September 18, 2018

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September 18, 2018
 
Listen to That Voice
A Superhero From Home
Free Ovarian Cancer Education Course in Atlanta

Listen to That Voice

2018 GCAM IWishIknew DionneThrive bannerAs a part of Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month (GCAM), we encouraged survivors, patients, advocates, family members, partners and friends to share what they want the public to know about gynecologic cancers using #IWishIKnew.

Dionne Shepperson wrote, “I wish I knew they weren’t just heavy periods—my menstrual bleeding was severe. I had fibroids and was told they were responsible for the heavy bleeding, but the possibility of it being cancer never came up. I put off getting a hysterectomy because it required six weeks of recovery time and I didn’t have sick leave or short-term disability at my job. I’m a single mom and didn’t know how I would make it financially. I had to just keep pushing through—so that’s what I did until the pain finally drove me to see a doctor who discovered the mass.”

Aside from sharing knowledge and experiences, this campaign creates a sense of community and serves as a reminder to listen to your body.

“The last 6-8 weeks before my diagnosis things began to feel stranger than I was used to. My abdomen became very enlarged and nothing I took would help. I felt pain and pressure on my right side near my ovary that only worsened. A small voice inside was whispering to me that something was very wrong.”

Dionne was diagnosed with Uterine Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) and underwent two surgeries. The first was nearly a total hysterectomy with the exception of the left ovary and removed the tumor found in the wall of her uterus. The second surgery—7 weeks later—removed the final ovary and a portion of her intestines that had come on contact with the tumor. Starting next month, Dionne will go for follow-up doctor appointments every three months.

“To anyone in a similar situation, listen to that voice. It’s better to overreact than underreact. Don’t get too comfortable being uncomfortable and don’t let your obligations become more important than your health. Your life is more valuable than your job and your list of things to do.”

Share what you want the world to know about gynecologic cancers using #IWishIKnew or visit our GCAM page for other ways to get involved this month.

A Superhero From Home

HeatherThis is Heather Mellion-Brophy’s fifth year participating in the National Race to End Women’s Cancer  as captain of team Caring For Your Girly Bits. After being diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer on Oct. 23, 2013, at age 36, and having a radical hysterectomy in early 2014, Heather felt a strong obligation to spread awareness about reproductive cancers.

“Too many women are not aware of the risk factors associated with these cancers, the importance of family history and the steps they can take for prevention,” Heather wrote. “I try to encourage friends and family to get their annual exams each year. Everyone is so busy with day to day things, but you need to make your health a priority.”

Although bringing all her family and friends to Washington, DC for the race is not feasible, Heather found a way to participate from home. Each year on the day of the National Race to End Women’s Cancer, Heather organizes a two-mile fun walk in her community at a local park to raise funds for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer (FWC).

“I try to make the walk as fun as possible every year,” she wrote. “We dress up in team shirts, wigs, tutus, and funny glasses. I include my friends’ kids – I think that is important. After the walk, I host a lunch at my house and we pull our team raffles – this year we have 12 raffles! It’s a great way to raise funds for the team and the FWC. It’s a fun few hours.”

If you’re unable to make it to Washington, DC this November, consider participating virtually like Heather! Donate to team Caring For Your Girly Bits or create your own team to help raise funds for the mission-based programs of the FWC, including research, education and public awareness of gynecologic cancers.

Free Ovarian Cancer Education Course in Atlanta

SGO_2018_058smallerSaturday, Oct. 20, 2018
9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Marriott Buckhead Hotel & Conference Center
3405 Lenox Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30326

This free education course is for all ovarian cancer survivors, patients, family members, partners, friends and others who are interested in hearing from the leading U.S. experts in ovarian cancer research. Topics will include infertility, genetics, clinical trials and the latest advances in ovarian cancer care.

This full-day session includes continental breakfast and lunch. There is no charge for attendance, but we ask that you register in advance to help with our planning.

Register now!

This course is made possible through sponsorship support from TESARO.

Spotlight

Couldn’t make it to the National Race to End Women’s Cancer? You can still support women with gynecologic cancers by making a contribution today.

Awareness

September is Gynecologic Cancer Awareness Month. #GCAM

Research

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

Education

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