Family  –  In 1977 my dad died at age 41 of colon cancer and his aunt a few months before him of breast cancer.  In 1984 my dad’s mother died of liver cancer at the age of 67 and my brother two months later of lung cancer at the age of 33. That’s a lot to handle for anyone!

In 1992 I was 31 years old, healthy, fit, and in the best shape of my life. While at work one day in June I suddenly doubled over from excruciating pain in the right side of my abdomen and I was rushed to the hospital. After examining me the ER doctor was concerned that I was having an appendicitis attack so he sent me to have an ultrasound.

As I laid there in pain while the technician was pushing on my stomach, taking measurements and pictures, I looked up and saw the look on her face. She tried to change her expression quickly but it was too late. I saw the concern on her face. She finished up and took me back to my room in the ER and let me know the doctor would have the results soon and would be in to see me. The doctor came in and told me I had a large, softball sized, cyst on my ovary that had twisted my fallopian tube and that is what is causing the extreme pain.

At this point, he was going to send me home with some pills that would dissolve the cyst. He went to get my discharge papers ready. A few minutes later he returned and said with the history of cancer in my family that he would like to get a second opinion, to which I agreed.

The next Dr. then walked into my room. He informed me that he had seen the ultrasound and looked over my chart and said with my family history of cancer he didn’t feel comfortable with sending me home and would like to remove the cyst surgically. I consented to the surgery.

Monday June 15th, 1992 I went in for surgery. The Dr. explained the procedure to me. It was going to be laparoscopic and he would do a biopsy to rule out cancer. When I woke up in recovery the Dr. was at my bedside. He informed me the biopsy had revealed cancer on my ovary inside the cyst, so they had to open me up and remove my ovary. He discovered a growth on my left ovary and it too was cancerous so he ended up doing a complete hysterectomy. He told me how lucky I was that the cyst didn’t rupture because if that had happened the cancer would have spread.

I was in shock! So many things were going through my mind…. LUCKY was not one of things I was thinking. My hopes of having another baby were gone! I guess it wasn’t meant to be. I guess I should be grateful for the two healthy children I do have.

Did they get all the cancer? Was there cancer anywhere else in my body? Where do we go from here? My family can’t take anymore loss! I have to fight! This has to be a dream! I fell back to sleep with all these thoughts weighing on my mind. Next thing I remember I was waking up in my hospital room surrounded by my family. I closed my eyes because I didn’t want to talk about it yet. I waited until it was quiet in my room. I opened my eyes and my mother and my mother-in-law were the only two in my room. Tears welled up in my eyes.

Finally I asked the dreaded questions, “Is it true? Do I have cancer? Did they get it all?”  My mother tearfully answered, “Yes you do have cancer and they aren’t sure if they got it all.” I was then referred to an oncologist. My first appointment with him left me feeling very hopeful. He told me I had a 90 percent cure rate, but I had to endure chemotherapy.

I went through 5 months of chemo and it was brutal! One week in the hospital three weeks out and visit at the oncology office every Monday for another type of chemo and blood work and repeat this for the next five months. I have never been so sick and weak in my life and hopefully I never will be again!

On June 15th, 2022 I celebrated 30 YEARS CANCER FREE! Thank you Lord I am still here and I can tell my story! As I finish writing this praise story my sister-in-law is in the hospital fighting for her life and the outlook isn’t good. CANCER SUCKS!!

Some win the battle and some lose. We just have to keep fighting and pray for a cure one day.

Thank you Kickin’ Cancer for everything you do.