I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in November 2017. I had a complete hysterectomy followed by the standard six rounds of chemotherapy, after which I had no evidence of disease until February 2021 when I had a recurrence.
I had to undergo six more rounds of chemo, and I also participated in a trial, but my tumors kept growing. From genomic testing, I found I had a pik3ca mutation, which has been treated with an oral chemotherapy drug for over a year now.
Shortly after starting the drug, I flew to Florida to visit family for a week. We had done a lot of walking and sightseeing, so I thought I just had a sore muscle in my calf, but it persisted. Since the other calf did not have any pain, I thought that something was not right. Plus, I knew cancer increased my risk of developing blood clots. A trip to the ER and an ultrasound proved I indeed had a blood clot in my leg, or deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
The hospital staff also did a scan of my lungs and found a few clots, or pulmonary emboli. The doctor did not think my clot was directly related to flying; he felt my cancer was my main risk factor. I was immediately put on a high dose of anticoagulants and the pain subsided in a little over a week. The anticoagulant dose was reduced, and I will most likely stay on it for the rest of my life.
Since my blood clot diagnosis, I had another blood clot scare in my other leg and scheduled an ultrasound right away. Luckily there was no clot, but I am grateful I am aware of the signs and symptoms and know my risk.
This series of patient stories focusing on blood clots and cancer was made possible by an educational grant provided by the Bristol-Myers Squibb-Pfizer Alliance.