Women's cancer isn't always #pink

My name is Holly Dean and many may not know that I recently had a full hysterectomy and partial removal of my bowel due to a 11 cm cancerous tumour that linked across both my ovaries. This was a very extensive and invasive surgery and it required me to take 4 months off from work. My healing process was not easy during this time. Every 2 weeks for 3 months, I returned to the hospital for stomach episodes that required me to be admitted for 3 days on an IV drip until the pain subsided.

Unfortunately I was not eligible for disability or employment insurance from my work and I have incurred a lot of medical expenses during my time off. I am now back working but need some help in getting out of debt. The money will go towards paying off my medical and personal household bills (food and rent).

I’ve debated long and hard about posting anything about my health. This feels like a very personal journey, yet, at the same time, one I want to make sure as many women as possible can avoid.

I feel nothing but positive in regards to my outcome and future plans. Plans that include never facing this again. People have asked me what they can do to help. This is something I have struggled with as I have been so well looked after. My decision is to ask you all to help me raise awareness.

They call ovarian cancer the silent killer. This is because the symptoms are so subtle that it is often caught too late. Currently, the odds of getting ovarian cancer are 1 in 58 (compared to 1 in 7 for breast cancer).

I want the next ten women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer to be diagnosed early. This means I need your help in telling 580 women about the symptoms.

This is where you come in. Take 15 seconds – that’s all it takes – to tell two or three women in your life about the symptoms. This could be your wife, your mother, your sister, your daughter – any woman you care about.

Here we go:
• Persistent stomach pain
• Persistent bloating
• Finding it difficult to eat or feeling full quickly
• Needing to pee more often
• Back pain
• Changes to bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea)
• Feeling tired all the time

If any or all of these are present, especially in women 40+, please PLEASE go see your doctor. You’re not wasting anyone’s time, you’re being smart and ensuring you’ll be around for the long haul for the people you love.

So, if you want to help me, get on the phone, send an email (or six), grab a coffee with a woman you love and spend 15 seconds talking about this. It could save her life. If you have any questions about my health, my treatment, or about ovarian cancer, send me a message. I realise that opening myself up this way means a lot of you will have questions and I’m happy to answer as best I can.

Don’t worry, I’ve decided that I’ll be fine, and that’s just the way it is.

So, here we are. If you could make a donation of any kind I would be extremely grateful. Please share if you can ❤

With love,
Holly xx

Thank you all for your generous support and love!
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Holly Dean 
Etobicoke, ON
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