Beating the Odds: Nathalie Steede's Story
Nathalie Steede was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2001. She found a lump in her abdominal area and initially thought it was a hernia. She went to her primary care physician and from there was referred to a gynecologist. Her gynecologist recommended she have a hysterectomy.
While in surgery, Nathalie's physicians found ovarian cancer which had spread to her large intestine. After the surgery, she was sent to an oncologist in Appleton. Due to the bladder and bowel infections found after surgery, Nathalie was told they would need to delay the start of chemotherapy.
Instead of giving up, Nathalie wanted to learn more about her treatment options for ovarian cancer. Her daughter, Ann, went online and came across the clinical trials available at the UW Carbone Cancer Center.
Shortly after, Nathalie participated in her first clinical trial at UW. After a few rounds of clinical trials, she started chemotherapy at UW and eventually went into a period of remission. A few years later, they found the cancer had become active and had metastasized to her lungs.
In February, 2006, Joseph Connor, MD, UW Health gynecologic oncologist, recommended she start another clinical trial. At the completion of that clinical trial, a Phase I KS-IL2 study, Nathalie started more chemotherapy treatments in July 2006.
Over the course of the next two years, she went through various chemotherapy treatments and their side effects. She had a complete response to the last chemotherapy.
During this time, Dr. Connor also completed a surgery to remove some of her small intestine which greatly improved her quality of life. Nathalie has been disease free and off of therapy for more than a year.
"Being told you have two years to live is rather scary but, now, more than eight years later, I am no longer on chemotherapy and feeling good. I am so appreciative of Dr. Connor and his team for their expertise, continued support and care. I am so thankful for the care and staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton working with Dr. Connor. I am grateful for the support and prayers of family and friends. Dr. Connor is special in my book. He has been with me pretty much from the beginning of this journey to present," said Nathalie.