I was 62 years old and fresh into retirement when my life took a turn. I began to notice that I was experiencing acid reflux and the need to use the restroom more frequently, things I'd never dealt with before. I didn't think much of it until I read an article in a women's magazine describing acid reflux as a possible symptom of ovarian cancer, along with bloating and frequent urination. A red flag went off in my head and I immediately called my doctor.
Although he was not overly concerned, my doctor ordered an ultrasound, to please me and calm my nerves. Two days later, I was back in his office to hear the devastating results. Ovarian cancer. I think my doctor was as shocked as I was.
I could barely think -- this couldn't be happening. My grandmother had died of breast cancer and my aunt was battling it. But the fact of that matter was that I had ovarian cancer. I had to deal with it, and now.
I knew I needed to go to MD Anderson in Houston. I've always said if I or any family member had cancer, we'd go to the No. 1 cancer center in the United States. I wanted the best possible treatment. One week later, my wonderful doctors performed surgery.
My husband and I opted to stay in Houston throughout my treatment. Although it's 16 hours away from home, I felt blessed to be at MD Anderson. It's been six years since my treatment. I'm thankful to God and MD Anderson for giving me more time to live on this earth and be with my family. Every day is a blessing, never to be taken for granted.
Promise invites cancer survivors to share their reflections. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.