Yesterday my husband Ken and I had the good fortune to walk in the Hyannis Fourth of July Parade with Ovarian Cancer 101, and its amazing leaders, Diane and Bob Riche. We joined other dedicated friends to hand out symptom cards, and candy (of course!!!), to the spectators. It was our hope to reach as many women as possible, to educate them about the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer, symptoms that can be dismissed as other illnesses, or discomforts. Over 90% of women do not know the symptoms, so reaching as many people as possible was our paramount goal.
As I walked with our awesome Ovarian Cancer 101 group, I couldn’t help but reflect on my own Ovarian Cancer, and on the fact that I had no idea of the symptoms of this illness when I was diagnosed. I went in for pain on my right side, which turned out to be cysts. The ultrasound that they did to investigate this showed a mass on my other side, which I was totally unaware of. That was the beginning of my Ovarian Cancer journey ten years ago. Since that time I have had several surgeries, and rounds of chemo. I often wonder, if I had known the symptoms, would I have acted sooner? Would I have caught my cancer earlier? Suddenly, giving out our symptom cards took on new meaning for me, hoping to reach women who might otherwise not be aware of the symptoms, and were not aware of the importance of listening to their bodies.
I also was struck with the power of the work Diane and Bob are doing, disseminating information to women about the symptoms of Ovarian Cancer, educating medical professionals about the journey of Ovarian cancer patients and caregivers, reaching out to the community to spread the word as far as they can, and holding events that gather people in a common cause, sharing support and hope with each other, as they spread the word about Ovarian Cancer, and its symptoms. Diane and Bob are truly heroes, giving completely of themselves to pursue their vital mission.
So come walk with Ovarian Cancer 101 at the Live Like Renee Walk on Sunday, September 25th, at 10:00 at Dowses Beach in Osterville to support this amazing work, to learn about Ovarian Cancer symptoms, and to help spread the word about this silent illness.
Know the symptoms, and share them with as many people as you can.
- Feeling full quickly
- Pelvic and/or abdominal pain
- Changes in bathroom habits
Together we can make a difference!
“Til Next Time,