Welcome to Trista's fundraising page!
Why do I walk in the Walk of Hope?
I walk for me and the thousands of other ovarian cancer survivors.
I remember the day I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer like it was yesterday. I remember reading the book "The Happiness Project" in the waiting room of the 4th floor of the hospital while my husband and I waited for my post-op follow-up appointment. I remember pointing out a page in the book to him that mentioned that couples report that happiness decreases after child birth. We laughed. You see, my husband and I were planning on starting a family once we got the all clear from the surgeon. I recovered so well from the surgery to remove a cyst from my ovary, so I thought this was a sign that everything was fine. We would put this chapter behind us and then embark on the next chapter of starting a family. At this point, cancer was not on my mind at all, not one bit.
Instead, the surgeon told us the pathology results had revealed I had cancer. To say that I felt the floor give out from under me at the moment would be an understatement. I cried. I sobbed throughout the rest of the appointment. Once he said cancer, I heard nothing else for the rest of the appointment. He could have told me that I was going to visit Mars via a space ship and I probably would have agreed to it. I just remember thinking: "This is it, life is over." I did manage to catch the fact that the surgeon said it was caught early and that it wasn't terminal. But, at that point, all I heard was cancer. I was thinking a million different things. I thought I was healthy. I exercised and ate well. I had just got married 10 months earlier. What about my husband...I thought we were supposed to grow old together? What about the trip we were planning to Europe in the fall? What about a baby? How am I going to tell my family this? I remember looking out the window and seeing people walking around outside and they looked like ants to me - everything seemed so insignificant based on what I had just found out. Life had changed in an instant, and would never be the same.
A month later, I ended up having a full hysterectomy. This was recommended by the doctors as the best treatment option, along with chemotherapy, as they didn't have any other research to justify other fertility-sparing options. It was a really difficult decision, because it meant that we had to give up the option of having a biological child. The effects of this decisions are life changing and far reaching. There's not a day that goes by that I don't think about the fact that I'll never experience the birth of my own child. It also meant my husband would never see what his own child looked like, that my parents would not be cuddling a biological grandchild from their daughter, and our nieces and nephews would not have another cousin to play with.
That day, I joined the 2,800 other women across Canada who were diagnosed with ovarian cancer last year. The Walk celebrates the hope I carry with me every day – the hope for a future without this disease. The future where young women like me no longer have to hear the words "you have cancer" and don't have to forgo having families because of there are no other treatment options for this horrible disease.
This year’s goal is to raise $2.1 million. Every dollar I raise supports Ovarian Cancer Canada, the only national charity entirely dedicated to this important cause. Funds will be used to provide support, increase awareness, and fund vital research so that we can change the future for women with ovarian cancer.
Please provide your support by giving generously. Better yet, if you are up for a challenge this September, come out and join "Team Trista". Together we can make a difference!
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