You got this Christie!

November 21,2016
I had a left ovarian cyst rupture.

6 months later on June 2, 2017
I went to the Emergency Room and had multiple tests and scans. What was found was a Follicular Cyst the size of a softball (12 cm) on my left ovary. I had emergency surgery that evening, and I was in the hospital for 3 days. While staying at the hospital I had multiple allergic reactions to medicines and food. 

6 months later on November 21, 2017
Exactly 1 year from the beginning of my journey, I had another Emergency Room visit. This time I had a CT Scan of my abdomen, which founded a completely black scan, due to what they called at that time was a mass. We did not know where it was connected to, or where it's growth started. The only thing that we could do was to setup surgery #3. 

December 5, 2017 was surgery #3 day.
When I awoke the surgeon informed me that the mass was considered a tumor now, and it began it's growth on half of my left ovary that was left behind. The tumor equaled 4 lbs (photo included). The basin that the tumor sits in is 2 feet in diameter. This surgery I was in the hospital for 4 days. I had another reaction to medicines which made me vomit constantly for 2 days straight, I could not keep any food or any liquid down. 

December 18, 2017 was the biggest day of my life.
Today was my follow up appointment for after surgery. We found out that the tumor is called Granulosa Cell Tumor of the left ovary. Today I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, and I have to start treatments immediately. The name of the treatment that I received first, is named Avastin. This is NOT chemotherapy. It is in the chemotherapy family, but it is suppose to reduce tumor growth, and prevent spreading and activating of cancer cells. This treatment is a 3 week IV infusion, over the course of 6 months. No abnormal side effects were to occur with this treatment. 

January 19, 2018 was my first treatment day with the Avastin. The process is supposed to take 4 hours, first I got a lab draw done to ensure my levels will allow me to accept the medicine. Second, was a 45 minute infusion drip of the medicine. 
I felt extremely lethargic for about 3 days after the treatment. 

February 9, 2018 was my best friend's birthday, and the ONLY treatment day that actually went according to the treatment plan.  I was in and out of treatment in 3 hours.

March 2, 2018 Treatment Day #3. Today proposed a bit of an issue. They went to take my labs through my port that is inside of my chest (which is where I received the infusion), and no blood came out. Therefore, I was unable to receive the treatment, which postponed my infusion for 1 month out.

March 31, 2018 Was Port replacement day. I had to wait 1 month for the procedure because I had to let the Avastin exit my system. That way I would heal correctly, and without any issues. 

April 13, 2018 Treatment #4. Everything went according to plan, and I was in and out with zero issues in 4 hours.

May 4, 2018 Treatment #5. I had a reaction to the infusion (Avastin). I stayed in the hospital for 8 hours. I received lots of allergy medicines as well as they stopped the infusion.  

May 21, 2018 Approaching the 6 month mark once again. The doctor ordered a CT scan of my abdomen, and an MRI of my head to see if the Avastin visually worked. 

June 14, 2018 CT Scan results showed new tumors and the spread of the cancer. What was found was 3 masses in my lymph nodes, 1 mass by my spleen, and 1 mass that is touching my liver. Time for surgery #4.

July 3, 2018 is Surgery #4 day. When I awoke from surgery, the surgeon informed me in addition to the masses that were found on the CT scan, an additional 2 tumors were found on my uterus, which resulted in a complete hysterectomy, removing the lymph node masses, extracting the tumor near my spleen, as well as scraping off what he could of the mass touching my liver. The surgeon could NOT scrape all of it, as that mass sits on the part of my liver where the major artery runs. The surgeon informed me that he put a tumor marker in this area in case of emergency radiation treatment. However, where this specific tumor marker is located is on the part of my liver that moves when I breathe. Which would potentially result in inconclusive radiation treatment.

July 16, 2018 Biospy Results Day. The results showed that the following masses are in fact cancerous. The 2 tumors on my uterus, the tumor next to my spleen, and the spot on my liver. 
Thankfully the 3 spots that were in my Lymph nodes were cancer free, as well as my MRI of my brain. Due to the unfortunate test results, I will now be starting actual chemotherapy. Intensive chemotherapy to be exact. I will be receiving 2 medications, Paclitaxel and Carboplatin.  This is a 3 week process, for at least 6 months.

