Today is World Ovarian Cancer Day. I am an ovarian cancer survivor.
I had observed the ravages of cancer and chemotherapy inflicted upon my patients as an oncology nurse. But I joined their ranks when ovarian cancer flung me to the other side of the bed. Nursing scrubs and shoes gave way to tieback gowns and skid-free gripper socks. I was dragged through the theme park of cancer with its midway of fears that assailed me and chemotherapy that pummeled me. The tune, “What if?” revolved around my mind like a crazed carousel. How I yearned to grasp the switch that would halt this fearsome ride.
But I survived the malaise, pain and nausea that stormed my body. I survived the emotional roller coaster, spewing its negativity. Bleach-tipped hair burst forth from my bald scalp. Eyebrows and eyelashes reappeared. By the grace of God, I exchanged the fog of chemo brain for mental clarity.
Several months later, I donned my nursing scrubs and resumed my career.
Today, I have a comfortable lead in my race against ovarian cancer. I am a survivor.
There is no test for ovarian cancer. It is often diagnosed in the latter stages due to its vague symptoms easily ignored.
Today is World Ovarian Cancer Day. Let us raise awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer:
- Abdominal bloating
- Pelvic discomfort or pain
- Persistent indigestion, gas or nausea
- Feeling full or loss of appetite
- Changes in bowel patterns
- Urinary frequency
- Abdominal or low back pain