2019 TEAL Walk Savannah

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in the United States. Even though today is the end of September, there are many hard working people who won’t stop advocating for ovarian cancer awareness all year long. During the month of September there were many fundraisers, runs, and walks all around the country to raise money for research, to provide support and assistance for ovarian cancer patients, and to bring awareness to ovarian cancer.

As an ovarian cancer survivor, this cause is near and dear to my heart. I am one of the lucky ones whose cancer was diagnosed at an early stage. Most women are not so lucky.

Early detection is very important in the treatment of ovarian cancer. Most patients are diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. When detected early, the five year survivor rate is over 92%. Ladies, please learn the symptoms and listen to your body. Do not ignore the symptoms! Talk to your doctor if any of the symptoms persist for more than two weeks.

  • There is no diagnostic test for Ovarian Cancer.
  • A pap smear does NOT detect Ovarian Cancer.
  • Symptoms include bloating, pelvic/abdominal pain, feeling full quickly, fatigue, urinary urgency and/or frequency, bowel changes, menstrual irregularities.

The highest occurrence of ovarian cancer is in women over 50 (I was 59). Other risk factors are:

  • Family history of ovarian, breast, endometrial, or colon cancer.
  • Women who have never had children are at higher risk.
  • Having gene mutations of BRCA 1, BRCA2, or Lynch syndrome.

Tell Every Amazing Lady (T.E.A.L) About Ovarian Cancer is one of the organizations supporting ovarian cancer awareness.

One of the ways they do this is by organizing and putting on walks in several cities around the United States. Several years ago, a patient from Savannah, Georgia reached out to them for help and the idea of a TEAL walk in Savannah was born. This weekend I participated in the 6th annual Savannah walk.

It was a very emotional day being with other survivors and their supporters. So glad to see so many turn out to support this worthy cause.

There’s more about my cancer journey and last year’s walk at TEAL Walk Savannah 2018. Please visit Tell Every Amazing Lady to learn more about the T.E.A.L. organization.

T.E.A.L. Walk Savannah 2018

September is National Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. Teal is the color for ovarian cancer.

Did you know…

A woman’s lifetime risk of Ovarian Cancer is 1 in 75.

A pap test does NOT detect ovarian cancer.

There is NO early detection test for ovarian cancer.

Symptoms include but are not limited to:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic/abdominal pain
  • Difficulty eating or feeling full after a few bites
  • Urinary urgency/frequency
  • Menstrual irregularities

Ovarian cancer awareness events take place every September all around the country. Buildings in some cities are displaying teal lights. Teal ribbons and wreathes are on display. Charity events such as runs, walks and races are held in many places.

This year I enjoyed participating in the fifth annual TEAL (Tell Every Amazing Lady) Savannah walk. As an eight year survivor, it was a very fun and extremely emotional day.

It was wonderful meeting other survivors and hearing their stories. And it was very uplifting to see the support these women have from their friends, family and community.

There were many inspirational stories but the one that still brings tears to my eyes is Simone who is going through treatment now. Her family members came from as far away as Tampa and New York to walk with her. I met her cousin who kept saying Simone was a fighter. Simone wore a hooded teal satin cape and boxing gloves to show her fighting spirit.

Camille is another survivor who inspired me. She is currently in treatment and with the support of her two daughters, son-in-law and friends she walked the entire walk.

Children and adults alike enjoyed meeting Wonder Woman and The Little Mermaid Ariel.

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After the walk, Wonder Woman joined some of the survivors for a group photo.

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Survivor Warriors!

My Story

Eight years ago this month I was in the middle of my first three rounds of chemo after major surgery and a diagnosis of Stage IIB ovarian cancer.

I’m one of the lucky ones. My cancer was caught early. Six days after a CT scan showed a large tumor, I was in surgery and began treatments a few weeks later. Thanks to early detection, modern medicine, the love and support of family and friends, and the power of prayer, I’m still here today eight years later.

Many women with ovarian cancer are not so lucky. Ovarian cancer is often called the silent killer because the symptoms mimic so many other diseases that it is sometimes misdiagnosed and the cancer isn’t found until it is in late stage.

I urge all of you amazing ladies out there to learn the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer. Know your body and if you suspect anything is wrong, please see your doctor as soon as possible!

From¬† the T.E.A.L. website:¬† Tell Every Amazing Lady About Ovarian Cancer Louisa M. McGregor Ovarian Cancer Foundation’s mission is to promote public awareness and education of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of Ovarian Cancer, while providing support to survivors and raising funds for research in order to find the cure for Ovarian Cancer.

Please visit their website to find out more about Tell Every Amazing Lady.