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Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Ninette Randall

Ovarian cancer - Stage IV

This testimonial includes a description of this patient’s actual medical results. Those results may not be typical or expected for the particular disease type described in this testimonial. You should not expect to experience these results.

View CTCA treatment results for ovarian cancer

Overview

My story

I was born and raised in Georgia, and that’s where I live today. I am a real estate agent, and I am very active. I have always lived a healthy lifestyle, which is why when I was diagnosed with cancer in 2016, I was completely surprised.  

Four years earlier, I had undergone uterine fibroid embolization, a minimally invasive treatment for fibroid tumors of the uterus. After the procedure, I stopped having a menstrual cycle, which I was told was a possible side effect of the treatment. But in September 2016, I experienced bleeding, which I thought was strange. I didn’t waste any time, and went in to see my gynecologist.  

The gynecologist completed blood work, a pap test and a uterine biopsy. Since I was 51 years old at the time, we discussed menopause as being an explanation as to what was going on. I went home feeling better, thinking that maybe menopause had caught up with me. 

The doctor called me when the results were ready and asked me to come into the office. When I arrived, my doctor told me I had ovarian cancer. I was shocked, speechless and numb. My doctor referred me to a surgeon, who recommended a complete hysterectomy, but I wanted a second opinion. I went to another hospital in Atlanta and met with another doctor. He ordered a CT scan. While I waited for the results, I saw a TV ad for Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) that changed my cancer journey.  

A third opinion 

When I received the cancer diagnosis, my first and only thought was that I wanted to find an expert. The commercial on television made it clear that CTCA® treated only cancer, and I liked that. I called CTCA and spoke with an Oncology Information Specialist. I was so confused and overwhelmed when I made that phone call. Talking with someone at CTCA helped me focus and breathe. I learned more about their team-based approach and the integrative care model. I heard about the treatment options available and the expert doctors and clinicians who treated ovarian cancer at CTCA. I liked that they treated the whole person, not just the cancer.  

Honestly, I thought it sounded too good to be true. But I also thought to myself, I don’t have a choice, I have to go. I asked how soon I could come. 

When I walked through the door of the hospital in Newnan, Georgia, it hit me that this place was special and different, in a good way. For the first time, I could feel the comfort of hope blossoming within me. The hospital was beautiful, and the people there were so friendly and compassionate. I met with my medical oncologist and my care team. Each and every person took time to talk to me and answer my questions.  I never felt rushed or like I was asking too many questions. I felt that they truly cared about me and were fully committed to my healing.  

During one of my prior evaluations, I had a CT scan. But I hadn’t gotten my scan results back by the time I went to CTCA. My care team at CTCA retrieved the results from the other hospital and shared them with me. That’s when I found out that the cancer had spread to other organs. I was devastated. But my CTCA team helped me understand that I had reason for hope. In fact, I spent over an hour with my medical oncologist while she drew diagrams and explained everything about the cancer. I learned so much that day, and at that point, I was thoroughly convinced that this was the best place for me to get treatment.  

Starting treatment  

I worked with my doctor to decide on a personalized cancer treatment plan. The doctor took time to explain my options to me. She was honest, caring and very detailed, which is exactly what I needed. I was going to have a significant scar from surgery, which originally frightened me, but after speaking with the doctor, I understood why and felt okay with it.  

The day of my surgery, I was a nervous but confident about choosing CTCA. I arrived at CTCA and began to prep for my surgery. The various nurses and doctors came in to greet me and made sure I knew their role during surgery. Then many of my friends and family showed up to support me. They all came into the room to pray with me before surgery. CTCA was so accommodating and encouraging to us. We never felt rushed. They allowed my support system to make me feel comfortable before I had to go in for surgery. It was clear that I also had a dedicated team of doctors and clinicians who were there to support me.  

After surgery, the recovery nurses were there to help me, and I could tell they truly cared about my treatment and recovery. I had undergone a hysterectomy, and I spent four days in the hospital. But I was glad to be under the care of a compassionate and attentive team. I felt very blessed. 

I started my first round of chemotherapy around Christmas 2016. I experienced some side effects, such as nausea, constipation and fatigue. But any issue I was concerned about was addressed. During my treatment, I worked closely with my naturopathic physician, who was amazing, and I visited with a member of the pastoral care team. I had acupuncture and chiropractic care to help with ease my pain.

Taking my life back after cancer 

In April 2017, scans showed that I had no evidence of disease. I go back every three months for follow-up appointments.  

I’m confident about my future. I know I am blessed because I found CTCA. I am always sharing my story about my experience and this journey. I can’t say enough great things about CTCA. 

I want to give back now, and I am volunteering with the Cancer Fighters® Care Net at CTCA. It is great to be able to pass on what I have learned and share my experience with other patients who contact CTCA. I also am active at my church, assisting with our cancer care ministry.  

I enjoy sharing my thoughts and advice with others. When you are coping with a cancer diagnosis, you cannot give up. Don’t focus on the negatives. There are so many people who are living and not only surviving but thriving during and after cancer. Your mindset and will to live are vital to conquering cancer.

When I was diagnosed with cancer, I had a cruise planned to Hawaii and had to cancel it. Exactly two years later, I rescheduled the cruise, for September 2018. I am taking my vacation back! I am taking my life back! Because of my faith in God and the caring CTCA family, I am able to continue doing the things that I love including traveling, socializing and arts and crafts. I cherish the time I have with my friends and family because I have learned how precious this life is.