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Stories of Inspiration

Living each day to the fullest

By May 14, 2021June 1st, 2023No Comments

I was a normal healthy 41-year-old wife and mother of 2 girls when I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I started having lower abdominal pain in December of 2010, which led to the removal of a cyst on my ovary. I felt so positive that it was not cancer. When the doctor called with the pathology results it was just numbing. Numbing for all of us.

I had a hysterectomy and staging in February of 2011 and was diagnosed with stage 1A and it was decided no chemo was needed. That was really great news for my family and I. One year later I had a follow-up CT scan and it showed a small shadowed area and my GYN Onc said we should recheck in 3 months and he assumed it was scar tissue. The next scan showed a tumor on my abdominal wall, when he examined me, he could feel it. Surgery was scheduled to remove the tumor. I had 3 tumors in fact and positive cells in my abdominal fluid, after some consultations and second opinion it was decided I should be treated as a stage 4 patient with IV Chemo and IP Chemo. Ports were placed and chemo started and I had to come to the realization that I would lose my hair.

Being a mother, it was hard to break down and show my feelings, so I kept as strong as I could and tried to keep everyone positive. The chemo treatments were harsh, mainly the IP chemo. I was very lucky to have such a great support system, my co-workers, friends, and family helped greatly. The hair loss was rough, but I got over it, my hair grew fairly fast when the chemo was over just as life came back to me too. I am NED and have been since 2013, a lot of health changes since then from the effects of the chemo, not a day goes by that I don’t think about cancer. I don’t think that will ever go away. But I don’t dwell on it, it has just made me live each day to the fullest, and try to not sweat the small stuff and keep myself as happy as I can be.¬†Ovarian cancer enabled me to be a stronger person.

Shirl Wood

Cancer has certainly changed my life, not all has been negative though, I have met some wonderful friends through this journey and have been able to help support others facing their own diagnosis.

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