Community Connection: Ovarian Cancer Canada is looking for volunteers! Could you help?

OVdialogue – consider joining our team in the role of Community Champion. Over a few hours each week, you would be part of a team that helps connect people, support conversations and are thought leaders for OVdialogue. This is your opportunity to give back to those who have/continue to support you through the tough times, share your unique experiences, and help celebrate successes. For more details of what this entails, please reach out to @Mfallis (

Bell Let’s Talk day – Live Chat Jan 29 1-2pm ET


Wednesday, January 29, 2020 from 1 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Ovarian Cancer and Your Mental Health

A cancer diagnosis impacts patients, families, and caregivers. Many different feelings including anxiety, fear, anger and sadness are very common and normal responses to this life-changing experience. If you are experiencing these feelings, you are not alone.

In conjunction with Bell Let’s Talk day on Wednesday, January 29, Ovarian Cancer Canada will host an online chat for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer to ask questions, share concerns and talk openly about their journey in a safe space. From 1pm -2pm ET Marilyn Sapsford, Ovarian Cancer Canada’s Manager of National Programs, will moderate the online discussion and share insights from her personal journey living with the disease. Come and join the conversation on OVdialogue. 

If you can't join us at that time, post your comments or questions now and come back after the chat to continue the conversation!


  • This is a great idea Marilyn, I will be listening.  :)
  • Good Morning Marilyn , will there be a link sent to us for the webinar?  or do we just sign in?
  • Hi @beachgirl. The chat is right here on OVdialogue. I’ll be here at 1pm. Look forward to connecting!  We have already had some questions through Facebook and Instagram ...
  • Thank you! looking forward to connecting with all these strong women.
  • Hi everyone,
    Welcome to Ovarian Cancer Canada's contribution to the Bell Let's Talk day.   A cancer diagnosis can certainly impact one's mental health.  This is a place to ask questions and  share experiences and concerns about your diagnosis with ovarian cancer. We are here today to chat in real time about these issues. 

    Do you have any questions or comments to get us started?

  • Are there many survivors that are sad 3 years post chemo?  i assume this is normal?  
  • I was diagnosed with clear cell ovarian cancer.  I know that there were several times during my journey that really impacted me.  My initial diagnosis was certainly a shock and I suddenly found myself dealing with surgery and treatment with hardly any time to sort through my emotions.  It was a year later on the anniversary of my diagnosis that I fell apart emotionally.  I don't if anyone else had that experience?
  • Yes, I think sadness is certainly a common response to a diagnosis of ovarian cancer, even 3 years later.  I guess there is sadness and then sadness.  What I mean is how debilitating is your sadness?  Does the sadness come and go or are you sad all the time?  Does it prevent you from enjoying things in your life now?  Are you able to talk about your sadness with someone?
  • I think that any diagnosis of a life threatening disease brings sadness and different experiences of loss - I know I experienced this - loss of health, loss of my reproductive system.  Sometimes women experience loss regarding future hopes and dreams that may no longer be possible.  So there is lots of reasons to be sad.
  • Here is a question that was submitted through our social media:

    After frontline treatment is done, and the constant anxiety and fear of recurrence sets in, how do we best set up a monitoring schedule for ourselves? What would a good timeline schedule look like, if access was no barrier, i.e.: we request this schedule from our Dr's. (CA125 x 3 months, Ultrasound x 6 months, CT x annually, etc) Waiting until symptoms appear because recurrence is widespread is not good enough IMHO. Have a PROactive plan would ease my anxieties greatly 🌻

  • You will find that follow up protocols will vary depending on the doctor.  Some doctors/cancer centres do not use the CA125 blood test in follow up and timing of appointments can vary too.  There is no standardized follow up protocol that is used by every physician.  Generally speaking, after treatment follow up would be every 3 months for a while, then every 6 months etc.  This is something to discuss with your doctor.  You can also discuss your anxiety and what you feel would help reduce that fear in terms of follow up visits.
  • The question about waiting for symptoms to appear before beginning treatment is another good one that women often have.  It seems logical that you would not want to wait until symptoms appear - starting treatment as soon as possible would seem to be the most appropriate course of action.  Actually, studies have shown that is not necessarily the case.  Starting treatment earlier does not necessarily change the outcome of the treatment.  It also prolongs the period of time between treatment regimens which also has benefit and prolongs the individual's quality of life before dealing with the possible side effects of treatment.

    Have others struggled with this question?  It would be great to hear from you.

  • One of the resources available through Ovarian Cancer Canada is our national webinar series.  Recordings of past webinars are available on our website.  There is one of Fear of Recurrence that you may be interested in listening to:

  • Here is another question from social media:

    Are there any resources available for families and caregivers to help?

  • Yes, there are resources specifically for caregivers and families. 
    Here are a couple of websites:

    Cancer Support organizations may also have support for caregivers, for example: or Gilda's Club

    Our Still By Your Side guide also has a section specifically for caregivers whose loved one has had a recurrence of ovarian cancer.

    Ovarian Cancer Canada has Regional Directors across the country who can also help you find local resources and programs.  You can find the closest regional director here:

  • Flowergirl
    Hello everyone - sorry I missed the live session.
    Thank you @Marilyn and @beachgirl for sharing your stories and feelings.