Ovarian cancer survivor: How I’ve managed stage IV cancer for 10 years

After my first ovarian cancer recurrence in January 2009, I figured longevity was probably not in the cards for me. Because once stage III cancer returns, you’re automatically at stage IV. So, I was expecting to live maybe two or three more years. Yet here I am, more than 10 years later. And that’s almost entirely due to MD Anderson. As it turns out, you can sometimes live quite a while with stage IV ovarian cancer. I treat it just like any other chronic disease, such as diabetes or hypertension. Whenever some new issue crops up, my doctors and I deal with it. Otherwise, I just live my life. My ovarian cancer diagnosis I found out I had ovarian cancer when I was 63, during a routine physical. I didn’t realize I’d been showing any symptoms. But I was seeing a new primary care physician for the first time, and his initial exam was more thorough than my previous doctor’s. My new doctor thought my stomach looked a little swollen and felt all around my abdomen. He asked if I’d had alternating diarrhea and constipation for several weeks. I had, but really hadn’t given it much thought. The doctor ordered a CT scan. By the time I got home, my phone was already ringing. He said that the scan results were worrisome, and he wanted me to undergo more tests. When those results came back, I learned that I had stage III ovarian cancer. My initial ovarian cancer treatment Up until that moment, I thought I was in the best shape of my life. I’d been exercising daily and...