A Piece of My Day

A Piece of Friday, 10 September 2010…

Posted on: Friday, 10 September 2010

Today’s picture, as you can tell, is not a photograph, but rather a teal-colored awareness ribbon. The teal ribbons aren’t as common as the others we see on the back of cars – pink, camo, yellow, red/white/blue, etc.

I posted this ribbon today because September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month and many people – including women – have no idea. Many women don’t think about ovarian cancer at all. I know I didn’t, until about six years ago.

Six years ago, my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Originally, she had been told she had diverticulitis – but then they found a mass in her abdomen – and then they did surgery – and then we got the diagnosis which changed all of our lives forever. And it was a cancer that I had never even heard of – a cancer which wasn’t in our family (that we know of) – a cancer which caught us completely off-guard.

And that’s the tricky part about this type of cancer – it’s sneaky like that. This is why groups like the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance make it their goal to get the word out to as many people as possible about ovarian cancer. It’s a tough one to find early and a tough one to survive.

Mom lived a year after her diagnosis. It was a brave year for her – a brave year for all of us who were in her life – a hellish year, too, filled with all sorts of new terminology and changes in status which took us on an emotional roller coaster – one day up, the next week down, the next month up, the next week down, etc. etc. It stretched us and pulled us in ways we never knew were possible..and the evening she died began a whole new series of stretching and pulling. Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of Mom’s death.

I share all this with you as part of my plea –

If you are a woman, stay current on your OB-GYN check-ups. Be vigilant in asking your doctor questions. Ask things like, “What are the risk factors for this type of cancer?” “What are the symptoms?” If you have a family history of ovarian cancer (or breast cancer), talk with your doctor about the BRAC Analysis, a test which looks at your hereditary risk for these diseases. Ask, ask, ask the questions.

You won’t find all the answers, I’m sorry to say. Life throws things at us which are impossible to comprehend, and which make us throw our hands up and shriek heavenward, or bury our heads in our pillows and sob. But hopefully, we also have some faith, some hope, and a lot of love – three things which can be elusive, but which can make all the difference.

May faith, hope, and love be upon your day,

K

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