In July 2005, I was diagnosed with stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. I was treated at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and took part in a phase 1 clinical trial using Selenium along with taxol and carboplatin. In 2006, I heard that my CT scans were NED( No Evidence of Disease).
Two and half years after completing treatments I learned that I had recurred. I had surgery( spleen removed and liver resectioned) followed by chemotherapy. I was told on May 8, 2009 that I was disease free.
I have attended the LiveSTRONG Survivors Summits in 2006 and 2008 and volunteered as a Foundation leader for central NJ. I also volunteer with the NJ National Ovarian Cancer Coalition, the Kaleidoscope of Hope Foundation, the Cancer Hope Network, the Teal Tea Foundation and the Cancer Support Community Central NJ.
I am a member of the workgroup for the Gynecologic Cancer chapter of the NJ Cancer Control Plan and the Mercer County Chronic Disease Coalition. In June 2011, I was was chosen to be a Focus on Research Scholar and attended the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Conference. I had the privilege of attending ASCO again in 2012 and 2015 as a patient advocate on a Conquer Cancer Foundation scholarship.
I have been a Society of Gynecologic Oncologists Patient blogger since November 2012.
In 2014 I attended the Stanford MedX Conference as a MedX e-patient scholar. While attending the conference I took part in the IDEO Design Challenge. Using design thinking and with a team of physicians and designers we developed a way help patients to understand what will happen when cancer treatment is completed.
Christina Lizaso and I co founded the #gyncsm (gynecologic cancer social media) community on Twitter in 2013. We co-moderator a monthly #gyncsm chat on the second Wednesday at 9pm EST. (More information can be found on Twitter :@gyncsm and on our blog: gyncsm.blogspot.com).
I am honored to be a the patient voice and co-author (along with Dr Don Dizon) of the book 100 Questions and Answers about Ovarian Cancer( published 9/15) .
Member: ASCO 2015