Friday, August 22, 2014

ovarian cancer awareness

September is ovarian cancer awareness month. I suppose I should capitalize those letters, but to know me is to know I don't like giving cancer a BIG "C" status, ever. It's kind of ironic, really, as it really just calls more attention to it in some way.

But I am OK with that. At least for now.

I am also not a big fan of bandwagons. Sometimes I think they get hijacked in less than positive or helpful ways. However, for the moment, I am going to hitch a ride on the one in September, and see what I might be able to add to the conversation.

I will be posting the image to the left during the month. I will also be sharing a video I made earlier today. As I write, I am aware that I did not yet post it, as I had more work to do, first, which included securing the domain name, ovcasymptoms.com. I will get it posted, and come back and add it to this post.

Here it is!

I have this idea to stir up information about the symptoms of ovarian cancer, and more importantly, what to do if you think you could be dealing with it. I had many of the signs, but even when I spoke with doctors, ovarian cancer was never mentioned. Even a visit to a GI doctor came and went without a mention. And that piece is particularly interesting, as ovarian cancer can masquerade as digestive issues, so one would think a GI doctor would know that possibility. Well. He never said anything about the possibility, and dismissed me after the colonoscopy he insisted I have.

What I'd like to create is an awareness campaign of specifics. If you are a woman, or know a woman,* I'd like to ask you to take a picture of yourself with one of the two images just below, and post it online. If you're really enthusiastic, you could even make it your profile picture for the month/part of the month. As you can tell, they're very different approaches. I have seen how many will get scared seeing this "stuff," so I tried to make a less scary version. However, it is fear that will prevent women from seeking out the type of information they need to take care of themselves.

When you post, please ask those who see it to go to the link (which will be this page) for more information/explanation. Having been someone who has been in the place of fear, and having seen how a delay makes a big difference, it is very difficult to walk the line of informed vs. allowing fear to run the show.

I get how we don't want to get stuff in our head. I am good about being careful about that, too. But it is wise to be aware of the types of things that could possibly impact our own life, or the life of someone we love. Ignorance in a case where ovarian cancer could be at play is anything but bliss.

(If you click on the image, it will take you to a full-sized version) You can send it to me on Twitter (@JoLoPe) and tag me on Facebook.com/JoLoPe. You can also share it, if you like on the Facebook page Facebook.com/Relatingtocancer

Alternatively, you could post one of my images on Twitter or Facebook. You can see the images I have created here.

There is no challenge, and no ice involved :P,  but perhaps you could ask others to do it, as well. Ovarian cancer can be really sneaky because people don't know enough about it to be better able to take care of themselves.

You may think ovarian cancer is an "older women's disease." Well, many doctors also likely believe that as some women's stories include the fact that they were "too young" to get it. I even heard a story once about a young girl diagnosed with it. If you're a female, you may have a greater risk level with certain parameters, but there is a risk at most any age.


If you would like to contribute to an organization that will help the people who are dealing with cancer, CancerSupportFoundation.org is a wonderful organization headed by Cindy Carter. Many people do not realize that most organizations that support cancer related issues do not help the individuals with their great needs. Cindy is on the front lines helping with so much. If giving money to a worthy cause speaks to you, please consider the organization.

At some point, I would like to have a better way of providing this info. But for now, this is a place to start. Anyone want to help put something more official together? Just let me know. In the meantime, please help me get the word out. Thanks!

So...will you join me? I'd love to see you in a picture like this. Just click here to get the paper that I am holding. See you in September?!

*yeah. I know. That pretty much covers everyone, doesn't it? :P

PS Please feel free to give me feedback about how it goes. It might help me to better craft an empowering approach. Thanks.

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