What will you do when your life changes in the blink of an eye? When you’re facing the choice to live or to die? Will you stand up and fight, or lay there and cry?
My name is Tammy. I was diagnosed on March 28, 2016, with stage 3C ovarian cancer. On April 4, 2016, I underwent a complete hysterectomy. On May 19, 2016, I began chemo. I completed my 18th session on October 13, 2016. I am now looking forward to my life returning to normal.
I was not shocked by my diagnosis. I expected it, which is why I ignored my symptoms for months. Cancer is strong in my family. It took my dad in 2010, after he battled for 7 years. Watching him and what he went through, I swore I’d never go through chemo. I said I’d rather just live until it took me. Then my day came, and all those thoughts went out the window. I never questioned my doctor, never mentioned my thoughts about chemo. I just did what they told me I needed to do because I wanted to live. I asked my doctor, how do I become one of the 34% of woman who survive my stage? I remained positive and upbeat, even on the days when the Neupogen shots had me in tears from the bone pain they cause.
I found out I have BRCA1. I went to a genetic counselor, and I joined a genetic study. I’ve tried to educate others, to get my family to do the genetic testing too, in hopes that they can avoid what I went through. As it turns out, my battle was easy. I was very blessed and handled the chemo extremely well. Yes, I lost my hair, but I didn’t care. I never experienced any nausea, never had appetite issues, never had chemo associated pain. My biggest side effect is the neuropathy, but I’m not complaining. Studies show the BRCA1 gene actually helps you with chemo and increases your survival rate, go figure, lol.
I hope my story inspires someone. I hope it stops someone who may be ignoring symptoms, like I did. You can beat cancer! Modern medicine has come so far and improvements are made every day, but your biggest threat to cancer is your mindset. Your desire to live. Your will to FIGHT LIKE A GIRL!!!
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.
Thank you so much, Tammy, for sharing your story. I hope that your future is bright and you continue to do well.
Hi Tammy, thanks for sharing your story. Mine is very similar to yours. I was diagnosed at 41 years old with stage three ovarian cancer in September 2019, had an immediate full hysterectomy and underwent chemo until April 2020. I also have the BRCA1 gene mutation. I would love to know how your life has been since chemo…what has changed in your life? What challenges did you face?