Type of cancer: Ovarian
Date diagnosed: May 2004
Where she’s at in treatment: Undergoing chemotherapy
Treatment center: OU Physicians
Laura Cross hoped after her first surgery and treatments that her ovarian cancer was gone for good. She knew that for 25 to 30 percent of women with cases like hers the cancer goes away and never comes back.
Her first remission lasted 15 months.
“When it did come back,I knew that it was with me for an ongoing fight for the rest of my life,” said the nurse and attorney from Oklahoma City.
She fights the cancer by making goals for herself both little and big.
“Some days, it’s just getting up and getting around, especially right after I’ve had chemo. I say I feel like a slug,” she said.
Her original big goal is to live to see Kolby’s 18th birthday. Kolby is her oldest granddaughter.
“She’s 11 now so I have seven more years as a goal,” Cross said.
Last year, after another surgery, Cross didn’t think she was going to make it. She said she had an out-of-body experience.
“I was ready to go. I was up above my body looking at everybody doing everything and what was going on and thought that this was the end. And suddenly I was back in my body,” she said.
She urges everyone — “whether we have cancer or not” — to prepare advanced directives, end-of-life care documents and wills. Advanced directives are written instructions to physicians when a patient is in a coma or otherwise unable to make medical decisions.
Cross is an organizer of the Walk of Hope, an annual event to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of gynecologic cancer. The next walk is planned for September. “I think that the cancer journey has helped me to be a more spiritual person,” she said.