OMF - Joan Janssen, 53, ovarian cancer, Sun Prairie, WI, with Stephanie Morrissey, RN, Dana-Farber 8-15-17

Joan Janssen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2010 in Wisconsin. Her cancer responded well to initial therapies. Unfortunately, Joan's cancer returned on three separate occasions. In 2014, after
her third recurrence, her local doctors informed her that she had exhausted all currently available treatment options and encouraged Joan to pursue a clinical trial. Joan and her husband found a clinical trial at Dana-Farber and four months later she enrolled. She started traveling weekly from Wisconsin to Boston for treatment. The clinical trial she started on went very well. Joan felt great. Joan is now on a new clinical trial, a combination of two drugs that target vulnerabilities in her tumor. She is doing very well. Her treatment team, including her nurse Stephanie Morrissey, have become like
family. "It's good to have friends on your medical team," says Joan. To make the weekly trips, from Madison to Boston a little more fun, Joan takes a different girlfriend with her each time. This gives Joan a travel companion and gives her friends a chance to see a great city. Joan has also been fortunate to stay with a host family in the Boston area through a program that Dana-Farber participates in. Joan is retired from her job as a law office administrator. She enjoys sewing, sitting by the lake and visiting her young grandchildren who live in Houston, Texas.

Stephanie has been a nurse at Dana-Farber for more than 27 years. She treats women with gynecological cancers, the most common of which is ovarian cancer. As a research nurse, Stephanie helps to coordinate and evaluate clinical trials for women with gynecologic cancers. The results from the clinical trials that Stephanie has helped to coordinate have led to new approvals of drugs and therapies by the FDA for women with ovarian and other gynecologic cancers.


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

I let us introduce you to Joan Janssen Joan is from sun prairie Wisconsin. Op with hand with cancer. Yeah I'm an and heard her Stephanie Morsi. Clinical research at the US even I think she's been the Susan Smith. Center for women's cancers high so great to meet both of it's terrific. So Joseph give us your story what happened here. Well 2000 tan I was just I was have a normal life Wednesday that. Swelling started in my abdomen which common symptom. What was later diagnosed with but I went the doctor went to. Follow up appointments took a couple of weeks. It and eventually was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. And they immediately did. Awful. Our removal of all my. Ovaries fallopian tubes. Ever everything including. My spleen my immense tiny. Appendix. And then they diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage EC. And my guess I think it if few months to a couple of months recover. And then they started chemotherapy. And I went up in Addis and I was treated with over 75. Treatments chemotherapy injections amount. Pollution over 750. Yeah it was period of about top four years and you had no sweeter now. I had a spleen so you're immune system must be a little psyche I am apparently stronger than I look I really came through it pretty well. Yen. At the end of three to remission or re occurrences. The doctors in Athens. Today hit it demeanor if they told me that. There was a whole lot different in medicine with the types treatments that they yet there. And at that point my husband and I are bent too often talked to doctor this year and we asked so I told. I felt confident. That I would be able to get to trial hair so it was about three months after my treatments at Madison ended. They have a wake up call for Dana Farber and they said that there was no trial here's. So explain that the clinical trial because as it is it to is it. Obviously the trolley and wanted to do the patients and write what they how to they'd explain its use the benefits that you could be from. I was really really lucky that we have brand within your drug development he gave me the term. Early on my kidneys that targeted therapies that's Rick that target there side. Google to targeted therapies for ovarian cancer and myself keen to. About expletive is not ten or twelve locations across the country that I sent emails to it. Dana Farber was the one that handled things and it targeted therapy basically goes into your body and seeks out just. Just achievers and destroys them rather than. And I chemotherapy setting it destroys everything that's asked early it can locate your fingernails your hair so that's why there's Alley you're white sells everything is just. Q so you're really left weakened risen targeted there. So how often that you coming out her treatment so for weaker hand picking out every 28 days for a year and then now. To understand you sort of treat this does hate come with me and check out the should you bring friends each and every kind of program for. Our team yeah came out the first treatment of this. Of the second round there these but he doesn't come every time he's not he's not big trap he's very Paul seats are hard for him to it and do. Com. He's just exhausted by locket around the city cost cameras nightly invigorated you wanted to define it in here to the Dana Farber program they also have the unity is when you come out of Boston stay with a host me in the meantime all the great things that the department does. Those of like the little things maybe just don't think about he's okay medical there'll time we're only gonna stay. He set this up as well. No I found it acting are they have a little Berkshire that it found aunt so anybody here you have to decide to call right yet. I'm super Atlantic yet he has I was hooked up with the family. Surgeon at Brigham. Women's hand surgeon Chris Sampson and his like me get them through it was within I was talking about three minutes of meeting each other meet it I discovered that leaderboard. The same day. While. Wow that's meant to be there are concerns that I have many friends and me ask you tell how how was she doing. She's fabulous she status John has been on two clinical trials and we're we're talking about like the sacrifice to travel across the country and how how she's just embrace this and we have a resource specialist that you sought out. Options to make this work the first trial she was here monthly. This trial that you're on now is a little more tedious and she's actually. Had to relocate for a period of time she's used the resource specialist in the host's famous as well as hoped lives. But she's she's living witness and she's embraced it and she's. Perfect patient she has not missed a B I can tell you. So it's good the whole span when he mentioned hopeful large. That was a lot until yeah hope lacks is located in Jamaica Plain and it's got forty resident it's. Was built by AstraZeneca aunt is on American cancer counselors forty patients overturn now they're back and forth here at the clinics. Not all department asked the other. Sweeten the unit Newt grinch and in Houston COLT. Four years old two meters an anchor chair on on the last night. For us they know reminders who's been going through a tough she is now. If they permit a well here later in life. Figures from Wisconsin so we gotta like you know you spending a lot of time in Boston now. I am sure in order to pack where does your leaders and lives on your Rogers. Yeah. Yeah pretty good answer but it's a city of Israel yard. Well it's a great story and you found hope that you found hope here with Dana Farber. When it did not look good so we wish you the best going forward you look terrific and thank people mr. Sherrod story we appreciate it thank you.