On June 4, 2019, I was diagnosed with Stage 3c Ovarian Cancer. I have no family history of ovarian or breast cancer and I am an otherwise healthy young mom of two healthy and amazing children -- Gracie (12) and Patrick (4). I had no symptoms until the last week of April (just over one month before my diagnosis). Two weeks after noticing my symptoms (strange cramps, lower appetite, feeling full early, bloating), I saw my OBGYN and an ultrasound depicted what we thought was a grapefruit-sized cyst on my right ovary. The next day, a blood test showed an extremely elevated CA-125 tumor marker (35 is normal, mine was 1158), so I was referred to an oncologist. My stomach bloating rapidly escalated, and several days later, a CT scan revealed numerous masses, including two grapefruit-sized tumors (one on each ovary) and multiple large masses in the lining of my abdomen. When I went in for surgery on May 30, I looked six months pregnant (photo in my gallery). When I came out, my worst fear was confirmed. I have advanced stage Ovarian Cancer.
Ovarian Cancer is called "the silent killer" because it is RARELY discovered in its early stages. There is no way to screen for it, and it is generally only caught after a woman sees her doctor for the symptoms I described above -- symptoms that most of us disregard and attribute to other things like a stomach bug or stress (as I did). I caught my cancer just before it advanced to stage 4 and this is TYPICAL. I was told over and over that the likelihood of cancer was low because I'm young and premenopausal. Yet here I am -- 37 and reassuring my kids that mommy is going to beat this. It can happen to ANY of us. Please learn the symptoms and join the fight against this quiet giant.
I have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have received since my diagnosis. Family, friends, colleagues and members of my community have offered prayers, positivity and support in so many different ways. I can't even begin to express how grateful I am for all of it. THANK YOU. I hope to use this website to keep you all informed and maybe even inspire some to join the fight against Ovarian Cancer. Thanks so much for visiting.