Ovarian Cancer Grad- Jenny
Jenny Ledesma contacted us from her home in the Philippines to share her ovarian cancer story with the Cancer Grad community. These are her words as written to us via email. Thank you for sharing your experiences with all of us Jenny! We hope you are doing well.
It was sometime in the second week of May 2015 that I felt bloated and constipated. June came and my good friends and I celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday. My tummy was noticeably bulging.
During the first week of July 2015, I had an ultrasound on my whole abdomen. They saw an ovarian cyst and diagnosed me with ascites. I was advised to see my ob-gyn for a second opinion- I hadn't had a check up for 4 straight years. My ob-gyn wanted me to undergo lab tests since I had PID (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease) due to diabetes, and requested for me to have a whole abdomen CT scan.
Due to financial problems, it took almost a month until I finally received my CT scan results. I went back to my ob-gyn who quickly referred me to a pulmonologist, endocrinologist and oncologist. Within a span of days, I underwent a series of tests. My doctors found that my right lung was almost full of water (which explained why I couldn't lay down flat when I went to sleep). My HBA1C was high, which confirmed that I am diabetic, and was the reason of my cervix inflammation.
The most remarkable visit was to my oncologist. I was with my sister and better half, but they refused to join me inside. They were scared to know what my doctor might say to me. I handed to my oncologist my letter of recommendation and CT scan results. She told me bluntly, "If you were to ask me, I wouldn't let you go home. Go to the emergency room now."
She immediately coordinated with my ob-gyn, but I told her I couldn't go then. I needed to talk to my benefactors as I know my financial capacity was very limited at that time, but I assured her that I would go the day after. I was shocked when she told my ob-gyn, "She is toxic inside, she is just brave". She wrote an endorsement letter and immediately handed it to me. To convince me more she told me, "You are so lucky. You're still young, but you could have a heart attack at anytime, and you might have cancer."
After hearing the word "cancer" I asked, "Will I die if I have cancer?" She replied, "No. Some of my patients are almost done with their treatment, and there are others just about to start".
We went home and packed my things, called my employer -GPI- and without hesitation they approved my loan. Around 12:30am, I was already in the emergency room. I was hospitalized on Sept 3 and had my CTT. On Sept 5 I had my THABSU and results came back that I had ovarian cancer, stage 4a, which had metastasized to my lungs. I was the last to know that it was really cancer.
Chemotherapy started October 14, 2015. I wholeheartedly welcomed carboplatin and paclitaxol to run in my veins for 6 cycles. Since I was first diagnosed with stage 4a ovarian cancer, and the first treatment caused too much pain, I decided to seek a second opinion and had my slides reviewed. It was discovered then that I might have had 2 cancers -ovarian and endometrial- but further results confirmed it was my ovary that metastasized to my endometrium. The best news is that it is negative for malignant cells based on the fluids that were tested.