Bonnie Nellett: Wife, Mother, Mimi
They say the symptoms of ovarian cancer “whisper” so women should listen to what their bodies “say”. In my Mom, Bonnie Nellett’s case, it wasn’t so much the symptoms that were “whispering”, but a nagging feeling that something just wasn’t right. That feeling led to a series of doctors’ appointments, tests and procedures, which ultimately revealed the diagnosis of stage 3A ovarian cancer in February 2002.
The following weeks, months and years were filled with a total abdominal hysterectomy, 61 chemotherapy treatments, 2 bouts of hair loss and several extended leaves of absence from her job.
Mom faced all of these challenges with grace, courage and dignity. We never heard her complain or ask “why me?” even when she was feeling her worst. She was always so strong for those around her, never failing to be there when others needed her.
In January 2006 Mom made the brave decision to pursue no further treatment as she had learned the cancer had spread significantly. She then quickly signed up with Hospice of Northwest Ohio.
For the next four months Mom lived her life to the fullest: she endlessly enjoyed her four grandchildren(who will forever remember her as Mimi), she and Dad took a final trip to Florida(it wasn’t quite Aruba, but close enough!), she got to see Anne Murray in concert and then meet her backstage, she made a beautiful video for her children and grandchildren with special messages for each one, and finally, she got to see her only daughter(that’s me!) get married!
My wedding day was Mom’s final gift to me and the entire family. She was so happy that day, despite not feeling very well. It was a day we will never forget! Mom passed away just six days after the wedding on April 13th 2006.
After her passing , my commitment to continue raising awareness and supporting those with this disease only intensified and 9 years later the OCC is going strong and helping/supporting more and more women every year!
My Mom will never cease to be my hero and my angel. She taught me how to “fight like a girl”!! I carry on her legacy and her never ending desire to fight this disease in my work with the Ovarian Cancer Connection of Northwest Ohio, an organization of which we were both founding members. In her honor and memory I will continue the fight!