By Tina Comeau
Lynette Foster believes so much in hope, that she and her husband Jason gave their daughter this as her middle name – Chloe Hope Foster.
Now, as she organizes the third annual Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope in Yarmouth, she wants others to believe in hope as well.
Foster is marking an anniversary this week. She is now five years cancer free after being treated twice for ovarian cancer. When she was 29 and trying to get pregnant, she was diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. Surgery removed the cancer and eight months later she became pregnant.
But eight months after her daughter’s birth the cancer returned. That time she had a full hysterectomy to ensure it wouldn’t come back a third time.
Foster says ovarian cancer is a difficult cancer to diagnose early on. And so she cautions women to take notice of any changes in their bodies that they feel isn’t right and to get checked out by a doctor.
Ovarian Cancer Canada says common symptoms of ovarian cancer include bloating, difficulty eating or changes in appetite, pain in the pelvic or abdominal areas and urinary symptoms. Other symptoms can also include changes in bowel habits, extreme fatigue or unexplained weight loss.
The organization cautions that just because you have these symptoms it doesn’t mean you have ovarian cancer. But if the symptoms are frequent (happening more than 12 times a month) or persistent (present for more than three weeks) and not normal to you, then it is important to see a doctor.
The organization says research indicates that symptoms of ovarian cancer may not occur until the late stages of this cancer.
This is why it is important not to dismiss things your body may be telling you, says Foster. It is also why awareness is important, she adds.
Ovarian Cancer Canada Walks of Hope will take place throughout Canada the same weekend that Yarmouth’s walk is planned.
The Yarmouth event will be held Saturday, Sept. 6. Registration is at 1 p.m. with the walk/fun run beginning at 2 p.m.
The event begins at Coronation Park, at the corner of Herbert and Main streets. A bulk of the first half of the walk/fun run occurs on Water Street, as far as the ferry terminal, with the route bringing participants along Main Street as it heads back to Coronation Park in Milton.
People are asked to pay a $25 registration fee if they are not collecting pledges. If they are collecting pledges, anyone who gathers $100 doesn’t pay the $25 registration fee. There is also a t-shirt for participants.
Anyone with questions about the walk or looking to participate can contact Lynette and Jason Foster by phone at 902-663-2969 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is also a Facebook page called Ovarian Canada Canada Walk of Hope Yarmouth.
People can also register or donate online at ovariancancerwalkofhope.ca.
The Sept. 6 event takes place rain or shine.