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 (

New to OVdialogue

Hi everyone. I am new to OVdialogue and to the whole idea of having cancer. The diagnosis came as a complete surprise in mid July. My only symptoms initially were shortness of breath while swimming with my masters swim club. I thought I had both gotten out of shape because of reduced pool training times due to COVID-19 restrictions and/or a new allergy to chlorine. Chest X-Ray revealed pleural effusion; cytology pathology report from analysis of fluid came back with stage four high grade serous ovarian cancer. I started chemo August 11, and drugs did a wonderful job of controlling side effects (“better life through pharmaceuticals” says another friend going through cancer treatments - so true!). Feeling a whole lot better a week and a half later. Pleural effusion has been reduced by chemo - yahoo! Waiting for hair loss to start - quite terrified about that, but there is no way around it, I guess. Have not met anyone else with ovarian cancer, so hoping that OVdialogue will help me feel a little less alone. Support of family and friends has been amazingly wonderful, but meeting others online with this diagnosis would be good. 


  • gaylestorm
    @PaulineJ.  Welcome to our "elite" group and thank you for introducing yourself.  I glad you are responding to the chemo.  I didn't realize that the side effects could be minimized with good drugs and the first cycle was not pretty.  I was also a swimmer, not a master thou, and hope that you are able to keep on swimming.  Funny you mention chlorine allergy as I also developed side effects from swimming prior to my diagnosis.   One positive about hair loss, no shaving before swims!  I cut my hair short prior to it falling out and as soon as my hair started to fall out out I shaved my head.  I I am 66 years old and have had some horrible hair disasters, so I considered this just one more.  But I understand that this is a very different emotion for everyone.  Of course all my hair came back just in time for summer!  
    This group has provide me with tremendous support and comfort.  People I have never met understand what it is like to walk this path.  It is learning to live between appointments and treatments.  One of the most remarkable things  following my diagnosis was I was able to appreciate the important things in life and let all the stupid little things go.  I consider this a gift.  
    Consider joining us on teal thursday, for a live on line chat and there are also teal tuesday zoom.
    Take care, gayle
  • I’m a masters swimmer too (ex-varsity), and seriously into open water and cold water swimming. I’m feeling really devastated about the idea of not being able to be in the water…but trying not to jump ahead. Have you started treatment yet? Have you had surgery?
  • Fearless
    Fearless Legacy
    edited December 2021
    @PaulineJ and @gaylestorm
    You'll see more detail about swimaddict's profile under 'New and Freaking Out' but this ask is specific to her swim life and clearly concerns she may be negatively impacted in that regard.  Hopefully either of you or any others of our Sisters who are dedicated swimmers can give her some encouragement about her future in that regard.

    I"m not a swimmer like you and others but have followed many discussions between Teal Sisters who are hard core into various sports.  Certainly maintaining a schedule while in treatment should be discussed with your cancer care team but post treatment I have seen many recover to pick up their sport again with the same level of intensity, many who have had to modify their approach somewhat but still be able to participate in a meaningful way. Unfortunately some others where recovery hasn't been easy and side effects have left them with chronic conditions that don't allow for engaging in their sport once again.  Every one of us recovers differently so there are no promises, but lots of optimism.