In Memory of Amy Huffaker
My wife Amy Huffaker passed away to Ovarian Cancer in March of 2015. She was diagnosed with stage 3C Ovarian Cancer at the age of 37, endured extensive treatments for over three years, but passed away when she was 41 years old. We were one week away from our 21st anniversary when she died.
For what seems like about 2 years prior to her diagnosis, she had been having various symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, she would feel full very quickly and when she did eat, she would say that it felt like there was a brick in her stomach. She also experienced strange hormonal issues, her weight fluctuated, and dark hairs started growing on her chin and neck.
She saw several doctors and they generally dismissed the possibility of “Cancer” because they thought she was “too young”. They chased other solutions such as “Food Allergies/Intolerance”, “Irritable Bowel”, “Hormonal Imbalance”, and more. Nobody made the connection between her symptoms and her family history, and we were not even educated enough to know this was something to worry about.
I feel like if we had been more aware of her family history, more aware of the risks and the symptoms, and hadn’t ignored and dismissed the symptoms, we could have caught the disease sooner. One of the biggest challenges with Ovarian Cancer is that it’s difficult to detect, and is usually not discovered until stage 3C or stage 4. These stages result in the absolute worst prognosis. In Amy’s case, even with scans and other tests, it was unclear if she actually had cancer. It wasn’t until her radical hysterectomy that they were actually able to see Cancer and that it had spread throughout her abdomen. And according to the OB/GYN Oncologist that performed her surgery, the cancer was “Much worse than he ever anticipated.”