August 6, 2018 First Day of Chemotherapy. I arrived early. I had my own room, just for the first treatment, to make me feel comfortable. The first hour was strictly educational. I learned what Paclitaxel and Carboplatin are, how they work, and the side effects. I then got my labs taken from my port (which actually worked with no problems) to check my levels, to make sure I could receive the treatments. I recieved Benadryl (allergy medicine) along with Zofran (nausea medicine), and then the Benadryl wiped me out. I slept through my entire first treatment, while waking up periodically asking for food. The Carboplatin is a 3 hour infusion. The Paclitaxel is a 45 minute infusion administered immediately after Carboplatin. I finished treatments, and went home that same day. I was at the hospital for 7 hours. When I got home, all I did was sleep for 3 days. I had incredible nausea, horrible body aches, and no desire to eat. 

August 15, 2018 Lab Draw Day #1. I went to the infusion center. They drew my blood, and told me that my white cell count had lowered down to 1.2 out of 12, which they said was normal. They told me to go home, and to call if I had a fever of 99.5 or higher that lasted 24 hours. By this time, it was 1 and a half weeks after treatment and I was feeling pretty good.

August 20, 2018 Doctor Appointment (checkup). We discussed my first treatment, and all is going as planned. 

August 27,2018 Treatment Day #2. All the preliminaries were taken care of (lab draw to make sure I can accept the infusion. This happens every time I'm noticing.) This time when I received the Benadryl, it did NOT make me sleepy. It did the opposite! I was awake for my entire treatment, and I was wired like I just had a double shot of espresso. I completed treatment, came home. I slept for 1 day this time, and I had worse nausea than my first treatment. I wasn't hungry for 4 days this time after. Once I was finally hungry, I ate everything! 

September 3, 2018 Lab Draw #2 Day. I went to the Infusion Center (exactly like before), got my blood drawn. This time my white cell count came back at an amazing level of 2.4! Yay I have an immune system of some sort.

September 4, 2018 Today is the day that my sister and I went and got matching sister tattoos! It says Hakuna Matata. If you don't know where our mantra came from, it comes from Disney's The Lion King.  It means, No worries. This was the only movie that my sister and I ever agreed on, and I feel that it is a great symbol and a reminder for me that everything happens for a reason, and to not stress over anything out of my control.  

September 17, 2018 Treatment Day #3.  The normal routine took place. Lab draw to see if I can receive the chemotherapy or not. My AMH (tumor count) is at 30.6. I was able to get treatment today, and all went according to plan. This time I slept for 2 days, and the nausea was way worse than it's ever been. This was the first time I vomited  a bunch and experienced incredible fatigue and lack of wanting to eat or do anything. I didn't even want to play a board game with my best friend. I just wanted to sleep for 2 weeks solid, and wake up and feel better! It is wishful thinking I guess. 

September 24, 2018. Lab Draw #3.  Platelets are at 2.4 which is good. White blood cell count is a 4.9 which means I have a little stronger immune system! 

October 3, 2018 CT Scan #2 Appointment Day. Results received on October 8, 2018. CT Scan came back good. Nothing new growing which is fantastic! The tumors that still remain by my liver and spleen, have NOT gotten any smaller. We are currently waiting for blood work results, to see if we continue the current treatment or if the doctor wants to switch to a more aggressive treatment. The goal is to shrink these remaining tumors, but we are trying to avoid the aggressive stuff.

October 8, 2018 Treatment Day #4 followed by an emergency doctor appointment.  Treatment went good. All according to plan. My lab work came back as follows: White Blood Cell count have elevated drastically to an 11.2! I'm finally able to go outside more! Platelets are at a 1.7.  AMH went down to a 10.8! We are doing our best to get my AMH down to 0. We are on the right path.....or so we thought.
Emergency Doctor Appointment. Got results of the CT Scan (as posted above). The doctor is recommending that we add another treatment on top of the current chemotherapy. We are adding Avastin back into the treatment plan. The new treatment plan is Avastin for 45 minutes, Carboplatin for 3 hours, and Paclitaxel for 45 minutes.

