Macon woman beats ovarian cancer, shares story of survival

MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – “I had no clue that cancer was in my body,” says Diana Blair.

Blair was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 1997.

“Actually I was somewhat relieved when I first found out because finally I could say there is something wrong with me.”

She says she had all of the symptoms, such as bloating, loss of appetite, back pain, and fatigue.

“Ovarian cancer is a cancer that hides in the ovaries,” she explained. “It’s so difficult to diagnose that’s why it’s called the silent killer.”

Diana recalls having to break the news to her family that she was in stage three “C” of the cancer.

“It was so hard to tell my mommy,” she said as she wept. “My husband told her because I couldn’t tell her.”

She credits her family and friends for helping her to survive the disease for 18 years. Her mother cared for her. She made breakfast and then her husband would take over the household duties when he arrived home. Other relatives and friends also pitched in as caretakers.  

Health experts say only 50% of the women diagnosed with ovarian cancer survive within five years.  Coliseum Medical Center Oncology Nurse Beverly Stanley helps patients like Diana cope with the disease.

“Through the diagnosis, the diagnostic testing, that’s done surgery, the treatments, we even follow them up in survival,” Stanley explained.

Diana had 30 hours of chemotherapy treatments.

“It was tough, you loose all of your hair, all over your body,” she laughed.

Ovarian cancer like many other cancers can be hereditary.

“If you’re at a high risk then you can do additional things. We might do is like, transvaginal ultra sound,” added Stanley.

All of the cancer treatments and test are in Diana’s past. She admits the medical scare gave a new outlook on life.

“For example, I did the Blair Loft apartments in downtown Macon, completely rehabbed a building,” she says. “I never dreamed that I would even do anything like that.”

Now Diana is working with an ovarian cancer fundraiser called “Masquerade” to bring awareness to the disease.

“I’m a very blessed gal to still be here,” she continued. 

In recognition of September as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, the “Masquerade” event will be held Thursday at the Amory Ballroom. For more information call (478) 765-4805.

   

Categories: Bibb County, Local News