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Anybody else with a sudden ovarian cancer diagnosis who also has Multiple Sclerosis?

I am reeling. I went to Emergency last week for breathless symptoms I worried might be due to a heart issue because heart issues run in the family on the male side. After hours of tests, the Emergency Room doctor told me bluntly, with as much sympathy as he could, that the news was terrible: I had advanced ovarian cancer that had already metastasized to my lungs and that the tumour was so big that it had reduced my lung capacity. There is no cancer history in my family, and the only symptoms I had had, apart from this new breathlessness, were the manageable bladder and bowel ones of my Multiple Sclerosis, which I have been lucky enough to cope fairly well with for nearly 40 years. I am a retired professor and normally I enjoy doing research, but everything I have looked at on this advanced ovarian cancer does not offer a single glimmer of light.  It’s just been a week so I still have to wait another 10 days or more for test results to tell me exactly what “type” I have, but even the most general information looks really bad for somebody in my condition. Does anybody know of any glimmer of hope for anyone else who was diagnosed so late and with lung metastases already? I’m frozen in shock.  I am 72, and I've coped well with having Multiple Sclerosis for nearly 40 years, with having a pulmonary embolism out of the blue 3 years ago, and for the last 2 years I have been monitored by a neurosurgeon for a sudden diagnosis of severe cervical spinal stenosis that could be life-threatening if my neck bent the wrong way. My various doctors and physiotherapists, family and friends, etc.  have always praised me for how hard I work, within my obvious physical limitations, to stay as fit as I can and to enjoy life fully. The small circle I have told so far have responded with cheering cries of "you're a fighter," etc. But I am so overwhelmed by this latest and totally unexpected late-stage ovarian cancer diagnosis that seems to have no hope whatsoever given the stage and my MS-- that I just don't know if this time I should just accept that this is it, and just give up right now and not even bother trying to fight in any way.


  • Fearless_Moderator
    Fight my dear, fight. Life is too precious to just give up on it. I was diagnosed as advanced with a prognosis of three years yet here I am in my seventh year. 
    I am so sorry for your news. Like most of us you’ve been caught off guard. Typical for us. Our symptoms hide behind many that can easily be attributed to other conditions. OVC seems to always be the last thought. That’s why so many of us end up being diagnosed at advanced stages. 
    You’ve ended up in our community; over 1000 strong and reflect those of us living with the disease from across the country. You’re not alone in this today, nor will we let you be alone through your journey. 
    You must be feeling. Gosh I can remember that feeling when I got the news. Right now as you await more information on your diagnosis start learning as much as you can about the disease. There is an excellent booklet that OCC provide free: By Your Side. You can order it online or in hard copy. Just click on the link on our home page. And spend time reviewing the information available on the OCC website You’ll find so many stories of hope and success as many of ooue members may not be cured but learn to live successfully with the disease. And please think about joining us on Thursdays at 1pm ET.  You’ll have the chance to chat with others real-time. To participate just sign in and then click on the Discussion topic Teal Thursday. Hope to see you there. 
    Good luck with your journey. Remember we’re here to support you and you’ll be in our hearts and minds through out. 
  • Strongwoman
      I hear you on "the you are a fighter" that friends/family have said to you.  You are fighting and have been fighting for a long time by the sounds of it.  Sometimes people say things like that as they don't know what else to say or they have no idea what you are going through and what you actually need to hear. If you hear more of it and want to change the 'dynamic', try saying "I understand what you are saying but I am at my capacity currently.  How about you ask me what I need from you instead or what can I do for you right now."  It may open their eyes to what you are really going through and perhaps they will listen.  If not, I have had to be so blunt as to say "STOP!  I am fighting and I don't want to hear that anymore."  Some need a little shake up in order to be supportive for you.  You will find along this journey exactly who will be there to support and be there for you along your journey and who is not. Some you will be very surprised at.  Don't be afraid to ask for exactly what you need.  If you need help or don't feel like making dinner, call on that support and tell them what you need.  Ask for that ride to an appt or to sit with you and let you vent or come to an appt with you. This is about YOU and what your needs are and not anyone else's.  If you have been a giver all your life, you will struggle with the 'asking' part.  It will get easier along the way.  
      There is also one thing I didn't mention in my other post.  Ask what 'Quality of life' you will have with each of your options.  Think about the decisions you want to make and how you want to proceed going forward.  Don't make a hasty decision and discuss with whomever is in your inner circle.  In the end, it is your decision solely to make, it is you that will have to endure whatever you decide.
       Again, we are here whenever you need us. Just reach out and ask.