Before I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I had no idea of what it was all about. I was very health conscious. I watched my diet, exercised.
I was ready to take a cruise and I was laying on a tanning bed and I felt a hard mass in my abdomen.
When they found the mass on the ultrasound, they sent me to a specialist and it was determined that the mass was on the ovary. He said it didn’t appear to be cancerous but they wanted to remove it, so I opted to have a hysterectomy — both ovaries. They did a CA125 cancer blood test. It was 18, so the doctor was positive or almost positive it wasn’t cancer, so I went ahead and had the surgery.
When I woke up, I mean my family already knew I had the cancer so ... and I think the doctor – I think they tell you when you’re under anesthesia just so it’s easier for them. And it was like a dream. Or I guess it was a dream I wanted to wake up from.
When I was diagnosed with the cancer and I went to see an oncologist, he staged it as a 2C. Stage 2 it’s self-contained. It didn’t spread to any other area like the abdomen or anything else, so that was a good sign.
I did six treatments of chemo, three weeks apart. It’s intravenously. It takes – I would go in in the morning – it takes a good six hours for the treatments. The side effects didn’t really affect me until about a day after the treatment. Then I would get really tired, some nausea, aching bones, headache. And all you really want to do is sleep.
I wanted to go back to work but I work at an elementary school and my husband and I felt it would be best to stay home, to stay healthy.
After I was done with all of the chemo treatments, I didn’t have to take any additional medicine.
It was important to have ... to let my friends and my family help me in any way they felt they needed to because they felt helpless. So bringing meals, gifts, cards, just being there for support was so important.
The whole experience of going through the cancer and the chemo has actually helped my relationship with my husband. I thought we were close before and – sorry – we’re closer now.
If a woman was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I would tell her to be positive, put up a big fight, and to let people help her.
Having a positive attitude while you’re going through cancer, I think, is the key to recovery. I mean you can sit back and, you know, think, you know, this might be the end, but when the oncologist said, “Well, you have a good chance of survival,” I was like, “Well, yeah, because I’m not done yet.”