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I recently changed my profile picture to a teal ribbon which is the banner for ovarian cancer. This month is set aside as the time to recognize, not commemorate, ovarian cancer. In April, my wife was diagnosed with Stage 3c epithelial ovarian cancer, had two major surgeries and is now half way through her chemotherapy in an effort to arrest, not cure, her cancer. Only 40% of the women diagnosed with this stage of the disease survive 5 years from point of diagnosis. I have told friends and family that our world just stopped spinning when we received the diagnosis and prognosis. When the one you hold most dear is in peril, life takes on a whole new meaning. I thought I would pause for the moment and tell you about Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and my beloved.
My wife's name is Cathy. As an online gamer, she was known as "SwissMiss." She doesn't do that anymore preferring the single player genres such as Far Cry 3, 4 and Primal. She is an adventure gamer who loves titles such as, Syberia and Bioshock and their sequels. Cathy is my best friend and my fishing partner. She can handle a 20' bass boat with the best of men and a true master of fishing the plastic worm. As a school teacher, she is the best I have ever seen. Students of all ages from Kg - 12th grade have flocked to her with any and all problems from academic to social emotional benefiting from her charm, wisdom and grace. She is a people person who has compassion, forgiveness and unconditional love for all. She lights up a room whenever and wherever she enters. I am blessed to have her as my spouse.
When her oncologist met us in pre-op to escort her for her second surgery, I told him, "She is the only reason I draw breath; please take good care of her." A tear fell from his eye as did mine after we spoke. To lose her would cut my heart out. I am prayerful that I will not, but there is NO CURE for ovarian cancer only remission which is all too temporary. Today, we are cancer survivors; tomorrow we don't know. That is the ugly truth of all ovarian cancers. There is no tomorrow, only today.
Please reflect on the women in your life and the significance of September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
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