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Pat is right on with her suggestions. I'm on the board of directors of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance and we work with a network of survivor volunteers across the country. We talk to hundreds of women about the very same concerns you have about your mother's condition, as well as how you will be able to handle what's ahead.

First, most ovarian cysts are benign, not cancer. And they can cause symptoms similar to ovarian cancer. Fortunately, your mom is meeting with the doctor soon. This way, you and she will have answers quickly.

If it is cancer, please know that you do not need to go through this alone. There are resources all across the country that can help prepare you and your mom, teach you tools and give you ways to cope with the situation, regardless of what comes next.

If you want to communicate with me privately, you can contact me through EmpowHer (I'm a contributing writer on ovarian cancer). Or, feel free to contact our national organization (www.ovariancancer.org) and they can connect you with someone in your area to work with you. You can also look on the website for local partner members. I'm president of the one in Arizona, www.ocaz.org.

Above all, take one thing at a time.

p.s. I"m a 23-year survivor of ovarian cancer. You were 3 yrs old when I was first diagnosed.

Annette Leal Mattern

April 15, 2010 - 7:12pm


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