My Next 1/2 Marathon and Ovarian Cancer Awareness

Wednesday night I met with the Irish Coast Running Team and had a blast. I’m definitely looking forward to more runs with everyone.  There were about 30(ish) of us and we started / finished at the Irish Coast Pub.  The course is only 4.4 miles but it’s a great run and there were people of all shapes and sizes running and walking.  After the run you can hang out, grab some drinks and appetizers and stay for a trivia game.

This Sunday, you can find me in Louisiana running my 4th, and final, 1/2 marathon of 2012.

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I’m really excited about this 1/2 not only because of the great swag you get for running but because the proceeds go to benefit a myriad of women’s health organizations from cancer research to services for rape victims.

Another reason this race is very special is because I’ll be running it in memory of my aunt Kathy who died in 2003 from ovarian cancer.

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Kathy died when I was a teenager; she was only 51 years old.  I have many memories of her but what I remember most was her wicked sense of humor!  To fit in with my Deeds family, you have to have pretty thick skin and be able to roll with the punches.  And let me tell you, Kathy knew how to dish it just as much as it was given to her.  I remember her always laughing and heckling someone.  But that’s my family for you.  If you’re not being harassed, you need to worry.  Kathy left a big imprint in all of our lives.  She was such a positive spirit and we all miss her terribly; especially her children.

Cancer sucks. I know we all know to “Save the Ta-tas” (super important!) but I really think other forms of cancer get overshadowed by those, ummmmm, ta-tas.  So today, I want to share some of the eye-opening facts about ovarian cancer and encourage all my female readers to get more involved with your wellness.  Talk to your doctor, people; ovarian cancer is a fast killer.

Facts:

  • A woman’s risk of developing ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
  • 20,000 women will die from ovarian cancer this year alone.
  • Ovarian cancer is the 5th leading cause of cancer death in women.
  • Only 25% of cases are diagnosed early before the cancer has spread to the pelvic region. For these women, the 5-year survival rate is 90%.
  • A PAP TEST DETECTS CERVICAL CANCER BUT NOT OVARIAN

Currently, there are no effective means of early detection, which is why you should go to your doctor immediately if you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed below.

(Source #1) (Source #2)

Signs and Symptoms:

  • General abdominal discomfort and/or pain (gas, indigestion, pressure, bloating, cramps).
  • Nausea, diarrhea, constipation and frequent urination.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling of fullness even after a light meal.
  • Weight gain or loss with no known reason.
  • Abnormal bleeding from the vagina may occur as a late symptom.

(Source #1) (Source #2)

Risk factors:

  • Family history — first-degree relatives (mother, daughter, sister), especially if two or more have had the disease.
  • Age — most ovarian cancers occur in women 50 years of age or older, with the highest risk in women older than 60.
  • Non-childbearing — women who have never had children. In fact, the more children a woman has had, the less likely she is to develop ovarian cancer.
  • Personal history — women who have had breast or colon cancer may be at greater risk.
  • Obesity – women who are obese have a higher rate of death from ovarian cancer.
  • Fertility drugs — drugs that cause women to ovulate may slightly increase a woman’s risk.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) — some evidence suggests that women who use HRT after menopause may have a slightly increased risk of developing this disease.

(Source #1) (Source #2)

Teal-ribbon-bigI know that was a LOT of information, but it really is something incredibly important for you to know.  If you think you may have some of those risk factors, PLEASE talk to your doctor.  Communication is absolutely critical in catching it in the early stages.  Teal is the color for ovarian cancer awareness so this weekend I’ll be rocking the teal for my aunt Kathy.  To learn more about ovarian cancer awareness, please visit http://ovariancancerawareness.org/ or any of the sources I have linked above.

In loving memory of Kathy Deeds 3/31/52 – 9/24/03

Question:  Have you ever lost a loved one to cancer?  What is your favorite memory of them? I would love to hear it!

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