Thursday, October 4, 2012

Just Listen.....

One of my Facebook friends said she had been following my posts lately. She said I really was an inspiration for so many of us and that I was amazing in sharing this experience with my friends! She was just curious as to what my symptoms were before I was diagnosed or if I had any symptoms? She hoped I didn't mind her asking...and she thanked me so much for sharing and she's praying for my full recovery every day!

I thought I'd share my answer with everyone.....

Ovarian Cancer is called the silent killer for a reason, the symptoms are minimal. Like my hips and back ached.... just thought I was over working myself or the mattress needed flipping. My period was heavy this time last year, would bleed for a week, stop a week, bleed a week.... it would stabilize, then miss a month, only to stabilize again. I was getting night sweats and the normal signs of menopause. I'm 48 years old, seemed normal to me when my period stopped last May.
I was diagnosed with gall stones this time last year and I think if they would have done a CT scan instead of just the ultrasound, they may have caught it in the early stage. Since I was still receiving unemployment benefits while I was attending college at that point I didn't qualify for the community program (I made $2100 too much). I blamed a lot of what was going on (pain wise) on that. Not realizing it was my right ovary that was really the culprit. The kicker was I lost 40 lbs (I had gotten very heavy there for awhile and attributed that to bad genes, age, and lousy eating habits), but my stomach dimensions didn't change. I figured since I was about 2-3 months away from graduating I would just take care of it after that.
All I can really say (in my own personal case here) is that being in school and not having health insurance was still NO EXCUSE for not having a yearly visit with my OBGYN. Do ***NOT*** take it for granted and if you have no insurance, make the time to register with the county where you live for help. I feel if that I had just spent the money for the office visit I could have caught this sooner. I had a little money but was more concerned with other obligations (like money for gas to get to my clinical sites) than my health.
I never thought for one second that I could possibly have ovarian cancer. It's not something you think about... unless you're a hypochondriac. LOL. But like I said, I can only recant my own reasoning why it got to this point.
A woman I worked with a few years back (that I still have contact with here on Facebook) had went through (is still going trough) breast cancer and she made a blog about it. Her experience was inspirational to me. It was right about that time that I knew I had to see a doctor yet STILL procrastinated long enough to finish school (reiterating here but I never thought I could possibly have ovarian cancer). And I figured if she could be that inspirational to me, maybe I could inspire someone else with writing this all down and sharing my experience. Maybe another woman will not have to go through what I did if they pay attention to their health.
The blog helped me mentally and spiritually to deal with this. Plus it fielded a lot of inquiries from family and friends so I wouldn't have to answer the same questions over and over again. Everyone gets an update on how I am doing and where I am as far as progression and recovery. This type of illness is very personal and serious. Sharing it, and my feelings about it, not only helps me but allows everyone to be closer to me through it.
So I definitely don't mind the inquiry and appreciate all the love, concern, caring, well wishes, and prayers. It all helped me be stronger and know I wasn't alone.

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