For me, cancer had a funny way of being the ultimate wake-up call. It’s been like a gift and a nightmare, all wrapped in one pretty little shiny box. The gift taught me to live in the moment, to always be present and never miss the birds flying outside my window on a bright blue-sky day, or the ladybug crawling on my arm bringing me protection and good luck. It made me realize I needed to start SherryStrong.org.
The gift of cancer also taught me to never take for granted my life or my health — or anyone else’s in my life. It taught me that I could use my voice and this platform to help other women battling this horrible disease.
The gift of cancer taught me to not wait one single moment…to make that memory I’ve put off for the past year with a loved one. (Road trip anyone?!) It taught me that loving who I am, even with all my faults, is so important. We have this one life to live, God gives us this one body to nourish and care for, so why not do it right and put ourselves first?!
Life is so precious. I promised myself when I got sick, I’d wake up everyday grateful & would make a memory with someone I love! Go Do it ??
— Sherry Pollex (@SherryPollex) April 1, 2016
But most importantly, the gift of cancer taught me to CHOOSE JOY!!! Every day I wake up, I choose joy in my life. I celebrate the small blessings. Our attitude is a huge part of who we are and how we live our lives every day!
I decided right away (ok, well, after I had a few fits about feeling sorry for myself) that I wasn’t going to let cancer take anything else away from me. Cancer could take away my right to bear children, my body parts, my hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and so much more, but it wasn’t going to take away my grateful attitude! My choice of waking up everyday and making the best of the situation I was in. I encourage you to do the same.
So, I’m glad you’re here, because we have lots to talk about!
SherryStrong.org exists to empower women to know their bodies, recognize the symptoms of ovarian cancer and learn how integrative practices may complement conventional medicine.
I’ve spent almost two years thinking about all the things I’d like to change about cancer:
- How I would love to change our healthcare system
- How I want to educate women about the choices they have for their bodies
- How I want to educate women about integrative medicine and care
- How I want to educate and teach women about food being medicine, acupuncture, exercise, massage therapy, supplements, rebounders, infrared saunas and so many more things we can do to improve our well-being!
Ovarian cancer is stealing women’s lives and while I am here to try to change that, in the meantime, I refuse to let ovarian cancer steal our peace, our dignity or our feelings of control. My goal with this website is to bring those elements back into our lives. Your life. The lives of your loved ones touched by ovarian cancer.
But we’re also going to work hard, because not enough people (women and men) know the symptoms of ovarian cancer.
- Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency)
There’s an acronym to remember the most prevalent symptoms: BEAT.
- B for bloating that is persistent and doesn’t come and go
- E for eating less and feeling fuller
- A for abdominal pain
- T for telling your doctor
What else are we going to talk about here?
We’re going to talk about the hard stuff. The treatments. The emotional havoc. We’re going to be real about the friendships we gained and those we saw fade from our lives. We’re going to talk about — gasp! — intimacy. We’re going to talk wigs and eyelashes and eyebrows and all those little things that feel so big when they’re taken from us as women. (Have you read my post, “Can we have a moment of silence for our hair, please?”)
READ MORE: Here’s why I practice gratitude!
We’re also going to get spiritual. I don’t mean religion; I mean your inner voice. I’ve discovered so many new ways to strengthen myself from the inside out, and I want to help others do the same. (Check out my posts on meditation and yoga!)
Let me tell you a little about myself.
I’ve always been passionate and sassy… I’m that girl who tries to pack 25 things into her day but she really only has time to do 15 of them. I’ve never been able to sit still; I like to move and get things done.
When I met Martin, my life became complete. He’s the calm one in our relationship, while I’m the frantic, crazy stressed worry-wart all the time! Not my best qualities! I was a woman with a mission: to make the most out of life, with him by my side. We were happy and healthy – isn’t that all anyone wants?
That’s the thing about life. We may be able to control the speed at which we hurtle around the corners, but we can’t necessarily control what’s waiting for us on the other side.
At 35, I heard the words “ovarian cancer,” and my life changed forever.
