I came across these photos the other day. I wish I would have felt empowered and embraced my baldness but I did not. Honestly I was 32, fighting for my life. I had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and told I could not bare children in the same breathe. I was thrust into menopause. And just about to celebrate 3 years of marriage. I tend to shut down when things don’t make sense or become too much. I didn’t embrace the weight gain but by golly has it sure embraced me.

The biggest shock to me was learning there was no screening test for this cancer which means the PapSmear does not detect it. And that the disease is up to 90% more treatable if caught in earlier stages (in most cases), but because the symptoms mimic what we as women face on a regular basis, the disease is often misdiagnosed or caught in late stages making it more difficult to treat.

The reason I started Teal Diva is because of the lack of support specifically for gynecologic cancers. You feel like you are on a deserted island. And everyone looks at you woth pitiful eyes. Sure it sucks! No doubt. And like many, I had/have great support from friends and family. People ask me how I do what I do with so much loss involved. I do it because I remember the way that I felt. Empty and alone. Moving from appointment to appointment like a robot. Grieving the loss of my ovaries and carrying children. Wanting so badly to sucker punch cancer the way it had me. I needed it so bad and I feel like others need it too.

While I did not embrace my baldness and all that came with it, I forever embrace the power of a story and sharing. Women, you know your bodies better than anyone. Listen! Your body will tell you when something is wrong. And then, be the best advocate for yourself.