Teresa Karnes Named Williams County Adult Survivor Of The Year

Teresa’s cancer journey began in October 2015 with abdominal health issues. Her doctor thought it was her gallbladder, but tests came back negative.

Time went by and Teresa thought it would just go away. Going to the gym regularly and leading a healthy lifestyle Teresa thought maybe she was working herself too hard, so she kept up her weekly exercise routine and took over the counter medicine. The holidays came and went and she was soon back to her regular routine. Teresa started to notice other things going on. After eating she felt very full and uncomfortable around her rib cage area and sitting back in the recliner or laying down was the only way to ease the pain. At this time she told her husband that something wasn’t right. Teresa turned to the internet for answers but there were so many things that applied to her symptoms she quickly became overwhelmed and stopped looking.

Weeks went by and her stomach had started to fill out, she gained weight, lost energy and just did not feel like herself. In March 2016 Teresa saw that her belly button had herniated, so she called for another doctor’s appointment; not being able to see her doctor she saw his nurse practitioner who noticed the weight gain but did not seem concerned about her belly button because, the nurse practitioner knew Teresa had bigger problems. Her body was deteriorating and around this time she had stopped going to the gym; her only goal was to go to work each day.

A CT scan was scheduled for two weeks out but things got worse rapidly. The scan was moved up immediately for the next day. The results would be the longest 48 hours of Teresa’s life.

The day before Good Friday 2016 her doctor called to confirm her results, not something he normally did, but he wanted her to know that she had cancer and that she was very sick and needed help right away. Since it was the Easter holiday weekend Teresa’s doctor sent her immediately to the hospital emergency room.

Teresa was in the ER several hours having tests ran which ultimately showed she had ovarian cancer. She was admitted to the Oncology floor and scheduled for a total abdominal hysterectomy surgery on Saturday, March 26, 2016. She was grateful for the professionals that took time from family and friends on that Easter weekend to do her surgery. She was hospitalized six days and returned home with a great support system waiting for her.

After 8 weeks her body healed from surgery, she began 18 weeks of chemotherapy treatments. After two treatments her blood counts were very low, and kept her from treatments week after week. Teresa was a candidate to receive Neulasta shots which helped her blood counts go up so she could continue treatments. The down side to the shot was it made her very sick, muscles and body ached badly, and restless nights, but she kept going. There was light at the end of her tunnel, God was in control and He would see her through this sickness. Teresa gives Him all the honor and glory for healing her and making her cancer free today.


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