Advocate Spotlight: Vicki
AdvancedOvarianCancer.net shares the stories and experiences of people living with ovarian cancer. We are highlighting the story of our advocate Vicki who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 37 years old. Since Vicki's diagnosis, she has become an active advocate supporting others living with ovarian cancer as well as launching a podcast called Sips with Survivors.
This is Vicki's story...
Vicki's diagnosis story
At the age of 37, while trying to start a family, I was diagnosed with stage 3A Granulosa Cell Tumor (GCT) ovarian cancer. After initially being diagnosed with stage 1, they discovered during surgery that the cancer had leaked outside of my ovaries onto my abdomen wall, deeming me stage 3A.
From surgery to chemo to surgery
To manage my ovarian cancer we initially removed my right ovary where the cancer was prominent. Then proceed with chemo treatments – Carboplatin and Taxol. I endured 6 rounds of treatment every 3 weeks from October 2015 through February 2016, when I was declared NED. In the summer of 2017, I proceeded with removing my left ovary and had a complete oophorectomy in order to further reduce my chances of recurrence.
Always ask questions and advocate for yourself
Constantly ask questions throughout the process. Make sure you are getting all of the information you can in order to treat your cancer and to prepare yourself for the challenges ahead. We have to be our own advocates during this process, and we are ultimately the ones making the choices for our bodies. Make sure you have a doctor you trust, can have a relationship with, and that you feel comfortable with your plans for treatment.
Advocacy starts with sharing your story
Being an ovarian cancer advocate comes in many forms for many of us. I participate in programs such as Survivors Teaching Students through OCRA. This is a way for me to share my story including signs and symptoms with young medical students. Awareness for this disease is key!
I share my story any time the opportunity presents itself because you never know who is listening! I launched a podcast called Sips with Survivors with a fellow ovarian survivor to share our stories, as well as support the entire cancer community.
Something you may not know about me
I am a part time photographer and LOVE it! You can see my photography portfolio at Victoria Leigh Images.
I was diagnosed with...