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In Memory of Hazel Christine Berkeley Ranson
Jan. 30, 1918 - April 5, 1999, at 81 years of age

This information regarding Hazel's battle with ovarian cancer was provided to me by her daughter, Judy Post. It will be updated as I receive more information from Judy. Like Faye, Hazel was a fighter. Hazel's story, as it unfolds, will show us that even with a full hysterectomy, one is NOT safe from this disease. As more and more medical personnel and their patients are finding out, even women who have undergone full hysterectomies are still susceptible to ovarian cancer. When Hazel was 21, she had an ovary removed. When she was 35, she had a complete hysterectomy. Her doctors told her that she would never have to worry about ovarian, uterine or cervical cancer. For years, Hazel thought she was safe, only to eventually learn that she had ovarian cancer, which eventually lead to her death. Had the family known it was still possible to get ovarian cancer after all that, they would have pursued the initial findings of the CAT Scan. It is Hazel's wish to alert as many women as possible to the dangers of this disease. Doctors now know that even though a woman may go through a full hysterectomy, that ovarian cancer cells can, and do, attach themselves in the linings or walls. Years later, they can rear up their ugly heads to attack you and possibly kill you. For years, it was thought that a full hysterectomy would keep a woman safe from getting this disease.

Her early life was shaped by the Depression. She was so tiny at birth that her bed was a dresser drawer and she was not expected to live. She had more than 35 major surgeries, many of them orthopedic, and displayed courage in the face of pain and disability. She would often say, "I hurt just as much if I stay home, as if I go out, so I might as well go out". She taught me that if you focus on someone else's problems, you can't focus on your own and she fought her pain by keeping her focus on other people. She also had a great sense of humor - last year when she received birthday wishes from the Clintons for her 80th birthday, she looked at the card and remarked, "If Kenneth Starr saw this, do you think he'd investigate me?" She took great pride in her appearance and would shop for hours for just the right piece to complete an outfit.

Around the beginning of August, 1998, Mother began experiencing severe abdominal pain along with nausea, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. She had suffered abdominal problems in the past and her doctor sent her to a gastroenterologist. Over the next few months she went through a series of uncomfortable, invasive tests which all came back negative. In October a CAT scan was performed. When the doctor called with the results, he told her there were two tumors on her ovaries. Mother informed him that her ovaries had been removed during a hysterectomy at age 35. He sent her to a gynecologist who performed an ultrasound and told her there was nothing there.

The abdominal problems continued for the next several months, along with other painful tests. In early January, 1999, her primary care physician decided to run another CAT scan. This one showed that the tumors had doubled in size and spread. On January 22nd the diagnosis of metastasized ovarian cancer was confirmed.

When Mother found out that her tumors had doubled in size, she called and got an appointment for a haircut and a perm. The day after she learned that she had cancer, she had her nails done and had a pedicure; the day before the surgery she insisted that we color her hair. She fought the pain and fear by doing positive things for herself.

On February 1st, two days after her 81st birthday, she underwent surgery for the removal of all the cancer that could be safely removed. Since she weighed only eighty pounds, she was too weak to undergo chemotherapy. For the next two months she fought to gain the strength to return home, but she never left the hospital. On the evening of April 5th, 1999, she went home to be with her Lord.

THESE ARE THE COMMENTS OF THE WEBMASTER, RAY CLARK. Ladies, please note that Hazel had her ovaries removed at age 35. Also, that a CAT scan indicated the presence of two tumors on what the doctor thought were her ovaries. She was sent to a GYN doctor who performed a ULTRASOUND, that found nothing there. Be carefull of taking for granted the results of tests such as these. IF you are not sure or pleased with the results, then please ask for another test. Sometimes CAT scans and ultrasounds don't always show correctly what is really there. It is YOUR life at stake. Mistakes in readings ARE made.

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Please send Email to Ray Clark at: fayclark@texas.net

Last updated on: 07/19/99

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