Some people fall apart with that kind of diagnosis, and believe me, I’ve had my moments. But just like Martin finds his zone when he’s on the racetrack, I’ve always been able to find my zone when faced with a challenge. I brushed aside the tears and started crafting a plan with my doctors. I knew I was willing to do and try anything to beat this disease, or at least live a long fulfilling life with it.
I had a seven-hour debulking surgery five days after I was diagnosed. I went through 17 months of chemotherapy. I lost my tastebuds, my appetite, my healthy weight and my hair. I also lost my feelings of immortality. Cancer is the ultimate humbler. You wake up everyday staring death right in the face. If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will!
For all that I lost physically, I gained a lot emotionally in a really small amount of time. What’s it like to hear the words “ovarian cancer?” I know this: no two women will follow the exact same path, but we will experience so many of the same bumps! I promise!
READ MORE: Teal Diva founder Shannon Routh is amazing — you have to read about her here!
My path bounced me from one doctor to another as they tried to accurately diagnose my symptoms – the biggest of which was severe abdominal pain. I had been going to my OB/GYN for four months telling him how much pain I was in, only to have him tell me I had “normal” ovarian cysts that would eventually go away on their own.
By the time we found out I had stage 3C ovarian cancer, my family and friends were devastated. I learned a lot about who would be there in the long run to support me — and it helped me write this post about tips for partners of women fighting cancer.
So, back to the diagnosis. I’ve always been a very game-on person, and I just wanted to know what came next! What did I need to do to tackle cancer? To beat it? I shed tears plenty of times and had a lot of great friends and family here to comfort and support me. My mom, sister (read about Jill here!) and brother-in-law never left my side. When Martin was traveling, they were here. I never had one moment where I felt alone! I felt so loved. Trust me, I know how lucky I am.
I also felt a consistent determination to keep moving forward.
We all have different levels of support and different circumstances. But isn’t there one common denominator? We want to live. We want to beat cancer! If you’re like me, we want to do what we can to make sure cancer never attacks another woman again.
That’s why I’m here, launching SherryStrong.org. I learned so, so much about the power of nutrition and integrative practices like acupuncture, which saved me from horrible neuropathy. (Read about my experience with acupuncture here!) I’ve connected with so many women who come from all different backgrounds and are moving forward with treatment and life in different but similar ways.
You got a diagnosis. You got treatment. You survived. Now you’re trying to live normally again. Or maybe you just got your diagnosis and you’re wondering, what does the road ahead look like? Every path will look different, but every path will have so many similar landmarks. Waves of despair. Fits of rage. Moments of self-pity, self-loathing and just deep, deep sadness.
Yes. I’ve been there, too.
Also? Moments of hilarity! My mom and I had one of the most body-shaking laughing fits one morning as she drove me to chemo in the pouring rain and nearly got us both killed on the slippery roads. I mean, I really didn’t want to go to chemo that day but c’mon! Chemo beats car crashes (almost) every day!
The truth is, my “new normal” is so much more in tune with my body and, crazily, I feel healthier than ever before.
Even scarier than being diagnosed has been finishing treatment, though. Suddenly, people called me “cancer free.” But that’s not the truth yet, is it? I mean, I’ve stopped the treatments that are supposed to get me to that “cancer free” state, but did it work? How long will it stay away?!
READ MORE: I wrote a letter to every doctor and oncologist, based on my experience!
There are days when I’m terrified. I feel like for the past 17 months this drug has been keeping my cancer away, and then I rang the bell signaling the end of treatment, the nurses walked me out of the hospital and I found myself standing on a cliff staring down at the abyss. I eventually had to learn to step off that cliff and hope the treatments worked.
You have to learn to trust in your doctors, and research every possible avenue to keep this horrible beast away. And what’s right for one woman may not be right for another! We are all different human beings, which means each one of our cancers is different. That’s what makes this disease so hard to treat: there’s no “one size fits all” treatment that works for everybody.
I can’t be the only one that feels this way. That’s why I want as many women and their loved ones on this path with me. (And here’s a cool list of ways you can help a friend or loved one with cancer!) The hashtag #SherryStrong kept me going more times than I can count, and now I hope those words will inspire you or your loved one, too. The messages of hope I received on Facebook and Twitter from people all over the country, encouraged me everyday. Now I hope I can do that for others, too!
