My journey began mid-morning of April 14 2018, a sudden onset of abdominal pain. I stepped out of workshop I was attending, got something to eat, went to the bathroom, purchased Pepto-Bismol at the hotel convenience store. Nothing helped. For the next few days the pain persisted, told myself it’s IBS, acid reflux, stress and convinced myself it’s going to pass. Weeks passed and the pain worsened, now I also bloated, tired, and short of breath all the time. Like many ovarian cancer patients my diagnosis did not come easy, it took 3 more months before I was diagnosed. It was July when I finally met my gyn-oncologist and his face was one of concern; his choice words even more so…”we need to do this surgery soon” he said. A week later I had debulking surgery and was diagnosed with uterine and ovarian cancer stage 4B and had spread to the liver, colon, bladder, and peritoneum. I was devastated, my spirit broken, and my body hanging on a thin thread. I spent a week in the hospital and came home 15 lbs. lighter. Not a day passed when friends and family came to my rescue. For the first time I had no strength to care for myself, I can’t get out of bed without help and a few steps to the bathroom gave so much discomfort and shortness of breath. Though surrounded by friends and family, I was alone in my thoughts. I questioned why me? Why now? What’s going to happen to my 7 y/o daughter? How much time do I have left? I had so many questions and the answers came slow. Chemo started exactly a month after surgery, 18 sessions seemed insurmountable. The 1st of 18 is unforgettable. The steroid I received before chemo gave me energy and for the first time in four months and I was up and about. On the 3rd day though it hit me like a train. I couldn’t get up and could not keep anything down. The next 2 days was spent in bed and ate only frozen grapes. When I finally got up I saw a reflection of myself and it scared me. I had lost 6 lbs. in 2 days, 15 more over the next 5 months and 17 more sessions. That is how I looked and felt…I was scared.
The past 10 months was a challenge and my struggle physically and spiritually was real. I am fortunate to have found peace and acceptance of the challenge that was given to me and blessed to be surrounded by family and friends who were willing to share in my journey. This journey is far from over as I face the possibility [of] recurrence, but today is all I have to deal with. And everyday I wake up is a miracle and a testament of God’s great love, in hoping, believing, and in resilience of spirit.