Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month//Team Teal//Caitlin//September//Know ovarian//PCOS//Ovarian mass//Hope
Alright, this is a tough one to start. If you have been following us for a while you know how near Ovarian Cancer is to my heart. Not because I have had it, but because for almost a year I lived thinking that I could. To sum up my experience, a large mass was found on my ovary the day I went in for my ultra sound with my second kiddo. It was a shock and a huge scare for me and my little family. Living for a year almost, not knowing what it was, if it was going to come back cancerous was the most stressed and overwhelmed, I had been in my whole life. Long story short, it came back benign and I am healthy as can be today.
HOWEVER, knowing I missed SO many signs of this cyst (ovarian cysts and ovarian cancer have the same symptoms) was a real eye opener for me.
1 in 78 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime. If caught and treated in the early stages, the five-year survival rate is over 90% you guys! Since there is NO early detection for Ovarian cancer and the symptoms are such little things such as, frequent urination, feeling full quickly, and bloating only about 20 % of cases are caught early. You guys, this means that if caught in stage III or higher, the survival rate is as low as 28%. That’s insanely low.
KNOWING the symptoms is KEY.
If you feel for a second like your body is off that is the time to get checked. I thought I was pregnant, but 3 negative tests later I finally started to think something was off. I didn't find out about my cyst until I was in the doctor’s office getting an ultra sound because there is NO EARLY DETECTION for these things. As it turns out I was also pregnant at the same time which made taking the 18 cm cyst out immediately impossible and I had to wait 8 months and have a C section and laparotomy to remove both my baby and the cyst - after that it was another month before I found out it was benign.
Here’s an actual list of some of the symptoms
Pain during sex
Constipation or menstrual changes
Feeling full quickly or just lack of appetite
I had most these and I still didn’t think anything of it other than I could be pregnant.
For a long time I did my best to shove down the residual feelings, I thought I had cancer, turns out I didn’t, okay I should just move on with my life now. That was my thought process but there are so many avenues of support out there and I had no idea. I googled the crap out of this when my doctor mentioned the possibility of it being cancer (bad idea). At this point all I could think was “I’m too young to have ovarian cancer” & “What even is ovarian cancer?” “Why didn’t my pap smear catch this?” “What do I do if it does come back as cancer?” “Am I going to lose my baby?” “I’m not ready to die…” All of these are thoughts you have when you think you may have cancer, and living like that for a year, it’s not something that just goes away.
It’s so important to know YOU ARE NOT ALONE. I cannot stress this to you enough. If you or someone you know is going through this or any other situation like it - just know, you are not alone. There is support, there is hope. I will do everything I can to spread as much awareness about this silent killer as I can for the rest of my life, because I truly believe I went through this for a reason.
You may think “easy for you to say, you didn’t even have cancer” But honestly, I feel like anyway I can help those in similar situations or worse, I want to do it. I want to be that voice that tells you, you’re not crazy, you know your body better than you think. At the end of the day, all we truly get out of this life, are the lives we impact. The ones we make a difference in. If I can help just one person deal with Ovarian cancer, PCOS, Ovarian masses, etc, I think I did a pretty good job.
So my call to action for you this month - Ovairan Cancer awareness month is this -
Spread awareness, share this blog post, research Ovarian cancer or masses, talk to the women in your life about their reproductive health - this post isn’t just for you women its for men with women in your lives too.
Know yourself, know your body, find a doctor who listens, KNOW OVARIAN.
All my information is from http://ovarian.org/index.php
an amazing foundation fighting to end Ovarian cancer and share survivor stories.
Photo Cred to my awesome Husband.
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