My best friend since high school gave me a 'Strength' Giving Key on the day I walked as a survivor in my first Ovarian Cancer Walk. On May 21, 2015, the day of my college graduation, I received a phone call that my cancer antigen was elevated in some blood work I had done at the Gynecologist after experiencing some pelvic pain. One week later, after unrelenting pain and returning to the doctor for more tests, I began to throw up blood. We all knew something was wrong and to be safe we wanted an Oncologist to treat me as my cancer antigen was elevated. The Oncologist decided to do exploratory surgery and thank God he did. My supposed ovarian cysts were bilateral ovarian tumors. After a few hours in surgery, he delivered the news to my mom, dad, and long-term boyfriend since high school- I had Ovarian Cancer and it had spread to my Small Bowel and Intestines as well.
On June 22, 2015, I had open surgery to remove the remainder of my cancer. I have 5 incisions across my stomach and a bikini cut incision about 7 inches long. All of the cancer was successfully removed. My cancer treatment ended there as my type of cancer does not respond to chemotherapy. My doctor got clean margins and I was able to keep my reproductive organs in hopes that I will be able to have kids some day. I have frozen my eggs so that I can immediately remove my ovaries should my cancer return.
I have battled hard and made decisions most 22 year olds never have to make. One thing I can say is that strength lays dormant in all of us. When you need it, your family, friends, and significant other help bring it out in you. At times it is too difficult to do on your own. Enabling others to empower you to fight and push forward is not a sign of weakness. It is a testament to the fact that you don't have to rely on yourself to get through hard times. People are in your life for a reason- to love, support, care, and when you need it... to give you strength.
October 01, 2015