My story/journey began six months after I retired (late fall 2012). I felt great! Enjoying the freedom and enjoying each day. My sister lived very close to me at the time and she and I would go to the local gym and work out four days a week.
One morning, the first part of May 2013, I was getting ready to meet her and as I was putting lotion on after a shower, I noticed a bump near my navel. I knew there must be an issue but I thought perhaps I had a hernia from our workouts.
That same day I went to my primary care physician and he confirmed my bump was not a hernia but needed to be removed. He requested I go to the local imaging office for a CT. The next evening he called and said there was a mass on my left ovary. I was shocked beyond belief – I felt great!!
The doctor said instead of doing a biopsy on the bump he thought it would be best to have me referred to Moffitt. Once I had the referral, I immediately called Moffitt for help. Within a week I was meeting with Dr. Robert Wenham to be evaluated.
Approximately 10 days later I was having surgery. After a fairly short recovering time from surgery, we started a very aggressive chemotherapy schedule. I was admitted to Moffitt on Sunday morning (every three weeks) for a 24-hour drip of Taxel and five hours of Cysplatin.
After that I was given the opportunity to participate in a couple of clinical trials and I was excited to participate. I felt not only could the studies help me, but I hoped that others would benefit from these studies.
I’m now 2-1/2 years into my journey. The [ovarian] cancer has become active again and more chemo is now required. Dr. Wenham gave me the opportunity to participate in a new study involving an immunotherapy drug.
There are no words to express my feelings towards Moffitt, Dr. Wenham and his staff. They are like family to me. I live 90 minutes away from Moffitt, but that has never been a factor. I would drive many more miles to Moffitt to receive the sincere care I receive.
I urge anyone who even suspects they have cancer to contact Moffitt. What a blessing they have been to me and my family!!