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Surviving Granulosa Cell, A Rare Form Of Ovarian Cancer
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In 2007 after many tests to try and locate the reason for pelvic pain I had been experiencing, a cyst on my ovary was shown on an ultrasound so my doctor decided to send me to a gynocologist to see if the cyst should be removed and if this was the cause of the pain. So, after seeing the gynocologist and deciding that the cyst was not going to go away, I decided to have the ovary removed. I was over 40, and wasn't planning on having any children again, so it was ok by me.

Two days after the ovary was removed, the doctor called me at home while I was still recovering to tell me that the radiologist found something called Granulosa Cell Tumor, a rare form of ovarian cancer in the ovary that was removed, something he had never heard of until the day the radiologist told him about it. He gave me a choice of 3 hospitals to go to that was familiar with this type of cancer and said he would set up to quickly have them see me.

Of course after hearing this, I was devastated, horrified, wondering what is my husband going to do without me, all of the things people think when they have been diagnosed with cancer. After a day or two, I got on the internet and looked up to see what this Granulosa Cell really was. The first few things I read had me believing the time I had left on earth was in months at best, and definitely not years.

After visiting with the doctor at University of Iowa, a doctor who had experience with this rare cancer of the ovary, we decided the best option was for me to have a radical hysterectomy to remove as much as they could in case the cancer had spread to other parts of my body. So I had the hysterectomy in February of 2008, and after a month of waiting to hear what was next, I was so incredibly relieved when the doctor called to say that due to the fact they found no other signs of cancer on everything that was removed, I would not even have to do any additional treatment other than the cat scans and exams. No chemotherapy, no radiation, what a relief!

The doctor had prepared me with what I would probably have to endure after the surgery, which was chemotherapy for 12 weeks, on a week off a week. I think that was one the scariest part of the whole ordeal for me. Thank goodness I didn't have to go through that.

But the thing that bothered me the most was what I was reading on the internet about Granulosa Cell. At first, I had a hard time even finding information about it because of the fact that it was such a rare thing. 2% of all ovarian cancers to be more exact. But whatever article I came across about it, led me to believe that I was not going to be around very long, that the doctors really weren't even sure what to treat it with, and that people have a small chance of a 5 year survival rate when being diagnosed with Granulosa.

So, if this article does one thing for one person, and that is to show you that I am living proof that Granulosa Cell is not a death sentence. Even though it does have a tendency to show back up 20-40 years later, you can survive and lead a good life for many years after the initial diagnosis.

I just got done with my 3 year follow-up appointment and all is well. No signs of cancer. The one thing I learned if nothing else from this was to KNOW YOUR BODY! I felt something was wrong, and I kept telling doctors I thought something was wrong. And being persistant about it, led them to remove the ovary, and had they not done that, it probably would have gone unnoticed until the ovary burst, and then it would have been a very different story. Ironically, my story is one that is rather unique. The reason for my persistance actually had nothing to do with the cancer, it was something unrelated to the cancer, but upon continually complaining about something not right with my body, it was found.

To me, that was all that mattered. I survived Granulosa Cell Ovarian Cancer. I am a cancer survivor. And although I haven't made it to the 5 year mark, I feel I'm well on my way. A car accident started it all, and the car accident saved my life. If you are diagnosed with Granulosa Cell, don't believe it is your death sentence. You can survive it.


Street Talk

Thanks for your story! Cancer can be very managable these days. More and more survivor stories. Fundraising efforts have made a HUGE difference in the discoveries of more and more effective chemotherapy. Congratulations and keep up the good fight! -Kris

Reply
  about 8 years ago

You are absolutely right Kris! It is amazing how many stories of survival there are now compared to even just a few years ago! And that is great news! Thanks for the comment and congrats, survivors can never get enough support and understanding from great people like you! Best to you and yours as well! Marla

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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