Sunday, August 24, 2014

I knew I was "Special"

I have always known how unique I am.

For a long time, it was a big problem. I never felt like I fit in. I never wore the right clothes. Never did the right things. Just never was like anyone else, especially the "Popular" kids.

Somewhere along the line I realized that it was OK to be different, except that I didn't necessarily want to let anyone know how, so I stifled my voice.

These couple of factors are interesting, given my current situation and state.

"Only" approximately 22,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with ovarian cancer this year. Compared to the population of women, compared to breast cancer, compared to a lot of things, that number certainly stands out. And it also makes me stand out to, by being included in it.

Of course if I was going to have to deal with a diagnosis of cancer, it would have to be one that was in the more unique range. Of course.

My mind has been going the last couple of nights, trying to figure out what I can do to utilize the fact that September is a month of "awareness" for this illness I am all too familiar with now. This part is an interesting piece, given that it is causing me to speak out in ways that would have been unfathomable only a few short years ago. There are many things I think I can do, but there is one piece that I am going to have difficulty with, and that is the one that has to do with statistics.

If I was on the outside looking in, or if I was years away from a diagnosis, it would be a lot easier looking at statistics. The problem is, I am neither. Occasionally I will stumble into some looking for something else, and it does me no good.

The fact is that ovarian cancer is one of the Top 3 cancers responsible for the death of women.

The fact is that it often goes undetected and misdiagnosed for way too long, which leads to later stage diagnosis, and in some cases a quick death.

The fact is that many women who have symptoms wind up going to the doctor repeatedly with symptoms that aren't treated, or are treated as something else.

The fact is that many doctors will likely never see a case of ovarian cancer in their practice, and therefore would be unlikely to recognize one if it showed up.

The fact is that most women when asked have no clue what the symptoms are. And men?

The fact is that many (including doctors) treat it like it's an "older" woman's disease. It just so happens that (if I remember correctly) approximately 50% of cases are women who are in their 60s. But that still leaves a range of women who don't fit that stereotype. In fact, it can be an illness much more detrimental to a younger woman because it isn't something readily considered.

There are other facts. I am not sure I want to know any others, and for that you will have to forgive me. I think I know all I really need to know at the moment because...

The fact is...

I am one of those special and unique women who makes up those statistics.

Another fact?

I am hoping that I can help others to be more informed so that if they become a statistic, it is one of the earlier stages, and they can find themselves getting what they need much sooner than if they had no clue what was going on, or what to ask the doctor for to take care of themselves.

I would love it if you would help me get the word out in September, or any time. Please visit http://ovcasymptoms.com for more info on how you can do that.

Thanks. And thanks on behalf of those you might just help.

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