Driving in to Casper, WY on I-25, you'll noticed a teal billboard with a photo of a patient and the message "Ovarian Cancer - The Silent Killer."  A great message from a Casper woman battling for her life.  But she's not the new spokesperson, she's not looking for donations, her only wish is to share her message and hopefully save lives.

What comes to mind when you think CANCER?  You might think of a loved one or a friend that has battled the disease.  But does Cancer make you think of hope and inspiration? Of course not, and neither did I until I met Cindy Frey-McCurdy a young woman living here in the Cowboy State who has been diagnosed with Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer.  Cindy is hoping to share her story and message with anyone who will listen - if you are experiencing symptoms of ovarian cancer (symptoms are listed below), see your doctor or gynecologist.

Cindy was a very healthy woman, only 38 with an active lifestyle with a great future in front of her.  But soon she began feeling fatigued, bloated, was experiencing hot flashes, upset stomach and heartburn. She thought she was going through some sort of early menopause, but her doctor laughed and said everything seemed normal.

Several doctor visits later revealed no sign of what was really happening inside Cindy's body.  With frustration building, she started to experience a stabbing sensation in her abdomen that only got worse over a period of a few days.  She was hoping the pain would simply go away with time, but the pain persisted.

Ultrasounds failed to show anything and her doctor decided it would be best to do a scope to take a closer look, thinking it might be Uterine Fibroids (Uterine Fibroids are noncancerous growths of the uterus that often appear during childbearing years). The exploratory scope was able to rule out the possibility of Uterine Fibroids, which was good news.  Unfortunately, it also revealed the real reason for Cindy's pain - Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer that had metastasized and spread to other organs in her body. The worst news possible!

Over the past 4 years, Cindy has been informed 3 times that her life was expiring and that she had limited time on this earth.  She has cruised by each doctors grim prediction of her early demise.

Even more amazing to me, instead of just giving up on life or curling up in a ball of tears, Cindy is using the deadly diagnosis to find motivation and inspiration.  Cindy had never really heard anything about Ovarian Cancer until she was officially and finally diagnosed.  Now and for the last four years, she's on a mission to try and help others!

Cindy even used her own money and pooled it with help from a few friends to purchase 2 billboards to promote Ovarian Cancer awareness and encourage women to become aware of this "Silent Killer".

Cindy Frey-McCurdy used her own money to share this message on 2 billboards in Casper, WY.
Cindy Frey-McCurdy used her own money to share this message on 2 billboards in Casper, WY.

Know The Symptoms -

Did you now that a pap smear can't reliably detect ovarian cancer?

Currently, there is no screening method for early detection for ovarian cancer. The symptoms of the disease are often vague and are not always gynecologic. But the latest research shows that women with ovarian cancer often report having the following symptoms:

A swollen or bloated abdomen, increased girth. Some women notice that their pants or skirts are getting tight around the waist. That type bloating is a sign that fluid is building up in the abdominal cavity. This happens in later stage of the disease.

Persistent pressure or pain in the abdomen or pelvis

Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly

Urinary concerns, such as urgency or frequency

Change in bowel habits with new onset constipation and/or diarrhea

Unexplained vaginal bleeding

If you experience these symptoms please talk to your doctor or gynecologist.  Cindy had a combination of the above symptoms and it took months for doctors to find the correct diagnosis.

My thanks to Cindy for allowing me the chance to tell her story!  Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family and we hope everyone will help you and your cause to promote awareness of the silent killer - Ovarian Cancer.

ntil better detection methods are developed and ultimately a cure is found.

For more information about Ovarian Cancer visit: OvationsForTheCure.org

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