In my role as nurse navigator I have the privilege of working with many women as they face a cancer diagnosis. When I tell people about my job their first response is “oh, that must be so depressing”. My immediate reply is NO. I have had the honor of getting to know so many patients that inspire me and that help me to become a better person.
We are planning our annual Masquerade to raise awareness of ovarian cancer in September and I have had the privilege of working on a planning committee with survivors. The survivors are all very distinctive…one is a young 21 year old that was diagnosed with ovarian age at the ripe old age of 16. Another is a vibrant woman that was dx in her 40’s and I have yet another that is in her 80s and is a 14 year survivor. Although they all have the same “diagnosis” they each had a unique experience due to their individual lifestyle. Learning how to deal with the total disruption of their personal “normal” and dealing with the physical, emotional and financial side effects of treatment was definitely tailored to their current life circumstances. A strong support system along with one’s own personal strength was essential to facing this “challenge”.
What I recognize in each of these women is their true dedication to share their own story and to make an impact on early detection of this disease. Raising awareness is crucial as ovarian cancer signs and symptoms are often masked as harmless and lead to late stage at diagnosis. They are committed to unmasking the cancer that hides! They want to give every woman a chance to recognize ovarian cancer in the earliest stages. This will minimize the treatment needed and the devastation to them and their families!
These encounters allow me to see how joy and strength may be found in the most distressing times.
Now, doesn’t that change your opinion … I know you want MY job!
Consider attending the Ovarian Cancer Awareness Masquerade, Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 6:30 pm at Edgars at the Anderson Conference Center (5171 Eisenhower Parkway, Macon GA). Tickets are $25/person or $40/couple and survivors get in FREE! www.MasqueradeMacon.com or call the Coliseum Cancer Institute for more details: 478.765.4805.