Why This Woman Needs Your Help to Stop a 'Silent Killer'
A cancer patient is pleading for just 15 seconds to help save a life.
Erin Barnett, from Vancouver, Canada, has ovarian cancer. Her’s was caught early and she’s on a mission to help other women get diagnosed early as well.
In a post on her Facebook page, Barnett asked readers to please take 15 seconds to describe the symptoms of ovarian cancer, which are subtle, to the women in their lives.
She’s determined to get the message out to at least 580 women, as the odds of getting the cancer are 1 in 58, according to the University of Connecticut Health Center. Barnett reasons that then she’ll then have helped at least ten women get an early diagnosis.
Since Barnett posted it on December 23, the post has been shared over 260,000 times.
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 6 pound tumor 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 over 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 realize 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 P.S. 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/…/what-are-the-symptoms-of-ovarian-c…/h/t WPTZ News