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)