Olivia Key was just like most 17 year olds. She loved being active, playing sports, hanging out with her friends, and going on hikes in her spare time. She wasn’t worried about her weight, either. She had a small frame and could see fluctuations easily. She noticed that she was gaining a little on her stomach, but never felt that she needed to do anything about it – it just looked a little bloated. She was still growing, after all.
However, that all changed after the summer of 2013 when something terrifying happened. She was rushed to the hospital when she was hit with the most intense pain that she had ever felt coming from her abdomen. The stomach pain was crippling, but the doctors just assumed that she was pregnant. At their first exam, the doctors predicted that she may be 7 or 8 months along in her “pregnancy,” and that her symptoms maybe have just been surfacing now, however late.
It was easy for them to assume that she was pregnant. Cramping pain and a bloated middle section can be symptoms of pregnancy, but after multiple urine samples, blood tests, and even a check to see if it could be appendicitis, they still weren’t sure. That’s when doctors ordered a scan to see if there was another culprit at work causing Olivia’s pain, and they were truly shocked.
Olivia had a massive cyst – approximately the size of a watermelon – that weighed in at 21 pounds and measured 30 centimeters. They began doing tests immediately, afraid that it would burst.
At only 17-years-old, Olivia had cancer. Her worst fear was that the cyst would burst like a balloon and spread cancer throughout her body.
Her fears were put to rest easily, however, when surgeons were able to drain the cyst completely and remove it through a very small incision. Olivia was lucky. The cyst had not leaked in the time it had grown, confining the tumor to one area only. It took only a few weeks for Olivia to fully recover from the entire ordeal, but it has changed the way that she looks at life.
Olivia was shocked that she could have cancer at such a young age, and wants to spread the word to women everywhere. Ovarian cancer doesn’t normally affect young women, but being aware of the signs just might save your life.
Bloating, frequent urination, persistent abdominal pain, and lowered appetite are all symptoms that shouldn’t be ignored, and she urges anyone who may have them to seek medical help quickly to avoid situations like her own.
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