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  • Writer's pictureOC Warrior Queen

The Call to Come Accompanied

I am 36 years old. I am a wife, a mom of two lovely little boys, a daughter, a sister, a cousin and a friend. I am also an engineer, a leadership coach, a change management consultant, and a life long-learner and artist at heart.


6 days ago, I also became a warrior and today, I am a blogger it seems!


I’d like to share a little more of my story, in part because I find the exercise cathartic, and also because I believe it’s important to raise awareness and normalize talking about the “big C”. The more we talk about it, the less we fear it, and the less power it has over us.


Say it with me: Cancer. Cancer. Cancer. Say it until it loses meaning and power.

Over the last few weeks, I had stomach pain and cramps on and off which I found a bit strange and went to my clinic a few times. And at one point, the cramps were just really bad so I went again and the doctor said she noticed my uterus was a bit enlarged, even though I am 100% not pregnant according to blood tests. So, she sent me for an ultrasound suspecting fibroids, which are super common and nothing to worry about.


At the ultrasound the next day, the radiologist noticed an 8cm heterogeneous mass on my left ovary and asked my family doctor to investigate further via MRI.


I went to get the MRI last Monday, and my doctor called me on Tuesday and asked me to come accompanied


There’s good news and there's bad news…

The bad news is that the imagery is showing signs of epithelial ovarian cancer, but the good news is that I am young, hopeful and a warrior PLUS it seems to have been detected early since it has not spread anywhere else in my pelvis.


"I knew it!"


These are the words that went through my mind, followed by: "What's the next step?"


Was I upset, sad, and angry? Absolutely! But my project manager instincts just took over the situation and I went into project mode:

  • What's the timeline?

  • Who are the key players?

  • What are the risks?

  • What can I do?


My family doctor didn't have all the answers of course but she is my lighthouse, guiding me to shore and to best possible resources. I'll have my 1st appointment with a gynaecological oncologist in 2 days thanks to her proactive and diligent actions.


All this is great, and I am so happy that I actually have a date on my calendar. It was only a week, but the waiting was hard. Not knowing when I'd be seen meant not knowing when we'll start a treatment plan.


Although I am positive, it doesn't mean I don't feel afraid or angry. I do.


It's unfair.

Why me? What did I do?

I need to understand WHY but something tells me this battle isn't about finding out a WHY but rather a series of WHATs.


What do I want to do with the cards I was dealt?


What can I do to feel in control?


What purpose do I choose to assign to this nonsensical life event?


I choose. I give it purpose as per my desire. It does not define me. I define it. After all, it is a part of me. It is within me.

And I choose to believe that embracing it and working with my body, with the support of the most amazing husband and excellent professionals is what I need to do to overcome, to heal and win this battle.


That's empowering.


We, as a society, are so afraid of this word even though modern medicine has come such a looooong way! Sometimes we are so afraid of it, to the point that we become uncomfortable around it and don't know what to do when someone tells us they have cancer. We don't want to bother them. We don't want them to feel burdened or be reminded of their pain.


News Flash: They are already aware! Lol! It is inside of them, literally.


I get it though. I did the same when a close friend announced his battle with cancer. I offered support in the beginning but at one point I also felt like I didn't want to burden him or constantly ask him how he was doing.


But the thing is, everyone is different. Some people really do want to keep their support team tight-knit and close. And some want to be checked up on, stay in touch, and talk about their journey.


Either way is okay. We all have the right to choose how we want to heal and with whom we want to traverse this challenge.


Some advice for supporters

I would say, the best thing those outside the immediate "circle of trust" can do to show support to a friend battling cancer is to not only say "I'm here if you need me," but also add the following two things:


"I am not afraid or uncomfortable talking about cancer or hearing about it. Know that you can talk to me, and I will not receive it as a burden, but rather as an honour that you are sharing a part of your life with me!"
"Would it be okay if I checked in on you once in a while? What frequency would be best? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? It's your call."

Personally, the way I am dealing with it at the moment is by talking about it because I think it's an important way to raise awareness, especially for Ovarian Cancers. They are nicknamed "silent killers" because the symptoms are too nonspecific and resemble gastric issues or menstrual cramps. The message here for everyone: LISTEN to your body.


That being said, somehow, something inside me knew something was not right and I kept insisting and going back to my clinic which is why they found this mass.


Even my doctor was commending me for listening to my body and said that most people would have just assumed it was a temporary non-issue or a stomach problem that will just go away.


Wake-up Call

All of this is drilling down the fact that we live in a time where human beings have become so disconnected from our bodies and our “inner” world. We are very smart as a species but that awareness and intellect is very external, and when it comes to our inner world and awareness, we are still quite illiterate lol! The only exceptions I see are Buddhist monks or anyone that has mastered and adopted a way of life that embraces both their inner and external worlds with which their self interacts.


As for me, I’m taking this as a wake-up call to slowdown, reconnect with my inner world, love and respect myself, and prioritize my overall well-being more than anything else.


I’m going to overcome this! 

I am not sharing this because I want you to be saddened, although I’m aware that this will happen either way. What I really want is to spread awareness and enlist cheerleaders to cheer me on in this battle!


Stay tuned for updates.


Alvina,

Your Favourite OC Warrior Queen



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4 Comments


Guest
Apr 07, 2023

Chère Alvina, je suis disponible pour parler avec toi de ce cancer lorsque tu en ressentiras le besoin. Fais - moi part de tes attentes et je ferai de mon mieux pour être présente en temps voulu.

Mario veut également que tu saches que tu peux compter sur lui, le cas échéant. Nous t'aimons beaucoup!❤️😘❤️

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m_cleroux
Apr 07, 2023

Alvina, your positive outlook is astounding. Your mind is probably racing but you have made a plan to remove this freeloader the best way possible. Thank you for sharing what you would like us to say because there are so many things people going through this don’t want to hear, like about Uncle Bob. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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Guest
Apr 05, 2023

Je suis privilégiée de t’avoir comme belle-fille. Notre relation est extraordinaire! Je serai toujours disponible pour écouter ce que tu seras prête à me confier, peu importe les événements que tu vivras. Je t’aime de tout mon cœur ❤️❤️❤️. Danielle A.

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etrachy
Apr 04, 2023

I am already a fan of your blog and I am proud to be in your bigger circule. ❤️

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