Survivor Stories / Tributes

Anita Vernon

Personal Description:

Dedication:

To my sister Marie who stands by me and never lets me lose my sense of humor through all of this.I love you Marie.

Personal Description:

I am 52 years old and had been pretty healthy all my life.On April 8th,2009, I was seen in my Doctors office,presenting with pretty much the same symptoms I had experienced off and on for more than 6 years.On that day my abdomen was swelled out like I was 6 months pregnant. I had a dull aching in my lower abdomen.My joint and muscle pain which had been diagnosed about 6 years ago(termed fibromyalgia)was flared up and I was exhausted.My Doctor was on vacation and his physicians assistant Karen was taking his appts.She asked me what the problem was and I replied jokingly,”Here I am again,pregnant but without a baby”She was very serious as she looked at my abdomen and with a grim look on her face asked me “Does ovarian cancer run in your family?”That’s where my journey into Hell began.Ovarian cancer did not run in my family to the best of my knowledge,but I had a 6 year history of ovarian cysts that would come and go.The specialists I had seen didn’t seem too concerned so I wasn’t either. I had a uterine biopsy done 5 years ago,pap smears and gyn. exams and all were good. I didn’t find out until after the fact that none of those detect o.c.I had a history of missing periods sometimes 10 months in a row.Two years ago my Doctor did a hormone panel and said it indicated that I was not in menopause yet and could offer me no more than,”oh well,that’s just the way your body is.Before I knew it I was scheduled for a hysterectomy at St.Peter’s Hospital in Albany, N.Y.When I met the surgeon he was very reassuring,he said he wasn’t too concerned with o.c.,that it was probably endometriosis.I was told that I would have to have the large vertical incision just in case there was cancer.So on April 27th I had my surgery.There was cancer.It was in one of my ovaries and I had 4 spots the size of peas that had spread behind my bladder and in the back of the pelvic wall.The lymph nodes tested were negative.Within 6 weeks of surgery I began the first of 6 chemo. treatments each 3 weeks apart.I kept asking myself why this had happened. I found out after the fact that I had presented with 7 red flag warning signs of cancer for 2 years that had largely been ignored by my physician.They were ,changes in bowel habits,changes in bladder habits,high sed rate during routine bloodwork,backpain of unknown origin,absence of periods with normal hormone panel,feeling full after eating a small meal and abdominal bloating.Before I had my surgery my CA-125 was 240.After surgery it dropped to around 110 and then 70 and then 40 ,down to 30 and it has been staying there.This past week I’ve gone for my cat scan and I get the results this week.I must say that through all this,my decision to work closely with an Integrative doctor from the beginning has probably helped me more than I will ever fully realize.An Integrative Doctor works closely with your immune system and prescribes supplements.They also work with your mental and spiritual attitude.Along with chemo and conventional medicine,and Integrative medicine I have fared well with minimal side effects from chemo.My friends and family tell me I have never looked as good as I do now, even after just finishing chemo.I know I still have a long journey before me,but with the love and support of family, friends and the good people in this world,I will journey well. Anita Here is an update. I had a small reoccurance in March 2011, a grape size tumor on left side of large colon. Had surgery to remove it and then began a strict regime of immune boosting supplements again and continued with my mind body soul medicine. Getting more sleep and keeping work to a minimum. It is three years since my initial diagnosis and I am stronger than ever!My weight is staying around 150 lbs.I have tremendous energy and am still told I look great. So now I’ll continue on my journey,God Bless. Anita This was updated Jan. 14,2012

Last updated on: 01/15/2012


Comments:

Big help, big help. And superlative news of crosue.

Dortha Dortha – 10/04/2011

Begun, the great internet eudctaion has.

Bubi Bubi – 01/24/2012

Some would say that Flag Day, June 14, sort of marks the middle of the year: the 14th day of the sixth month of the 12 month dncealar. I’m sure if you use serious mathmatics and count out the actual dates, that would be wrong, but who cares? It’s funner this way! Especially since it’s it happens to be my favorite holiday! My mom used to count down to each other: “only four more shopping days until flag day!” and “do you have any special plans for flag day this year!?!?!”Needless to say, I chose Flag Day as what would later become my wedding anniversary!”Tis a silly day to celebrate otherwise!

Alessandra Alessandra – 03/29/2012