Don't Miss Your Gyno Appointments!

Hey girls, I only just recently joined the <a href="">Eve</a> community and wanted to share my experience with all of you. I'm a 19 y/o woman and I've always consired myself to be in pretty good health. I've been a vegetarian for most of my life, I like to stay active and make sure to get a decent amount of sleep time (maybe too much sometimes lol). My period cycles have always been extremely irregular and very painful. Needless to say, I was a very loyal customer for Midol pills. Although, I never once went to a gynecologist. I know my mother made her yearly appointment, but it just never made sense for me to go. I talked about the pain and discomfort I felt on my periods but we always dismissed it as to my hormones still adjusting and that eventually I will have a regular cycle. It wasn't until a few months ago that I felt the most intense pain in my abdomen that I knew something was wrong. It took various hospital visits, lab tests, an incredible amount of gyno appointments and finally 2 emergency surgeries. [Side note: I've never even fractured a single bone in my body and had NEVER been to a gyno before. This whole experience was very traumatizing for me]. After the second emergency surgery, I was told that my ovary and fallopian tube had to be removed because there was a cyst/mass that was oozing liquid into my body and that was what was making me feel an inmense amount of pain. My immune system couldn't handle it anymore and it almost killed me. After the pathology analysis, my family and I were called into the doc's office to receive the news. So there I was in the doctor's office, with a huge C-Section scar still healing, this young woman who has never had sexual relations and probably just finished the most painful months she will ever experience in her life, I was told that there were bad news. Naturally, I just thought they meant I needed another surgery. But I can honestly say I was definitely not prepared for what I heard next. I'm glad my parents were there with me at the time, going through this alone is not easy. I was told I had ovarian cancer. Statiscally, there's a very low chance for a 19 y/o to have ovarian cancer, but it doesn't mean it won't happen. I had made my research beforehand though, I read all about ovarian cysts on all the medical journals I could get my hands on. I knew the low statistics for a cysts having to be removed surgically (5-10%) and I knew what percent of them were cancerous. They are such small numbers and I fell into each one of them. The following months weren't easy either, but after a few more tests and PET Scans I was told that the cells had not spread farther than the tumor that was removed. All in all, I was pretty lucky not to have go through chemo or radiation. I know a lot of people and dear ones that haven't had my luck. I'm clean now, I still do the regular checkups, but I'm good. I'm writing this for all the women out there who have never been to a gyno before, those who dismiss their yearly appointments, to the girls who just got their first period and are afraid of making that first appointment. Do it. Please do it. I know it can be uncomfortable, but one thing I learned through this whole experience is that my diagnosis could've been prevented if I had gone to the gyno sooner and not dismissed it. Maybe I would still have both my ovaries. I want my story to remind everyone of the very real and serious health issues that can affect us. I thought I was untouchable to cancer, statiscally a very low probability, but it happened to me. It can happen to anyone. Please take care of yourselves and don't miss your gyno appointments! Much love, -P