What a fantastic night last night at Carolina Blue. Jenn Sommermann spoke to a packed room about her story as a Triathlete, Ovarian cancer survivor and now Triathlete with a Mission. I love inspirational stories and Jenn told hers so well. Being aware of the subtle, often-mistaken signs of ovarian cancer is critical to early detection. She asked us to share them with 5 women. I’m hopeful there are at least 5 people reading this, so here they are:
- Vague but persistent and unexplained gastrointestinal complaints
- Pelvic and/or abdominal swelling or pain; bloating or feeling of fullness
- Unexplained change in bowel habits
- Frequency and/or urgency of urination
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- New and unexplained abnormal postmenopausal vaginal bleeding
If these signs and symptoms are persistent and unusual for you, speak to your gynecologist immediately and ask them to “prove to you that you are not at risk for ovarian cancer”. All of these symptoms are easily explained away or attributable to things going on in our respective busy, crazy lives. Jenn’s story included a 6 pound tumor that was growing incredibly quickly and was found after a “clean” annual gynecological exam.
One of the best things about getting involved in Tri’s and other sports is becoming aware of your body and being more in tune with changes in it. But don’t ignore them. Take action.
The other part about Jenn’s story that was so awesomely compelling was her obvious affection for the sport of Tri. As she described how she first got involved – getting pulled in by a friend, which then turned into a “Tri-obsession”, it was easy to see that she found some kindred spirits in the room last night. How many of us get started into something just because a friend or sister, or someone else asks you to come along? I happened to be sitting next to my friend last night who was the one who told me about the Tri Club’s kickoff meeting last year and talked me into going. She was turning 50 and thought it would be great to do a Tri. Well, a fast year later, I’m a testament to an obsession.
Hearing Jenn talk about her races, getting up at 4:30am to run (ahh, another person in my crazy camp of early morning trainings), and picking out her favorite races in various states made it obvious how much she loves the sport.
Can you please help share the word? About ovarian cancer signs and symptoms. And your passion for Tri’s or whatever gets you motivated and will help get others around you motivated.