By definition, the word “survivor” can mean one of two things. A person remaining alive after an event in which others have died. Or, a person who copes well with difficulties in their life.
Marjorie Gromme, from Mansfield, Ohio, would be the perfect dictionary example for both.
“A week after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, I was having surgery for a cyst on my left ovary. My fallopian tube became infected but I seemed to recover just fine.
Two years later, my husband and I were having trouble getting pregnant. After some exams, I was once again diagnosed with an ovarian cyst – this time on the right! After consulting a doctor in Cleveland, Ohio, I was told that it would dissipate if I were to get pregnant. However, I was never able to do so.
Due to my husband’s health issues, we moved to Tucson, Arizona, where we found out he had TB meningitis and that it had been fully contagious since we were married. Unfortunately, he died 10 months later.
After remarrying in 1952 and relocating to San Manuel, Arizona, I had a biopsy to determine my health status. The gynecologist told me that I was not ovulating which was the underlying cause for my inability to get pregnant. Not too long after, I went back to the doctor because I wasn’t feeling very well.
We were equally astonished when he told me I was pregnant.
We then moved to California where my miracle, Neena, was born in May, 1955.
For 50 years I enjoyed great health. Then in 2005, I passed out while eating and was rushed to Long Beach Memorial.”
A mass was soon discovered in Marjorie’s abdomen. Her doctors at Kaiser found that the ovarian cyst had become cancerous, but it was thought to be completely encapsulated. The surgery performed to remove it went well, but two years later, during a routine check up, cancer was found once again.
This time the tests revealed that Marjorie had Stage IV ovarian cancer. And as is typical with this diagnosis, she was given about one year to live. But instead of listening to her own doctor, she listened to the advice of Ronald Bitter, MD, Neena’s doctor, who referred her to Robert Nagourney, MD, and Rational Therapeutics.
“I was 88 years old and I was not going to take chemo! There was no way I was going to put myself through the sickness that accompanied that treatment, nor did I want to lose my hair.
However, after my daughter approached me about visiting Dr. Nagourney at Rational Therapeutics, I decided to go for it. I did it for her.
About a week after meeting Dr. Nagourney and giving him cancerous fluid from my lung, I got a call from Rational Therapeutics. They said they had the formula for me. So, I quickly made an appointment with my doctor at Kaiser and gave them the chemotherapy instructions.
My doctor at Kaiser, didn’t say much. He left the office then came back and said, “Ok!” Just like that. The pharmacist had never heard of the formula before but they knew it had been created especially for me by Dr. Nagourney.
I went through a few series of infusions. Never had to take a nausea pill, never missed a meal, and never lost my hair! The only thing the treatment did to my hair was straighten it.
I am now 91-years-old, have been cancer free for three years, and just had my driver’s license renewed for five years!”