My name is Michelle I am from Arizona and I am an ovarian cancer survivor. I will never forget the day I got diagnosed with cancer…it all came on so quickly. After experiencing weeks of EXTREME back pain my and not even being able to walk at this point..my sister woke my parents up to drive me to the ER. We sat in the ER all night and had every test under the sun ran and they finally had decided it was a small cyst on my ovary but the doctor promised it was not cancer. I sat in pre op hysterical about even having to have a surgery. Little did I know that would be the easiest part. A short while later I woke up to my parents crying in my post op room and as soon as I asked what was going on my dad managed to get out the dreadful words “you have cancer.”
I felt like I was having an out of body experience. How could this happen? I am not strong enough for this. I can’t even handle a shot at the doctor. Being that I was only 20 years old the doctor did not know what to do because he has never seen someone my age with ovarian cancer. I was then rushed out to a different hospital to see my current oncologist who ended up doing surgery again that night since at this point I was bleeding internally. After going home a week or so to recover things started getting worse and I hadn’t even started chemo. We went back to the ER only to find my cancer had grown back again to the original size (yes it was THAT fast growing) so they decided to do another cancer debulking and start me on chemo right away in the hospital. 5 days a week with the following week 2 days and back to five days the following week etc. for 2 months.
Although I was getting sicker by the minute and weighed a whopping 89lbs (I’m 5’7) I had an overwhelming sense of peace and felt I would take on whatever was thrown my way. I was completely overwhelmed by all the love and support I received from my friends, family, community and even complete strangers. If cancer has taught me anything, it’s that there are so many beautiful people in the world and want to help and support you. It’s overwhelming. I received a wig from a costume company in California. To this day I am not sure how they got in contact with me but they sent me the most perfect wig. It was beautiful (it has since been passed on to another fighter (-: ).
Not that I have my head in the clouds. Cancer sucks. Chemo sucks. Not knowing how much more your body will be able to take and the unknown sucks. But I always took it a day at time and I know the Lord would be there for me. I know he was by my side the entire time. There is no other way to explain the peace I felt during everything. After finishing up chemo I had one last surgery to have my colon resectioned (I had an ever so fun colostomy bag). I had to wait until I could put weight on and then I was able to complete my last surgery. Life after treatment is hard but it is good. I have a deeper understanding more appreciation than I ever had. I have more compassion and try to always see the glass half full!
I have the most loving husband who puts up with my chemo brain and the fact that sometimes I still run out of energy easier than most. I am so thankful for everyone who reached out to me when I was going through treatment. I never expected anything from anyone. I understand people are busy and some people feel uncomfortable or don’t know what to say. But I was completely in awe at all the love and support I received. Completely grateful!!! I have been cancer for 5 years and I try to make the most of each day and every situation and always thank God for my blessings and that I always have the opportunity to help others! God is good! And always remember to take it a day at a time!!