STORIES

Lemons to Lemonade – Libby's story

I am a Ovarian Cancer Survivor since 2004. Ovarian Cancer is known as the silent killer of women. Why? There aren’t really any symptoms. Here’s my story:

I was being treated for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome for 6 months for a syndrome I did not have. I was starting fertility treatments when I was not infertile. I had CANCER.

Luckily for me, the fertility doctor recommended I see a gyn oncologist BEFORE starting treatments and the rest is history.

My ovary was the size of a brick. A normal size ovary is the size of a walnut.

Gyn oncologist recommended a “routine” exploratory laparoscopic surgery to see what was going on. I woke up and found out: 1) My ovary had been removed; 2) I had ovarian cancer. I was devastated, but hopeful as they told me they had “bagged” it all and got it all out and I had one ovary left.

My life was forever changed.

My menstrual cycle normalized after the cancerous ovary was removed. I got pregnant NATURALLY 3 months after my diagnosis. I had a wonderful, healthy pregnancy and delivered a 9.5lbs baby boy in 2005 via C-section (with gyn oncologist present to do another exploratory since I could not have scans while pregnant). Days after my son’s birth, I found out my cancer had returned. I didn’t know devastation until I heard those words for the 2nd time (holding my newborn).

During routine scans, the cancer was rediscovered again in March 2008 and then again September 2008 requiring me to have a total hysterectomy (September 2008) undergo IV chemotherapy (November 2008) for 3 months. I am blessed that I have remained cancer free for over 10 years now.

Advice: Proactive health care. Listen to your body. In retrospect, I had two symptoms – extreme tiredness (for each and every reoccurrence) and for the first bloating and frequent bathroom visits. #cancersurvivor #ovariancancer #survivor #youcanttreatwhatyoudontknowabout

For media enquiries please contact: cmackay@worldovariancancercoalition.

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