MARION, IN – Two sisters from Indiana who have shared everything in their lives are now fighting ovarian cancer together.Lisa Simmons and Teresa Swain are so in sync that they call each other every night before bed to make sure they’re both wearing the same pyjamas.The identical twins, who were born in Marion, have been inseparable their entire lives.”We grew up in the same room and shared a bedroom. Everything was the same “Lisa stated. “Everything was the same. Our clothes, our beds, everything.”They still look like a team, head to toe, wherever they go as adults.”Our parents dressed us alike our entire lives, so we kept doing it as we grew older and have never changed it. We’ve always dressed the same because we didn’t know any better “Lisa stated.So a double wedding to their high school sweethearts was a foregone conclusion.
When the Coyler twins married Greg and Tommy, the local newspaper ran a big storey about it.”Even our husbands couldn’t tell us apart. Honestly, “Teresa stated. “‘Lisa, come here, I want to talk to you,’ Greg would say. ‘My name is Teresa.'”Lisa laughed, “Tommy would do the same thing.””They’re saints for putting up with it all these years, because if one of us is mad at them, we’re both mad,” the sisters said.They only know how to be in sync.Imagine Lisa’s surprise when she received bad news on her own.”She told me, ‘You have cancer.'” Lisa stated. “‘It’s a very large tumour,’ she said.”It was ovarian cancer at stage 3c.”‘Why not me?’ I reasoned. If one of us has to go, I want it to be me “Lisa stated.
She discovered she was BRCA-positive, a genetic mutation that increased her chances of developing ovarian and breast cancer. Because the twins were born from the same egg, they share the same DNA, implying Teresa was also BRCA-positive.A prophylactic or preventative hysterectomy was recommended by doctors.Teresa learned she, too, has stage 3c ovarian cancer just days before her surgery earlier this year.
The sisters had regained their rhythm.”I was relieved,” Teresa said, “because I, you know, hated it for her.” “I mean, we’d never done anything apart from together, right, and we did it together a couple of years ago.””After that, she was diagnosed, and I don’t mean that negatively,” Lisa said, “but it was a relief because I couldn’t do it alone.” “I didn’t want her to get cancer, but when she did, I thought, ‘We’ve done everything together our entire lives, why not this?'” Lisa and Teresa share a doctor.”I just appreciate the fact that she was aware of what I was going through…what was going to happen to me,” Teresa said. “She walked me through every step, saying, ‘You’re going to feel this, you’re going to do this.’ She is completely correct.
So, you know, I had a teacher who assisted me with everything.””I mean, it’s very unusual,” said Dr. Sarah Goodrich, a gynecologic oncologist. “Twins aren’t that common in the general population, and then you have a disease like ovarian cancer, where the average lifetime risk is less than 2%, and you’re combining those two extremely rare things.”You can tell the sisters apart now. Lisa’s hair is longer now that it has had more time to grow back. Furthermore, their tumours and treatments were distinct.Their prognosis is similar in general.”
I wish I could say we had a cure for advanced-stage ovarian cancer, but unfortunately, we don’t,” Goodrich said.”As terrible as it sounds, for the girls to go through it together, it’s really a blessing,” Lisa’s husband, Greg, said. “Because I’d hate to think you’d be all alone, carrying that burden.”What do the men despise the most about their wives’ situation?”Knowing what they’ve got coming,” Teresa’s husband, Tommy, said.
“I mean, realistically, people with our type of cancer, our stage of cancer, two to five years is a good run,” Lisa explained. The twins are eager to see how far they can travel together.”It’s not a matter of ‘if’ we’ll get cancer again; it’s a matter of ‘when’ we’ll get cancer again,” Teresa explained.”My biggest fear is that we’ll both get very sick at the same time and won’t be able to help each other,” Lisa explained. “We never imagined one of us would be absent from the other’s presence. It never even occurred to us.”
“We truly believed we would die of old age together,” Teresa explained.”God isn’t done with us yet. He’s aware that we have work to do. He’ll make the final decision. That location will be fantastic “Lisa stated.
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