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I Have Ovarian Cancer at 28 (a personal blog and poem)

On Wednesday December 2nd, 2020 I had what was supposed to be a routine surgery to have an ovarian cyst removed. During my surgery, a tumor was discovered. On Monday December 7th my doctor told me preliminary biopsy results showed cancer but she couldn't tell me more. I would have to wait for the full results.

Ovarian cancer is a cancer that primarily affects older women. Cancer doesn't run in my family. I had been asymptomatic. I had no reason AT ALL to believe that I would have ovarian cancer and especially not so young. But there I was, my entire life seeming to fall in all around me.

In the early morning hours of Friday December 11th, unable to fall asleep as I anxiously awaited the final results, I wrote a poem about my fears. I was afraid of the unknown. I was afraid of dying. I was afraid of people seeing me as a cancer patient and not as Haley. I didn't want to be treated like I was as fragile as glass. I didn't want people to dance around me. Cancer is unfortunately a part of my journey in this life. It is a chapter in my story but it is not all I am.

I am incredibly lucky that my cancer was not only caught early, but that the kind of Ovarian cancer I have is one which won't require chemotherapy. I will be having a second surgery to have more biopsies done in order to determine if the cancer has spread (though it doesn't seem like it has). I will then be seen by an oncologist every 6 months. The type of cancer I have has a recurrence rate of 30-40% so there is a good chance it will never reoccur, but if it does it will be caught before it becomes a serious problem.

I have so much left to do in this life (watch my nephew grow up, get a novel published, adopt a dog) and I'm so grateful I'll be around to do it. My heart is with the other women battling this evil cancer, especially those who have much more serious cases than mine. There are so many who aren't as lucky as I am.

I want to share the poem I wrote on December 11th as it is the rawest and most vulnerable I've ever been in my writing. If you are reading this and you have ovarian cancer then I wish you well. Stay strong and fight fiercely.


-Haley


The Monster


A monster has invaded my body.

Its taken up residence there.

It's as silent as my screams.

It's trying to steal all of my dreams.


There’s a monster in my body.

And I’m afraid when people look at me

they won’t see me anymore.

They’ll see it's face imposed over mine.


A monster has taken me hostage.

I wonder if I can afford the ransom.

And I can’t seem to stop crying.

Because I’m afraid it is going to eat me.


A monster plots to use me

then dispose of me when it’s done.

But I have some strength in me

and I refuse to lay down and let it win.


A monster has invaded my body.

But monsters can’t stand the light.

And if this monster insists on staying

then I hope it knows I will fight.


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