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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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Submitted on 04/12/2004
My mom, Norma Directo, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3 in 1999. When I learned of her diagnosis, I reacted quite badly. It was like the doctors had given her a death sentence. As soon as she had the surgery to remove the tumor, she was determined to get out of the hospital. She forced herself to walk the next day after surgery. She was only in the hospital for a few days before she was discharged. On the day she was discharged, she went back to her store to work. She didn't stop sine. She worked everyday.

She went through her first bout of chemotherapy. She did everything she could do to fight. She called it, "The fight for my life". She drank Noni juice, ate potato leaves, and all other things that she heard would fight the cancer. She went into remission. I decided to move to the mainland, Ohio, to make a better life for myself. She didn't want me to telling me, "What if something happens? You don't know with this kind sickness." Despite this, I moved anyway. My mom was proud that I did. But soon afterwards, her CA-125 crept upward. Therefore, she went through many bouts of chemotherapy for quite sometime.

She had complained about a lump on her shoulder for 2 years. After the 2 years, her doctor decided to finally refer her to a specialist at Queen's Hospital (Hawaii). She had bouts of radiation as well as chemotherapy. As time went by, her health continued to go in a downward slope. In Oct. 2003, her legs started to swell. Little did I know because she did not tell me until Feb 2004. She worked on Feb 20, 2004. On Feb 22, she went for radiation. She was then taken to the ER because she was unable to walk. The swelling had worsened. I took the next flight back home to Hawaii and arrived on Feb 23, 2004.

She was at Kaiser Moanalua. I stayed by her side day and night. Everyday that I was there the prognosis became worse. From the first day, the doctor informed me that she had less than 6 months. The second day, the doctor told me that it was less than 3 months. From then on, the prognosis tur When I was five years old, I remeber crying hysterically for no particular reason. My mom asked me, "What's the matter?" At the tender age of 5, I imagined losing my mom. Therefore, I asked her, "Promise me you'll never die." She wrapped her arms around me and that offered me comfort. A few days before she died, she promised me that she'd always be with me. Through those words, I find that same comfort.

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