September is national ovarian cancer awareness month. In hopes of doing this month justice and raising awareness for ovarian cancer, the Beauregard Daily News is highlighting some of our community’s brave cancer fighters. I was honored to share a piece of our journey
In August of 2015, Pamela Hennigan was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer and her life was thrown off of its axis.
Hennigan said she remembers thinking, “That’s it, it’s over. I’m dead. My family. I felt numb. I couldn’t think or respond,” when she heard the news. Her symptoms included heartburn, bloating, frequent urination and feeling full after eating little amounts.
She began fighting her ovarian cancer with a regimented treatment.
“I received a complete belly wash, IV chemo during my first round, IV chemo when the cancer came back a second time. I then went into remission, during that time I took chemo pills. And now, with the cancer being back again I am back on IV chemo.” Hennigan shared.
“I don’t even remember half of it,” Hennigan said on the topic of her treatment. “You are at the mercy of what they (doctors) say they can do.”
Since her first diagnosis, Hennigan’s cancer has come back three times but she refuses to relent on her battle against it.
She finds the strength she needs to fight through God and her support system.
“The strength that God gave me helped me battle,” Hennigan said. “Also, my daughter and my husband, they are my support system.
“You also don’t ever realize how many people in your community are praying for you in times like these.”
Currently, Hennigan is still in the midst of fighting and receives chemo through an IV bag every four weeks.
When asked what was one thing she wanted to share with the public about her fight with cancer Hennigan said, “You live in your own little worlds and hear about cancer all around, but until it affects you, you never know how much people suffer and the pain they go through behind closed doors.”
She concluded by saying simply, “Cancer is evil.”
Hennigan’s daughter, Kacie Carlson shared her experience as her mother fights cancer.
“My dad and I barely left her bedside, as we had never seen her struggle so much. We thought we would never see her enjoy the little things in life again. Within those weeks of returning home to plan a funeral, we were accepted for a second option through a God-sent answered prayer.” Carlson wrote.
“We met an angel of a doctor at the cancer treatment center, who promised to do everything she could to kill the enemy that was killing my mother from the inside out, and that is just what she did. My mother went through an all-day surgery de-bulking the masses spread throughout her body.” Carlson shared.
“Today, my mother is still battling for her life. Her ovarian cancer has come back three times within the past three years since diagnosed in August 2015. She is still undergoing treatments in Atlanta, Georgia, as the doctors, nurses and staff have become like an extended family.” Carlson shared.
Carlson works diligently to spread awareness about ovarian cancer through her blog and Instagram account.
“We have learned how serious ovarian cancer is and how important it is for women to be aware of their bodies. Ovarian cancer is known as ‘the silent killer’ because many women do not discover their disease until it is in the late stages, which leads to a short period of life.
“The reality of my mothers future is sad, painful and heart-wrenching, but I would do anything to relive every single moment knowing she has had the best care in the world from a second option, that has prolonged her life in every possible way.” Carlson wrote.
To read Carlson’s blog visit kaciecarlson.com or via Instagram @paradiseroads_.
Hennigan has a long and hard fight a head of her, but it is a fight she is willing to take on. With the support of her family and the community, Hennigan is sure to kick cancer to the curb