Ovarian Cancer Is Not Age Specific and There Isn't a Definitive Prevention Test Either
Since 2012 it has been a roller coaster ride
I decided to start writing again because it helps me cope with certain parts of this battle. I also hope that by sharing my journey that it will help someone else know the symptoms and catch cancer and kick it to the curb. I have had a total of four occurrences and when I look back now , there were always signs but no one was paying attention including myself. I will break down the journey to my life leading up to cancer and each occurrence thereafter. This is therapeutic for me but I hope it also saves someone else and encourages many to keep fighting.
I am 38 years old now but when I think back to my younger years i can recall always having issues with my menstrual cycle. I know that most will wonder the correlation with that and ovarian cancer but it plays a big part. Initially I was plagued with having extremely long menstrual cycles which started at 5 to 7 days and eventually would creep up to 60 days without a break. In that time frame, I have visited numerous gynecologists and specialists to manage the painful cycles. The most memorable part of this journey was in 2007 after I moved to Atlanta, Georgia. I started a new chapter in my life and was excited for all of the possibilities in this new city and state. The periods started becoming longer at this point in my life and would either last for several days or disappear for a month or two. Every time that I skipped a period the doctors would always check for pregnancy, then they would run numerous blood tests i.e. auto immune diseases, complete blood count, etc. It always would be inconclusive and I even had a CA 125 test before but it was always normal. It got to a point where if I skipped a period the next period would be extremely painful and almost unbearable. I was prescribed vicodin and other opiods for pain. It was just a bandaid because still no one knew why it was happening to me. I was once told that I am just one of the unlucky ones with extremely hard menstrual cycles. I wish I could tell that doctor today that she missed something major and my life is different because of it. I am not bitter about it but I don't want another woman to ever be overlooked again. This journey is hard and no one could have prepared me for what I would face in the years to come. I was referred to a specialist at a well known hospital in Atlanta and this doctor primarily saw high risk pregnancy patients. He performed a doppler ultrasound to see if there were any unusual anomalies. A doppler ultrasound use soundwaves to reflect the tissue and blood flow in your body and can differentiate between tissue masses and blood flow. He saw it and I saw it too and yet the conversation didn't go like i thought. it was a noticeable difference in my left ovary from my right ovary. In my case my right ovary was maybe the size of 2 cm and my left ovary was slightly bigger than a golf ball but noticeably bigger than my right ovary. it was 2 to 3 times bigger. So to anyone else that sounds suspicious right, well not to this doctor. He told me that it was most likely what was causing my extreme periods but i should keep in mind that i have fibroids as well. I was 27 years old at the time and he told me I was too young to have something serious like ovarian cancer. He told me they would monitor me every few months for my doctor and for now I should continue to do the Nuva Ring and Seasonale (birth control) to help manage the blood flow of my cycles. I want to end this here and say , HE WAS WRONG !
In most families there is a history of certain illnesses, in my family that history spanned from diabetes, high blood pressure and breast cancer. I wasn't ready for the diagnosis I got but I had a feeling since 2007 that the diagnosis would reach fruition. The issues with menorrhagia and amenorrhea continued until I could't deal with the symptoms anymore. I started having uterine contractions more frequently and they would last for a few minutes to several hours. The longest episode of these contractions was 24 hours and I was given a morphine shot only to overhear doctors in the er whisper that i may be a drug addict. Imagine being in so much pain that morphine wears off within 10 minutes and instead of a doctor looking for the cause they assume i am a drug addict. I just have to include a few of the hurtful moments where doctors have been a HUGE disappointment. I never gave up in trying to find