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Hello again! I decided to dedicate this column to ovarian cancer prevention, as I am a survivor.
My story is a blessed one. I had borderline ovarian cancer in 2000. I had surgery that removed my left ovary, and then had to follow up with an oncologist. Moffitt Cancer Center is super-conservative, and wanted to immediately remove the other ovary.
I was only 29 years old, so I decided to seek another opinion. I then met Dr. Linda Morgan at Shand’s Hospital. She was an amazing lady and icon in gynecology oncology. She told me if I wanted to have another child, she would monitor me and then perform surgery on the ovary.
So I now have a beautiful daughter named after that amazing doctor. My Morgan was born in 2002, thanks to Dr. Morgan. I continued to have six-month tests, ultrasound and CA125 blood work. My tests continued to be normal.
Dr. Morgan eventually recommended surgery, and I chose to monitor with testing. My first surgery was a 14cm tumor and was a horrible, lengthy recovery. It was difficult to agree to a “preventative” surgery if it could wait. I finally decided to have my final surgery this April 2012. My tests showed a small solid area; however, nothing really alarming.
During my surgery, the frozen section came back borderline ovarian cancer, so my surgeon removed the uterus, as well. I will never forget being wheeled into my hospital room at 3:30 p.m. when my surgery started at 9 a.m., half coherent, asking my sister what had happened. She hesitated, and then told me that it was the same as last time, borderline. I immediately started crying, saying, Thank you, Jesus.”
I was so ashamed that I put my surgery off for so long and here it was the same condition. I thought I was just a statistic, and what if I beat it?
Now, I will forever be a voice of prevention. If you are a statistic, just do it. Do not gamble with your life, most likely if you had it once, you will have it again. I am so thankful to Dr. Stone of the Shand’s team for being so persistent with me to follow Dr. Morgan’s orders.
I know Dr. Stone was an angel sent to me to speak loud enough for me to make time for surgery and just do it.
I worked out really hard prior to surgery and came out strong. Dr. Stone told my family I was the strongest girl he had ever met, inside and out. I will forever be indebted to that man. He is a part of my family!
My final release was a phone call from Dr. Stone a week after surgery with the results of the final pathology report. The uterus was benign, as was the abdomen tissue, no further treatment necessary.
Whew! I was crying tears of joy.
Ovarian cancer is known as the silent killer, as there are few symptoms. Some of the symptoms are; bloating, nausea, indigestion, painful intercourse, painful ovulation, tender abdomen. Sounds like a normal day for a woman, so it is very difficult to think of something being wrong.
Here are the preventative testing procedures for ovarian cancer: vaginal ultrasound, CA125 tumor marker blood test, yearly exams. That is about it.
Due to the fact the ovaries are in the open abdomen area, it is very dangerous if cancer starts to grow, as there are so many organs in that area. Pay attention to your body and perform the yearly exams.
Life is short, and every day is a blessing. Please do not gamble with your life, as surgery is such a simple solution.
I have many tips on anti-aging and menopause the natural way. Feel free to message me and I will share my tips. Remember, you are still a woman no matter the parts that may have to be removed from you. The beauty of a woman comes from within, and your aura will always remain.
Yai Yai is an internationally trained hair designer, makeup artist, skin-care specialist, fashion designer and Citrus County business owner. A former model, modeling agency owner and fitness instructor, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-795-7625.