Overcoming Ovarian Cancer
A woman shares her secret for beating ovarian cancer and a traumatic brain injury as a child.
I have had to overcome a lot in my life but finding out I had ovarian cancer a few years ago literally took my breath away.
I was driving home from work when I received a phone call from my doctor. He told me that the imaging showed masses on my ovaries.
I was so shocked and scared, that I felt like someone knocked the air out of me. I had to take an exit on the freeway and pull over to get a grip on myself. I do suffer from anxiety but have never had the breath taken from me before.
Up until that point, my symptoms were vague: bloating and some abdominal and back pain. Many of us get back pain, so I wasn’t alarmed until I noticed some bleeding.
That’s when I saw my doctor.
Immediately after getting the news, I feared the worst. I logged online and started reading the statistics, which were terrifying. They said I had a 68% chance of dying within five years.
I worried for my husband and mourned that I wouldn’t see my grandchildren grow up.
I have already overcome a lot in my life, including a traumatic brain injury as a child, but this was pushing my limits.
How I found hope, strength and peace
I have always believed in God and Jesus. I like the prayer image that has the two sets of footprints in the sand. One set disappears and Jesus says, “That’s when I carried you.”
That’s what he did for me during my journey with ovarian cancer: he carried me through it.
At many challenging points in my life, I have felt peace when I pray and ask Jesus to sit with me and help me.
I love this verse: John 16:33, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
Though I wasn’t sure how, I believe God would help me overcome this challenge, just like he did for me when I was in a major car accident as a child and had a traumatic brain injury.
Treatment and provision
When I told my husband about my cancer, he remembered a friend who had a positive experience at a cancer center in Georgia. I called the center immediately, and little over a week later, I sat with an oncologist there.
I started crying as I told him about the dismal statistic I had read.
He said, “Get off the internet and listen to me. You are going to be fine. We’re going to take care of this.”
I told him I want to be on the “you say, I do” plan. In other words, “You tell me what to do, and I will do everything you tell me to do.”
The next steps
It turns out my cancer markers were only slightly elevated, but my doctor thought I should still get surgery anyway.
Moments before I went under anesthesia, a pastor came in the room and prayed for me and gave me a bracelet that said, “God’s got this.”
On the edge of major surgery, I felt so peaceful.
Worse than we thought
My surgery revealed that the tumors were indeed cancer: stage 3c ovarian cancer.
They performed a hysterectomy, along with some other preventative surgical measures and later chemotherapy.
Within three months, my scans were showing no evidence of disease, which was an amazing turnaround from where I had come.
I believe I overcame cancer by having faith in God to guide me to a wonderful treatment center and a fabulous caring doctor.
Five years later
It’s now been five years, and I’m still here. I retired and moved to a warmer climate, and my husband and I live an active lifestyle, doing tai chi, walking and biking.
I follow a good diet and pray regularly, and everything has worked out for me so far. I am trying to be happy with the life that I have and give to others when I can.
One way I help other women is by giving them cards with ovarian cancer symptoms so they can know the signs. Like it was for me, the symptoms are often vague and easily missed—until it is too late.
Advice for others
For others going through the journey: never give up. Never lose hope.
Because, if you lose hope and you give up, then you have nothing left.
Put God first and everything else will fall into place. Just keep praying and doing that the things that your medical team tells you to do.
For me, even if my cancer comes back, I’ll fight it again because it’s a horrible beast and I won’t let it win.
For those who don’t have faith, everybody needs something they can believe in, something that is bigger than them.
God is bigger than cancer.
When people tell me, “Oh you had the Big C,” I tell them, “No, I had the Little c, because I had the Big G (God) who helped me overcome it.”
God is bigger than cancer.
If you pray to him, God will be there for you, like he has been for me. You can rely on him to help you overcome cancer or
whatever difficulties you face.
If you would like to open your heart to God, read Knowing God Personally.
For help with fear, check out Fighting the Fear of Cancer.
To discover how prayer can help you on your journey, read Asking God for Help.