Ovarian Cancer snuck into my life with illusive persistence. At the time of my diagnosis I had already endured months of pain and anxiety. My relationships were changing and my emotions were in a constant state of turmoil. It is little wonder that this disease is sometimes called the silent killer. My diagnosis came three days after I had lost my dear beloved Auntie Nora. My Libra sister, I was born two days after her birthday on Oct. 12. Since I had lost my parents, my mother in 1995 and my father in 1999, I could always count on her for support and advice. She always held a very special place in my heart. Devastated by her death I was contemplating putting off the surgery until after her funeral but on the advice of my doctor, trusted family members, and friends I decided to have the surgery. So on March 17, 2006 my left ovary, fallopian tube, omentum and appendix were removed and I was washed out.
When I woke up from surgery, I was surrounded by my husband, three of my cousins, a very dear friend, and my doctor. The pain in their eyes was so evident. The doctor had sent my tumor to pathology but he was already pretty sure it was cancer. My God, I was face-to-face with ovarian cancer! The next four months were tough for me and everybody around me. There is nothing good I can say about chemotherapy – it sucked!! My chemotherapy regime was very aggressive and I needed help from my mother-in-law and aunt. So they came from Cleveland and Augusta to stay with us for a while. I had three twenty-one day cycles of the worst chemo drugs imaginable (Etopiside, Bleomycin and Cisplatin). I was quite sick from the chemotherapy. All of my hair fell out and I was always nauseous and tired.
Now, four years later I am the happiest I have ever been in my life; the happiest I have ever been with my inner self. Sure, I still have some really bad days. Days when I fear getting sick again and days when I feel that my friends have no burdens of their own. I know I have climbed mountains and everyday gets a bit easier. I continue to move further and further away from those horrible days three years ago. I realize how truly blessed we all are to have life. I realize how lucky I am to be in this world, to have my strong, supportive, and sometimes loving family (LOL) and so many old, new and totally amazing friends.
I sometimes ask myself the question, “Why?” Not so much why I was the one to get cancer, but rather, why I am the one who survived; the one who got a second chance? The only answer I can find is that we are all in this world for a reason. I think I am here to make some laugh and to make some cry. I would love to think that I am here to make some see that life is too short to be wasted and too precious to be ignored. Throughout this experience I have realized my own strengths. I fought this disease with everything I had and even though I lost things doing it: a year of my life, my hair (I know it’s just hair but wait until you lose it, or as mine did
fall out in patches), friendships, and the ability to have children, I have gained some things that are far more valuable – a renewed faith and a passion for life. I have gone through something only some ever will.
Having cancer does not mean your life is over. Rather, it means it has just begun. Mine has anyway. I wish to make others see this too. Life after cancer is possible. It is possible to have this disease, fight it, and move on. I have only just begun to live.
This article is intended to convey general educational information and should not be relied upon as a substitute for professional healthcare advice.