So, let’s jump together. We’ve got work to do. The first thing you can do is memorize the BEAT symptoms and share them with every single woman you know. That step alone can lead to early detection and successful, life-saving treatment. But then stick with me and learn about how we need to advocate, as women. (Have you ever heard of oral chemo parity?)
Are you in? I am.
SherryStrong.org is a proud part of the Martin Truex Jr. Foundation, dedicated to raising awareness of and funding for childhood and ovarian cancers.
I would love to help in any way I can. Whether it be sharing my story or spreading the word. I was diagnosed with a rare aggressive ovarian cancer (extragonadal yolk sac tumor) at 29 in November 2014. I too had a long (6hr) surgery to debulk my tumor, November 7th 2014 and 7 days later I got my results and diagnosis. I had 3 days of crying and honestly shock. Then I woke up looked at my husband and said “it is what it is, I have cancer and I can’t change it all I can do is fight it” and that’s precisely what we did. I got septic from my surgery so I couldn’t start chemo right away. I started chemo of BEP on December 2nd 2014 and after 5 rounds totally 35 treatments and at least 30 days inpatient I got to ring that bell on March 8th 2015!! I have been cancer free for 1 year and 2 months and everyday it’s in the back of my head when will it come back. I don’t live in fear by any means, like you said cancer makes you look at life very differently. I chose to be happy everyday the same as I did when going through chemo. When I saw the coverage they did on you and Martin on opening day I cried and cried. Funny thing, my husband and I had been long time fans of Mark Martin and since his retiring we hadn’t picked a new driver. We passed around some names talked about their driving their cars their teams etc. and I decided I was rooting for Martin Truex Jr! So when the pre-race started and your story came on it was instant tears. My husband walked in very confused and I said watch this it was fate I knew he was my driver!!! Ever since then I pray for you everyday and root for you every Sunday!!! I really hope to meet you both one day and help in any way possible!! Stay strong, go fast and fight like hell!!!!
Hey Lindsay! Wow!! That is amazing! Congratulations on being a survivor and FIGHTER!! Your story is sadly so common these days…I wish I knew what was causing this ovarian cancer in all of these young women. 🙁 I’m so glad you are living your life to the fullest!! Your right, you have living to do and memories to make! I told Martin that from the beginning, I can sit home and feel sorry for myself, or I can kick this things ass and get to living my life and making memories with my loved ones! I too fear my cancer coming back but why sit around and worry about something that may never happen! We don’t have time for that!! I’m so glad you are now an MTJ fan! He is so awesome! He has the biggest heart of anyone I know…I feel so lucky to have him by my side! I hope to meet you one day too! I will be praying for you to live many more happy, healthy, CANCER-FREE years!!! xoxo
Great introduction to your web page. So many things I can relate to especially the end of treatment. All of a sudden you’re out of the ‘safe zone’, the regular routine you’ve had as you do treatments to get rid of it and finally the day comes, you ring the bell and you’re done, a survivor. And then what? The fear of it coming back is so real and then you have to learn what your new normal is because you will never be the same again. The mental/ emotional healing takes a long long time as well as side effects from the treatment. I didn’t have the same cancer, mine was a growth on my vocal chord. ( I can’t handle saying throat cancer so I am very specific about where it was.) No surgery but radiation daily for 7 weeks and 3 rounds of chemo. My treatments have been over since the end of Oct. 2014. Getting through the first year after it was all finished was the hardest but I’ve finally started to relax a little and fears of it returning aren’t quite as strong. It’s only been recently that I realized that I don’t have a sore throat every day anymore. Healing takes a long long time.
Happy that you are healthy and inspiring others.
