This year I celebrated 5 years of being cancer free after my diagnosis, surgery, and chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. Ever since my diagnosis and while going through treatment I did what I could to spread the word about ovarian cancer, its signs and symptoms. You see, while I had my annual PAP test and breast exam (oh, the joys of mammograms) I knew nothing about the early signs of ovarian cancer. In fact, I knew nothing about the disease.
Before my cancer was found I knew something was wrong, but not what. For months, and months, and months I went to doctor after doctor and had test after test. I was checked for celiac disease, had my gall bladder tested, had blood work, I even had an abdominal ultra-sound (not pelvic), but all of the tests and exams were negative.
I was ready to give up and just live with my symptoms, but my husband pushed and pushed, so I kept going to doctors. It was only because of an abnormal PAP that my cancer was finally found by means of a trans-vaginal ultrasound. Please, please, please remember that a PAP test does NOT detect ovarian cancer.
So what are the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer?
- Pelvic or Abdominal Pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urgency or frequency of urination
- Changes in bowel movements
If you have one or more of these symptoms on a persistent basis, please, please, please go see your doctor.
I was lucky, my cancer had not spread beyond my two ovaries and one Fallopian tube and I have survived. Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are not so lucky; 70% of my teal sisters do NOT survive five years.
On Sunday, September 20th I will again walk in the Central Maryland Chapter of the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition Run/Walk in order to raise earlier awareness about this deadliest of gynecological cancer and to support more research. Please consider lending your support to help educate others and save the life of a mother, daughter, grandmother, sister or niece.
In order to help raise awareness and help fund further research, I am donating 50% of all proceeds, through October 31, from my ETSY shop to NOCC. In addition, you can get free first class shipping to anywhere in the United States. Just enter the code TealPower at check-out.