True Life: My Story.

My name is Terri and I am seventeen and was diagnosed with stageII ovarian cancer in November of 2008. It was like a nightmare I couldn’t really explain and living through something like this. My story is a little different then most but I want to share it in order to give hope to those who are going through the same hardships I am right now. It was school break, and I was enjoying the holiday with my family when I started to get strange stomachaches and pains and it got to a point where I found it hard to move. December came and the pain had grown and so had my belly. My friends had made a joke and would ask me when I was expecting and as funny as it was I knew deep inside something was not right. My mother took me to go to the ER (cause she thought it was appendices) , and I went and she felt my belly and told me I was severely constipated and I needed was some laxatives and I would be good to go. I felt a sense of relief when she told me because I had been getting a feeling it would turn into more than that. After I had taken my laxatives, I expected to feel better, but that wasn’t the case. Christmas came and went and I spent most of it on the couch in a pain I couldn’t explain as my stomach continued to grow. I asked my mother to take me to the emergency room once again. It was December when my mother too me to the emergency room the second time and I spent about 12 to 14 hours there with my mom.

When they told me I had to be transferred from Orange Medical Center to CHOC Hospital, something in my mind clicked and I knew I wasn’t okay. The doctors were not allowed to tell me anything because my mother didn’t wanna worry me if it was nothing. I spent the night and the next day, after a restless night,and CT/blood work had come back,I was told the reason I had been feeling so much pain and growth in the abdominal area was the result of stage II ovarian cancer and as the doctor said it herself, it was like she couldn’t believe she was saying it either. She had seen my CT scans and she sees ovarian cancer everyday so she didn’t think anything of it until she looked at my birthday and said the two couldn’t coincide because I was too young. I am one of the youngest patient known to have stage II ovarian cancer. After I found out, they had planned surgery for me. On January 2,2009, I went under the knife. They removed both my fallopian tubes. The recovery was painful and hard but I underwent it with the strength and support of my family,friends, and hospital staff. My first chemotherapy treatment began on January 13, and I was released from the hospital the next day. I had spent almost an entire month surrounded by disease and weakness and was finally able to get up and breathe in fresh air; but that didn’t last too long. I spent most of Feburary in and out of the hospital because of my blood cell count until finally in mid March I was stabilized and okay and home for good.

My mom[who is a nurse] draws my labs [takes blood out of my body] through my Broviac in the mornings when needed. My mom puts in the GCSF and I finish it sometimes. Mother does alot of the work [It sucks for her, she comes home from the hospital just so she can still treat me, so she is a nurse 24/7:/]. She have to learn how to give meds and learn how to read the special thermametors that are in Celcius form and She learn to translate them. She has to know alot so that you are safe when you are home. Its a bummer cuz when my counts are low they will be low for days or more and I have to be careful and when I go somewhere I have to be careful about things I touch and always be washing my hands and make sure I don’t get around alot of people because anyone could be sick.

Since January I have undergone 2 sessions of chemotherapy, and 4 radiations every three weeks. My CA125 is checked every two weeks. When I was first diagnosed with cancer my CA125 was over 900. With surgery alone it went down to around the 230’s. After two treatments, it was around 220’s and it didn’t budge, so my doctor decided to up my chemo meds to see if the numbers would change, and they did. My CA125 went from 230’s to THIRTY FOUR. I was thrilled, excited, and for the first time in four months I felt alive. The last visit to the doctor my CA125 had went down again, now to 22. Every time my CA goes down it ups my confidence to fight this terrible silent killer and the boost I need to carry on each day.

However, on June 17, I went in for an emergency surgery, cause I was bleeding 8x the amount then I was suppose to during my period. While I was under the knife, the surgeon, made a mistake and cut one of my arteries and I bled out on the table, and went into a set coma. After 3,000 cc of blood transfers,and 5 night in IUC I awoke, with a a stable condition. After being told what has happened, I saw this to be a calling, that I am meant to beat this. That I was not meant to go, this soon. That I am a fighter. I am on carboplatin and taxol, and since my body is responding so well she plans to keep me on it for three more rounds, and then to a CT scan and see if secondary surgery will be needed hopefully to finally to remove my ovaries, with out any complications. Even if it is, when I see my numbers going down so drastically, I think of how one day my life could possibly be normal, my life could possibly one day be cancer free. I will fight, and I will defeat this.

