O is for Ovarian Cancer
Jamie is family. Jamie is a friend. Jamie has a story that many are not able to tell. Jamie is a survivor. Please read on as Jamie tells her story.
Age 24: I was diagnosed with the most deadly of the gynecological cancers, OVARIAN CANCER stage 1C.
Age 26: My cancer recurred.
Age 26-29: I carried on with my life, after all I was in my prime and didn’t want anything to hold me down.
Age 30-31: I finally hit my 5 year mark! Even though I didn’t consider myself a survivor at this point in time, I decided it was time to help raise awareness. I googled WI Ovarian Cancer to see if there was a local organization I could work with and found Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance. This is when Kelli McManaman Zembruski and Sandi Wagner made me realize I was a survivor and had a story to be told. I went to my first OC event and hit rock bottom afterwards. The emotional roller coaster I was on didn’t make sense until I started to see a life coach. Here I learned that I needed to allow myself to go through the “grieving stage” so I could move on. WOW… was this a crazy time for me. LESSON LEARNED: It’s ok to be weak, its ok to grieve and DON’T WAIT SO LONG next time (hopefully there won’t be a next time)
Age 32: I have been in remission for 6 years and going strong. As much as it sucks to say I had Ovarian Cancer and no longer able to have children which comes with dating issues, I realized this was one of the best things that happened to me! I am here to talk about it and I finally (after years of searching and going through a couple different career paths) found my calling! Today I am working as the Web Content Manager & Social Media Specialist in the offices at WOCA and help raising awareness of this deadly disease. I am here to put a face to this disease and to fight for other women’s lives!
TEAL IS MY JOURNEY AND PROUD OF IT!!!!
There are far too many people to give shout outs to (you all know who you are) but there is one lady that deserves a huge shout out, my beautiful Mother. Mom, (you might want to grab a box of Kleenex) I can’t thank you enough for being there and being so strong! I couldn’t imagine what it was like to be sitting alone when Dr. Caldwell broke the news to you; how you felt sitting bedside holding my hand knowing once I woke up you would be breaking the news to me along with breaking the news to everyone else! You remained strong and tried not to let me see your pain and tears. During the next 2 years after the diagnosis, you were always with me during my appointments even if it was just a blood draw. You comforted me during my CT and PET Scans and made sure I was warm and comfortable while drinking that disgusting drink! You put your life aside no matter what the situation was to be there for me. I will never forget the day I was at work when I received the call from my doctor. Sitting at work numb to the news I had to find the strength to call you. The tables have turned; I was the one having to break the news to you that my cancer was back. It was harder for me to tell you vs. the doctor telling me. You immediately left work and met me at home. You held me tight and you made me feel like no matter what was going to happen, I was going to be ok! Again, you are faced with your daughter having cancer and not knowing what the next step would be but you remained strong! You called in the troops and found yourself having to break the news yet again! Finding myself surrounded by my immediate family (my dad Tom, sisters Rachel and Laura and my brother Scott) that night, I realized no matter what the outcome was, we were all ready to fight! I thank you for the laughs you provided me right before I left the room to go into surgery. I thank you for being there holding my hand throughout this whole process. I LOVE YOU!!!
You wonder why I want you to spread awareness about ovarian cancer when you don’t have cancer? Well, at one point, neither did I! Spreading awareness helps save women’s lives, I should know… I do it for a living and see the benefits first hand!
PLEASE tell every woman you know about the symptoms… early detection is key to survival!
BEAT OVARIAN CANCER
B – Bloating/Gas
E – Eating issues. Feeling full/Eating less
A – Abdominal/Pelvic Pain
T – Tinkle tinkle tinkle. Troubles with your bladder.
Women who have these symptoms almost daily for more than a few weeks should see their doctor, preferably a gynecologist.
NOTE: Pap smears do NOT detect ovarian cancer. Women without ovaries are STILL AT RISK.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO MAKE A DONATION IN HONOR OF ME, PLEASE VISIT Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance donation page!
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Thank you for sharing your story, Jamie. I am so happy that marriages have made us family!