Living with Ovarian Cancer

Explore the stories of real ovarian cancer patients and caregivers.

Special Storytelling Events with the Moth

The Moth promotes the art and craft of storytelling to honor and celebrate the diversity and commonality of the human experience. TESARO is proud to be working with The Moth to host special storytelling events highlighting experiences of those who live with, treat and care for patients with ovarian cancer. Physician, patient and advocacy storytellers are sharing their unique perspectives on ovarian cancer to create a narrative and encourage meaningful dialogue about the ovarian cancer experience. We hope that this will inspire others affected by ovarian cancer to share their stories.

The Our Way Forward stories feature real patients’ experiences with ovarian cancer at the time they were told. Given the nature of ovarian cancer, these stories are likely to change over time. TESARO dedicates the Our Way Forward program to all of the women who have courageously faced ovarian cancer.

Watch our storytelling videos:

Perspectives from the Community

For many women living with ovarian cancer, there is a lot of uncertainty about what to expect after diagnosis, which can cause fear and anxiety. But we are working as a community towards fulfilling the unmet needs of women with ovarian cancer, including earlier diagnosis, reducing recurrence rates and extending the time between recurrence. If you’re living with ovarian cancer or caring for someone that is, know that you are not alone.

The Our Way Forward stories feature real patients’ experiences with ovarian cancer at the time they were told. Given the nature of ovarian cancer, these stories are likely to change over time. TESARO dedicates the Our Way Forward program to all of the women who have courageously faced ovarian cancer.

My Choiceless Choice: a Perspective on Infertility

By Nora McMahon

“After reviewing the images from your CT scan, I’m confident that what I’m looking at is ovarian cancer. We’ll get you scheduled for surgery ASAP. If it’s cancer, I recommend a total hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy.

Being Your Own Best Advocate

By Shannon Miller

The day I found out I had ovarian cancer was the day I had almost cancelled my doctor’s appointment. It was a typical OBGYN exam and everything at home and at work was unbelievably busy.

Taking One Day at a Time: Advice from a Cancer Survivor

By Shannon Miller

The day my last treatment ended, I somehow imagined that I would no longer suffer from the nausea, neuropathy or fatigue. I learned very quickly that was not the case.

Survivor’s Guilt

By Debbie

Survivor’s Guilt is a tough topic. It’s hard for me to describe and explain as not all survivors experience this. For me, this started as an uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach as I started meeting other survivors who were diagnosed at Stage 3 or 4 and those who were in recurrence.

Caregiver Support

By Lynne

When I was diagnosed with cancer, it was on a Friday and my husband, Paul, and I were traveling to my daughter’s house to celebrate my granddaughter’s second birthday. I’ll never forget that moment when the cell phone rang. I knew it was my doctor calling with the results of the test I had taken the day before.

The Road to Diagnosis

By Kimberly

The road to my diagnosis had a lot of twists and turns, starts and stops. There were dead ends and misleading road signs. There were times when I just wanted to give up, turn my car around, and go home. Fortunately, I didn’t.

Explaining Cancer Diagnosis to Your Children

By Jackie

I wish I had known how to talk to my son about my diagnosis. Perhaps that’s something you never know how to do. How do you tell your child(ren) about your ovarian cancer diagnosis? How do I explain to my son, my son who shouldn’t have to carry this burden, that his mother is dying?

Being Diagnosed at a Young Age

By Nancy

My initial reaction upon hearing the words “You have cancer” was fear. Terrifying fear. The kind of fear that can paralyze.

Steps to Take After Diagnosis

By Jackie

The first time I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I was in denial. I went through the motions: surgery, chemo, and follow-ups. After going into remission, I moved on and chose to put cancer out of my mind. Not the best course of action, I know.

Get the Test You Deserve

By Lynne

They say hindsight is 20/20. When I look back over my journey through ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment, things that didn’t make sense at the time were indicators of what was to come. Of course, I couldn’t have known then what I know now.

Complications with Chemo and How to Overcome Them

By Debbie and Monty

After my surgeries, I was blessed that no more cancer was found. Unfortunately, two days later, my hot flashes started and hello menopause!

Partnering with Your Doctor to Get Answers You Need

By Seana

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I felt like I needed to ask questions, but I had no idea what questions I should actually ask my doctor. I mean, you don’t know what you don’t know, right? Not knowing anyone around me with ovarian cancer, I did exactly what my doctor told me NOT to do: I went on the internet.

Trust Your Instincts

By Nancy

After a total hysterectomy to remove the cancerous mass from my ovary, I followed my gynecologic oncologist’s instructions faithfully. I saw him every six months for an exam and blood tests. Everything was going well, and after five years, I begged him to do a CT scan, as a little anniversary present to myself.

Carepartners Support Network

By Monty

Being a carepartner is difficult—mentally and emotionally. It’s especially true when being a carepartner of someone living with ovarian cancer. There is a lot of support online and locally for the women affected by ovarian cancer. However, there’s usually not a lot for the men who are taking care of them.

Importance of Getting Regular Check-Ups

By Jackie

Getting your regular check-ups is so unconventional. Would you agree with that statement? We all know we’re supposed to get a physical every year. We know we should see the dentist every six months. But how many of us actually do that?

Healthy Lifestyle Changes

By Lynne

As I went into remission, I was changed both mentally and physically. On March 4, 2014, I entered into what survivors call the “new normal.” For me, this meant thinking about my future and how to be proactive with my healthcare.

My Tribe

By Kimberly

It was hard at first telling other people I had cancer. Saying it out loud made it real. I hated seeing the pain in my family’s eyes when they looked at me. I didn’t want to become “Cancer Kim.”

Having a Family History of Cancer

By Seana

I am true GRITS—Girl Raised In The South. I was surrounded by GRITS my whole life. My roots run deep in the great state of Texas. But my roots also run deep in cancer. My earliest memory as a toddler was my paternal grandmother battling breast cancer. She won that battle, and then the cancer came back.

Telling Kids About Cancer

By Nancy

Telling my children, who were 17, 14, and 8, that their mother had cancer was one of the most difficult things I have had to do as a parent. It was so difficult for me that I did not tell them right away—a decision I still regret to this day. Honesty really is the best policy. But I had to give myself time to come to grips with my diagnosis and my new reality that now included cancer.