October 15, 2018 Lab Draw #4. White Blood Cell count dropped dramatically to a 3.5. Plateles are at 2.1, which is an improvement so that's good. 

October 29, 2018 Treatment Day #5. Today was a very long day for me. Did all the usual preliminaries. Labs came back as White Blood Cell count is at 15.8, which is extremely high and I got told to carefully monitor how I was feeling and my temperature (as usual), and to stay inside. Platelets are down to a 1.5. That's not so good. I was at the hospital for a total of 8 hours.

November 5, 2018 Lab Draw #5. AMH is at 7.7. White Blood Cell count is at 3.0. Platelets are at a 1.3.  Got told to stay inside and to not overdo anything. 

November 19, 2018 Treatment Day #6.  Got all my labs done and back. White Blood Cell count is at 14.9. Which is still very high. Platelets are at a 1.5, so they're improving slowly. Still great! Treatment went good. All according to the treatment plan. 

November 26, 2018 Lab Draw #6.  White Blood Cell count is at 2.9. I was told that I could NOT be around anyone and that it's critical that I stay inside. Platelets are at a 1.3. AMH is continuing to drop down to a 4.1!  

December 10, 2018 Treatment Day #7. Got all the usual labs taken. My results are White Blood Cell count is at a 10.4. Platelets are at a 1.3.  Treatment went good. I am starting to look how I feel, and that is sick sick sick.  I have been having terrible migraines from the Avastin, and they just keep getting worse every treatment.

December 17, 2018 Lab Draw #7. White Blood Cell count is at a 3.0. Platelets are way down to a .8! This is NOT good at all. I was told that if I didn't stay inside and away from people, that I would/could be in danger due to my platelets being this low.

December 18, 2018 CT Scan #3.  Results on December 19, 2018.
December 19, 2018. Got some EXCELLENT news from the doctor today. My AMH has gone down to a 2.5, and the CT shows nothing new, all my tumors have shrunk over 50% of their size. The chemotherapy is working!

December 31, 2018 Treatment Day #8. Did the labs. White Blood Cell count is at a 13.2. Platelets are up to a .9. Found out that my AMH is still at a 2.4. I wasn't able to receive treatment because my platelets are too low. I have been super nauseous, sick, and suffering from awful migraines still. I was sent home with strict orders of staying quarantined to my house. 

January 2, 2019 Doctor Appointment. An MRI got ordered due to my migraines, and I started feeling fainter than normal, and I fell a few times.

January 14, 2019 MRI Day. An MRI was scheduled due to my severe migraines from treatment. No lab work was done today.

January 21, 2019 Doctor Appointment. Today we discussed the results of my MRI. My brain is good, and everything is clear. Nothing wrong at all. The migraines were caused from having a reaction to the Avastin. I got some amazing news. I no longer have to continue chemotherapy. We discussed a new treatment called Lupron. This is a hormone treatment through injection. Lupron is used to block the hormones that my tumors are feeding off of.

February 4, 2019 Injection Day #1. Lab work was taken. All is good with that. I received my Lupron injection and had no reaction to anything during the shot. 

February 12, 2019 AMH Results from the 4th. AMH went up to a 6.9. This is definitely not good. Doctor wants to continue with Lupron and see if my it's my body way of rejecting the remaining chemotherapy that it's in my body, or that the drugs are not working.

March 4, 2019 Injection Day #2. Lab work is done as usual. I received my shot, and again had no side effects or reactions to it. All is well today.

March 12, 2019 AMH Results. AMH went up to a 11.9. This is NOT good at all. This had proven that the Lupron is NOT working. Now we are back to the drawing board.

March 13, 2019 Doctor Appointment. We decided to take a break from any and all treatments, to give my body a few weeks of rest. We ordered another CT Scan, and once we have those results, we will make another decision regarding treatments, and possible surgery.  I am feeling nervous, anxious, mad about my AMH, but I am so happy to not be doing treatments!
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Christie Hester 
Seattle, WA
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