To all of my lady friends, and to those men out there who may happen to know a woman or two, today is National Teal Ribbon Day in Australia, which is a part of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. #tealribbonday is the kick up the bum reminder for women to get to know their body and listen to their gut if they feel that something is ‘not quite right’.
With no early detection test for Ovarian Cancer, the best way of detecting the ovarian cancer is to know and recognise the symptoms which most commonly include: abdominal or pelvic pain, increased abdominal size or persistent abdominal bloating, the need to urinate often or urgently, or feeling full after eating a small amount. You can check out a full list of symptoms here.
In 1999, on the day before my 20th birthday, I had surgery to remove a 12cm ovarian cyst. Pathology results afterwards indicated that the cells in the cyst had started to change and my Doctor told me if I hadn’t had the cyst removed it would turn cancerous before Christmas. Whilst that surgery had longer lasting consequences for me (i.e. fertility issues requiring IVF) I did not get cancer and am happy and healthy because I trusted my instincts. I had no symptoms other than lethargy and fatigue. And despite being fobbed off by two Doctors (including my long-time family Dr) who put it down to depression bought on by the fact that I had just lost my mum, I trusted my gut and found one who would listen. And I was on the operating table less than a week later.
Yes, this is a massive overshare of information for a Wednesday morning but it’s SO IMPORTANT (and remember, I’m a Mummy Blogger – oversharing is what we do).
So ladies, wherever you are in the world, I urge you to tune in to your body, get to know the symptoms and listen to your gut. Men, encourage those women in your life to do the same. I’ve been privileged to share the journey of Ovarian Cancer Australia for many years now. They are an amazing organisation who support women facing the challenges of Ovarian Cancer and they do an awesome job of reminding us to be vigilant… because, well… #fuckcancer
Do you listen to your gut when it comes to medical issues? Have you ever disregarded the advice of your doctor because you knew something was not quite right?
PS: If you want to support the great work of Ovarian Cancer Australia, you can purchase teal nail polish from Chemmart Chemists in Australia and display your support on your fingers or toes… like me: