I want to raise awareness about ovarian cancer, share a positive message and give hope. I want to encourage people to talk about cancer, and not to shy away from the topic. My way is to focus on the future by creating My Survival List, a list of things I want to do to fulfill my dreams. I hope my blog could serve as an inspiration to others, that it is possible to live a great life, also with a challenging cancer diagnosis.
Life's too short and tomorrow is no guarantee. Do what makes you happy, be with those that make you smile and love life!
My name is Lena and I am a cancer survivor! I am 51 years old, was born and raised in Sweden and have lived in Zürich, Switzerland with my husband and our two daughters during the past 7 years. I would describe myself as a positive and optimistic person, who has always been good at enjoying my life.
Current status After my surgeries and chemotherapy treatments, I reached what every cancer patient hopes for, complete remission (meaning scans show that all signs of cancer is gone, and no further treatment is currently needed). As ovarian cancer has a relatively high relapse risk, I need to have frequent scans and oncology follow-ups for the coming years. So far, the three scans I have had have shown no signs of a cancer relapse.
Halfway through chemo
History Just before Christmas 2017, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It came as a big chock as I had no symptoms, but a flu and a bad cough. Because of the cough, I contacted my doctor, who sent me for x-ray. At the x-ray, large quantities of fluid was found in one of my lungs. When the fluid, 1.7 liters, was removed, it was tested and cancer cells were found. A CT scan was done and a tumor, with the size of my fist, was found on one of my ovaries. I had a big surgery at the beginning of January, the tumor was removed and a HIPEC (Hyperthermic Intraoperative Thoracoabdominal Chemotherapy) was done. In addition my lung was fixed with pleurodesis and a HITOC (Hypertherme thorakale Chemotherapie) was done. Recovery was relatively tough and it took time before I had regained my strength. Seven weeks after the surgery, chemotherapy started with six cycles in total, one every third week. In July 2018, after finalized chemo, I had a clear scan with no signs of cancer, i.e. complete remission. Going through a demanding cancer treatment has been like a roller coaster ride both physically and mentally. Some days have been wonderful and others gloomy. Overall, I feel I have coped relatively well, thanks to my supporting family and friends, my general positive attitude and ability to be here and now.
Inspiration When looking for inspiration, I found Greig Trout's website. Greig is a two times cancer survivor and he found that having things to look forward to, and proactively working towards them, was imperative to him surviving cancer and the psychological effects that came with it. He created the list: 101 Things To Do When You Survive.
Greig's positive attitude inspired me and I decided to do something similar, hence My Survival List.