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When diagnosed I knew I had 2 choices- take the treatments and be on my merry way OR share my story so people could not only learn about ovarian cancer

 

Randalynn

 

January 19, 2017, the day I left my “before cancer” life behind and received the news I had ovarian cancer.  Although I’d prepared myself for the worst, I don’t think you’re ever prepared for that kind of news.  At age 36, I was diagnosed with Stage 1C ovarian cancer, nothing I ever saw coming, hit us all out of left field.

I am one of the 15% found in the early stages and I consider myself very lucky.  Did I know I was sick? No, I did not.   Did I have the normal symptoms? Yes, all but one, BUT I had a million other things going on and they masked themselves as stress related issues due to my personal and work life being a complete mess.  I blamed the weight loss and inability to eat on nerves; the fatigue on having a stale exercise routine, so I was going to change it up, which ended up being a change that would save my life. That’s what makes ovarian cancer so tricky, the symptoms can all be signs of something else.

How did they find it? A CT scan checking my appendix, which they thought had ruptured due to my symptoms and age, instead revealed a melon size cyst on my right ovary. At the time, my OB/GYN thought this was nothing more than a dermoid cyst, I went in for surgery to have it removed and when the “well we’ll  have the results in a day or two” turned into a week later, I knew something was wrong and it was probably more than likely cancer.  Sure enough, it was.

6 rounds of chemo later, I’m still standing and I’m here to break the silence and create awareness about this silent killer.  I’m  a  single mom of 2, now 37 years old, and it’s crazy to me that we don’t have a reliable test in place to screen for ovarian cancer. What’s even more crazy is that the majority of people who’ve asked me how long it had been since I’d had an annual exam- ovarian cancer cannot be detected this way -the confused looks on their faces still run through my mind.

When diagnosed I knew I had 2 choices- take the treatments and be on my merry way OR share my story so people could not only learn about ovarian cancer, but see what a cancer patient actually goes through during this process of diagnosis, treatment, tests and life after treatment.  I selected option two, sharing my story to help other women and spread the word about this awful disease.

With Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month upon us I’ve set a new goal for myself  selling hats (which are FANTASTIC  soft and comfortable if you’ve lost your hair)  in order to raise funds for research, education and care packages.  How many, you might ask — a few — My goal is simple, selling 22,440 hats in 2017, representing the number of anticipated women who will be diagnosed this year.  Everyone needs a push goal, right??? I have one as well, an additional 14,080 honoring those who will lose their battle this year as well.

Potentially we’re looking at $438,000. Why am I doing this? Simple, I’m one of the lucky ones -I’m one of the 15%. I knew going in “cured” is a word they felt strongly I am going to be able to use, “NED” would follow after treatment stopped and because of all of that, I am choosing to do what I can in order to change the statistics in order for more women to be able to say the same. My hope is with your help we’ll be able to put 36,520 teal ribbon hats on melons across the country and more people will know about ovarian cancer because someone will ask “what’s the teal ribbon for?” and whomever is sporting the hat will be able to say why they are wearing the hat, to create awareness about ovarian cancer.

For more information on me and the fundraising efforts, please visit www.kickovariancacner.com.  The week of September 18th, all funds raised from hat sales will be going exclusively to the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

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