Joanie

Shawhan

In Her Shoes

Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer

In Her Shoes

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We are women. We love shoes. Our closets are chock-full: stilettos, flats, platforms, sandals, flip-flops, tennies, boots, athletic shoes. For each occasion we agonize over our perfect outfit right down to our feet. Sometimes it’s a delicate balance of comfort versus fashion.

 

Women with ovarian cancer have trod in all of these shoes. We come from all walks of life, but our paths have intersected in one place—ovarian cancer. It doesn’t matter your choice of shoe. If you are a woman, you are not immune.

 

The trek through ovarian cancer is precarious and unpredictable, marked only by the numbers we patrol and the reports we scan. We slog through the storms of adversity: a life-threatening diagnosis, surgery and chemotherapy—which messes with our minds. We scale the cliffs of insanity: brain fog, jitters, emotional roller coasters plunging us into fear and depression. We vacillate between fatigue and insomnia, ratcheted up by steroids, pain and hot flashes.

 

Along the way, we have cast off our prissy shoes, trading them in for shoes that can handle the muck and day-to-day drudgery of living with cancer.

 

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One day though, we will retrieve these prissy shoes we have discarded. We will walk, we will run and we will raise awareness of this life-threatening disease. We will stamp out ovarian cancer.

 

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Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer:

 

  • Pain or pressure in the pelvis, abdomen or lower back
  • Abdominal bloating or a sense of fullness
  • Nausea, constipation, diarrhea, gas or indigestion
  • Urinary frequency or urgency
  • Fatigue

 

If you experience any of these symptoms, consult your doctor.

 

 

(Photos courtesy of Pixabay)

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