Just like the ACS, I, too, am an official sponsor of birthdays.
Ovarian cancer. At age 22. Thank goodness for annual exams and doctors who are thorough and careful. Thankful, too, that a grapefruit-sized mass somehow stayed within my left ovary and didn't spread anywhere else, so no chemo or radiation. And very thankful my doctors talked me into keeping the other ovary intact to preserve my fertility, even though it means more surgery once I'm done having children, since I was lucky enough to get a type of ovarian cancer that can recur even 20 or 30 years later. The 6-inch vertical scar is still red but looks less angry now -- and I'm less angry now, too. Less scared. But still angry and scared, sometimes.
Last August was the worst -- even worse than the weeks before my surgery, because then it was just me and now, well, it isn't. Sitting in the doctor's office in that stupid paper robe and hearing the nurse shout down the hall to someone else, "Looks like she's got a mass on that remaining ovary." Waiting and waiting for the doctor to come in and trying to pretend I hadn't already heard, for some strange reason. Crying when I sang lullabies to Lorelei and knowing she would never remember them. And then getting the phone call that said the blood work results were negative, the ultrasound looked fine after all, that follow-up tests weren't necessary any more. That time, I had been holding my breath so much it hurt.
So I'm celebrating. And trying to raise awareness. If you have been putting off making that doctor's appointment, call now. And if everything turns out to be fine, the co-pay will still be the best $25 or $50 you spent this month. Because peace of mind and good health are totally worth it.
My amazing caregivers from the Fairview Women's Clinic are never far from my mind. If you're in Minnesota, consider participating in the Silent No More Walk/Run on September 8th at Rosland Park in Edina. Learn more about it here. There are events in Pennsylvania and Nebraska on the 8th, too -- check here to see how you can participate in these events and others during September (aka ovarian cancer awareness month).
On September 7th, participate in Wear Teal Day to raise awareness for a silent killer with a 47% five-year survival rate (just as an FYI, it's 90% for breast cancer based on 2007 stats).
Starting on September 1st and lasting all month long, all the proceeds I make in shop sales will go to the fight against ovarian cancer. And I have one more fundraiser I'll be promoting here on the blog, so stay tuned for more details.