June 23rd, 2012
| Survivor: Ovarian Cancer
Was your life starting to come together before cancer knocked you right off of your feet? How do you move forward physically and emotionally after? Read on to learn about Nadia's journey with ovarian cancer and how she started a blog to help others.
On April 19th I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
I had surgery a week before to remove a swollen lymph node in my groin. Then I found out it was swollen because I have ovarian cancer. Not knowing what stage I was at yet was the hardest and looking up statistics on the internet offered a dim prognosis. So you can imagine how hard it was for me to tell my boyfriend Eric and parents without having any additional information. But I did not want to die and was determined to fight this cancer no matter what stage I was at.
My life started moving at lightning speed.
My diagnosis was on a Thursday. The next day, I had a CT scan and blood work for CA-125 tumor markers. On Monday I went to my gynecologist oncologist and received good news that my cancer was localized in my right ovary and spread to my lymph nodes but my prognosis looked great. It looked like a slow growing cancer. The following Monday, my doctor gave me two choices...
I chose to go ahead with a full hysterectomy. My lymph nodes were involved so that already put me possibly at Stage III. I want to have a good quality of life. I didn't want to constantly look over my shoulder wondering if/when they would find a tumor in my left ovary.
On Tuesday, May 1st I went in to surgery.
I was scared. Aside from the hysterectomy, it was an intensive debulking and exploratory surgery that lasted 5 hours. My doctor was aggressive with the surgery and he made sure to get every trace of cancer out of me. At my latest follow up appointment, my pathology report showed that I had a borderline tumor which carries an excellent prognosis. The best news was that I would not need chemotherapy. My next appointment is in three months. I am cancer-free!
The time that passed from my diagnosis to my surgery was 12 days. Coping with this emotionally feels like whiplash. I decided to start a blog called P.S. I Have Cancer to help with my healing process and raise awareness.
I often ask myself, "Why did this happen?" I will never know why but I knew from early in my diagnosis that I had to put my story out there to help other women going through this. I am only 27 years old and that is an unusual age to have ovarian cancer. I have a wonderful support system but they cannot understand what I am going through and how I am feeling. I do not know any ovarian cancer survivors my age. I want to be that survivor that every young woman going through ovarian cancer knows.
I had cancer, I am in remission, and I am grieving. I am trying to navigate my new life.
When I blog, I do not hold my emotions back. I tell my story and I will tell you how I felt at that time. When I write and look back at my experience, it is healing. I talk about everything including doctor's appointments, menopause, dealing with friends and family, and trying to find my new "normal." An ovarian cancer diagnosis is devastating and I want women to know that there is life after cancer. I am discovering that life and taking my readers along that journey with me.
(Photo courtesy of author)
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