Survivor Stories / Tributes

Brandy Burrows

Personal Description:

Dedication:

To my amazing Daughter Summer without whose support I would not be here today to tell my story.

Personal Description:

I am 58 years old, a healthcare professional, and a 3-year Ovarian Cancer survivor. Typically, a busy professional with career and home. March 2008, a busy time as the family was preparing for a 10th birthday / Barbeque celebration for my granddaughter. Lots of work, and feeling exhausted. Come Monday morning, I awoke feeling more tired than ever. Drove to work @ Alameda County Medical Center in Oakland, CA (2-hour drive)and started my day. Around noon, I noticed some bloating, no big (thoughts of gas, ya know) and continued through the day. Come Tuesday, even more tired, noticed bloating had increased significantly & I was really beginning to feel uncomfortable. Called my daughter, Summer, who asked the universal question, ‘do you need to poop’? No dear, taken care of thank you. Wednesday still feeling crummy, went to work, called my daughter and told her something just wasn’t right. Sure enough, a few minutes later, a return call from her letting me know that I had an appointment to see the nurse practitioner first thing Thursday. Later that evening, noticed I could actually palpate my liver and became more uncomfortable ( to the tune of looking 7 months pregnant)
Thursday, to the NP, who listened to my story, palpated my abdomen and fled out through the door. A few minutes later she returned stating she had spoken with my physician on the phone and sent me immediately to the ER for a stat CT scan. The ER doc came in and the first words were, ‘I am so sorry’, then proceded to tell me I had 2 large tumors that appeared to be ovarian in nature. Many doctor/specialist visits later, I had surgery to remove 2 large grapefruit sized tumors that initially were encapsulated and frozen section primary results were negative. That changed when the final pathology report came in as positive. Surgery #2 for staging took place 3 weeks after initial surgery followed by chemo and wound repair.
I was fortunate and had no spread to the lymph nodes and very proactive physicians and surgeons. Information about Ovarian Cancer was so scarce, and I as a healthcare profession felt at a loss and scared. I couldn’t imagine how others who didn’t understand the ins and outs of the medical system would be able to deal with this terrifying disease. My hat is off to all of those who helped me through this process, especially the unsung heroes of the oncology/infusion centers who held my hand, calmed my fears, explained all the processes and complications and showed great compassion when repeated punctures for IV’s were needed. I survived, back at work and determined to get the word out. Early detection to survive!

Last updated on: 09/21/2011


Comments:

Very valid, pithy, succnict, and on point. WD.

Infinity Infinity – 11/08/2011

With canecr being the 2nd leading cause of death, I want to see it cured. I don’t know if this is completely possible, but we do have a place to start. We can learn and teach the signs and symptoms of canecr in order to achieve earlier diagnoses. Some canecrs are curable if found soon enough. This is why I want to teach the signs of canecr! Thank you for this site and please continue to teach!

mukesh mukesh – 02/28/2012