Welcome to my Personal Page and Heather's Tumour Terminators!
I have been living with Ovarian cancer since August of 2015. At least that is when I was diagnosed. I’ll never know when, or why this insidious thing started growing inside of me. Is it because I tested positive for the BRIP1 gene, is it from stress, or perhaps environmental toxins? I grew up in the late 60’s and 70’s when pesticides, harsh chemicals and leaded gas were prevalent. We had a large beautiful apple tree in the backyard of our family home. We would play and dance under this tree, the same tree my father sprayed with what was the most effective killer of pests at that time. Both my mother and father were also talented DIY’ers. My sister remembers my mother stuffing towels under the door to the room where I lay napping. This was done to try and prevent the vapours from chemical strippers and bleach from entering. Maybe stress was the primary cause. I’ve experienced a ton of it. I cared for my ailing parents in our family home for 12 years, while holding down a physically and mentally exhausting retail job with crazy scheduling anywhere from 6am to 11pm. Our home became a revolving door of part-time and full-time caregivers, Dr’s, nurses, PT’s, OT’s, paramedics and the list continues. Could it be all of these factors or just the roll of the dice? Anyway, I guess none of this really matters now. I don’t blame anyone or anything, and certainly not my loving parents. All I know is I have this disease and it doesn’t seem to want to go away. My gynaecological oncologist tells me this disease is chronic and that my health care team is there to provide the best quality of life possible. In other words, this treatment may not cure me.
It’s August of 2019 now and I’m currently undergoing chemo for my second recurrence, which is my third course of treatment. I’ve had radical surgery to remove all my reproductive organs, my appendix and parts of my bowel, so a recurrence means that the tumours come back and adhere themselves to wherever they can within the abdominal cavity. Like the bowels, the spleen, and even the liver. So, I haven’t sprouted another form of cancer, it’s still ovarian. Because I’ve already had lots of chemo my body developed a resistance to one of the treatment protocols. This is quite a common occurrence apparently and can be disheartening for patients like me, because, unlike for breast cancer patients, the treatment options for ovarian cancer patients are extremely limited. Maybe over time they could reintroduce my body to this drug and it will react positively, but I won’t know until that day happens. The new drug that I’m on has proven to be effective. The tumours in my abdomen are shrinking, except for the one on my liver, but overall my recent CT scan results show a very positive result. So for now I have hope!
Please consider helping increase my treatment options by sponsoring me on my Walk of Hope!
Thank you for your support!
Today, thousands of Canadian women are living with ovarian cancer and another 2,800 will be diagnosed this year.
Each of these women is central to a family. Every one of these women has people who love her. Just being there to support and honour her means everything. That’s why I’m participating with thousands of others at the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope.
The Walk celebrates the hope I carry with me every day – the hope for a future without this disease.
Every dollar I raise supports Ovarian Cancer Canada, the only national charity that champions the health and well-being of women with ovarian cancer and others at risk of this disease. Funds will be used to fund vital research, spur advocacy efforts, and provide support so that we can help women with, or at risk of, ovarian cancer live fuller, better, longer lives.
Please provide your support by giving generously. Better yet, if you are up for a challenge this September, come out and join me. Together we can make a difference.
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