Brooke lives in Beloit, WI, and has small cell ovarian cancer, hypercalcemic type.
What has been your frustration in having a rare form of ovarian cancer?
All of the unknowns in my type of cancer. Unsure what to do at first, very little resources, etc. Without finding our Facebook group….I don’t know if I’d be here today! My frustration is also losing friends that are so dear to me with my similar cancer type, as it’s almost always found in stage 3 & 4.
Where have you found community?
I have found community with my small cell ovarian cancer Facebook group I’m in. Felt community connected right away when I joined. All the members cheer each other on, and this includes family members of ladies diagnosed as well. We mourn when we lose a young lady too, and keep their memory alive. It’s an amazing group! I always had the support of my family. My boys, Mikey (9) and Tommy (7) are the reason I fought for my life. My husband was my rock and my parents never left my side. All Survivors of Cancer give me hope!
How do you feel both a part of and apart from the greater ovarian cancer community?
I feel connected to ovarian cancer groups that I belong to. I felt somewhat disconnected to the general ovarian cancer groups though, as many of the members were much older than me. And the treatment was very different than my treatment plan as well. My Facebook group that I’m in, for small cell ovarian cancer — I literally felt connected and belonged as soon as I joined. The members are SO supportive of everyone in the group … and it’s a small group as it’s such a rare cancer.
What gives you hope?
I really share my story often … to coworkers, family, friends, people I meet and get talking about my treatment time … but what especially gives me hope are the other young ladies in my group. They give me hope that I’ll never stop having, I’ll never stop sharing, and I’ll never stop giving them hope too! I feel I’m here to share my story and show that we CAN beat this! I hope I give them hope too.
What do you want to shout from the rooftops?
To live each day as a gift … live! Love. And always share the symptoms of ovarian cancer so another life is saved.
#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. Learn more about #RareAware and share your story.