Tuesday, October 10, 2017

#byefallopian

Won't happen to me. I mean it could happen to me. Actually the odds aren't in my favor and it could very likely happen to me.

I'm 36. I'm healthy. In pretty good shape. Take care of myself. This is going to sound dramatic but, cancer doesn't care. 

My Mom is a cancer survivor. Twice over. Once breast, once ovarian. If you know anything about ovarian cancer (which we didn't until September 23, 2016) it's silent. It gives you no indication that it's there, shows up on absolutely no tests. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

So I have one degree of separation (maybe if it's my mom it's less than one degree, have to ask Kevin Bacon) from a genetically linked disease that is the fifth leading cause of death for women. For most women, ovarian cancer doesn't end well because by the time they find it, it's too late. So I have two options, I can wait and see or I can take charge of my health. I'm not very patient. I'm not a 'wait and see' kind of gal. I'm taking charge. 

After consulting with my OB/GYN, a gynecological oncologist, and the doctors my mom has seen in the last year, we've set a date for the first steps. I don't think I will miss my Fallopian tubes when they're gone (the surgery is called a Salpingectomy for those keeping score at home). Because doctors now think a lot of ovarian cancer originates there, I'm good with letting them go. The surgery is minor and I get to lay in bed for a couple of days so it's basically a vacation.

Starting Friday, I will get an ultrasound and a blood test done every three months for forever. And in 5-10 years I'll be writing about a full hysterectomy and everything that comes with it.

It's a lot to take in in a day. But this is what prevention looks like for me.

I'm pretty sure both of my grandmothers are rolling over in their graves while I put all my business out on the interwebs. They would have sooner died than talk about their lady parts in person or on the internet. But not talking about these things doesn't get us anywhere. Silence prevents nothing. So I'm talking. I'm sharing my journey because it's part of me and who I am and if one person reads it and thinks 'huh... maybe I should look into xyz' then it's worth it. Plus, hoo-ha, vagina, uterus, ovaries, Fallopian tubes, they're fun words to type.

I was curious why the computer autocorrected my spelling of Fallopian tubes and always capitalized the F. Well... they're named after an Italian anatomist who first described them... his name is Gabriello Fallopio. He died in 1562. The more you know. 


2 comments:

Jackie Keenan said...

God bless, Corey Best! You're incredibly brave and I love how you're taking charge of your health and punching cancer straight in the face before it can ever get remotely close to your girl parts. You won't miss those tubes. You have three beautiful babies and are beyond blessed to have had working parts. Now it's time to let them go before cancer can have a say. love you!

Mindi Williams said...

Great post! I'm sort of in a similar situation. Over 10 years ago I discovered that I had Lynch Syndrome through genetic testing. I've been told my lifetime risk of having cancer is 80%. While Lynch Syndrome increases my risk of all types of cancers, colon is ranked highest on the list. Uterine and ovarian cancer are two other cancers that are frequently discussed because my odds are higher than the average women. As you mentioned, ovarian cancer can be a silent killer. So I'm celebrating turning 40 this year by having a total hysterectomy. Uterus, ovaries, cervix, and Fallopian tubes gone! I've already had a consultation with the top gyno doctor at Moffitt. I feel safe having him perform the surgery so if (God forbidden), he sees something funky when he opens me up, he'll be able to take it out.