When life hands you a grapefruit - a story on Ovarian Cancer Awareness

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I was twenty-one years old and it was the summer before my senior year in college. I was working at a pool and taking summer college courses. 

It seemed like a normal day until I started to feel very hot and began cramping. Next thing I knew, I was waking up after passing out and was being rushed to a medical clinic. I had severe abdominal pain and was on my way for what everyone thought was a ruptured appendix. After a terrible dose of medicine and a CT scan, the doctor delivered some upsetting results. I had a tumor the size of a grapefruit on my right ovary. 

The next day I was in the office of a stranger, as my normal OB-GYN was on holiday, who informed me that I needed surgery right away. It was very unnerving when the doctor asked me to come into his office and immediately set a box of tissues down before speaking. I remember looking at his mouth as words like “immediate”, “biopsy”, and “multiple cysts” came out. The doctor further explained that the only issue he could find with my body was that it had grown a large mass. All I could feel was betrayal. 

I felt so betrayed by my body that I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone about it. I had enough courage to tell two people very close to me but waited months to tell close friends. 

One major surgery, multiple doctor visits, countless monitoring, and seven years later, I am tumor and Endometriosis free. It has been a long journey but I have finally forgiven my body for what I thought was betrayal. 

September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, and this is what I urge you to consider.

Visit an OB-GYN annually.

It can be awful, I know. I spent way too much of my twenties there, but I urge you to go.

Speak up.

I would go to my annual exam and try to get out of there as fast as I could. I knew I had been experiencing cramps when I was ovulating, but I didn’t speak up. 

Find support.

Many women are silently suffering with ovarian disorders, cancers, and diseases. You are not alone, this is more common than you think. Reach out for support, even if it is only to your best friend or your parents like I did. 



About the Author


Sarah Ellis is one of Florecer Femme's Women with Vision. Sarah works as an Internal Auditor at an online media company. Sarah isn't a regular auditor, she is a cool auditor with a love for queso and dark chocolate. She is an avid traveler, half-marathoner, and proud football Coach's Wife.