But teal is also the color for ovarian cancer awareness, as pink is for breast cancer.
Since September is Ovarian Cancer Month, I'm talkin' teal today.
from Martha Stewart Living, October 2008
I lost my funny, fabulous, teal-toed sister, Nancy, to ovarian cancer in November. I know she'd want you to know the signs of this dreadful disease so that you can protect yourselves, and your daughters...or sisters.
Nancy had had a bloated tummy, irregular periods, indigestion, lethargy, and on and off pelvic pain for about two years before she was diagnosed. She assumed it was the beginning of menopause, maybe combined with the everyday stress of her busy life as a teacher. Even her doctors missed the signs.
She finally opted for en elective hysterectomy, and when they opened her up, there it was...ovarian cancer, Stage 3C. You can read Nancy's story, in her own words, here.
Ovarian cancer is called "the silent killer" because, like Nancy (and her three sisters...all college educated and pretty aware, we thought), so many women and their doctors, do not think to look for it as the cause of such vague symptoms...until it is too late.
So I hope you'll take a moment while you're blogging today to Google "ovarian cancer symptoms" and learn what to look for...it really could save your life.
Last night I went to my first organizational meeting for this year's American Cancer Society "Relay for Life". Nancy served on the committee every year since she was diagnosed. I'll never be able to take her place but, last night, as much as I didn't want to, I sat in her chair.
Nancy would want you to know that ovarian cancer can be related to breast cancer, which we hear much more about. Our mother has breast cancer and, when Nancy developed ovarian cancer, we were all tested for the BRCA genetic defect that can cause both types of cancer. We were shocked to learn that our family was positive for BRCA 2.
Quilt I hand-stitched for Nancy for Christmas
Because of what we learned, we have been able to be proactive. Nancy and our sister, Andi, tested positive...the gene is positive in 50% of women from in a BRCA positive family. Andi had to have an oophorectomy (ovaries removed) and a mastectomy in order to avoid almost certain cancer later in life. Now our aunt, my mother's sister, has also developed ovarian cancer, which thankfully was caught early, and a number of neices and cousins on my mother's side have tested positive. At least we know now.
If you have two or more close relatives with breast or ovarian cancer, please consider getting genetic testing. It is a simple blood test and is covered under most insurance plans. You can get more information about it here. Had we known that we carried the BRCA gene sooner, Nancy might still be with us today.
So, love yourself, and love your sisters, enough to learn the signs and speak up. Together we can break the silence about ovarian cancer.
Nancy would like that.
I'm linking this post up to:
Show & Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage
Flaunt It Friday at Chic On A Shoestring Decorating
Home Sweet Home Friday at The Charm of Home
Under $100. Linky Party at Beyond the Picket Fence
Time Travel Thursday at The Brambleberry Cottage
Feature Yourself Friday at Fingerprints On the Frige
Frugal Friday at The Shabby Nest
Thrifty Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville
Saturday Nite Special at Funky Junk Interiors
Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tatertots & Jello
Sister Sunday Link Party at Sisters of the Wild West