Marcie Ray's Story

Four-time Cancer Survivor

Being Diagnosed

When Marcie Ray was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003, her world was turned upside down. She was referred to James Orr, M.D., a gynecologic oncologist who turned it back around.

"Thank goodness they referred me to Dr. Orr," Marcie expresses. "He is just awesome.

Dr. Orr felt Marcie would be an ideal candidate for a chemotherapy drug study, so Marcie received three different kinds of chemotherapy instead of the usual two, and for a longer period than most cancer patients receive chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can cause some rather severe side effects, and Marcie's were even further complicated because of the extra dose.

"It really tore me apart," Marcie recalls. "At times, I questioned the decision to put myself through even more challenges with the extra chemo, but Dr. Orr had faith that it was going to work."

And it did. Marcie's cancer went into remission for four years. Unfortunately, it came back in 2007.

"In the back of my mind, I always knew it could come back," Marcie says. "But when it did, I was dejected."

Another round of chemotherapy sent the cancer back into remission for a year. When it came back a third time, Dr. Orr recommended both chemotherapy and radiation. Marcie was in remission for nine months, and underwent more chemotherapy to combat the cancer.

A New Perspective

"Eventually, I got the, "oh well!" attitude," Marcie says. "Each time it came back, I was more determined to fight it. My treatment team was so encouraging. If I hadn't seen the hope in their eyes, I probably wouldn't have fought as hard as I did."

Since June 2010, 62-year-old Marcie has been in remission and is feeling better than ever. She drives from her home in Cape Coral to the Regional Cancer Center every six weeks to have her chemo port flushed.

Now, as she lounges with her husband and two dogs by her side, Marcie credits Dr. Orr, nurse Valerie Campbell and the warm Southwest Florida weather for her ability to keep going, even when the cancer returned.

"I could have treated this like a death sentence," she says. "But the team at the Regional Cancer Center made sure I had a positive outlook and the best care possible, and now I'm in remission, thanks to them."