Most of us like to think we're in tune with our bodies. But how many times have you felt a strange bump, an odd headache, or a weird muscle strain and just thought "if it gets worse I'll go see a doctor" but never have?
It's often a fear of what COULD be wrong that stops us from seeking attention. Well, that and expensive health care.
But it's time we all start caring for ourselves even more and not ignoring those signs. Just ask then-15-year-old Caly Bevier, who ignored a symptom that ended up being ovarian cancer.
Bevier had come back from a vacation with her family when her mom noticed something was up. Caly was bloated, vomiting, and all around lethargic. Immediately, the doctor thought she was pregnant.
“She said the only other thing it could be is a tumor on your ovaries, and I said, ‘That’s what it has to be then,’” Bevier said.
It turns out Caly Bevier had a 5lb tumor on her ovary and was suffering from a rare form of stage 3 ovarian cancer.
It took 3 months and 31 chemo infusions to get Caly to remission, and her family says they're lucky she was able to recover.
“After her treatments we were told that she was in remission. We consider ourselves the lucky ones to be able to say our daughter beat Stage 3 cancer," her dad Adam says.
“I kept telling myself to just be positive,” Caly says. “I knew everything would be okay in the end. When you’re going through something so hard you realize how important all the little things in life really are. It has changed me”
Now, in remission for two years, Caly is still adamant about people knowing their own bodies and listening to warning signs.
“I had a lump growing in my stomach for a year and I just ignored it. I didn’t really think anything of it because it wasn’t a problem,” Caly admits.
Bevier returned to high school after her treatment and re-joined the varsity cheerleading squad.
Caly's doctor, Dagmar Stein, is also warning patients about the dangers of ignoring potential warning signs.
“Caly’s is a very rare form of ovarian cancer," Dr. Stein says. "There are some symptoms — pain in the back and abdomen, burning urination and some constipation…but the symptoms are very non-specific and that’s why ovarian cancer is very difficult to pick up. You won’t feel anything until the cancer is large and that’s why it can be so deadly for women.”
Caly is now 17 and pursuing her love for music, hoping to inspire people to follow their dreams!
“I want to make people aware of cancer through my music. I tell my story to inspire other people to want to keep fighting and live their life to the fullest.”
Great job, Caly! Thank you for sharing your story.