Real People, Real Stories
Ovarian cancer survivor
Jan Towers is an ovarian cancer survivor. As a retired interior designer from Kansas, she moved to Texas in 2012 to live with her son and recuperate from treatment. Her battle with cancer began in May 2011 when she experienced some pain in her hip after having two knee replacement surgeries. After several tests, she was informed that she had stage 4 ovarian cancer with metastasis to the liver.
Jan had surgery to remove the cancer and started clinical trials. “At first I had no complications, but as the treatment progressed, I started having problems with my platelets and was hospitalized several times,” she shared. As she grew weaker and could no longer take care of herself, her daughter came from Alaska to help. “I had a great group of friends who took me to the cancer center each week. In addition to my daughter and two sons, these ladies were my angels,” she said.
“After many complications, I was admitted to the ICU for a last-ditch effort. I have no idea what was done, but I felt like I was floating for several days and when I awoke, I was on the road to recovery. It seemed like a miracle.”
For three months, she was cared for at a nursing facility, but then was able to move to Texas to live with her son. “When I arrived, I was still in a wheelchair, but my goal was to be independent again. Within three months, I attained it and was able to move to Lake Jackson to a senior living complex.”
Jan learned about CanCare at a support group meeting she organized and decided to become a CanCare volunteer. She is currently supporting five people, and each person has told her she gives them hope, information, privacy and strength. “But the road runs two directions,” she shares, “I receive so much in return. Just hearing the hope in someone’s voice when they say, ‘I’m so glad you called,’ lets me know why the mission of CanCare is so worthwhile.”
Jan’s faith has been a big part of her recovery. She learned early on she had no real control over the cancer treatments and final outcome. She just needed to stay calm and have a positive attitude. Her motto is “Always expect miracles.”
As for her experience with CanCare, she says, “Just listen and learn what you need to do. Your clients will tell you what they need. Don’t be afraid to help them.” Besides her devotion to helping others with cancer, she enjoys art, reading, creative writing and time with her family.
CanCare has been serving people with cancer since 1990. All services are confidential and free of charge. To talk to someone surviving your diagnosis, click here.