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Abbreviations & Acronyms
dx diagnose, diagnosis
FSH follicle-stimulating hormone
IBS irritable bowel syndrome
IVP intravenous pyelogram — study to look at the kidneys and ureters
NED no evidence of disease
s/s signs & symptoms
SLS second-look surgery
TAH / BSO total abdominal hysterectomy / bilateral salpingectomy and oophorectomy — removal of, respectively: uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries
tx treat, treatment
US ultrasound
WAR whole abdominal radiation
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Melissa Barwick

Submitted on 08/27/2003
Photo of Melissa Barwick I want to let women know that PAP SMEARS DO NOT detect ovarian cancer. I did a study of my own and found that there are a great deal of women who feel at ease after having a pap. This is a false sense of security.


I was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer stage III-c, grade1-3 on July 2, 1998, age 27. I had cancer in my ovaries, fallopian tubes, parametrium, cul-de-sac, cervix, uterus, 50 lymph nodes (pelvic and aortic), sigmoid colon, bladder peritoneal, right pelvic gutter, peritoneum, small bowel and part of my stomach. I had a total hysterectomy, bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and complete tumor debulking that lasted 8 hours. July 13, 1998 I had my second surgery to insert a portocath this one didn't take long & I was awake for it. July 14, 1998 I had my very first chemotherapy. My first 6 chemo treatments were Taxol& Cisplatin. My next 13 treatments I got Doxil, Taxol& Carboplatin. After those 13, I had 24 treatments of Taxol. When I finished with those 24 I had another 24 treatments of Taxol. I've had 67 treatments total with 61 of those in a row. My cancer count, otherwise known as a CA-125, started at 379 July 1998 and is now at 30.

Recently I was told I have a brain tumor called frontal lobe. Three months after I was diagnosed in 1998, my mother age 50, was diagnosed with cancer of unknown primary, otherwise known as ACUP. Mother and I got chemo together at the hospital on the same days. I had the nurses put a cot in her room so we could be together while we got chemo and slept. We could really relate with what the other was going through on a daily basis, mentally and physically. During all of this I had my third surgery, second look surgery, April 20 1999, and it lasted 6 hours. My mother passed away 8 months after her diagnosis on June 16, 1999. I miss my cancer/chemo buddy, nurse, teacher, mother and best friend, more than I could have imagined. My mother told me to fight with everything I have in me and that is just what I'm doing. Sincerely from the heart, Melissa Barwick

For more information about my cancer visit my web site at http://www.kittenz.net

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