How many times have you not felt your best but put off going to the doctor, hoping that whatever is wrong will just go away on its own? It’s easy to dismiss strange symptoms and write ourselves off as being dramatic. While we hope that nothing is ever really that wrong with us, there are those rare occasions when ignoring warning signs turns into something much worse.
This is exactly what happened to Caly Bevier. Back in 2015, when Caly was 15 years old, she and her family went on a vacation to Florida. After returning home from the trip, Caly and her mom couldn’t help but notice that something was definitely wrong. The teen’s stomach was extremely bloated, she didn’t feel well, and was vomiting frequently.
Caly’s mom was concerned that the young girl was pregnant, but Caly knew that wasn’t the case. The only other thing her mother could think of was that Caly had a tumor on her ovaries.
“I said, ‘That’s what it has to be then,’” Caly recalled. Sure enough, after Caly’s family took her to the doctor, it was confirmed that the 15-year-old had a 5 pound tumor on her ovaries, as well as a rare form of Stage 3 ovarian cancer. The tumor had been growing inside her for over a year.
For the next 3 months, Caly was a frequent visitor at the hospital, receiving over 20 chemotherapy infusions.
Things got better after that, though. “After her treatments we were told that she was in remission. We consider ourselves the lucky ones to be able to say our daughter beat Stage 3 cancer.” Caly’s daughter Adam, said.
Caly has now been in remission for 2 years, and she credits her strength through such a trying time to staying as positive as possible.
“I kept telling myself to just be positive. I knew everything would be okay in the end. When you’re going through something so hard you realize how important all the little things in life really are. It has changed me.” she said.
Now, the 17-year-old cancer survivor wants to make people aware of the seriousness of ovarian cancer, and to ignore early warning signs. She knows how hard it can be to detect ovarian cancer, but she hopes she can help people catch it earlier than she did.
“I had a lump growing in my stomach for a year and I just ignored it. I didn’t really think anything of it because it wasn’t a problem.” she said.
Some of the common symptoms of ovarian cancer are “pain in the back and abdomen, burning urination and some constipation…but the symptoms are very non-specific and that’s why ovarian cancer is very difficult to pick up.” Caly’s doctor, Dagmar Stein admits. “You won’t feel anything until the cancer is large and that’s why it can be so deadly for women.”
A good rule of thumb is to see your doctor is anything even a little bit abnormal, this can help with detecting early signs of cancer.
Caly is currently pursuing her dream of becoming a singer, and even performed on America’s Got Talent. Her goal is to share her story of triumph after battling cancer through the power of music.