Friday, June 28, 2013

Ovarian Cancer Diagnosis

Tuesday afternoon (remember I saw my pcp Monday morning) sitting in the ob/gyn's small quiet office made me quite tearful.  I don't recall if I had a feeling that I was going to have the diagnosis of ovarian cancer or not, but I know I knew something wasn't right.  Dr. Klomp was a little late getting in my room, but he later told me that he had been on the phone with the radiologist and had been in contact with Dr. Kaylor.  After getting a history he said, "You have ovarian cancer." Remember a few months ago when I wrote about my biggest fear was being told I had cancer?  My biggest fear became my reality.  Yea, I broke down right then and when he told me I needed to have a total hysterectomy I became a little hysterical.  No one expects this at 36.  I am too young, have so much ahead of me and so many plans for my future.  Dr. Klomp is an amazing man.  He is in his late 60's, early 70's, but still practicing medicine.  He had never met me, but I didn't feel that way.  After he did an exam he said, "do you believe in the power of the priesthood."  I said, "Yes." He said, "I believe in the power of the priesthood. Does your dad hold the priesthood?" I said, "yes he gave me a blessing on Sunday."  He said, "I believe in the power of the priesthood, even though we have all this medical knowledge; there is power in the priesthood."  I said, "My dad is a Bishop."  He said, "I'm a stake patriarch and I'll be by your side through this whole thing."  He told me to go around the corner and have my blood drawn and he would call the gyn oncologist.  I had such a peace as I had my blood drawn which was the CA125 marker for ovarian cancer which was positive.  This means this is a hereditary cancer and we will meet with genetic counselors eventually to have my mom and sisters tested.   The thing with the CA 125 is if this is high, you are more likely to have breast cancer too, so I will have to be tested for the BRCA1 and 2.  My mom's mother's mother died at age 36 from a gyn cancer, which likely was ovarian and her sisters both had breast cancer.  My grandmother died at age 47 and had a hysterectomy at age 32 and she didn't have any sisters so we haven't had any recent cancer in our family.
On my way home from Dr. Klomps office Dr. Cooper's office called and had an appointment set for me at 8am the next morning.  That evening I was full of tears, lots of them.  Tyler, Troy, Alisha, the Christensen's (sister C is my visiting teacher) and Grandma Betty came over that night, which gave me great comfort.
The next day I didn't even put any makeup on, because I knew I would just cry it off.  On our way over to see Dr. Cooper,  I puked my piece of toast into my Kleenex box just as we were getting to the hospital, I think because I was so emotional and just sick to my stomach.  I hate to throw up, hate it, hate it, hate it!  I will never get use to it.  I met with Dr. Cooper who is about my age, has really curly hair and so nice.  She put things very bluntly, telling me again I needed a hysterectomy, that this was likely in the colon and the appendix.  To our great surprise, she and Dr. Klomp cleared their schedules and they scheduled surgery for that very afternoon; one of the many tender mercies we have experienced through this entire thing.  She immediately admitted me to the hospital.  While waiting to be taken to my room I was sitting in the waiting room bawling when a sweet social worker came up to us and talked with us.  It meant so much.  I never realized the impact a social worker can have on someone until this experience.
Things happened so quickly once I got admitted they started IV's and I had to have the disgusting fleets enema.  I wasn't suppose to have surgery until 5, but it then got moved up to 3:10.  I remember them wheeling me down to the pre-op area, the anesthesiologist coming in and then that was it.  I don't even remember being down there very long.  Such a whirlwind.
Surgery was 8 hours.  Dr. Klomp came out around 8 and talked with my family telling them he thought they got 93-95% of it, later he said he thought they got 95-98%, but Dr. Perez said he stayed until the end and he felt they got 100%.  At that point Dr. Perez, Dr. Cooper's partner went into surgery.  At 11pm, Dr. Cooper came out of surgery exhausted with a drink in her hand.  Her report:  I had cancer in both ovaries, my appendix, sigmoid colon, omentum (this covers the abdomen), in lymph nodes and a few spots on my liver.  Because I had it in my colon, they had to do an iliostomy, so I have a bag attached to my stomach; not cool.  This is reversible though.  Dr. Perez says they should reverse it after my second chemo treatment, but Dr. Cooper acted like they would reverse it after the entire chemo regimen.  Let's hope it is Dr. Perez's way.  I am getting use to it, but it is not fun.  I had to have 2 units of blood during surgery.  I'm grateful for those 2 people who donated blood for me.
I wasn't out of post-op and in ICU until after 1am.  My Aunt Thalia, Aunt Marian, Tristen, Tyler and Troy were all there during surgery and Tyler and Troy were there until I was in my room.  Mom and dad stayed the night.  At one point my mom said that Troy just broke down in tears saying that he didn't know how my mom was doing this, because it would be so hard if it was one of his kids.  This meant so much and was so sweet.  This experience has truly brought our family closer, not that we weren't but I feel so much more love for my family than ever before.


  1. So many miracles but this is only the beginning of the miracles you will see!!! I'm so happy you are blogging so you will have them all recorded!!!

  2. Wow, Terah.
    Your story is amazing and you are so brave and strong!
    Thank you so much for sharing with me. I agree, it does help to hear from others going through the same type of journey.
    I'm on my last day of icky chemo fog for this round, and I know you're heading into yours, so I'll picture you on your couch while I'm on my couch today!
    Hang in there girlfriend!