My mother in law is one of the kindest human beings I have ever known. She is happiest when everyone else is happy and she takes pride in taking care of everyone around her. I am not exaggerating in the slightest when I say I am blessed to have her in my life and love her dearly. Not only has she devoted her life to her family, she was also devoted to her patients as a registered nurse for over 40 years.
Other than a bout with shingles last year and a few colds here and there, she has never really been ill so when she was started losing her appetite and felt really full after only a few bites of food she went to see her doctor.
The doctor ran an x-ray and didn’t see anything so she prescribed antibiotics. When my mother in laws stomach continued to bloat she went back to the doctor who ordered a CT scan. We didn’t wait on the results. She was getting weaker and we were worried so my father in law took her to the emergency room. They told us they saw a bowel obstruction and we were relieved it wasn’t more serious and it could be repaired but that was just the beginning because we found out the next day that it was ovarian cancer.
Unfortunately the hospital she was in wasn’t equipped to handle such a serious illness so after a few days we got her transferred to Tampa General Hospital and she now has a wonderful team of doctors helping her.
21,980 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every year. It is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among women and there is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer. A pap smear does not detect this disease.
Unfortunately most women who are diagnosed are diagnosed at late stages and only 19% of women are diagnosed before the cancer spreads to the pelvic region. The symptoms of this disease are subtle and vague.
Teal is the color for Ovarian Cancer and it stands for Tell Every Amazing Lady and that’s what I am doing. I’m telling all of you the symptoms and the risk factors and I am begging you to be your own advocate. Do not take no for an answer. If you feel that something is wrong, insists that your doctor perform testing and if you don’t feel like the doctor is helping you, see another one. When my mother in law was in the emergency room waiting to be transferred to Tampa General hospital her doctor called with the results of the first CT scan, which she had only a few days before entering the hospital. She was told it was normal and that they didn’t find anything.
Trust your instincts because no one knows more about your body that you do.
Ovarian Cancer Signs and Symptoms
- Vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints such as gas, nausea, and indigestion
- Abdominal bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, and/or feeling of fullness
- Frequency and/or urgency of urination
- Unexplained change in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea)
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Unusual fatigue
- Shortness of breath
- Back pain
- New and unexplained abnormal postmenopausal bleeding
Ovarian Cancer Risk Factors
- Increasing age, with highest occurrence in women over 50
- Family or personal history of ovarian, breast, endometrial, or colon cancer
- Uninterrupted ovulation (having no pregnancies, infertility, low parity)
- Presence of gene mutations, especially BRCA1, BRCA2, or Lynch
For more information on Ovarian Cancer, visit this site.
Do you know anyone who is currently fighting or has battled ovarian cancer?