I have always had a lot of hormone issues–PMDD, PCOS, infertility. So when my symptoms started, I brushed if off. I finally went to a gyno when I hadn’t had a period in 4 months. They ran a pregnancy test; it was negative. So they put me on birth control pills and gave me a pap (which was normal).
I went off the birth control, due to weight gain. About a year later, I got a new doctor who just chalked up my symptoms to perimenopause and PCOS. I experienced night sweats, irregular cycles, insomnia, and bloating. Meanwhile, I started having liver pain, so they did an ultrasound and found two lesions on my liver. At the time, they found them to be benign, according to the size and shape.
About a year and a half later, I found a new gyno. I knew something was wrong but was not getting answers! After explaining all my symptoms, which had gotten worse, he thought the answer was Implanon, which is a contraceptive implant in your arm. I started having really bad cramps and bloating, so after 3 months, he took the implant out. But the cramping and bloating got worse! He told me to take Tylenol and ibuprofen!
One night, my stomach bloated up to the point where I looked pregnant and had bad abdominal pain. I drove myself to the ER, where they did a CT scan and found a softball size tumor on my ovary. I was immediately referred to an oncologist.
I went in to the appointment, thinking, maybe it’s just a cyst, it’s nothing… I had stage IV ovarian cancer! It had metastasized to my liver and lung. I was in complete shock! I was 44-years-old, a single mom with a 6-year-old daughter, and self-employed. I was literally planning my own funeral. But after a week of complete shock, I thought, ya know what? I’m gonna fight this! I was in chemo within a week. After 3 rounds, I had a TAH debulking surgery, then 3 more rounds of chemo. I worked all through chemo, taking 6 weeks off for surgery.
Why did it take 3 doctors? Why was this not caught? These are questions I will always ask. Doctors even missed the symptoms. This disease needs so much more attention and research. I am very lucky that I’m now in remission! I had such a wonderful support system, and I plan on being around for a very long time! There is always hope. I believe in the power of prayer, and I believe in miracles. Keep fighting, no matter what, and keep your circle positive. And lastly, don’t read statistics. You are not a statistic! My daughter is healthy and happy, and I’m regaining my health. I’m so thankful for every day I get here on this planet! I hope someday I can pay it forward to all that helped me through this.
The informational content of this article is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.
This story is intended to convey a personal experience and, because every person’s experience is unique, should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.