SPOKANE, Wash. - Meet Lorie White.
“I think Lori is a shining example of the human spirit,” shared Dr. Corliss Newman, an oncologist with Multicare Rockwood Clinic.
Lori is an optimistic woman with so many titles; mom, grandma, caretaker. Right now, most importantly, Lori is a fighter.
“You just gotta get through it,” she said.
In 2013, Lori was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, a rare form of cancer known for having few, if any, symptoms.
Lorie says she did had have some, but was too focused on caring for her father, who was battling cancer, to get herself checked.
“The whole year prior to that in 2012, I was having pains and living on Ibuprofen and not listening to that little voice in my head that says 'go in, go in!'”
Originally, she received a stage two diagnosis. then her tumor ruptured. For five years, she's gone back and forth from chemo treatments to radiation and surgery.
Lorie added,”you think, 'OK I've done this, I've gotten through this one, it should be smooth sailing now,' then you find out you have to do it again and you buck up and get through it.”
Set back after set back. fatigue and several bouts of hair loss could drive anyone to the edge, but she doesn't give up.
“You want those extra days and those extra months and those extra years with grand kids and the people you love,” said Lori.
Lorie's got a support system at home, but also at her doctor's office, which she visits weekly.
Explained Lorie, “everyone knows you by name, you feel special, they are so compassionate about what they do.”
They give her hope. Dr. Newman is one of those people.
“In women with later stages, it's tough to cure. And the survival rate over 5 years is about 45%. For women with very advanced disease it's more on the order of 25% but it's not zero and that’s important to know,” shared Dr. Newman.
Lorie doesn't want to see another woman in the later stages, like her, if it can be avoided.
“It's silent. You really have to listen to your body.”
If you wear multiple hats as Lorie still does, you have to remember to put your health first.
“If you feel something going on, get checked.”
The American Cancer Society explained symptoms include bloating, abdominal pain, or the frequent need to urinate. For most women, these symptoms are morel likely to be caused by another condition, as 1 in 78 women receive an ovarian cancer diagnosis. If they persist for more than 12 days a month, they recommend making an appointment with your doctor.
When it comes to risk and prevention, doctors recommend taking a look at your family health industry. Women with family members who've been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, breast cancer and/or colorectal cancer, should speak with their doctors about genetic testing, which can show if you are more at risk for diagnosis in your lifetime.
Lorie is currently receiving chemotherapy treatments in pill form. She said treatment is going well as her tumors have not grown in size.
For local support if you or a loved one are battling cancer, click here.
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