I'm a mutant, and I have a hole in my body. Not that big, but big enough for me to notice when I bend to pick up something. A few years ago, I noticed that I kept getting bloated without rhyme or reason and it would just disappear from time to time. My diet or cycle didn't matter; sometimes I had no cycle at all. Doctors would just say it was weight gain, or depression from going thorugh a divorce, or seasonlity, etc.. I didn't believe it. I felt there was something more. I credit my nutritionist for questioning more and pushing me to talk to my doctor. There was a lot of convincing my doctors that I'm not that crazy and that there was something "off"; that this uncomfortable, painful feeling I had was more than just diet or hormones. After a lot of pushing, and insisting that they look in to everything and anything, I finally got an answer, but not one I expected. After additional blood tests and an ultrasound, it was discovered that I had "abnormalities" that they wanted to explore: tiny cysts on my ovaries that were multiplying and spreading to my tissues. It was still considered early stage, but I had "a mutation", they said. I was officially diagnosed with early stage Ovarian Cancer in July 2014. Initial treatments did not respond, other than awkward shedding, uncomfortable digestion, and constant sleeping; so relying on multiple surgeries was the best I could do. The symptoms and waves of mutations came in like hurricanes: slow at first, then overwhelming, targeting just you. I've had 3 surgeries to remove tissue and cysts. Storm after storm of life and failures with each procedure. The next storm is a complete removal of my ovaries if it comes back for a fourth time. My last storm rolled in December, 2016. I'm constantly on watch for the next one waiting for it to hit land at any moment. My ultrasounds are now my doppler radars.
I'm not a superhero mutant, but mutant just the same. The kind of mutation I have now reminds me to question everything. To be vigilant. My mutation has made me self-aware and to not settle. My mutation is now persistence. Now, I have the greatest family and friends anyone could have and they have joined me to maintain that persistence and question everything right along with me. It's the new punk-rock way of life and we're chasing all the storms down to get better treatments, better education, and better tracking On November 10, 2019 we are participating in the annual Women's Cancer Walk/Run for Awareness and Hope. This event raises money to help increase education and fund research to improve early diagnosis and find a cure.
This mutation is not the end of me, and it won't be for others. It's a semi-colon, not a full stop. And the Hopler-Doppler team is just one contribution, and we need your help. Any donation amount goes a long way. Want to run/walk with us? Join our team today! Not in California? You can even become a team member and do a virtual walk (yes, there will be t-shirts). Thank you for your support!!