I'm not sure if I mentioned this brave woman before, but I've been following Jen Burgess Thompson's fight with ovarian cancer since last year. She was so inspiring to me. Every day, every picture showed what an amazing mother, fighter and survivor she was.
Surgery after surgery, treatment after treatment, a failed clinical trial. She just kept fighting.
Heartbreakingly she went to heaven last week. Her two little boys were by her side and she's no longer in pain.
But the rest of us who fought along with her, prayed every day, hoped and wished for better results are in pain.
I was surprised by my reaction to the news of her death. I felt like I lost someone I knew. But I didn't know Jen. I've never met her. But I've commented on her blog, on her Instagram. I've followed her journey and felt like I would give her a hug if I saw her. I cried. I mourned.
As women we need to take care of ourselves, as so many people rely on us. As mothers, friends, husbands, siblings and employers and employees look to us to shoulder the burden. PLEASE get your annual pap smear. And know the signs of Ovarian Cancer, Jen experienced every one of these leading up to her diagnosis last year:
1. Severe and frequent bloating/ Increased abdominal size
2. Severe and spastic cramping–similar to menstrual pains but more intense
3. Lower abdominal and back pain
4. Loss of appetite/Feeling full quickly
5. Weight loss
6. Extreme fatigue/Lack of energy
7. Night sweats
Blogging is a community. We all let people into our lives, and in turn, take a peek into theirs. We cheer one another on, and grimace with the embarrassing and bad news. We watch weddings and babies being born. And we feel like we know them. Because in a way we do. And I feel blessed to know you and for you to know me.
God Bless you Jen.
Read Jen's story here.
Photo credit : Benjamin Edwards