Hi Anka! Yes!! I can SO relate! I thought I would be ELATED to finish my SEVENTEEN months of treatment, and don’t get me wrong, I was…but the fear was real!!! I was SO scared to not be going for my “medicine” anymore and that my cancer would come back as soon as I stopped. But I quickly learned that “life goes on!” You have a “new normal!” I learned to embrace it and concentrate on the things I could control about my cancer and my body. Eating right, exercising, juicing, living stress-free…all the things that made me feel good! I don’t have time to sit around and wait for my cancer to come back, I have too many memories to make with my loved ones!!! I wish you many more years of living life and making memories cancer-free! xoxo
I loved your laugh story with your mom on the way to chemo. I had weekly chemo for 6 months for my frontline treatment. My cancer center was over an hour away and had different friends driving me every week. My sister-in-law/best friend/college roomie was my primary caretaker and drove me the most but for my very last chemo, she surprised me with a limo!! Just the two of us in a full stretch limo enjoying breakfast and mimosas on the way to chemo!! The limo driver had an accident!!! Shockingly, no one was hurt and the car was even fine but it was a very close call! Of course since we were in a limo, we weren’t wearing seatbelts and I literally flew from one of the limo to the other! Amazingly, I was totally fine just shook up! But as you said, we burst into fits of laughter at the irony of it all! 6 months of weekly chemo and I almost die in a car crash on the way to the last one! So crazy, we had to laugh!
I’m a 2 1/2 year ovarian cancer survivor and my cancer theme is The Silver Linings of Cancer. I like your blog, we have similar outlooks on the gifts this diagnosis brings! Best of luck to you!
Hi Debra! That is too funny!! I love that story and am so glad you had such a good support system with your sister-in-law! Having someone by your side to laugh with through treatment is everything! My mom and I never had a dull moment. We laughed, cried, and inspired others every time we walked into that infusion room! Our motto was “sunshine and rainbows!” We’d try to spread it every time we went! 😉 I told my mom the morning she almost killed me in the car, that if I died in a head on car accident after surviving Stage 3 ovarian cancer and 17 months of treatment, I would kick her ass!! LOL!
Congratulations on being an almost 3 year survivor! Yes my friend, there are many silver linings with a cancer diagnosis, you just have to look for them! They are all around you! Will be praying for your continued health! xoxo
You are such an honest writer Sherry. Loved reading your story in your honest words. You had a great support system. Loved the times, when I saw you at the track.
God Bless you and your family.
Thank you Nancy! I love writing blogs to help and inspire other people. Cancer isn’t a pretty disease and people need to see and hear the reality of it but also know that there is hope! We can take our health into our own hands and help others. Information is power, we just need to spread it!!! I was SO lucky, I had and still have an AMAZING support system! They are my rock and have never left my side through this whole journey. Ironically, Cancer did give us a beautiful gift…we are all even closer than we were before if that’s even possible! I love being at the track with Martin but I love taking time off to stay home and make memories with my friends and family too! God bless you too! xoxo
Thank you for your honesty and for sharing your story. I lost my mother in 1983 to ovarian cancer – she was only 63. She had the bloating stomach and her doctor said it was gas!! When we tried to get her to the OG/GYN doctor she said there wasn’t anything to check since she had undergone a hysterectomy years before, Unbeknownst to her they had NOT removed her ovaries. We often wondered why she didn’t go into menopause. ALWAYS question your doctor and demand answers and get a second opinion or a third.
By the time she was diagnosed it had spread to her liver. Back then they didn’t yet realize that one of my sisters or myself could have perhaps donated a piece of our liver since it is the one organ that will regenerate.
I also had a hysterectomy, but knew I still had my ovaries. I go twice a year and have trans vaginal ultrasounds to keep an eye on the ovaries. At the age of 69 I am still healthy and no signs of any problems. My two sisters both had hysterectomies because of pre cancer cells. So your message of being aware of your body is so very important.
I truly wish you well and hope that you and Martin will have a long and happy life together. You are making a big difference Sherry and we thank you.
