and didn't get sick. Honestly, I think the biggest complaint people have about chemo for OC is constipation. And if something starts to happen, let the doctor know.

    I'm sorry you have to deal with it at all. I hope it will just be a bump in the road in a very long and happy life. Good luck on Friday!
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  7. #7
    Serous2c: It's Friday, and I've decided to take the plunge and have the chemo. I'll start treatment in two weeks - I'm delaying it from next week because my onc does infusions on Tuesdays, and next Tuesday is our 26th wedding anniversary. I plan on writing about my experience, if nothing else, just to have other cancer survivors help support me through my journey. I am so glad I found this forum.

  8. #8
    Happy Anniversary! And best of luck with the chemo. I think it's a great idea to write about it. I'm getting kind of passionate about wanting to dispel the old myths. I guess I first heard chemo stories about 40 years ago when some of my mother's friends went through it, and it was perfectly awful then. Even the stories from 10 and 20 years ago are a world away from how it's handled now. The anti-nausea drugs are quite new and they really work. Both the doctors and nurses bend over backwards to prevent and address side effects. And my chemo suite is actually a nice place to be. I've never seen anyone get sick or have any crisis. The nurses are very informative and smart and positive and fun. Your first treatment might be a long day -- good idea to have a book, electronic toys, or a craft project along. The pre-meds might help you take a long nap during the treatment. Good idea to take a light lunch and some munchies. One of the pre-meds usually makes people hungry. My chemo suite has a kitchen with a fridge and a microwave patients can use, free juices and coffee, and a few free munchies. They also have a small library of novels and DVDs and they will lend patients a DVD player. Free wi-fi. One of my friends says when she finished chemo she missed it and wanted to go back there and hang out. If they haven't offered you a pre-chemo class, I bet you could call and ask if you could come in and be given a quick tour of the place. I had no idea what to expect and seeing it first helped me.
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

  9. #9
    Getting ready to start chemo on Tuesday, March 12th. I received pre-chemo training with my onc, her physician's assistant, and RN. They gave me a binder to take home with me with a lot of good info in it, as well as some "goodies" from the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Association (which I'd not heard of), and the National Ovarian Cancer Institute. I'm going to be met by a volunteer on Tuesday who will view my hair as it is today, and then recommend a wig that should work for me. My husband has volunteered to sit with me during the treatment (he's retired) and I'll be glad for the company. We're going to take along our Kindles, and I'll also take along some snacks/drinks. They told me I would get some meds at the beginning of chem that may make me drowsy, so it may go faster for me than for my husband. I'm not sure how I'll react to it - sounds like everyone is different. I'm hoping to go back to work the next day - I have a full time mostly desk job. Will have to just "wait and see".

  10. #10
    I'll be thinking of you! I hope it goes really well. I'm glad you got all that preparation, and I hope that helped.
    Diagnosed with stage 2c papillary serous cystadenoma borderline malignancy of the ovary in 2009. Hysterectomy, omenectomy, appendectomy, debulking.
    - 2010 - laparoscopy showed inoperable recurrence, so started chemo.
    - Frontline chemo - carboplatin and cyclophosphamide, six cycles
    - Additional chemo regimens: Avastin - ten cycles; Weekly Topotecan - 4 cycles.
    - Spring 2012 developed pleural nodules. Topotecan plus Avastin - 1year.
    - April, 2014, had surgery to remove Aspergillus infection from right lung.
    - September, 2015, started on Megace because my tumors are PR positive. Stopped Megace after three months.
    - September, 2016, hospitalized for shortness of breath and back pain.
    - September, 2016, respiratory failure reversed with prednisone. Maintaining on 50 mg Prednisone per day and supplemental O2.
    - October, 2016 left hospital with no supplemental oxygen. Feeling great! Will start tapering off the prednisone Oct. 10.

 

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