Ovarian cancer. Sharing experience and facts

May 8th is World Ovarian Cancer day, so we decided to write about this topic and spread awareness. We believe it is important to spread positivity and to encourage women that are going through this experience. Therefore, one lovely member of our community decided to share her journey with us.💙

A personal journey of Michelle King:

Lovely Michelle, firstly, tell us a bit more about yourself 💛:

“I am 29 years old and I am from Indianapolis, IN, USA. A few hobbies of mine are watching documentaries, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with my 3 dogs and husband. My diagnosis was Stage 2 Ovarian Cancer.”

How did you find out about your diagnosis🔎?

“My diagnosis was a long journey to finding out exactly what was wrong with me. I was in a lot of abdominal pain for 3 months before I found out what was wrong with me. I had gone to a few doctors and they all thought I just had intestinal issues and would prescribe me medications to help me go to the bathroom. That was my biggest issue. I became very constipated all the time and very bloated. I had xrays of my intestines and according to the doctors I was fine. It wasn’t until like I mentioned before 3 months of pain and then shortness of breath that my husband took me to the Emergency Room and they did a CT Scan and noticed my ovary had a tumor the size of a baseball and was causing my organs to be pushed up. At that point they had me see a Gynecological Oncologist. My doctor wasn’t able to diagnose me exactly with cancer until my surgery to confirm it was cancer. Before surgery I had asked my doctor to please save my uterus and other ovary if possible because my greatest desire was to have children. Unfortunately, for my safety she said if it was cancer she would need to do a full hysterectomy. Due to my tumor being cancerous I had to have a full hysterectomy and that is when I was diagnosed with having ovarian cancer stage 2.”

How did it influence your life after the diagnosis🔍?

“When my husband and I received the news in the Emergency Room about me having a tumor the size of a baseball, we were scared. I remember crying myself to sleep for the whole week before my surgery. It was very emotionally exhausting for both of us. We were both hoping it was benign, but preparing ourselves for it being cancer. I am very lucky to have a very supportive family and husband. Now and since the surgery they have been taking care of me and I am not working.”

Is the lockdown somehow affecting you more than normal 🏡? “Honestly, I feel that I have been in lockdown since August! My family has been very protective of me. When I was going through Chemo I was extremely weak and my immune system was very low, so I wasn’t around many people and stayed away from large crowds like the grocery stores. So it all feels pretty normal to me. I do go out for walks around my home with my husband and dogs but that is about as much as I leave the house! I actually have been enjoying the lockdown a little because my husband has been working from home so I get to spend extra time with him ”

Do you have any recommendations for women who get diagnosed👭?

“The only piece of advice I have is that it is ok if you feel like your world is falling apart, cry it out and vent to those you trust and love. My favorite quote right now is “Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine.” Things may not be good right now, but if you fight you will beat this and live!

I read an amazing book about being a woman and going through cancer. It’s called Pretty Sick. It definitely helped me understand things the doctors did not explain about cancer. It is written by a woman who went through breast cancer but it applies to all types of cancers. I definitely recommend reading it!”

Recommendation of Michelle: Book Pretty Sick - The beauty guide for women with cancer from Caitlin M. Kiernan