All of us who have ovarian cancer and those who have been effected by ovarian cancer are experiencing tremendous gratitude for your willingness and ability to be our champion. I am living with ovarian cancer, originally diagnosed !!!C in 2009. I have been writing a blog and have a passion to help others with ovarian cancer through sharing my story. It is a learning process for the heart, soul and mind. I rely on God to give me direction and pray every day. One of the hardest things to do is to live with a Q in the back of our minds….is or when is it coming back. We can’t think about that all the time but the Q is there. It gets hard to make plans sometimes but with the support of God, family and friends we can live each day in the moment and rejoice in the treasures before us. I wish you much health and happiness and wish I could be part of your cause as well. Thank you and God Bless you for allowing your sincere celebrity to help raise awareness. I just want to wish you well, wish you peace and wish you all of God’s Blessings. Peace
Hi Densie! Sorry for the late reply, life has been busy!! whew! I am honored to be a champion for this disease as long as I’m here and healthy enough to do it! I am so happy to hear you are a 7 year survivor. Yes the chance of recurrence is always there, but every day we wake up is a blessing. There’s a chance everyday you could have a heart attack or die in a car accident too, but it doesn’t keep us from leaving the house and enjoying life so I refuse to let cancer do that either! I just concentrate on the things that are in my control like my stress level, diet, food, body, etc! I wish you many more years of health and happiness! xoxo- Sherry
My mom found out she had stage 3 OC in January. She turned 76 years old in March. She had her surgery in April. She is hanging in there. Something else people need to know about is the financial stress it puts on families going through this or any other kind of cancer. Mom has outstanding bills from 2 different hospitals. She had to have two blood transfusions. She can’t drive anymore. She still enjoys NASCAR. Is a big Richard Petty fan. At least it gives her a mental escape for a few hours. She has 2 or 3 more of those 6 hour chemo treatments to go. Mother’s Day was hard for me. Standing in the card aisle at the store was overwhelming so I didn’t get her one. I did get her another fig tree.
I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2010 and had minor surgery. Endometriosis is another issue we need more awareness about. I know to listen when my body tells me something isn’t right. I’m 42 and won’t have any kids. I saw a recent article about you online and printed it for my mom to read.
Hey Sharon – I’m sorry to hear about your mom 🙁 This disease is so tough, but especially at that age. I will pray for her. I know the financial stress is tough for anyone going through cancer. It is a terrible disease mentally, physically and financially. 🙁 Stay strong for your mom! – xoxo Sherry
I just heard you will be visiting the National Ovarian Cancer conference in Washington, D.C. I went there and walked to the Hill just 1-1/2 years after my last chemo. It was empowering indeed. Have a great time. I was diagnosed stage 3C in June 2012 (high grade) and in the last 2 months my CA-125 has headed back up, so I have a CT scan in the near future and expecting to hear that I am in my first recurrence. Not sure what to expect but ready to fight it again. My mom passed in 2010 and we were best friends so I didn’t have her with me in 2012 and won’t this time either. But I will have my family and friends there for me again. Good luck!
Thank you Debbie! I’m sorry to hear you may be facing your first recurrence, but I’ve met SO many strong women that fight it over and over again and are still here 10, 15, 20 years later! That can be you too!! Washington was amazing and so was the conference! I met so many amazing women and look forward to going back next year! xoxo – Sherry
I was just diagnosed with ovarian cancer this week. I see you as an inspiration. Seeing you beating it helps me through this hard time. I enjoy was Martin kick butt in Nascar. I’m only 18 and hoping to make it to go watch Martin race 1 time. You are my inspiration. Thank you
Hey Cassie! Thank you!! I’m sorry you were diagnosed with OC. It’s a tough road and long journey especially so young but there is hope! Young people handle treatment and surgery much better than older patients! Stay strong and take care of yourself! xoxo- Sherry
my mothers story is much different than yours but also the same! You are two really tough people. Karen my mom was diagnosed with O cancer a year and a half ago. It’s a very rare form of ovarian cancer that was on her intestinal track. She is in remission and I’m taking her to The glen so she can meet Jimmie johnson and see a race in person. It would be awesome for her to meet you too. You and her are my hero’s! And you both inspire me every day.
