I’m Krisi Button – mother, friend, cancer-survivor – 2 of these many women say with pride, it’s been a 6+ year journey (so far) of my being able to say the last one, cancer-survivor. And it’s truly been a journey – incorporating the words cancer-survivor into my life story was not easy and certainly not a welcome decision – but incorporate I had to and in the long run it’s made me a stronger person. My journey as an Ovarian Cancer Survivor started at the 19 week ultrasound for my second child. The ultrasound revealed a 13 cm cyst on my right ovary, a cyst larger than the baby I was carrying. That cyst lead to surgery in July of 2011, while pregnant and then the diagnosis of ovarian cancer. I started chemo and then delivered my daughter, Isabella, in September 2011. She arrived 6 weeks before her due date and joined her older brother Patrick in our growing family. Countless family and friends stood by my side over the next 6 months as I had a second surgery and underwent chemo. Those first months sound scary, and they were. Yet I count myself lucky as my ovarian cancer was discovered in an early stage and that gives me great survival odds. Only 10% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer are diagnosed in early stages so I count myself lucky in that respect and give a lot of credit to amazing doctors who helped me through this journey.
Today I am 6 years past the terrifying day I was told my cyst was actually ovarian cancer. We welcomed a third child, Madeline, into our family in March of 2014 and marked our family complete. I had a 3rd surgery November 2014 to remove my remaining ovary and reduce my chance of a cancer recurrence. I walk with the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance to raise awareness and to support an organization that supports so many woman facing this scary disease. Without having been pregnant in 2011 and without the ‘routine’ pregnancy ultrasound, I may have been diagnosed at a much later stage. There is NO test for ovarian cancer which means the majority of women are diagnosed at the late stage and have a very low 5 and 10 year survival rate.
Again, I count myself lucky, but not all women are. This year Button’s Bevy walks in memory of an amazing lady who passed away this June – my great aunt Carol Emmer was as gracious in her battle with ovarian cancer as she was in everything in life and she is dearly missed.
PLEASE consider making a donation in my honor or in loving memory of Auntie Carol. Every penny donated to WOCA helps carry out the mission to help save women’s lives through education, awareness and advocacy.