I¬†was put on an oxygen tank thing a few times because I keep choking and coughing on fucking air/spit and not being able to breathe. I just recently started using this new medication called Atavand to help breath and be somewhat calm but most of the time I don’t get it in time. Cause when I call nurse A she doesn’t answer while I’m fucking choking and I don’t know what to do, cause well face it I’m in a room with a bitchy roommate all fucking day. They did fix the machine though Well I think:DD. Because also we found out that while I was calling they picked up we told them I needed help and it was urgent. They didn’t tell a nurse to come in. Stupid fucking nurses and stupid fucking machines. Its very frusterating. But I think they fixed the machine. But yeah I’ve been choking/coughing alot some days[Thanks to blood clot/side effects to medication], SOO I don’t know what else to do but deal, So they gave me this oxygin thing to help me get air. And my medication to stop the clot/coughing. [However it makes me blotted so I look like a blow fish.]

Even though, my numbers have gone up again, and I am going into treatment again, on October 10th, I still have hope, and I will update this as time comes.

Side Note: Yes I was diagnosed with cancer at age 16, and I just celebrated my 17th birthday. That day was one of the best days ever, cause I know I if I could make it to 17, after having doctors tell me I most likely wouldn’t make till then, gave me a whole new world of hope.

October 22, 2009 by  
Filed under Community

  • tanya

    Dear Terri, I am so sorry to hear about what you’re going through and your experiences with nurses. As your mother would probably tell you, not all nurses are horrible. I ,too, am a nurse with a 14 yr old son fighting cancer. We had to change hospitals in order to find nurses with compassion. Don’t be afraid to speak up to your doctor or administration about your care. Your nurses should have compassion and make this time in your life easier. As for your language-my son says F this and F that when he’s hurting and angry too. You two would probably be perfect roommates. I went on this site to help him , so maybe you two can Email each other? Hang in there.

    • Terri

      Why thank you, for reading, and also for understanding.
      I am sorry about your son, but people are fighters, and him and I alike will get though it.

      I would love to talk to your son.

      my email is:

  • Terri

    Why thank you, for reading, and also for understanding.
    I am sorry about your son, but people are fighters, and him and I alike will get though it.

    I would love to talk to your son.

    my email is:

  • zoe

    I have allso suffered with ovarian cancer since i was 11, since then i have had it 3 times over the period of 4 years, chemotharapy has failed to work the only oprion is to operate everytime they find a tumours. i knoww how you feel xx

    • Terri

      Thank you hun, I am sorry you have to go though that.

  • http://myspaceloljusttypemynameinsearchlol carol mills

    hi terri, i know how you feel with the nurses, and cancer, ive had the same probablem with nurses, like i would call them for something urgent and they would never come in, and plus my grandma just passed away because of ovarian cancer but im sure you wont because my grandma waited a real real long time before going to the doctor and she was in her 70s, and plus when i was 3yrs old i was diagnosed with chondro sarcoma taumor of the spine and i was the youngest person who had gotten that cancer cause usually only people over 40 get it but i got it and i had surgery chemo and radiation and it went away and came back a couple of times and because of that kind of cancer i have kyphosis scoliosis with rotation and when i was 6yrs old my doctor did surgery on me on feb 14th yep valentines day and he was taking a 6in rod out of my back and then i was suppossed to have another surgery afterwards to have a 12in rod put in well after surgery my parents always tickled my toes and i would always move them and this time i didnt and my parents tryed to tell the nurses and doctors but they said it was because of the anesteshia but it never did that to me before so a lil while later a nurse wanted to give me a tylenol sapository cause i had a fever so my mom told her if i dont feel it then to call a doctor and so she gave it to me and i didnt feel it so she called the resident doctor in and he took a writing pen and pressed it against my big toe and it left a red mark thats how hard he pressed so then i was having an mri done and my other doctor rushed in there and took me out and he said “why didnt they call me?” and my mom told him she tryed to get them to call him and then he said he doesnt know if he can save my legs and if they would have told him sooner he could have saved my legs so now im paralized and after that all my doctors stopped talking to me and my family they only talked to us if they really had to so then when i was 13yrs old we decided to sue and we setteled out of court and the lawsuit finished when i was 17yrs old and when it was going on we learned that my former doctor who said he was going to be the one doing the surgery was not even in the o.r he had a doctor who speacilized in the limbs not the spine and now im 21yrs old and im still going to that hospital im just not seeing that doctor anymore and im still going there because i have kidney stones that keep returning in i cant go to another hospital because i have to have the surgery while im awake because i have restricted lung deaseas so i cant be put to sleep for surgery because i wont be able to get off the vent in i have restricted lung deaseas because the radiation caused my bones to stop growing which sucks and i have an n.g tube because everything is squashed inside me because of what the radiation did but ive been free of cancer for over 5yrs which im glad about in i hope it never returns and i hope you get better:) i know it really sucks having cancer so hang in there carol.

