Jaynevie's Strength Team
My name is Jaynevie, I'm 29 years old and I'm a stage 4 ovarian cancer warrior. With September fast approaching, this means it’s almost Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and I'd like to share my story with you.
In 2021, during the third wave of the COVID19 pandemic, I was working in the ICU as a registered nurse. I associated my increased fatigue, anxiety and depression with all the changes happening in my environment and the world. Unknowing to me at the time, the root cause was due to a disease growing within me.
After only a few weeks my symptoms progressed. I started to bloat, experienced abdominal cramps, night sweats/hot flashes and a decreased appetite. I went to get an abdominal MRI where I was told I had a 12cm ovarian cyst that needed to be surgically removed. I was to have a consultation with my previous gynecologist. Prior to meeting my gynecologist, a couple weeks after my MRI, it was getting harder for me the breath. I couldn’t walk very far, and I was not able to lay flat without throwing up. I shared all my symptoms with my gynecologist, who unfortunately misdiagnosed me, I would have to wait 4 months for surgery to remove the cyst.
Unsatisfied, my family advocated for my health and within a month helped me find another gynecologist for a second opinion. Immediately after seeing my condition and asking about my family health history, she investigated for possible ovarian cancer. In less than a week of receiving the results, my new gynecologist told me to go to the ER.
In the ER I was found to have a now 20 cm ovarian cyst, large amounts of fluid around my abdomen, multiple blood clots in my left lung and my partially collapsed right lung due to the fluid that had built up around it. One my right ribs had also fractured due to the pressure of the fluid. I was admitted into Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, one of the largest cancer centres in Canada. Two days later on Sunday September 19, 2021 I was diagnosed with advanced stage, ovarian cancer. I was 27 years old.
The first thing I remember saying out loud was “Am I going to lose my hair?”, to which one of my superhero doctors responded by giving me a hug. It doesn’t sound like much, but it was a big deal receiving a hug from a stranger during COVID. Her hug made me feel safe. And I knew despite receiving the worst news, I could still find the silver lining.
I was extremely blessed to have people around me that made me feel so mentally strong when I physically wasn’t. Support can go a long way in someone’s journey through life.
From my family, friends, to my health care team and support community online, my gratitude is endless and am forever thankful to be surrounded by such wonderful people. They are my strength. My team.
In the way they’ve supported me, I hope to support others who are or have experienced ovarian cancer. By raising awareness through participating in fundraisers and by speaking more about Ovarian cancer I hope you can join me virtually/in person on September 10th in Toronto, Ontario during Ovarian Cancer Canada’s annual Walk of Hope.
Thank you kindly, for taking the time to read my story, your support really does go a long way.
By participating and fundraising for the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope, we’re making ovarian cancer a priority. We’re funding vital research that will save lives, ensuring educational resources and support programs are available for those who need it, and fueling advocacy efforts because everyone deserves to live life to the fullest.