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How I Learned I Had Ovarian Cancer

How did I learn I had  Stage IV Ovarian Cancer?  Well, I had pain for many years, and I remember as early as high school (01 graduate) being told I had Ovarian Cysts, which doctors wanted to regulate with birth control.  They said it would alleviate the problem, but in college I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, and cringe when I remember the pain of having cysts rupture on occasions.  Despite the pain, I gritted my teeth and reassured myself this was my normal.

 

After I married my husband, Benjamin, in October of 2008, I went to my family doctor, and once again reiterated my concern for the cysts, pain, and my new normal.  He made a referral for me to see a very reputable OBGYN, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear it was the same doctor who delivered his children.  I appreciated the referral, I mean, come on, he delivered a doctor’s children, he’s gotta be good, right!?!  I felt hopeful in his hands and confident he would provide a solution to the pain and concern I’d carried for years.  I met with the highly recommended doctor and he told me there’s really no way to know what is going on around a women’s uterus and ovaries without having an exploratory surgery. This is basically true, however, a doctor can determine the difference between a cyst and mass in most cases.

 

I was scheduled for surgery immediately, and with exclusivity of the Dr. came my choice of hospitals, which was certainly impressive.  The surgery was outpatient and I came out with two small incisions. The doctor told my family I had an infection, and I was sent home with some serious antibiotics.  On my follow up appointment the doctor walked in the room and immediately and literally said “well you’re never having kids”.

 

I really heard nothing else after the doctor said those words and left the office with more of his antibiotics, but nothing ever got better.  I found a NEW OBGYN, who I really liked, and she carefully reviewed the surgical notes to help me understand better what the doctor found during the surgery.  She told me my insides where messed up pretty bad and I had “clubbing” in my tubes that likely would prevent children.  I told her I was still having pain, but she was adamant that I should not have another surgery until Benjamin and I decided if we would ever “try” for kids, because another surgery could damage everything.

 

Fast forward to four years later, I had a big disappointment at work after trying for several promotions and the heartbreak was exactly what I needed to shake me to demand answers on my health.  I researched options and received good recommendations on a SPECIALIST (key word), and when Benjamin and I met with Dr. Parekh, in August 2012, he immediately felt a mass on my ovary within seconds, and he was concerned. (In addition,  to Dr. Parekh I recommend Dr. Katie Smith as specialist. She is housed at the OU Health Sciences Center and will deliver both of my nephews). 

 

Dr. Parekh ordered an ultrasound and determined it was a mass, but he didn’t think it was Cancerous.  The plan was to forgo a full hysterectomy for the time being, and remove as much ovary as necessary to eradicate the problem. During the surgery the doctor found more than he bargained for, it was obviously Cancer, and it had spread to my uterus, tubes, and now we know a metastasized mass.

 

My regret in my journey towards diagnosis is looking back I should have questioned the first doctor. Not because of how he treated me after the surgery, but I should’ve questioned the referral in the first place. The doctor who delivered my physician’s children was not a Cancer/Pre-Cancerous specialist. His office was decorated with pictures of all of the babies he had delivered over years, and I’m sure he would have been perfect if I’d been there to have a baby.

 

Looking back on the doctor’s notes from my 1st surgery, it said I had a black cyst on my right ovary, which is where my Oncologist believes the cancer originated.  So, it’s not certain, but obviously likely I had the Cancer during the exploratory surgery I underwent four years before my diagnosis. I don’t hold any ill will towards the doctor. I do wish he would’ve been more sensitive and treated me nicer then the last time I saw him. Then again, I wish there were more people in this world who were a little nicer!! No matter what the world or people may do, my God in Heaven calls me to “Love Him and love others”. 
 
Know The Symptoms: 
 
Ovarian Cancer Awareness

 

Teal doesn’t just stand for being  Tenaciously Teal or “Teal for Tarah”.  It is to remind us that Ovarian Cancer whispers, and is most often found in its’ later stages,  decreasing a women’s chances of survival. According to the Ovarian Cancer Coalition (2015), 70% of women with Ovarian Cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is in an advanced stage. In addition, in the U.S. this year there will be  22,000 new cases of Ovarian Cancer . Let’s raise awareness together, and assist women in finding Gynecological Cancers early and before the disease progresses!

 

Ovarian Cancer Symptoms

 

  • Abdominal Bloating
  • Indigestion or Nausea
  • Feelings of Pressure in the pelvis or lower back
  • Increased Abdominal Growth
  • Feeling tired or low energy
  • P.S. These symptoms are obviously common, and shouldn’t cause immediate concern. Consider these points:
    • Be mindful of your body
    • Advocate for your health
    • Fight Like a Girl

 

*** A woman’s annual Pap Smear does NOT detect Ovarian Cancer.  There is NO early detection test for Ovarian Cancer. A Pap Smear WILL test for Cervical Cancer. 

5 Comments
  • Kiran Chandra Ch

    June 29, 2013 at 5:09 am Reply

    Hey Loads and loads of great information here , I used to suffer with ovarian cyst rupture , can you suggest me natural ways of getting rid of it ?

  • Kiran Chandra Ch

    June 29, 2013 at 5:12 am Reply

    I mean that my wife is suffering with ovarian cyst rupture , wat do i do?

  • Tarah Warren

    June 30, 2013 at 12:58 am Reply

    Hi Kiran,
    I think the number one thing is to look at your wife's diet in order to prevent cysts from forming. Often ovarian cysts are caused by a hormonal imbalance or excess of estrogen. Herbal remedies like milk thistle can help and it is important to stay away from foods that could have added hormones ie meat and dairy Also she can
    Stop eating soy foods
    Eat only organic meats and dairy
    Do not microwave foods in plastic
    Stop drinking water from plastic bottles
    Avoid mineral oil and parabens in skin care products
    Use natural detergents.
    To help with ovarian cysts before they rupture apply heat. This can help increase blood flow to the area which provides healing. I also like yoga to help increase blood flow and promote overall wellness.
    Also since Ovarian Cancer often can develop from Ovarian Cysts have your wife get a CA 125 blood test. This is a Cancer marker for Ovarian Cancer. Ovarian Cancer caught early is easily treated. It is once it metastasizes that it becomes more deadly. Let me know if you have any other questions.

  • Cheryl

    June 2, 2014 at 2:50 pm Reply

    I Love You Tarah!! Thank you for the info… You Rock Girl!!!

  • Ryan35

    October 9, 2015 at 10:51 am Reply

    Generic Vepesid is anti cancer drug that stops growth and slows their sped to spread in the body

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