“Hello beautiful people! My name is Jade, @msjadeaya and I am a Childhood Ovarian Cancer Thriver. In February 2005, I was just 15 years old when I reported having missed periods. After consulting with a gynecologist, he performed an ultrasound and found a tiny mass (thought to be a cyst, which come and go as you menstruate). I completed lab work and was scheduled to follow up in a few months. Not long after that appointment I began experiencing fatigue, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and bloating/swelling of the abdomen. I reported my symptoms at the ER, Urgent Care, and to my PCP. Each time, I was advised to take a pain reliever because my symptoms were related to my menstrual cycle.
Fast forward to April 2005, just a few weeks away from my 16th birthday and I express the same concerns at my follow-up appointment with the gynecologist. It was the first time I had a conversation with someone who really listened and showed concern for everything I was experiencing. A few more labs and imaging would confirm that…
I was not crazy, and something was seriously wrong with my body.
My protruding abdomen and the pain were the result of a tumor the size of a grapefruit.
I had been diagnosed with a Stage III, rare type of ovarian cancer that only occurs in young girls and grows rapidly.
Two major surgeries, eight rounds of three different types of chemotherapies, and 17 years of survivorship later; I’m here making awareness more than a whisper, for the gynecologic cancer commonly known as, “The Silent Killer”. As a member of the Adolescent Young Adult (AYA) patient population (age 15-39), I strive to bring awareness to this disease so that other young girls and young women are empowered to listen to the sound of their internal alarms. There is no screening or preventive action that can be performed to detect ovarian cancer. It is imperative to know the signs, symptoms, and to find a medical professional that makes you feel seen, heard, and validated.
Ageism should not lead to a late-stage diagnosis.
Many thanks to @rarepatientvoice for allowing me to share my story on this platform.”