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Jane Morse learned about living with cancer from her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 53, “She was stoic,” Jane said of her mom.
After her surgery, Jane’s mother lived for close to 14 years without incident. Then in 1998, while Jane was on a ski vacation with her family, her mom complained of feeling bloated, and unable to eat. When she got home, Jane took her mother to see Mark A. Morgan, MD, FACOG, FACS, a surgical oncologist who specializes in gynecologic cancers. At the time, he was on staff at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Morgan diagnosed Jane's mother with ovarian cancer. During surgery, he learned that the cancer had metastasized (spread).
"Dr. Morgan treated my mother with such respect. He was so compassionate."
“She lived one year to the day from being diagnosed,” said Jane. “And I’ll never forget how Dr. Morgan treated my mother with such respect. He held her hand, asked what he could do for her. He was so compassionate.”
In 2002, at the age of 44, Jane woke up one morning feeling bloated. With her mom's situation fresh in her mind, she called her gynecologist who performed an internal exam. "I was really frightened," shared Jane, who had two daughters, Kate (age 11) and Hannah (age 8), to care for.
“I watched his face turn white," Jane recalled. Even before he ordered an ultrasound, he said he suspected ovarian cancer. “Of course, he called Dr. Morgan.” So began Jane’s own experience with Dr. Morgan, who she believes really saved her life.
“My diagnosis ended up being the best-case scenario, but so many women aren’t that lucky. You have to know your body, be educated and fortunate enough to have access to a doctor as gifted as Dr. Morgan."
Dr. Morgan advised that Jane undergo a hysterectomy followed by chemotherapy, which she did in 2003. She continued to be regularly monitored by Dr. Morgan. In 2006, Dr. Morgan shared the news that he was joining the medical staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center to serve as chief of gynecologic oncology. Jane said she’d follow him wherever he went and added, "Dr. Morgan, you’re never breaking up with me!”
"My nurses at Fox Chase went above and beyond."
In the summer of 2012, Jane, who was 54, had a recurrence. This time, the cancer appeared in the spot where her cervix would have been. Dr. Morgan performed the delicate procedure just after Labor Day, giving her time to celebrate her daughter Kate’s 21st birthday “with hair!” before having her six rounds of chemotherapy. “My nurses at Fox Chase went above and beyond. They were all amazing,” she said. “They even watched Glee and sang with me. I can’t overstate the caring and tenderness I was shown.”
“Fox Chase isn’t just a hospital, it’s a cancer center,” said Jane. “At other hospitals, you’re in with people dealing with all kinds of different problems. At Fox Chase, everybody has cancer and you’re all together fighting the same disease.”
“What Dr. Morgan has can’t be taught in medical school,” said Jane. “It’s in his DNA. He is one step ahead of research and on the cutting-edge of any breakthroughs. In his spare time he flies to Africa to help women with many different health problems. The man is just incredible.”
"I have all the faith in the world in Dr. Morgan."
Jane has accepted the fact that she has had to live with cancer, but she is comforted by feeling that she has the best doctor. "I have all the faith in the world in Dr. Morgan. I have hope that each time something comes up for me, Dr. Morgan, with access to the latest medical advances, will help me get through it. And because of him, I have been able to watch my daughters grow into beautiful young women.”