Friday, September 16, 2011

Talkin' Teal

I'm seeing a lot more teal in magazines, antique shops, and on home decor blogs these days. It's also listed on many of my painting sites as one of the "hot" paint colors for 2011.

Photo from Etsy

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 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
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


Pamela Gordon said...

Wow. This is such an important message for all women. I'm sorry you have had to learn about this disease the hard way with your sister Nancy's battle and your other sister's preventative measures. I have heard of a family in N.B. where almost every female had the gene for those cancers. It just ran through the family like a wildfire until someone realized that this gene is the link. You are an amazing woman to fight for this cause (Run for the Cure) and I commend you for what you are doing for awareness! I didn't know that teal is the colour for ovarian cancer. It is such a beautiful colour as represented in your photos today. A good reminder since it's so popular in decorating right now. God bless you!!! Love and hugs, Pam

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

Thank you, Cheryl! This is such an informative post and I know parts of it were difficult for you to share. I'll look at the color teal in a whole new way from now on!

Cozy Little House said...

I really don't know my family. So I can't check with them. So many women...

Linda @ A La Carte said...

Cheryl thank you so much for this post! I know what a sad thing this is for you but if you can help someone else live then I know it means a lot to you. I would like to link this post on my blog! Such an important cause! Hugs to you. Linda

Shabby Chic Sandy said...

So sorry about your sister. Thanks for sharing the information.

Jane said...

Hi Cheryl,
Excellent post!!! This is such an important message and I'm so glad you shared it. Nancy would be so proud of you sitting in her chair at the Relay for Life meeting and keeping the message of ovarian cancer awareness alive.
Take care.

Michele Smith said...

Thank you for sharing this post. Your sister would be proud!
I wear teal for another type of cancer...I am a cervical cancer survivor. I pray that people will educate themselves and each other to know the signs of cancer.

Betsy said...

Thank you so much Cheryl for all of this information. Nancy would be so proud that you're continuing to spread the word.

Cottage and Broome said...

Love the teal and thank you for sharing the symptoms of ovarian cancer. I have a friend fighting ovarian cancer, it has been a struggle for her with many surgeries. I'm sure your sister would have been very proud of you for passing on this important information. Thanks again, Laura Cottage and Broome

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

A beautiful color, and a wonderful cause. Thanks for sharing.

T's Daily Treasures said...

Thank you for sharing your sister's story and information about ovarian cancer. I have had similar symptoms for a couple of years now and have had two surgeries for precancerous cells on my cervix yet my doctor assures me that everything is fine. Still I wonder. Is it perimenopause? I'm 45 and my doctor says I am too young for that. Maybe I need a second opinion. Wishing you all the best as you continue to support and speak out on behalf of your sister and your family. Blessings, Tammy

Jenni said...

I am so sorry to hear about your sister, and know you must miss her very much. Thank you for sharing a little of her story, as well as the symptoms for ovarian cancer.


Kathryn Ferguson Griffin said...

Thanks for the information. I never knew the symptoms to look out for. So sorry to hear about your sister. And, I love all the teal. Found you via French Country Cottage. Toodles, Kathryn

Ann@A Sentimental Life said...

Thank you for the sister in law was just diagnosed.

Anonymous said...

I love teal! You found lots of great things! I have a party going on over at my blog if you want to join! I'd love to have you! Check it out under the "Stache Party" page on my blog:

TracyMB @ Crow's Feet Chic said...

Beautiful photos and such a good message. So sorry you lost your sweet sister.

Anonymous said...

I'm so so sorry for the loss of your sister, but I just wanted to say THANK YOU for sharing this. You'll help more people than you'll begin to know just from spreading the word about ovarian cancer. I for one know that I'm going to talk to both of my sisters about getting screened. Thank you dearly.

Ann @ makethebestofthings said...

Teal brought me here, I love that color and am getting ready to redo my craft room in shades of teal. Thanks so much for the cancer awareness message, I am just finishing a year of treatment for breast cancer. And thanks also for linking to my picture of teal/turquoise pillows and accessories from my blog, what a pleasant surprise!

Deborah March said...

Such a heartfelt post; the love for your sister shines through your words...

artteachergirl said...

I just found your blog. First let me say my heart goes out to you for the loss of your sister. This blog is a wonderful tribute to her memory. You've honored her in such a sweet way.
Secondly, I love Maine and I envy you! What I would give to live up there. I live in GA, but for the last two summers I have made 2 trips up and back to Maine. Long and beautiful drive! My son teaches Music in Sweden, ME during the summer, and I HAVE to take him up and return for him. We talk of retiring there, or at least half year.
I've enjoyed my visit here today and I will be checking in on you again soon! Best, Vicki

Ranger 911 said...

What a thoughtful post in memory of your sister. I hope someday we can come up with an early screening test available for all women at their yearly exams.

Sara said...

Would LOVE it if you would link this post up at my turquoise lovin' party going on right now!!

Smalltowngirl said...

Found you by way of Funkyjunk Interiors and this post caught my attention...I have 2 sisters fighting through cancer. My oldest (44) with ovarian (2 years now) and my younger (42) with metastatic breast cancer (12 year survivor).
My older sis has had wonderful results with her treatment as she caught it early on.
Wished I could say the same for my younger sis ....
I haven't had BRCA testing yet..but will soon! Strange that we don't have any types of cancer on either side of the family, that we know of.
Thanks for sharing your sister's story!

Sherry said...

Fantastic post! Thank you for linking up with Home Sweet Home!

Ceekay- Thinkin of Home said...

Thank you for this post. OC gets overlooked even though Sept is OC month. I think of you and your sister often. I am kinda struggling right now, as you see on my Teal blog...but I am hoping that things will get better. Thanks for your encouragement as always!