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April Rizzo

April Rizzo

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Over the past few years, many people have asked, "How did you find out it was cancer?"'s part of my story in hopes of raising awareness to others!

David and I were blessed with two beautiful boys and had plans of having a third child, but it wasn't happening as quickly as we had hoped.
During this time, I was experiencing textbook symptoms of ovarian cancer.
However, each one was given a different reason by my doctors and we never expected it to be anything more than that.

-Severe intermittent abdominal pain on my left side....was said to be normal ovulation pain/cramps.
-Fatigue....I have a thyroid issue, I work full time and I had a 2 year old and 5 year old at home!
-Bloating/stomach issues....I had pancreatitis and then had my gallbladder removed 2 months before I was diagnosed.

Although I never imagined someone telling me I had cancer, I knew there was more to how I was feeling. I went back to my gynecologist and had an ultrasound that showed "a normal ovulating cyst" that would be checked again in 6 weeks. At the follow up appointment, the "cyst" had grown significantly.
Next, was an MRI. There was definitely "something there" but they were not able to see what is was clearly.
I then had CA125 bloodwork done that returned highly abnormal. My doctor was out of town, but the doctor I saw felt strongly about me having a biopsy done.
After the biopsy was complete, my doctor told my husband that there was nothing to worry about and that it "wasn't even endometriosis" as he anticipated.
A week after that, I got a call to come into the office for the pathology results.

There is nothing that can prepare you for those words. But, as my husband always says, we received only positive news from that day on.

On October 31, 2013 I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. In November, I had a complete hysterectomy and then began chemotherapy on December 2, 2013. In April of 2014, I was told I was CANCER FREE!

And although ovarian cancer stole my hopes of giving birth to another child, I am now grateful. It was cancer that brought our beautiful daughter, Olivia, into our home where she was always meant to be.

Olivia Beverly Rizzo was born and adopted into our family just days after my 3 year anniversary of being cancer free.

This journey began with devastation, heartache, sickness and loss. It continued with faith in God's plan, love and support of family and friends, kindness of strangers, and the greatest gift I have ever been given.

Know the signs.
Be your own advocate for your health.

Please consider donating to the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition to spread awareness for this disease.


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Good luck with the walk!!! Joe and Cathy DeRenzo

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