Rose dismissed her stomachache as a “normal woman’s problem.” It would end up costing her life

“Outside, nothing had changed — the sun was still shining brightly and people were happily moving on,” Rose wrote in her journal.

“Yet learning the reality of what was happening inside me immediately changed my whole world.”

It was December 6, 2012, and Rose, 73, was thinking in her diary about what a routine visit to the doctor should have been.

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The grandmother suffered from constant bloating, lower back pain and abdominal pain.

Never one to complain, she had endured the pain – but by the time she sought medical attention it was too late.

Rachel says she and her mother Rose had a unique bond. Credit: Delivered

While alone in her doctor’s operating room, the former school teacher received the devastating news that she had advanced ovarian cancer.

It’s a moment she later described as feeling like she was frozen in time.

Her daughter Rachel Reeve says her mother “loved diaries” and expressed exactly how she felt when she stepped out into the outside world immediately after her doctor told her she was likely to die.

“I found her diary from the day she found out,” Rachel says 7Life

Rose was overjoyed when she got the
Rose was overjoyed to ring the “end of chemotherapy bell” in the hospital ward. Credit: Delivered

“She describes the feeling of being in the office and although her life was changed forever, the world kept spinning when she stepped out.

“Everything and everyone was as they were.”

Within weeks of being diagnosed in December 2012, Rose would begin chemotherapy.

The family spent the Christmas break together knowing that the road ahead would be difficult, and in January Rose determinedly began chemotherapy.

Rachel now wants to draw attention to ovarian cancer in honor of her late mother.
Rachel now wants to draw attention to ovarian cancer in honor of her late mother. Credit: Delivered

It wasn’t the only medical ordeal she bravely endured.

She also underwent invasive surgery to remove cancer and suspicious tumors from her body.

The surgery, combined with six chemotherapy treatments, was successful, and in April of that year, Rose joyfully rang the “end of the chemotherapy bell” in the hospital ward.

“It was such an amazing day,” says Rachel, who recalls how her bond with her mother was strengthened during the treatment period.

During Rose's treatment, Rachel shaved her hair and took her wig out for shopping.
During Rose’s treatment, Rachel shaved her hair and took her wig out for shopping. Credit: Delivered

“I became her hairdresser when her hair fell out and we also went shopping for wigs,” says the 47-year-old.

Since it was “all clear,” Rose wanted to use her experience to help others and threw herself into ovarian cancer awareness campaigns.

While juggling quarterly checkups with family life, she became an ambassador for Ovarian Cancer Australia and raised money for more research into the disease.

A lover of literature, she also wrote her first poem, titled the whisperingwith an emphasis on “silent killer” symptoms that often disguise as stomachaches.

Her goal – to urge women not to dismiss pelvic pain as a “normal female problem”.

“That’s what she wanted to do — not to scare others, but to warn people to get examined,” Rachel says.

Cancer returns

By the end of 2015, Rose’s stomach pains were back — and in March of the following year, she was told her cancer had returned.

At 75, she had six more rounds of chemotherapy and surgery.

But March 2017 brought shattering news – the cancer had spread to Rose’s lungs and other vital parts of the body.

Rose died before she could see her grandchildren grow up.
Rose died before she could see her grandchildren grow up. Credit: Delivered

Her only option was a clinical trial.

“She thought about the process, but she didn’t want to be in pain for the rest of her life,” Rachel says.

“She wanted to enjoy the time she had left.”

Fundraising and Awareness

So the grandmother opted for treatment and did her best to continue her fundraising efforts and raise awareness about ovarian cancer whenever she had the chance.

In May 2017, she was back in the hospital as her family gathered as they tried to accept that their matriarch was entering her final days.

“We decorated her room with family photos and she was made comfortable,” Rachel says.

But Rose had two special events in mind that she was determined to embrace.

For her daughter’s birthday, she was able to sneak out of the hospital to celebrate the day with Rachel.

“It was a 41st birthday that I will never forget,” Rachel says.

During her four-year battle, Rose helped raise money and raise awareness for the disease that eventually stole her life.
During her four-year battle, Rose helped raise money and raise awareness for the disease that eventually stole her life. Credit: Delivered

Rose had also pledged to be a speaker at an upcoming ovarian cancer awareness meeting — something she was steadfast in despite her condition.

So Rachel helped her mother dress her best, put her in a wheelchair and took her to the event, where she read two poems before introducing the keynote speakers.

Back at the hospital that night, Rose’s condition deteriorated rapidly.

And a week after Mother’s Day in 2017, the beloved wife, mother and grandmother died.

Promise in poems

Her mother’s death changed her life for Rachel, who her mother called her “family partner in crime.”

“She was the one who could understand me, the one who was there during the birth of both my children,” she says.

She wants to honor her mother’s dying wish to save more women’s lives, and she hopes Rose’s passion for literature can make this easier.

An excerpt from Rose's diary about when she found out she had cancer.
An excerpt from Rose’s diary about when she found out she had cancer. Credit: Delivered

Rachel is now an ambassador for the Australian Foundation for Cancer Research

And she makes people aware of the whispering, hoping to spread the word that pain is not okay everywhere and that women seek medical attention sooner rather than later.

THE WHISPERING ONE (reproduced with permission from Rose’s family)

Well, you may now be wondering, “What is it?”

And may not know when it comes to visit

For the “Whispering One” will not announce his arrival

But it will threaten your very existence.

This problem called the “Whispering One”

Has no sense of fun

It comes together with silent stealth

And begins to attack your life and health.

The Symptoms of “Whispering”

Everyone should know

When they appear, they are quite subtle

So please don’t treat them with refutation.

Abdominal or pelvic pain we mention first

Then comes a bloated feeling or abdominal distention

You may also feel the need to pee

And to do that quite often.

A full feeling can also show

Another thing you should know

Low back pain is another indication

Like diarrhea or constipation.

Any sign of vaginal bleeding

After Menopause Needs Your Attention

Weight change, down or up

If inexplicably needs a check up.

Indigestion may be another clue

Excessive fatigue also needs attention

You have to become a real expert

And be alert to these changes.

These are all symptoms to keep in mind

And if you happen to find after four weeks

Those three or four keep repeating

tIf you want to contact your doctor, you can make an appointment.

The problem is, as you can see:

These symptoms can be simple ailments:

So without a doubt

We have to solve this problem.

There is no reliable screening test

To help diagnose this horrible plague

The smear is not an answer

It does not diagnose ovarian cancer.

Ovarian cancer does not discriminate on age

It can occur in women at any stage

So whether you are 80 or only 18

This cancer can be incredibly vicious.

You need to know these symptoms and your body too

And listen to what it whispers to you.

It seems very clear

That’s really necessary here

Is in research we should invest

And your help is needed in this quest.

#Rose #dismissed #stomachache #normal #womans #problem #costing #life

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