Bette Jane's Personal Page
As we embark on our Sept. 8th, 2019 Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope, I will be undergoing treatment for a recently diagnosed 'fourth occurrence' with Ovarian Cancer. This will be our 'fourth' walk to help raise public awareness and funds specifically used for support, education and research for Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC).
Five years ago, in May 2014 when I was initially diagnosed with this disease...
I DID NOT KNOW ... 2,800 Canadian women are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer year after year! That's almost 8 women per day.
I DID NOT KNOW ... Ovarian Cancer strikes 1 in 70 female Canadians.
I DID NOT KNOW ... there is currently no cure for Ovarian Cancer! The stats for our prognosis have not changed in 50 years.
FACT: It is the deadliest of all women's cancers. One in two women diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer will die within five years. Survival rates for this disease have not improved in five decades. Scientific progress is needed.
My journey began in spring of 2014 after having only one week of unusual symptoms in my lower abdomen. Surgical biopsies revealed I had Stage 3C high-grade serous Ovarian Cancer. My cancer was growing as quickly as hair and nails do. Who knew! After surgery and chemotherapy, the cancer went into remission. During the fall of 2016, my cancer returned, again with virtually no warnings or symptoms. Following another regiment of chemo, the cancer went into remission ; my recovery was stellar and I had never felt better with my 'new normal'... that is until last August when a CT scan revealed the cancer had returned. It's always the quickness of these recurrences that shock me the most. Now, every cancer survivor knows, each ache and pain means something and we're always on the look-out for any changes in our bodies. Yet, I felt on top of my game- again no symptoms. No wonder they call this the 'whispering cancer'. Since completing my chemo protocol this past February, it wasn't long before the CA125 (cancer antigen) numbers began to increase...slowly at first..then faster and faster until it became evident more treatment was required. This spring and summer I've incurred two failed attempts at clinical trials ... I was so excited for alternate treatments to keep this disease at bay, but it wasn't meant to be.
I continue to hold out for 'hope'.
Throughout my cancer journey I have met such an amazing group of Ov.Ca. survivors- one even as young as 15; another only 25 years old when diagnosed. Some of these women are in remission from their initial cancer; others like me are having recurrences; some are surviving multi recurrences. One amazing 79 year old gal has endured Ov.Ca. for the past 29 years undergoing chemo six months on and six months off each and every year. Many are not so lucky. We need to act now.
We "Survivors" all have family, partners, friends, relatives, colleagues ... people we care about and love. Together we need to reach out and bring awareness to every girl and woman so they are educated about this awful disease...even learning how to recognize symptoms can make a difference. With your help we need to raise funds so top research teams can develop a test that every female has access to... and ultimately, to create a cure for this deadly disease.
That's why I'm putting my efforts together and personally contacting YOU to ask for your support. Together we can make a difference for Ovarian Cancer of Canada and their Walk of Hope. Every dollar raised supports Ovarian Cancer Canada, the only national charity entirely dedicated to this important cause. Contributions will be used to provide support, increase awareness and fund vital research to aid in our survivorship and help future women going through this journey.
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