May 8th has been dubbed World Ovarian Cancer Day.
Organizations and individuals, worldwide, spent yesterday bringing awareness to this disease and showing support to the women and families affected for the fifth year in a row. To check out the support and awareness activities check out the hash tags #worldovariancancerday or #wocd .
Today I’ll share a little about how ovarian cancer changed my family forever.
While I was in high school my mother started having all of the classic symptoms- persistent bloating, fatigue, and feeling full after eating. And we’re not talking just a little stomachache. She would be in serious, hold my stomach like a 5 year old pain after eating very little. As the symptoms persisted she spoke with one of her doctors and he assured her there was nothing wrong. He told her she’s 40 now-you’re going to gain a little weight in your midsection.
She spoke to a different doctor and he let her know the type of bloating she was experiencing was not normal and they needed to run test. Between tests I’m not sure what doctors and mommy knew because she didn’t share with her kids, but she needed to have surgery. I remember after the surgery waiting in the lobby with family members and surgeons coming to us and letting us know they had found cancer.
It was fall 2000, life instantly changed.
Although Mommy lost her battle in winter 2015, she fought with such determination and grace. She experienced more surgeries, chemotherapy, completely losing her hair, in and out of work but smiled her way through it all, not once complaining.
Had there been more talks, more education, more awareness, maybe Mommy would have seen a doctor sooner and she’d still be here, who knows?
What I do know is there should be more awareness. Women and families should know what to look for and when to speak to their doctors. Symptoms are so vague and could be caused by many other things, but if you at least know the symptoms you can make more informed decisions and know what to talk to doctors about.
For more information and to learn how you can support and become involved check out: