Randalynn's story: ovarian cancer can happen at any age
Gynaecological cancer awareness. Randalynn was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at age 36. Today, she shares her story to inspire survivors and help prevent late diagnoses.
In January 2017 I was diagnosed with high grade epithelial ovarian cancer at 36 years of age. Although where most women are diagnosed in the later stages (85%), I was fortunate to be diagnosed in the early stages, when treatment is more effective and recurrence is significantly lower.
Signs & symptoms
To be honest, I had almost all the signs (pelvic pain, inability to eat, feeling full quickly, frequent need to pee) and symptoms, minus the bloating.
No one had ever told me what to look for, that ovarian cancer could happen to someone my age, or that my annual trip to my OB/GYN didn’t screen for ovarian cancer.
Coming to term with my diagnosis
In the beginning, I kept questioning how this could have happened to me. How did I not know the signs and symptoms? Why hadn’t my OB/GYN ever told me what to look for or that although the chances were slim, I could still be diagnosed with this disease at my age.
I use my voice to share in hopes that one person may take notice and it saves them from a later stage diagnosis.
My new normal
I wondered if I’d ever be able to function at the level I did prior to being diagnosed. I quickly learned that I could do all the things I wanted and more, despite the aches and pains in my joints, hot flashes and fatigue that still comes out of nowhere. I just had to learn how to do everything in a way that my body didn’t fight against me. I adjusted, and kept moving.
My message to our cancer community
For those of you who are newly diagnosed or just on the other side of treatment...
Give yourself grace. This is the most challenging thing you probably ever had to face. You can do this by putting one foot in front of the other. On the days when it doesn’t seem like you can keep going, rest, cry, and ask for help. Keep going, you’ve got this!
Thank you Randalynn for sharing your story and insights. You can reach out to her on Instagram @kickovariancancer or via her podcast @sipswithsurvivors We look forward to seeing you all in the Girls Rocking Cancer on Facebook or Instagram.
Randalynn and Mel