I still remember receiving the phone call. It was November 2000, election results were on TV. I had a plate of Vietnamese takeout in front of me, and my gynecologist called and asked, “Are you sitting down?” When he told me I had metastatic ovarian cancer I felt betrayed by my body. I had taken such great care of it through diet and exercise; the loss of control really bothered me. I felt like the rug had been pulled out from underneath me.
I had surgery the following Monday and underwent ongoing treatments. My oncologist, Joseph Leach, MD, helped me stay one step ahead of the cancer. Every time the cancer became resistant to one chemo drug, we moved on to another. The cancer went into remission for two years.
I haven’t let cancer slow me down and I’ve already exceeded the typical survival stats for recurrent ovarian cancer. I still make time for my grandchildren, gardening and biking. I work part-time as a statistician and bike everywhere (weather permitting) including to work and Frauenshuh Cancer Center. My advice to anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer is to stay as active as you can.
I’ve really enjoyed my interactions with the people at Frauenshuh Cancer Center. In addition to Joseph Leach, MD, I’ve come to enjoy my conversations with Helen Berg at the front desk, and the entire nursing staff. I’m also fond of the face-to-face interactions and chit-chat with other patients.
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