Thankful Thursday – Cancer Research

Where would we be if science wouldn’t have developed ways to fight against such horrible and devastating diseases? Where would we be without early detection and screenings available? I shudder to think.

Today I share another story. Remember to check back on this post to enter for my October Breast Cancer Awareness Month pink KitchenAid artisan stand mixer giveaway! It’ll be going to a lucky reader on Oct. 31, Halloween!

It says it all...Fight Like a Girl.

Thank you, Patsy, for sharing your story:

Cancer has touched everyone’s life I think. My dad and one brother died of lung cancer. My other brother and sister in law have both had lung surgery to remove cancer. Skin cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and more have touched my family.

But my personal story is different. In January 2009 I got the call with the words, “you have a large, suspicious mass on your right ovary.” I won’t ever forget that phrase, the nurse’s inflection, the moment.

That afternoon I was having a scan, and seeing my family doctor, who had been insistent I get a pelvic sonogram. He told me surgery was going to be necessary. He spent almost two hours with me, answering questions, helping me wrap my mind around this.

A few days later I was sitting in a gynecological surgeon’s office. This man I’d never seen before said, “This looks bad. It has finger-like projections. You need to be operated on by someone who sees cancer every week. Not someone like me who sees it a couple of times a year.” I will always be thankful for his honesty.

A couple of days after that I was seeing a gynecological oncologist – a speciality I didn’t know existed the week before. He was much more reassuring, but also very direct. “The radiology looks bad. Very bad. But your age trumps that. Ovarian cancer is very rare in women under 50.” I wasn’t as much under 50 as I would have liked for security, but it was what it was.

Surgery day came and went, but there wasn’t a clear answer as expected. It was a “tumor of low malignant potential.” We thought this sounded great, until a nurse friend clued us in that could mean anything. Surgery was on a Tuesday. I was to find out on Thursday.

Wednesday night the phone rang in my hospital room and it was the doctor who said, “It was benign.” Benign. What a beautiful word. I thanked him for his extra efforts to find out early for me. I thanked him for the call. And I thanked God that I had just gotten the news people are praying for every day.

It was weeks later during the followup visit, when he showed me the radiology report, and explained that 7% of the tumor contained cancer cells, but they consider anything under 10% benign. My heart stopped for a moment. I realized if my family doctor had not insisted I go for a pelvic sonogram – if I had been one of the people who go for years without being diagnosed – I could have had a very different outcome. I was blessed.