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Welcome to Jessalyn Gillum's Page

Jessalyn Gillum

Jessalyn Gillum

Welcome to my donation page! If you're here, then you probably know I was diagnosed with stage 3a serous low-grade ovarian cancer in February 2018, just before my 35th birthday. My diagnosis came out of nowhere (which, I suppose, is true for most cancer diagnoses but is particularly common with ovarian) and led to a series of major changes in my life.

First, I had surgery, where both ovaries were removed along with some lymph nodes and a few free-floating tumors (this process is called debulking, and in my case it means all the visible signs of cancer were removed from my abdomen). Following my surgery I stayed at home with my parents for a few weeks to let the open incision heal.

The next step was chemo. I had returned to work full-time at this point, fitting in my treatments between depositions, arbitrations, mediations, and jury trials. 6 rounds later (over about 4 months), I had lost my hair and developed some cognitive stuff (known as chemo brain), but overall was able to maintain a fairly normal routine.

Once chemo finished I began seeing my doctors every 3 months to make sure no new problems had popped up. This involved getting a CT scan (and drinking that awful barium smoothie) and a blood draw where they measure my CA125 (cancer antigen used to monitor signs of recurrence). These visits will continue for at least the next two years, and if all goes well they will start spacing them out to twice a year for the next five years.

So here we are, a year and a half later. My hair is coming back in (suuuuper curly), and my scar is fading, but I still have my struggles. As with everything, some days are worse than others, but my worst symptoms are typically hot flashes (hence our unofficial team name since I couldn't change it once I registered), insomnia, and still some difficulty with my memory and ability to focus.

Being able to get out there and join with other survivors to promote awareness for this type of cancer has been therapeutic in its own way. I hope to see you at the run, and thank you all for your support!



raised of $1,500 goal


Recent Donations

1. EREmily Rodriguez
2. LLLauren Leff
3. SVSara G Vanore
We love you Jess! Sara, Dave & Lucy
4. PRPat Radtke
Celebrating your status as cancer free!
5. RMRachel Mitchell
6. ALAshley Lynam

Team Jessalyn