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The female reproductive system is miraculous, but it can also be a harbinger for undetectable cancers that often remain silent until they metastasize and progress to Stage 4. Ovarian cancer is the deadliest of all gynecological cancers, and sadly, the long-term prognosis has not changed much in 50 years. In Canada, one in seventy-five women will contract it each year.
I was diagnosed with High Grade Serous Cell Carcinoma in July of 2022 after several years of health complaints and the inert knowledge that something wasn’t right in my body. Pain in the upper right quadrant, trips to emergency, specialists, but everyone thought how healthy I was! Then the diagnosis… I am sure it is the same for everyone: the state of shock, fear, disbelief, hearing that their life is about to change completely, or maybe shortened, then the onset of many tests, surgery, chemotherapy, drug therapy, recommended diet and lifestyle changes, hair loss, wondering if you can stand another needle, all overshadowed by repeating memories of my mother's death from complications of Ovarian Cancer in 1975.
I finished treatment at the end of January 2023, unable to complete the sixth infusion due to mounting side effects, but with the support of my incredible Medical Oncologist, Dr. Anna Tinker at BCCA, we decided that I had enough. It is now early May, my health has started to rebuild, and life has begun to normalize. My tests have been clear, and I am on a three-month recall. Hallelujah, there is hope, and I am enjoying every moment and finding uncertainty to be my new friend, along with the comradery of the 3000 Canadian women who are diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer each year.
I am deeply grateful for the timely care and compassion that I received from the professional team at the BCCA, coupled with the never-ending and loving support of my darling husband William, family, and many friends.
However, more needs to be done to increase awareness of this insidious cancer, and donations to cancer research are critical to improving outcomes for everyone. Please speak up about this disease, participate in events, and donate what you can. Together, we can make a difference in the fight against ovarian cancer.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, and I hope you will join me in supporting ovarian cancer research and advocacy.
My family will be participating in the “Walk of Hope” on September 10th. in Vancouver sponsored by Ovarian Cancer Canada, I encourage you to join us or donate what you can to my fundraising page.
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