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Empower Yourself: Understanding Ovarian Cancer

Loss. Grief. Shock. Three emotions I’ve been dealing with lately. I recently lost a dear friend to ovarian cancer. It was sudden and shocking. It was so devastatingly out of the blue that it’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that it’s real. It’s hard to face it, hard to succumb to the truth that she is gone.

My dear friend Annie was only 29 years old and was a true light in this world. She touched so many lives that I am certain her loss is felt by many who loved and knew her.

Grief is weird, and it affects everyone so differently. My natural instinct when I’m grieving is to keep myself busy, which is exactly what I’ve been doing these last few weeks in an attempt to distract myself.

This tragic death also brings up past grief from 2020 when one of my best friends lost her three-year-old daughter, Stevie, to an extremely rare cancer. Stevie was like another child to me, and I think about her every single day. I truly loved her like my own. That grief is resurfacing and adding to my current grief. I remember the stages of grief I went through with Stevie's loss. When someone close to you passes away, not only do you mourn their loss, but you also experience devastating heartache for the parents, siblings, and closest family members.

In the process of grieving and heartbreak, I have been pondering about how precious life is. How every day is a gift and every relationship is priceless. I try to face each day with the philosophy that tomorrow is not guaranteed. Although that thought overwhelms me at times, I try my hardest to make each day count. For Stevie. For Annie. For my family. For my Friends.

Some things in life are out of our control. So, today and every day, I feel compelled to express my love and appreciation to everyone around me. Tragedies put things into perspective. Gone are the days when I sweat the small things. Never again will I take my life for granted.

Lately, I’ve been lacking motivation to do any social media. Annie was helping me with all my social media, and it just doesn’t feel right without her. She and I would do content planning together every day. Being on social media makes me miss her so much.

My life isn’t measured by how many likes or follows I have on social media. Those things aren’t important in the grand scheme of things. Social media seems so insignificant right now. At the same time, social media is such a great platform to connect with friends and share valuable information with each other.

I would like to share a memorial fund that has been set up on behalf of Annie called the Annie Lauren Fletcher Memorial Fund. Reality Co Nashville set up this fund in her honor to help bring spiritual, mental, and emotional care to artists and musicians free of charge. This is something Annie was very passionate about.

Ovarian Cancer Test

I have recently felt a pull to use social media to raise awareness about ovarian cancer. I so badly want to add to the conversation by advocating for and educating women. Most women don’t even know what test to take to screen for ovarian cancer. Did you know that a routine pap smear won’t detect ovarian cancer? There are a few different tests that can spot ovarian cancer. The first one is a transvaginal ultrasound. Your doctor can use this to look for abnormalities or growths on your ovaries. Another one is the ROMA blood test which includes the CA-125 blood test and HE4 blood tests. Other testing includes. Both of these tests, in conjunction with each other, will up your chances of catching it early. There Genetic testing

Your insurance may pay for the tests if you have ovarian cancer anywhere in your family history. Unfortunately, your insurance may not pay for it otherwise. However, these tests are so important for women that you should do whatever you can to acquire these tests. I hope this information will prompt at least one woman to schedule a screening.

The National Cancer Institute estimates 19,000 new ovarian cancer cases in 2013 and over 13,000 deaths — many of which could have been prevented with early detection.

Ovarian cancer is called the silent killer for a reason. By the time most women know they have it, they’re already in stage four. It’s often too late. The key to ovarian cancer is early detection.

Every woman should get tested. It’s always better to be on the safe side.


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