SHERRI ROMANOFF: A WIFE, A MOTHER, A GRANDMOTHER, A SISTER, AN AUNT, A FRIEND, A VOLUNTEER AND AN OVARIAN CANCER SURVIVOR
In 1989, at the age of 40, because of fibroid tumors, I had a partial hysterectomy leaving in my ovaries. In 1998, I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Since that time I have been very conscious and aware of changes in my body. I am conscientious of going to my annual check up and go immediately if any medical concern arises. I have a file box filled with folders of my medical records. How did I miss this?
In the beginning of 2009, it seemed like over night I had gained an extra 15 pounds. My stomach looked like I was pregnant. Of course my clothes were tight. My back was hurting. I was told it was all part of aging. My symptoms began to really flare. That July, I was experiencing indigestion and was put on medication but that did nothing to help the symptoms. In August we were out of town and I started having severe stomach pain. I was constipated and couldn’t stop burping. I was miserable. As soon as I got home I went to my internist. She ordered a CT of my abdomen and found a moderate amount of free fluid. Immediately she got me into a gynecologist who preformed a transvaginal ultrasound and took a CA125 blood test. My CA125 was 512 and normal is less than 35.
Doctor Mack Barnes, my gynecological oncologist, then entered my life. With my symptoms, a high CA125 & fluid in my abdomen he felt we needed to do exploratory surgery. September 24, 2009 my life was forever changed as I was diagnosed with Stage 111C epithelial ovarian cancer.
After recovering from the shock of having cancer I knew my job for the next 6 months was to do everything I could to help the healing process…………physically , emotionally, mentally and spiritually. Throughout my recovery, I had a positive attitude, looked for rainbows and felt surrounded by angels. Yet even with all of the love and support I had around me, there were really tough days. Doctor Barnes had called this process a war and I was fighting for my life.
The pathologist report showed cancer on both ovaries, bladder, pelvic wall, omentum and my diaphragm. Doctor Barnes advised 6 cycles of chemo therapy lasting 6 months. On January 28, 2010, I was pronounced Cancer Free after my final cat scan. I am one of the lucky ones!
I could not have reached this point without the help and support of so many. My husband David, family, friends, Doctor Barnes, nurses, wellness practitioners and many people I do not even know. I have worn many hats in my 64 years. My newest hat and one I am most passionate about is bringing awareness to ovarian cancer and helping raise money for research for an early detection screening test. I had all the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer but I didn’t know them? My hope is that YOU will!