For us it all began on December 5, 2012, with a phone call from Lucy telling us that on December 20th she was having surgery to remove a tumor, the size of an orange. She told us not to worry, and that everything would be okay. She told us she was too busy to speak with us in person, because she needed to leave everything right at work and with her husband at home before surgery. We worried a little, it never crossed our minds that she would end up having a cancerous tumor. Looking back we should of asked her and her husband if she had a test and a second opinion to make sure it was not cancerous. 

On December 20, 2012 Lucy went into surgery. As far as we were concerned it was only supposed to be a routine surgery to remove, what we were told, was a benign tumor. However, after the surgery, the doctor went into the waiting room and told us that she was surprised by the size of the tumor and gave us the shocking news that it was cancerous. This meant that Lucy would require further treatment at the cancer center in Los Angeles.

They told Lucy that she needed another surgery, since the first surgery was not done by a qualified cancer doctor.  Before Lucy could begin 6 cycles of chemo, she would have to heal from the first two surgeries. While she was recovering, the cancer was spreading. She finally started chemo on February 20, 2013. Four months later in June she completed her 6 rounds of chemo. By mid-July, the doctor gave Lucy the good news that she no longer had any restrictions. According to the CA-125 blood test they could not detect any more cancer.

Her joy was short-lived though, by the end of July Lucy starting having stomach pains and went back to the doctor for a check up. Sadly, they told her the cancer had come back and that she needed more treatment. By this time, the cancer had spread to other organs. Radiation was not an option, the cancer had spread too much. The doctor recommended more cycles of chemo and to explore alternative trial treatments. 


Advice


The purpose of this website is to bring awareness to young women about ovarian cancer.  No matter what age you are, it is important to schedule regular check ups with your gynecologist, especially if you have problems with cysts. If you need any kind of surgery always ask the surgeon what plan they have in place if the tumor turns out to be cancerous. Have at least one cancer doctor available during the surgery. Get involved. Become familiar with what you can do NOW to prevent cancer. Do not wait until someone in your family gets cancer to become aware! 

As Lucy's family we feel that if had been better informed before her first surgery she would still be with us right now. Cancer never showed up in her blood tests, nor was it detected in the ultrasound before the surgery. 

Read the New York Times article about various cancer treatment. (Click Here) If you have ovarian cancer ask your doctor about "tumor profiling", this allows the medical staff to determine what kind of cancer you have and how rare it is.  We recommend the Clearity Foundation since they offer this service for free. (Click Here to visit their website)

Ask for other tests to determine if it is cancer. We found out the hard way that the CA 125 blood test is not always 100% accurate. Ask your doctor to do regular follow up testing to see if your present chemo treatment is working. If it isn't, then you will can explore other treatment options sooner. 

We are available to anyone that would like more information. You can contact us for any questions (welovelucyarispe@gmail.com). We do not want the same thing that happened to Lucy to happen to you. Helping others is something Lucy loved to do, this website is one way that she can continue to help others. 

Parents perspective

In Time of test, family is best!!