It sort of just rolled into my life the way Reina rolls down the sidewalk on her scooter. I never anticipated the need to write a post like this. I had hoped that even though my health has not always been the best in past years, it would improve. Yet here I am writing it, and here you are reading it. Before you read any more though, please know this: I am okay. I have a plan. I will complete my treatment, follow up with my healthcare team and hopefully put this behind me forever.
I have a history of PCOS. I was diagnosed as a teenager and have very painful periods as a result. For me, it involves mostly small, unnoticed cysts that cover the surface of one or both ovaries. I was hospitalized once in 2012 as a result of a cyst rupture where fluid could not be reabsorbed into my body, and until now this has been the only major issue I’ve had with PCOS. Sometimes, PCOS can lead to other complications as well. Because of this, my hormone levels are followed closely by my gynecologist. In September of 2017, there was an increase in my hormones that caused some concern, so I went to my local VA health clinic for some imaging.
After several imaging visits, I met with my doctor in early January and it was confirmed that a malignant tumor is present on one of the cysts of my left ovary. This tumor, being malignant, is cancerous. Most of us see cancer as something to be battled/beaten, but realistically, it is treated. At this time, my side effects include abdominal bloating and changes in the composition of my skin and hair, as well as weight gain and fatigue. These could change at any time before, during or after treatment. Treatment could include chemotherapy either via oral (pill) or infused (intravenous) application, time (to wait between treatments/establish remission) and possibly if it continues to get worse, surgery. Obviously I am hopeful that the cancer responds well to whatever treatment is administered and that I can put this behind me sooner rather than later, but I am at the mercy of my body and science.
The VA has a great program called “Veterans Choice,” which allows for eligible veterans to receive treatment through facilities that are not included in the VA health system network. Veterans Choice is especially helpful when treatment needs aren’t able to be met by local VA facilities. This means that I will be under the care of a licensed professional and their team in the healthcare community who is experienced in diagnosis, treatment and follow-up of my specific situation. You probably have so many questions. I understand, because I did too. I am not a cancer expert, and I trust the advice and treatment plan of my healthcare team."
This is a post directly from Olivia which explains better than we ever could about her situation. She is way too proud to ask for help so we set up a go fund me because I know many of us have been looking for a way to do exactly that. Medical bills are piling up and the last thing anyone needs when going through this is extra stress, so let's try to relieve some.
Many of you have met Olivia through her involvement in the San Diego craft beer community and we also thought a nice thing to put together a charity beer auction. If you would like to donate please contact through this page. We will set up a time and place to have an auction in the coming weeks so we can all get together an celebrate Olivia in person as well.
All proceeds will be donated directly to Olivia to pay for all costs associated with treatment.
- Christine Schultz
- Nick Fong
- Ron Pinelli
- Joseph Leal
San Diego, CA