Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

How to Deal with It

Recurrent ovarian cancer is defined as ovarian cancer that has returned after having been successfully treated at some time in the past. This relapse may take place anywhere from a few months to several years after you thought the cancer was gone for good.

Unfortunately, a recurrence of ovarian cancer has a much lower survival rate, which means you may have several important issues to deal with along with any attempts at treatment.

For many, the first hurdle to effectively dealing with a recurrence in ovarian cancer is to move past the initial disbelief. During this time, you are highly likely to experience a wide range of emotions. There will be a great deal of anger, sorrow, fear, and possibly even a sense of being numb from time to time. You may feel the urge to withdraw from life in general during this time.

While you should allow yourself to move through all the emotions that bubble to the top, don’t draw into yourself and shut out those that love you. As you and your doctor do everything that is possible to deal with the recurrent ovarian cancer, you will need the support of those that care about you the most. At the same time, they need you to be a part of their lives, especially if the reality is that your time is growing short.

As you seek to come to terms with the recurrent ovarian cancer, there is a good chance that participating in some sort of counseling or therapy will make a big difference to the quality of your life. Whether you opt for one-on-one sessions with a therapist or participate in a support group led by a counselor, knowing you are not the only one facing this battle will help to give you strength to face whatever you must deal with. Along with your loved ones, counseling and therapy can make a huge difference in how well you cope.

If your doctor can offer little hope for recovery, there will also be the need to put your life in order. As part of dealing with the reality of recurrent ovarian cancer, use what time you have left to tell those you love all the things that you put off for some reason.

If there are situations with friends, coworkers, or family that weigh on your conscience, find a way to resolve them. For people who have a particular religious preference, make use of the beliefs and practices of that faith to give you a measure of comfort.

Don’t forget to prepare documents that will allow your wishes to be carried out after you are gone. Along with a will, leave detailed information about personal belongings that you want specific people to have.

Many women find it helpful to write letters to loved ones, giving them a tangible remembrance of your love and caring. While the process may seem foolishly sentimental to some, remember that the more you prepare for death in advance, the easier it will be for your loved ones to cope with losing you.

Don’t hesitate to make use of every tool modern medicine can offer to help you manage the pain and enjoy as high a quality of life as possible. Above all, continue to seek treatments recommended by your doctor. While the chances of recovering from recurrent ovarian cancer are very slim, you will at least have the knowledge that you did everything you could to overcome the cancer and keep living.