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Sharing is Healing

Since I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I can’t believe how much I have learned about myself and how I used to avoid uncomfortable conversations. Now, I don’t fear any tough conversations, and my friends—family—clients all really appreciate my honesty and bravery.

There is power in sharing our story

I owe this transformation to the ability to share my ovarian cancer diagnosis and teaching women about their risk factors and/or signs that something is happening in their body.

I never feared sharing my story because every time I shared it, I felt like Wonder Woman. A superhero who fought a battle and won. Women became empowered when they heard me speak about my diagnosis and that in turn inspired me to keep sharing. Everyone who heard my story really appreciated the small details I shared because details matter.

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My diagnosis shocked me

So, what led to my diagnosis? I thought I had COVID.

I went to the ER in May of 2020 with a racing heart and difficulty breathing. The ER attending physician got authorization to get a chest CT which showed a “vast amount” of blood clots had spread throughout both lungs. I was admitted to the hospital immediately to investigate as my rapid COVID test came back negative.

Within 12 hours I was approved for an abdominal CT because the physician who took over my case suspected it was cancer-related. There was no other reason for all these blood clots, as I was in perfect health with no underlying conditions.

The abdominal CT found that both of my ovaries were enlarged with atypical cysts as well as suspicious spread to my uterus. My CA-125 came back with an elevated number of 2,220. The biopsy showed I had the sub-type of endometrioid ovarian cancer. This subtype presents early and mine presented with blood clots. I was classified at Stage 2 and started my pre-surgery 3 rounds of chemotherapy right away.

Another cancer...endometrial cancer of the uterus

After surgery, they found that my ovarian cancer hadn’t spread to my uterus. Instead, it was another primary cancer. Endometrial cancer of the uterus. Caught early at Stage 1A.

Ovarian cancer can be caught early and there are some rare sub-types such as endometrioid cancer that have high survival rates due to an early diagnosis.

Finding support starts by first reaching out

Now that I’m on the other side and am an ovarian cancer survivor, I can look back and say with conviction I got through my cancer experience because I was never afraid to teach other women about my story. I love hearing the words “wow, I never knew that about ovarian cancer”.

Start small with sharing your story, if it seems overwhelming to you. When family and friends (outside of your inner circle) start visiting you, you will notice the uncomfortable silence after the “meet and greet” pleasantries.

Lean into that uncomfortable space and just talk about where you are in your diagnosis and treatment. Because people WANT to know how you are really doing but have NO IDEA how to ask questions without upsetting you.

It is up to you to tell someone what’s going on and how far you want to go down the rabbit hole. It’s totally normal to feel uncomfortable talking about your diagnosis and treatment, but I promise you it will help you deal with your situation and in the process, you will be teaching the other person what it’s like living with cancer.

Are you looking to connect with others? Join a conversation.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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