I’m sorry to hear about your mom 🙁 But glad she is tough as you have to be with this disease! I hope you guys had a blast at the Glen, it is SO beautiful up there! One of my favorite tracks and races! God bless you both! Sherry
Hi sherry, I was very inspired by your beautiful story and your wonderful attitude towards cancer. I was diagnosed in July of 2008 , with stage 3c ovarian cancer. I had been to my doctor, telling him about all the symptoms I was having. I was having frequent urination, gas, feeling full pelvic pain , and I knew something wasn’t right. But he assured me that I was going through menopause and that there was nothing to be concerned with. I went to the ER the previous six months with back pain, and was told that I had adnaxal ovarian tumors and to follow up with my dr. An internal and an internal ultra sound showed nothing!!! Hence stage 3 C. I had 18 rounds of chemo IV and IP. I stayed cancer free till October 2014. I taught Kindergarten and thought I was stressed from starting the school year. I was dizzy and not l feeling like myself. I was sleepy and falling easily. I continued working this way till Oct. 14th when after feeling numbness on my lips and face, I went to the hospital . A CT scan showed a tumor in the pons of my brain which is inoperable. Since then I’ve had 18 rounds of chemo, SRS Radiation which is a new type of radiation that you only get once. I had a recurrence after three months, and I’m still having chemo infusions every other week and oral chemo every 28 days for five days. I have had side affects which included double vision, weakness and pain, but there is not one day that I am not grateful for being alive. I think our attitude carries us. I have a strong circle of friends and family. Cancer is not going to stop me from living. I am a fighter!!! Thank you for your voice to pass new laws. I also did that two years in a row, and felt powerful and heard. I raised awareness in my school and raised funds for several years when I was working. Unfortunately I had to retire and am disabled because when they did a brain biopsy I lost the use of my entire left side. Getting better has been a struggle but I won’t give up. Ovarian cancer metastizised into my brain. The doctors said a microscopic cell traveled there, who knew that could happen.? But like I said earlier I will continue to fight this with every bit of strength I can muster. God bless you and keep you healthy .
Hi Ruth! Wow you are a fighter!!! I am so sorry that your cancer metastasized to the brain, I know how scary that must be. But you sound like a fighter and optimist just like me!! You just make the best of the situation you are in no matter what bad comes your way! New treatments are coming out everyday! Stay strong, eat well, and take good care of yourself! Your attitude is amazing and that is half the battle! I’ll be praying for you! xoxo – Sherry
Hi Sherry, so happy to see your website. I was just diagnosed 6-16-16 with ovarian cancer, peritoneal carcinamatosis, & high grade carcinoma. I had absolutely no symptoms until a couple days before my diagnosis and they were exactly the same as yours. I thought I was a happy, healthy 64 year old and this devastating news and unknown outlook has been so stressful to me and my family. I’m lucky to have a supportive husband, children, family and friends who have been researching all options to try to save my life!! I have genetic counseling scheduled and I’m into my second chemo treatment at Levine Cancer Institute. The plan is 9 weeks of chemo, surgery, then 9 more weeks. I had no idea where to go and what options were best for me. I too am ready to fight, keep a positive attitude, get the proper nutrients, keep active and survive!! My daughter started a FB support page for me called “I wear teal for gamma”
Hi Dale- First of all, I’m so sorry you have been diagnosed with this nasty disease. I am a primary peritoneal patient as well. It’s scary I know. But you sound like you have a great support system and that is SO important!!! Emotional support is just as important as the medical care you will receive! Levine is a great hospital so I’m sure you are in good hands!! There’s a great integrative doctor there as well, Dr. Bailey-Dorton that works with cancer patients on how to keep their bodies healthy before, during and after treatment! You should connect with her, she’s amazing! Diet, supplements, water, mediation, exercise are crucial! Take good care of yourself!! I’ll be praying for you! xoxo – Sherry
I just am looking at your website for the first time. I visited the booth at the Pocono race on Sat and Sun of this past weekend. I am a very grateful, almost five year survivor of Stage 1 breast cancer. This awful disease can teach us so much about life! As I get older myself, I think of so many family and friends who have been and are being affected by this disease. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us all to live each day to the fullest, forgive and forget petty concerns and worries and live with joy. I will continue to follow this site…….
Thank you Charlotte!! I’m so happy to hear that! That’s why we do this site and I love coming on here to read stories like this! I will continue to fight for women with this nasty disease as long as I’m here! I refuse to let cancer rob me of the joy I could be having in my life now! We should all remember to treat each other with kindness everyday and forget the small stuff! I wish you many years of health and happiness! xoxo – Sherry
Hi Sherry – I did not have ovarian cancer but cervical stage 4. I am a 31 year survivor and I consider myself so fortunate. My mom died 42 years ago today of breast cancer and my sister died in 2002 of cervical cancer.
