Becca Cahall lives in Baltimore, Maryland, and has a granulosa cell tumor.
What has been your frustration in having a rare form of ovarian cancer?
That there is not much research on it. I can’t google it like other cancers and there aren’t many studies on it. Plus, mainly older women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and it was hard to find information on young women diagnosed with the disease.
Where have you found community?
I found a GCT group on facebook that is very helpful because it’s other women talking about their experiences. However, it’s mainly older women, very few younger women. I also am a part of OCRA programs (Women to Women and Survivors Teacher Students) which has brought more friends on Facebook. One woman who has a different type of ovarian cancer told me about a friend of hers with my cancer who was diagnosed in her 30’s as well. She and I became very close and good friends just in the past 8 months of knowing each other.
How do you feel both a part of and apart from the greater ovarian cancer community?
I love being a part of the community! I’ve met some amazing women! I wish I could meet them in person though. But, I know that will happen soon. 🙂
What gives you hope?
I struggled with fertility before being diagnosed. Prior to starting treatment, my husband and I froze 12 embryos. While I was going through treatment, I listened to my body, but when I was able, I would get a workout in and kept saying it’s for our baby. I wanted to keep my body as strong as possible, within reason of course, in order to transfer our embryo. I also learned a lot of lessons from cancer. It taught me not to sweat the small stuff, enjoy each day, live in the moment, and don’t care what other people think.
What do you want to shout from the rooftops?
ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF! You know your body more than anyone. If something doesn’t feel right, keep pushing for more tests and keep coming back or switching doctors. I was misdiagnosed prior to my surgery and elected to get my surgery. All doctors told me it wasn’t cancer.
#RareAware is shining a spotlight on the thousands of patients across the United States who are living with a rare form of ovarian cancer — raising awareness, offering resources and information, and building community for those who may feel both a part *of* and apart *from* the larger conversation about ovarian cancer.