Survivor since 2008
I have always been very active. I eat healthy foods, avoiding store-prepared products and choosing instead to can and freeze my own produce in the summertime. I gave birth to my three children using absolutely no drugs, because I thought it would be healthier for me and the baby. I was a little overweight after having my uterus removed. I carry my weight very well; I lost 30 pounds but only one pant size. I walk, I hike, I bike. I do not drink soda, but instead consume lots of water with some tea, coffee, and red wine for variety. To my three sisters and to my parents, I am the picture of health.
When I got a pain in my right abdomen, I was sure it was appendicitis. It lingered. It worsened. So I agreed to go to the doctor. Turns out, it is a blessing my appendix was still with me, because it saved my life. I still have it. What I do not have are my ovaries or my fallopian tubes or several lymph nodes and part of my greater omentum. I was diagnosed with a Granulosa cell tumour, which translates to a rare form of ovarian cancer that is highly curable when found early. Mine was particularly aggressive, so I had to undergo a wicked nine-week stretch of chemo. Each of my sisters is missing her appendix, so I am vigilant about hounding them to go get their female organs checked. Regularly.
Many blessings have befallen me during this trying time, not the least of which was having a set time frame for my chemo. A close-ended time was much easier for me to accept. Another was getting to know those kind and generous souls who are oncology nurses. A tremendous blessing for me was that, after being told I had cancer, I did not wish I had done something different with my life. There was no epiphany about wishing I had climbed more mountains or loved my family better, because I was actively doing what I loved and loving who I live with and living each day to the fullest. I was upset because it interfered with my living a life I thoroughly enjoy. But now I am back. I have to go for checkups and I really, really, really, really don’t like my hair this length. But it is growing and I am healing and life is, still, continuously, joyfully returning to my damaged body. I am grateful that this was a physical attack and not an attack of a spiritual nature.
I am, truly, blessed.