Kathleen’s Story

kathleen costaThis is my first time writing a post like this, ever. I am 49 years old and “cancer free.” I felt the need to share my story because if I was not proactive, and did not listen to all the signs and symptoms my body was telling me, my story would have a very different ending.

One year ago this month (September 2015) I was diagnosed with fallopian tube cancer. I had never heard of such a cancer and was told only 300 people in the U.S. are diagnosed each year. I am one of the very lucky ones – Stage 1A.

My symptoms began about nine months prior, when I became very bloated and had extreme, unusual gas pressure, to the point where it consumed me. I was told I had irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). I shared my other symptoms with my doctor, which included a chronic bladder infection, heavy irregular bleeding, and sharp pain on my right side coupled with back ache: every symptom of ovarian cancer, which I obsessed about and worried I had.

Four sonograms later, I was told that I had to stop worrying about cancer, that all my symptoms were not due to that word no one should ever hear.

I insisted on being seen by a gynecologic oncologist, who also shared with me that ovarian cancer was highly unlikely but agreed to do a hysterectomy. A week later there it was – that word! In complete disbelief – well not complete disbelief since I had been telling everyone I had cancer for close to a year – I began to map out my future, praying I had a future.

Here I am a year later. Surgeries and chemo are complete. And now the challenging chapter begins, living day to day. All of our stories are the same, some just may have more chapters than others. We need to share in order to help our future daughters, granddaughters, sisters, nieces and loved ones. Please listen to that inner voice we all have – it’s always right. God bless.

Spotlight

In honor of Cervical Cancer Awareness Month, The Foundation for Women’s Cancer is featuring a video produced by the Society of Gynecologic Oncology on the HPV vaccine. The two-minute video encourages parents to get their children the vaccine.

Awareness

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month.  After creating the month in 1999, the Foundation strives to bring attention about these cancers through public awareness campaigns.

Research

The Foundation is proud to offer various Research Grants and Awards. Click here for more information.

Education

FREE Gynecologic Cancer Survivors Courses throughout the country. For more information, click here.