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My journey as a writer began as a child. I wrote poems and short stories which were my way of dealing with various life changing events. I am a member of Rave Reviews Book Club. Follow me on Twitter @KIngallsAuthor www.facebook.com/KarenIngalls, and you can find my books at www.amazon.com. My first book is Outshine: An Ovarian Cancer Memoir which received two awards. All proceeds are donated to gynecologic cancer research. My second book is a novel Novy's Son, about one man's attempt to find love and acceptance from his father. This is an all too common problem in our society. My third book, Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens is about the love affair between this great American sculptor and his model. ALL ORIGINAL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2011 THROUGH 2017.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Abdominal Bloating

A common symptom of ovarian cancer is abdominal bloating. The difficulty is to determine if the bloating is too many calories; not enough exercise; natural increase for the post menopausal woman; or water and gas retention. I thought my increasingly protruding stomach was due to my diet and not enough exercise. Despite smaller portions, decreasing fat and calorie count, and increasing abdominal and cardiovascular exercising, my pant size increased.

Never did I have even a fleeting thought that it could be a tumor. I felt great and was otherwise symptom free, except four days before my diagnosis I did have a change in my bowel movements. Most women diagnosed with ovarian cancer(though not all) did have bloating plus pain, vaginal discharge, digestive or colon problems.

Our society puts such an emphasis on the slender and well proportioned woman, it makes some women feel unnecessary guilt and even take unhealthy actions to lose weight. Now is the time for people to accept us as who we are, not how we look.

Women need to be their own advocates, know and listen to their bodies, and seek appropriate medical advice. The rule of thumb is for the woman to seek a consultation with her physician if the bloating lasts longer than 3 weeks, increases, or another symptom appears. Here are two websites that have helpful tools to track possible symptoms: ocna@ovariancancer.org has a symptom diary and interim practice guide; and ovarian.org in conjunction with Dr. Oz has a sheet for tracking symptoms. I encourage using either of these resources if there is any question about some bloating or pelvic pain occurring.

To help those who read this blog, I invite comments from ovarian cancer survivors. All women can learn from and need each other.

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