When I was 43 years old I was diagnosed with Stage IV ovarian cancer; the deadliest of female cancers.
In my book I detail my initial discovery that something was amiss; my perseverance in trying to figure out what was wrong with me even after doctors brushed me and my symptoms off; my mental and physical ups and downs; and my triumphant win over this stealth opponent as I chased the rainbows that brought me success and recovery.
They ranged from conventional medicine, alternative therapies and the spiritual. In the end, I found that they all played an essential role in my successful campaign to become once again, cancer free. And they also led to a new lease on life- for my beloved husband, Todd and myself.
I was compelled to write this post…. My intention? to empower cancer fighters with the weapons of hope and the many alternative therapies available to them after diagnosis, during, and after active treatment.
As you embark on this journey, as a cancer fighter or a caregiver, there are a few things I need to share with you:
First, there will be times during this fight which may be more difficult than others; never lose hope. The are survivors of this disease and you have every chance to be one.
Secondly, know that you will meet wonderful people on this path who will forever change the way you look at life. Special bonds will be formed among fellow cancer fighter and survivors. Once you are one, you’ll know exactly what I mean.
We all want HOPE to beat this disease, to go back to our one “normal” life, and not die. We are all frightened, and the unconditional caring and hope we feel among other fighters and survivors will provide a source of comfort.
Thirdly, know its okay to ask for help. Letting others do things for you is okay.
If there is one thing I hope every reader takes away from my experience, it is to be your own advocate. Do not just accept what a physician tells you; listen to your body. Make sure you ask questions and if something doesn t feel right, be sure to share your concerns with your physician or get a second opinion. And never ever lose HOPE.
Over 20,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. If it is you, you are not alone. What makes this cancer hard to detect is that the warning signs often mimic pre-menstrual symptoms. Currently there is no accurate testing for this cancer. Some of the most common warning signs of ovarian cancer include: bloating bleeding pain during intercourse feeling full after eating small amounts.
Know this disease in one way or another touches everyone whether you are the fighter or the caregiver or a loved one. Each one of us has our own struggle in the fight.