My wife’s latest post:
First, I officially graduated from the Ostrich School and if you can’t handle knowing, please skip this entire blog post. I’m serious. Don’t read it! For those who want to know, according to Cancer.org about 3 in 4 women with ovarian cancer live for at least 1 year after diagnosis. Almost half (46%) of women with ovarian cancer are still alive at least 5 years after diagnosis. Between 70% and 90% of all women with ovarian cancer, at some point, have a recurrence. Women with advanced (stage 3 and 4) ovarian cancer tend to have multiple relapses and undergo several rounds of chemotherapy. For women diagnosed with ovarian cancer, the risk of recurrence varies based on multiple factors, including the stage at diagnosis. About 68% of women diagnosed with stage III ovarian cancer, who had successful surgical outcomes, will have recurrence at some point. [Citation: Ovarian Cancer National Alliance (www.ovariancancer.org) and SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975–2005, National Cancer Institute. Bethesda, Md., http://seer.cancer.gov/csr/1975_2005/]. If ovarian cancer is found (and treated) before the cancer has spread outside the ovary, the 5-year survival rate is 94%. However, only 15% of all ovarian cancers are found at this early stage. Please stop asking me if it was caught early and treated… No. Stage IIIC is advanced, spread, and the 5-year survival rate for what I had is 35%. Now you know.
I met with my surgeon yesterday. I asked him if he thought I was cured and he said, no. …But but but I was NED (no evidence of disease)! He explained that due to his actually having been inside my body during the surgery and his having a vast amount of experience he hopes that I’m cured but the reality is most cases like mine relapse. I appreciate his honesty. You might be asking or want to ask me why I’m writing about this? Because, I want everyone who comes in contact with me to know. This is why I’m not having a party to celebrate the end of chemo. This is why I’m happy yet careful. I’m celebrating and I’m thankful and yet I’m not going to take anything for granted. It’s wonderful to live each day as a brand new day… coined, “Living Sincerely” by wise cancer survivors. Excited to be alive and planning a bright future yet still very aware and mindful of my reality. It’s fragile. I’ve graduated from having sand in my eyes and ears. I’m fully aware of my situation and that’s bringing me to a very safe and happy place… closer to G-d and closer to my family and friends. It’s okay.
Read the whole thing.
I, too, have been a diligent student in the Ostrich School for the past half a year or so, and refused to even look at any of the statistics. And in all honesty, I wish I hadn’t seen them in my wife’s post. But now I have and there is no going back. Having said that, I am hopeful that with positive thinking, prayers and the love of family and friends, Erika will overcome this.