What I would say to someone going through this...
To know that the toughest of times lie ahead, that the pain, the fear, the sickness will be overwhelming at times, but to never stop holding onto hope. Hold on tight, because life is worth it. Be purposeful with your time. Prioritise what gives you meaning, what you enjoy and who you love most in this world.
"Be kind to yourself. Don’t hold yourself to your pre-cancer standards. You are coping with something harder than most people could ever imagine. It’s ok not to be perfect anymore."
"Seek out an oncologist who specializes in low grade ovarian cancer. Find a good therapist. People will tell you “you’re brave” and “keep up the good fight.” Sometimes it is hard listening to that nonsense. A therapist can help you work through all the complex emotions you’re going through. Support groups are also a great place to crowd source treatments and find support. Have courage, even when you don’t want to."
"Be gentle to yourself. Allow yourself to cry. To be angry, to say it’s unfair. Time has a way of eventually dulling the pain and allowing you to go on, even when you think you won’t be able to."
"If you find yourself with a diagnosis and join this “club” please reach out to support groups because it really does help to know that you aren’t alone. And BREATHE. Take each day one step at a time, sometimes one moment at a time.
You can do it!"
"Research and arm yourself with every bit of knowledge. Research your doctors, ask questions, and get second opinions. It’s your life, it’s not the time to be polite and accept answers that don’t make sense in your gut.
Most importantly, don’t let this hold you back! As long as I’m alive, I will live every day to the fullest. Some days I am not well and that looks like a TV binge watch, other days that looks like climbing a mountain I never thought I could climb. We are trying to see as many countries as we can while I’m still healthy.
I’m doing things I only dreamed of because I decided to let nothing hold me back. I push though pain. I push past the fear that is so strong some days it takes my breath away.
This disease is scary. But I refuse to let it define me or stop me.
Statistically, there is a day where it likely will but I hold on to every ounce of optimism that they will find something that will works!"