Sarah Gleason is one of the thousands of ovarian cancer survivors we worked with in 2013.
I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer just after Thanksgiving in 2012. I had pretty severe back pain and some stomach issues that wouldn’t go away. My GP sent me in for an ultrasound, then an MRI. After a few tests were performed, the doctors said “It’s probably ovarian cancer.” When I went in for surgery, it looked like I had Stage III cancer; luckily, it turned out to be Stage I.
While I was in chemo, I started doing some research to find support. I came across the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance website, started to follow them on Facebook and got into the Alliance’s Inspire website. I learned about the Alliance’s Annual Conference and applied for a scholarship to attend.
Through chemo I had met a lot of ladies who had ovarian cancer, but I’m 35–a little younger than the rest of the group. Right away at the conference I met ladies with a wide range of ages, including women like me who had lost their fertility due to ovarian cancer. It made me feel more hopeful, part of a community that feels so small when you are first diagnosed.
Ovarian cancer doesn’t get as much awareness as other diseases–and we need more education. I was caught at Stage I because I had doctors who were aware. People really were listening to me. We need to make sure women are aware of these symptoms and the support that is out there–and that’s where the Alliance can help!
Right now I am so thankful to be cancer free–and I am thankful the Alliance was there to support me through my first year as a survivor. Please consider a donation to help the Alliance support survivors like me. Click here to make a gift today.
P.S. Connecting with the Alliance gives survivors like me such incredible support. You are surrounded by women like you that have stories to share. The support is there from step one: learning about your diagnosis, sharing your joy, finding support for fears of recurrence. I hope you will consider a gift to the Alliance to help survivors like me.