I am a mother to two daughters, grandmother to four grandchildren – three being girls and one of four sisters. I worked at Mentor Graphics in Wilsonville for 28 years retiring in 2015. Prior to my illness I was extremely healthy and active – being a runner for over 45 years. In 2015 I started experiencing unexplained symptoms and sought medical help and testing for over a year.
Ovarian Cancer is often called the “silent killer” because symptoms are non-specific and by the time the cancer is found it is often in advanced stages. This was the case for me, my cancer was not diagnosed until I experienced complete renal failure in August 2016.
I have been battling stage IV ovarian cancer for two years and started my third round of weekly treatments in July of this year. Because of the advanced stage of my disease I will be on maintenance treatment for the rest of my life. I am fighting this fight under the excellent care of a team of doctors and nurses at OHSU, led by my gynecologist/oncologist, Dr. Elizabeth Munro. For those who know me, I am fighting this disease with the same determination and tenacity that I have confronted any challenge.
While progress is being made for ovarian cancer treatment, much more research is needed for early diagnosis and treatment of this disease! Currently there isn’t a reliable test to diagnosis ovarian cancer. With ongoing research, it is my hope that a test will be developed for early detection and treatment for the next generation of women.
All proceeds from this race/walk will be donated to OHSU Ovarian Cancer Research Center, under the leadership of Dr. Tanja Pejovic.
Know the symptoms of ovarian cancer and never stop pushing for answers!
- Abdominal bloating, indigestion or nausea.
- Changes in appetite, such as a loss of appetite or feeling full sooner.
- Pressure in the pelvis or lower back.
- A more frequent or urgent need to urinate and/or constipation.
- Changes in bowel movements.
- Increased abdominal girth.
- Tiredness or low energy.
- Changes in menstruation.