On Being an Ovarian Cancer Survivor with Kelley Bonk

On Being an Ovarian Cancer Survivor with Kelley Bonk

Christmas 2018 opened my eyes to something that would change me and my life forever. Sitting around at our annual "Bonk" Christmas I learned that our family was deemed high risk for breast and ovarian cancer. In hearing this news, I spent the following weeks worried and scared about what this could mean for me. A mere month later after hearing this, I noticed an abnormal bloat in my lower abdomen. Following a routine exam, I was sent away with "nothing to worry about". The next 4 months were filled with worry and discomfort - I knew something was wrong. In May I marched back to the doctor determined to get an answer - after being seen by three separate medical professionals, this day they sent me for testing a few short days later. I spent these in-between days celebrating my 27th birthday in fear and worry about what the results would bring.

➡️ Once my ultrasound was complete, it was only hours before I received the news that would change me forever - "You have a large mass on your right ovary". I collapsed into a chair - there is no way this can be real, I thought. The weeks to follow involved many blood tests, my first MRI, and a meeting with my "specialist". More than anything, the weeks that followed were flooded with tears and fear. On July 25th, 2019- I had a 16x16 (inch) 7-8 pound tumour removed from my abdomen. The weeks to follow were slow moving, pain filled, but relieving - it was out!

Fast forward to my follow up appt with my surgeon - we went into this meeting thinking everything was good. After inspection of my incision, I was sat down and gently told the news I feared most - when it started with "unfortunately" I knew where we were headed - the tumour was not benign , there were spots of early cancer found. Now thankfully, everything had been removed with the surgery and my diagnosis did not require additional treatment.

But here’s the learning: Listen to your body, be aware and advocate for your health. Go to the doctor. Because of my journey I am a new and very different version of myself; I am who I always dreamed of being one day

- Kelley Bonk #hereforhealth (@kelleybonk