STORYFUL/WTXF - Erin Barrett gave birth to a baby girl in September. Shortly thereafter, she had her left ovary, fallopian tube, and a nearly 6lb tumour removed. Then, she was diagnosed with stage 1c, grade 1 ovarian cancer.
The cancer was thankfully caught early but now Erin has a request for other women:
"Take 15 seconds - that's all it takes - to tell two or three women in your life about the symptoms. This could be your wife, your mother, your sister, your daughter - any woman you care about. I want to keep a tally below of how many women have been told. Add your women to the list and move the count up."
See Erin's full story below:
I've debated long and hard about posting anything here about my health. This feels like a very personal journey, yet, at the same time, one I want to make sure as many women as possible can avoid. So, with raising awareness in mind, I've decided to share what's going on with me and my ovaries. Actually, ovary. Singular. I happily gave birth to a wonderful baby girl, Edie, on September 24th. Less joyfully, at the same time I also had my left ovary, fallopian tube, and a nearly 6lb tumour we jokingly named Ozzy removed. Shortly thereafter I was diagnosed with stage 1c, grade 1 ovarian cancer. The stage and grade are important because it means they caught it early. I am currently going through chemo and will start radiation at the end of January. I feel nothing but positive in regards to my outcome and future plans. Plans that include never facing this again. And growing my hair back. People have asked me what they can do to help. This is something I have struggled with as I have been so well looked after. My decision is to ask you all to help me raise awareness. They call ovarian cancer the silent killer. This is because the symptoms are so subtle that it is often caught too late. Currently, the odds of getting ovarian cancer are 1 in 58 (compared to 1 in 7 for breast cancer). I want the next ten women who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer to be diagnosed early. This means I need your help in telling 580 women about the symptoms. This is where you come in. Take 15 seconds - that's all it takes - to tell two or three women in your life about the symptoms. This could be your wife, your mother, your sister, your daughter - any woman you care about. I want to keep a tally below of how many women have been told. Add your women to the list and move the count up (this is mainly so I don't have to count them all by hand - I'm going through chemo, cut me a break on being lazy ;) Here we go: -- Persistent stomach pain -- Persistent bloating -- Finding it difficult to eat or feeling full quickly -- Needing to pee more often -- Back pain -- Changes to bowel habits (constipation or diarrhoea) -- Feeling tired all the time If any or all of these are present, especially in women 40+, please PLEASE go see your doctor. You're not wasting anyone's time, you're being smart and ensuring you'll be around for the long haul for the people you love. So, if you want to help me, get on the phone, send an email (or six), grab a coffee with a woman you love and spend 15 seconds talking about this. It could save her life. And, it'll make me happy (guilt, guilt). If you have any questions about my health, my treatment, or about ovarian cancer, send me a message. I realise that opening myself up this way means a lot of you will have questions and I'm happy to answer as best I can. Don't worry, I've decided that I'll be fine, and that's just the way it is. With love, Erin xx Ps: Here's the link to the ovarian cancer charity that used to be one of my clients - ya, I know, the coincidence blows: http://ovarian.org.uk/about-ovarian-cancer/what-are-the-symptoms-of-ovarian-cancer/