Life was just starting. I was marrying my dream boy at the end of September and we had just bought our first home. And then cancer happened – they found a tumor on my ovary
From bride to cancer
After our wedding, we traveled to Italy and Greece for two weeks. We ate a lot of pizza and drank a lot of wine. When we returned home, I had gained a bit of weight but nothing unusual. But even after getting back to exercising and eating healthy the weight didn’t come off. If anything, I gained a pound or two. The ONLY other unusual symptom was heartburn. Chewing on Tums several times a day – something was wrong. Being medically trained, I was pretty sure I had an ulcer. No big deal. With a bit of medication, I would be fixed up. I went to the doctor.
My entire world stopped. An ultrasound showed a tumor on my ovary the size of a football.
Because of my young age and the incredible size of the tumor, it was possible the tumor was benign (not cancer). There was hope. Over the next couple of days, I underwent tests to try to determine the type of tumor.
A few days later I sat in a room in the emergency department waiting for the results. Waiting to hear if this was cancer or not. My husband and Mom sitting across from me. We waited.
The gynecologist came in, sat next to me on the bed “I’m sorry kiddo, it’s cancer.”
My mom and husband were shocked. How could this be – how could I have a tumor on my ovary? But when you are trained as a clinician, you don’t stop acting like a clinician when you become the patient. I began asking him questions about what they saw on the scan. Ascites. Metastatic disease. Any information I could gather to try to predict my chances of surviving.
What were the chances of living past the age of 30 years old?