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"The Silent Killer" Rears Its Ugly Head

“The Silent Killer” Rears its Ugly Head



Adrien Winteholer












I will always remember the shuah shuah shuah of the waves hitting Hammonasset State Beach, teal arrows leading us to the turnaround for the 5K walk, and the thought of tragedy changing into a positive outcome to celebrate my grandmother’s life kept slapping us in the face.

I sat waiting anxiously; the feeling of pain filled me, as we waited for my grandparents to return with the results of the tests for cancer. Twenty minutes later the news: my grandmother had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. Before she had her hysterectomy, she would endure Chemo therapy on the 1st and 4th Thursday of every month for roughly three months. Going to school on those days saddened me inside without effecting my day. After the hysterectomy and chemo she conquered and won the battle that was how it seemed.

“The Silent Killer” Ovarian Cancer’s nickname proved itself. Many months passes and my grandmother had what the doctors said was a bowel obstruction. She could not remove solid body waste, and went to see her oncologist at Providence Women and Infants Hospital. After a few days of being on a feeding tube the obstruction cleared and she went home. In March of ’12 she was rushed to our local hospital for another bowel obstruction where they did an exploratory surgery and found the bowel obstruction was Ovarian Cancer attacking her bowels.

From there she went to a nursing home, none other than my mother’s place of employment, to gain strength to resume chemo therapy. Her body, her inner “warrior” we said, was weakened from the first battle in March of 2011 and she had to regain strength almost a year later for chemo therapy. That is when we found she was terminal. Then she was sent to the hospital for Kidney failure due to medication. She was sent home a couple weeks later on Hospice care, without chemo therapy she was growing weaker every day. The doctors gave her 3-6 months to live. Two months later on May 14, 2012 (eleven days after my birthday) she passed away.

On that day I walked in from school, instantly sensing something was wrong. I wasn’t told about her passing until roughly 1 hour later. “I didn’t know that you did not know she passed or I would have told you.” My mother had said. The days leading to her wake was a “train wreck” crying over the thought. From that day we set up a team for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition of Connecticut our goal was to raise $1,000 for awareness and donate to the coalition. Over all we raised about $1,500.

As we walk 4 months and 8 days later, the thought of my grandmother watching over us seemed to give us the strength to walk the 5 miles. Over head my grandmother’s favorite butterfly the monarch seems to fly on our path. The pahhh pahhh pahhh of its wings seems to give us the message “Break the Silence” to end Ovarian Cancer.




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redblue5776 said...
May 5, 2013 at 7:05 pm:
Good memoir
 
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Ms. Wilson said...
Oct. 19, 2012 at 8:50 am:
NIce memoir Adrien.  Such a sad story but hopefully your efforts will help others.
 
SmallChildLovesToReadThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. replied...
Feb. 14, 2013 at 9:45 am :
Thank you!
 
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