Thank you for all you both do for awareness of this cancer. When I had my radiation it destroyed my ovaries so they were removed to prevent any future problems.
I saw you tonight with Martin and you look wonderful. I am so happy for you both. I admire you both so much. Keep up all the good work you do.
Thank you so much Peggi. I am so happy to read that you are a 31 year survivor. You are amazing. I’m sorry you lost your mom and sister, it is a scary disease that takes too many. I will continue to fight for women like your mom and sister until I am no longer here. xoxo – Sherry
I was just told I have ovarian cancer that has spread to abdominal lining after a visit to the ER. I’m still waiting for surgery and don’t know the stage, but am expecting the worst. How do you deal with the waiting? Reading these stories is helpful.
I’m sorry Sheri, I know how scary it is. Unfortunately I had to wait too. 🙁 About a week from the time I was diagnosed to when I had my surgery and found out my stage and what I was up against. I just tried to spend time with friends and family and keep myself distracted. I took long walks, baths, did meditation, prayed a lot and reminded myself that the cancer was out of my control. I had to keep myself physically and mentally strong because I knew I was up against the fight of my life. Take good care of yourself, do your research on your type of ovarian cancer, what your treatment options are and most importantly how to keep your body healthy and strong through all of it using alternative therapies and food as your medicine! I’ll be praying for you. xoxo – Sherry
As a cancer survivor, I am inspired by your courage and strength. As a woman, my life has been enriched by the way you have shared your challenges. You are the embodiment of what women need in their lives, especially in this age of media images and celebrities who have crossed the line between being vacuous to being corrosive to the soul. I love that your battle has gone from fighting cancer to fighting malignancies of the mind, heart and soul.
Personally, my experience went from fighting cancer to battling the fear of its reoccurrence. My recovery from that aspect of cancer started with watching you and following your journey as “sherrystrong”. Additionally, Martin and his openness has become a model for loved ones who walk the path with us who might mistakenly believe that once the cancer is gone, the fight is over.
One of my favorites is the video named “2016 #MTJCatwalk Survivors Livin’ In The Moment.” The song, the faces of the brave children and the antics of you, Martin, Ryan and Dale Jr as they celebrate the “moment” is saved on my phone. Every time I feel those dark thoughts creeping into my mind, I watch the video and sing along to the song. If I do not have my phone, I just hum the song and rid my mind of “thoughts that do not make me strong” and the mind is where I feel the strength begins.
Bless you and your work. I pray for your continued healing and hope that your efforts reach all who need your message.
Awe thank you so much! You made my heart melt! I love that video too, we had SO much fun that day! I was still in treatment then and reminding myself daily to just enjoy every day that we wake up and are blessed to be a part of this earth! I wish the same for you and for you to have many years of health and happiness! Feed your body, mind and soul what it needs everyday, walk by your faith and you will be happy and strong!! xoxo – Sherry
Sherry, I first read about your story through my friend Alexis Jarrett. At the time I was going through treatment for stage 3 ovarian cancer and it meant so much to read about someone who had gone through the same thing. Thank you for being a public voice to inform people about this often undetected cancer. I can relate to everything from the baldness, the wonderful support of family and friends, finding out who your true friends really are… And all the range of emotions that come with the the diagnosis. We are stronger than we know and I have been touched reading every story from Every Woman on this page. Wishing all of you the best… I finished chemo on April 14th, 2016. Ready to resume life…
Thank you so much!! So glad you can relate to all the stories, that’s why we post them! I had nowhere to go when I was diagnosed to read about all the different emotions and fears I was experiencing! I wish you many years of happiness and health! Take care of yourself first!! – Sherry
I recently heard your interview with Jenny McCarthy on my way to work one morning. You had mentioned a foundation for ovarian cancer and when I got home I researched to find out more about your experience and the name of the foundation. This is great that women can share their stories and relate to each other, thank you for initiating this website. I’m finding it very informative.
