Why teal?

Teal is the color that represents ovarian cancer. I had someone recently ask me if Teal was my favorite color and I still don’t know how to respond to that. You see, teal chose me, I lost my mum to ovarian cancer in 2021 and I lost two friends in 2019. I hope for the day that no woman has to hear the words “You have ovarian cancer”, but I will be happy if we can at least raise the survival rate. Awareness is the first step in finding a cure.

Below is a speech that I wrote and presented at a recent National Ovarian Cancer Coalition walk. It is a shortened version of my mum and I’s story.

Memorial Day weekend, 2017, we thought my mum had pneumonia.  I asked if she wanted me to take her to urgent care or emergency and she said she would rather wait and see if we could get in to see our primary on Tuesday.  That turned out to be one of the best decisions we could have made.  He moved very quickly, by Friday we were told cancer and by Monday we were told Ovarian Cancer.  We saw an oncologist the next day who sent us to a gynecological oncologist two days later.  Within a few weeks she started chemo, we felt like we were one of the lucky ones for getting diagnosed and treatment started so soon! Many women don’t get diagnosed so quickly, some even go for months before they are diagnosed.

In four years, she beat cancer five times and would have kept going if weren’t for the toll chemo took on her body.  She was in constant treatment for four years, whether it was IV chemos, a pill form, and/or an IV maintenance drug. Throughout it all, she continued to smile, went on many adventures and lived to the fullest.  Our motto through the journey and still my motto today:  “We are not thankful for the cancer, but we are thankful for the journey it has taken us on and the people we have met along the way”

When my mum was first diagnosed, I had two friends that also had ovarian cancer and even though one shared quite a bit of what she went through, ovarian cancer still felt like this secret that no one knows or talks about.  We both decided that it shouldn’t be a secret anymore.  The more people that know, the better chance they have of survival!  So we made it our mission to tell as many people as we could!  Instead of Teal Tuesday, it was Teal every day for us.  It’s amazing how many people would actually ask us questions or start chatting when they saw our shirts.  

I’m currently in the process of having a van converted into an rv.  Right now, the plan is that I will start traveling the country in May with my dog Valentino.  My van will have a teal ribbon on each side and I’m going to continue our mission of spreading the word by passing out literature from NOCC and chatting with anyone that wants to learn about ovarian cancer.

I want to end with an acronym for TEAL – which stands for Tell Every Amazing Lady!

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