  • lettie

    Heyyy! :) your story has really hit home for me.
    On the 1/1/10 I got really bad pains in my stomach and so went to a&e cos I’m british on the 3/3/10 they sent me home on the 7/1/10 cos they didn’t know what was up and then I was back on the 22/1/10 and waited four days to get my appendix out. Then I thought everything would be fine. I contracted the superbug c-diff so it took me double time to recover but my pain was so bad and my stomach started swelling. My stomach had been getting to the point where I went out and people would stare and make comments about me thinking I was pregnant :D so I went back to the a&e and like you they told me that I was badly constipated and gave my laxatives.

    A few weeks ago a really sharp pain came in my stomach groin and down my leg and I had me on the floor crying and rolling around with the pain :/ so I wen back to the a&e and they did scans and the doctor old me I have a grwoth on my left ovary 7x5x4 and one in my left fallopian tube wich is 4×6 and lots of litle ones on my righ ovary. They said that there was abnormal changes to them so they took bloods for tumor markers.

    I’m going to see the gynae oncon on tursday so 4 days eeek

    Smile it confuses people xxxx

  • Stephanie Cheshier

    I was only fifteen when I got diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer!

  • riah

    i just thought i would let you know that i am praying for you so much.Tomorrow(christmas eve) i am going to a doctors appointment to find out what is wrong with me because i am having the same problem that yours all started with. i am 13 years old and im living my life for christ. the things he has done for us is so beyond amazing. Like with you i believe he gave you A SECOND chance. and i know he did that for a reason. i want you to understand that things are always going to be rough in life but you seem so strong that i know you will make it through this. anyways just wanted to say you will be in my thoughts a lot. please write me back. it would mean so much to me:)

  • Kennedy Quillen

    Hello, my name is Kennedy. I am a journalist. I think that your story is very inspiring. I would love to write a book about your story (if it is alright with you, of course). And I have many questions for you. Some involving how your life has been ever since you posted this article. Keep in mind though, that you only have to talk with me if you would like to. I hope all is well for you. Thanks. You may contact me at

  • Chloe

    Hey, I’m 16 and I was diagnosed with Stage 1 Ovarian Cancer when a couple of weeks back.. It all started with me having stomach pains and being bloated a lot after eating, doctors just took it that my bowels we’re playing up. Until suddenly one night my mum and I went through trauma, I was foaming at the mouth whilst going in and out of consciousness on the floor of my bedroom and followed to throw up a thick orange liquid and thin yellow liquid before passing out. Mum took me to the walk in center and after a Ultra Sound they found a 20cm cyst on my ovary. I had surgery a week or so later and they removed the cyst along with the no more functioning ovary and tube, I recovered wonderfully. My specialist reassured my family and I that the cyst was not cancerous and he admitted he was 99.9% sure. So on the results day of my cyst we had no worries but sadly the news came back that they found cancerous cells in my cyst and I will have to go through 6 sessions of chemotherapy in the space of 18 weeks, one dose every three weeks. I’m currently waiting on my first appointment for chemo and are having numerous scans and fertility advice between it. I have missed a lot of my GCSE exams due to being so ill and I have to admit it’s tough but I’m getting through it. My family, friends and boyfriend are really supportive but I just feel really alone in the fact that I have Ovarian at such a young age. I want to talk to other people who are going through or have been through it. I just want a little reassurance in the matter.. It’s hard to keep such a smiling face sometimes when everything gets the better of me, but it’s okay. Thank you for reading and I wish you all the best in everything, we will get through this! xxxx

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