I Got Ovarian Cancer at 30
A young woman describes her bout with ovarian cancer.
In February 2005, I woke up from what was supposed to be a routine surgery to remove a seemingly benign cyst on my ovary. My gynecologist had discovered it during my annual exam. I was 30 years old.
When I woke up I didn’t understand at first what my parents were telling me. I didn’t understand why they had tears in their eyes. I didn’t understand why my boyfriend looked like he had just seen a ghost. They knew I had Stage 2 cancer. I didn’t learn that until the next day. My original doctor had told me 30-year-olds don’t get ovarian cancer. All I knew about ovarian cancer at the time was that it was one of the “bad ones.”
I had gone to a gynecological-oncologist after my original doctor had found the cyst because I heard they were the best surgeons for this type of surgery, even for just removing a cysts. It was a lucky decision. The stats say being treated by a gynecological- oncologist can increase your chances for survival by 25 percent.
When I came home from the hospital, my mother stayed with me in my apartment. My boyfriend, Mark, held me and told me he was going to stick with me. We had only been dating for a few months at the time. I was happy for that commitment, but I had my doubts. I knew cancer is life changing.
The support from everyone from my rock-climbing friends, my knitting group, my family and Mark was absolutely amazing. But when it comes to bad news, when it rains, it pours. My grandmother was very sick while I was sick. Mark broke his hip the day after my second chemo treatment. Still we all grew closer. We held each other, cried and laughed. We squinted hard to see the beauty. It wasn’t easy. I spent my down time knitting and my good days rock climbing and riding my bike.