Nancy Gwyn thought the pain in her right leg was sciatica in 2007. After a series of tests and scans, an ultrasound showed she had a large ovarian cyst. She was referred to Southwest Gynecologic Oncology Associates in November of 2007. Dr. Karen Finkelstein performed a hysterectomy and removed the cyst.
“That’s when Dr. Finkelstein told me I had stage 1C cancer of the ovary. I could not ask for kinder, more compassionate people than Dr. Finkelstein, the nurses, and the staff that I’ve met in that office. They were really supportive and as pleasant as could be. They personalize everything. They know your name,” Nancy remarked.
“My husband and I had planned a dream trip to Egypt in three months, so I spoke with Dr. Finkelstein about the trip as I began chemotherapy. She said, ‘This is your first treatment. Let’s see how you are doing as we go along.’ After six chemo sessions, I was thrilled when I passed the blood test. I was cancer free and we were able to visit Egypt. That was an exciting trip!”
After Nancy’s first battle with ovarian cancer, her leg got worse. Her hip needed to be replaced in Sept. of 2008. As part of her routine follow up, Nancy’s doctor found a pelvic mass in July 2012. “No one expected to ever see the cancer again,” Nancy said. “It was a real shock. I remember praying that if it was cancer to be treated by Dr. Finkelstein.”
A CT scan and biopsy revealed Nancy had clear cell ovarian cancer a second time. Fortunately it could be treated. Dr. Finkelstein performed an operation in September to remove the cyst. Luckily, it was encapsulated and stayed intact during surgery.
“Dr. Finkelstein reassured me that no other areas were exposed. And I finished another round of six chemos in January 2013. I actually found it helpful to be working full time through both of my ovarian cancer episodes,” Nancy recalls.
Nancy has fond memories of the nurses and Dr. Finkelstein during her chemotherapy treatments. “Everyone in the office is very compassionate. I could go in for my blood tests and get a hug every time. I had never gotten that before. The chemo treatments were longer, but they weren’t uncomfortable. The entire staff made it extremely as comfortable as they could,” said Nancy.
“During my second ovarian cancer, I asked a different friend to go with me to each chemotherapy treatment. We made it our ‘Girls’ Day Out,’” Nancy chuckled. “The staff was so kind to all of them. It was good for them too. If cancer doesn’t hit you, it will hit someone in your family. Going with me to chemo helped my friends understand what I was going through to fight and win against cancer for the second time.”
Eight months and six chemotherapy treatments later, Nancy’s scan showed she was cancer free once again. Where is Nancy going from here? She and her husband have already booked their next adventure trip to Spain, Morocco and Portugal this fall!