You got my attention during the interview because I related to you by having been diagnosed with Stage 3c Ovarian cancer at the age of 34. I had been complaining that something didn’t feel right and I had a pap test that was questionable in January 1992, so they took a biopsy but nothing showed up. I also had several ultrasounds that did not show anything suspicious, my advice to women is to have the vaginal ultrasound whenever they are supposed to get one. Finally, in July 1992, I followed my instinct and insisted they check further to remove my left ovary because I just didn’t feel this was normal pain I was feeling. They proceeded to schedule me for an outpatient surgery to rule out endometriosis, my doctor said I was too young for cancer, he was wrong. They had removed my left ovary. When I woke up, my doctor told me he was so sorry it was cancer and I needed a radical hysterectomy being scheduled 5 days later. The cysts were behind both of my ovaries. I refused to believe I was so sick that I could die from this, and the look in my mother’s face at the end of my bed confirmed my immediate decision to fight this. I endured 8 months of aggressive chemo. I ended up gaining weight during these months so I signed up for a Women’s 5k Classic run that became an annual inspirational event for me. I took up yoga, tried to replenish my body with supplements, and prayed. My goal back then was to be able to celebrate my “50th” birthday – goal achieved – I’m now about to be 59 years old next month.
I am so thankful for each day and continue to learn ways to be healthy. God bless you and all the women who shared their story on this site.
Wow thank you for sharing your story Debbie!! That’s amazing!! I love meeting 15+ year survivors! It gives us all hope that we can beat this nasty disease too! I knew when I got sick I wanted to create a place women could come to get information about their disease and learn how to heal their bodies naturally! I hope it helps others like it has me! Please continue to tell your story! It gives others hope!! xoxo – Sherry
Hello Sherry~ we are a family of ovarian cancer. Sister was 55 in 2003 and we thought it was a fluck~ No mention of genetic testing at that time. My sister was 55 and stage 4 with a ileoectomy bag that was reversed later. Life when on and Debby was well. Then in 2012 i was working hard and was fit wt 55 and i was bloated and feeling awful. I demanded my dr run a CA 125 test and a ultrasound after she said i constipated. CA 125 was 800. I too was diagnosed at 55 with stage 3 at the same time my cousin in Idaho Jody at 55 was diagnosed~ We tested for the BRCA gene mutation and we all are +. Brother Allan tested and then his 2 grown daughter’s. One is neg and Julie at 32 was +. Her CA 125 was elevated from the start and she to was diagnosed with stage 4 and is being treated for a recur.
I have seen you at races with Martin and I just want to say that you are an incredible person!! I admire you and what you and Martin are doing! God bless both of you!
Right here is the perfect blog for anyone who wishes
to understand this topic. You know so much its almost
hard to argue with you (not that I personally
will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a fresh spin on a topic that’s been written about
for years. Excellent stuff, just wonderful!
You are an inspiration to me, Sherry, since I am in the midst of my chemotherapy sessions now. I also have Stage 3C ovarian cancer and had surgery in April. My cancer is responding well to the treatments and when I am feeling bad physically or emotionally, I go to your site and get the pick-me-up I need to know we can both beat this disease. My boyfriend is a NASCAR fanatic and Martin is his favorite driver. We always root for him and we are hoping to see you back at the track soon.
sherry u r a wonderful and beautiful person and have been throught so much I myself had breast cancer worry all the time about it coming back but like u said we have to be strong and stand up and fight this martin is such a wonderful man being with u through it all and with all us women fighting this hoping we can end this thank u for being there for all of us fighting the battle
We are big Martin and Sherry Fans and my husband suggested I go to your page – I am having a mastectomy on Tuesday and as I said I am going in smiling and coming out laughing.
Your words are very powerful and have a lot of meaning – although I am positive I will be just fine – I also know it’s a turning point and your story really is giving me a lot of reinforcement and courage for Tuesday….. When I look at you – I see the strong woman I want to see in myself.
Here’s to kicking cancer’s butt to the curb and coming back even stronger –
I love the way you and Martin look at each other at the track.
Can’t wait to see him win the championship this year.
With Gratitude and Hope
Sherry, it was great to meet you yesterday after the #78 team won in Chicago!!! You are an inspiration to all women! Knowing your body and health is so important so your efforts will help many women, their families and friends. Thank you for your positive outlook and straight talk about a hard subject. It would be my privilege to help you organization in any way I can. You, Martin and your families are in my thoughts and prayers.