My Story

Jay Renée
2 min readFeb 22, 2022

I have been using this platform on and off for the past five months. And while it’s been great reading other people’s personal stories, I figured it’s about damn time I shared my own.

Today marks my 41st trip around the sun, and it feels incredible to reach this milestone. Not that long ago, I received a death sentence where doctors told me it surprised them I was even still standing. It sounds harsh, but the reality was I ignored signs that my health was in jeopardy and sought medical attention when it was almost too late.

Woman smiling and posing with cancer therapy dog in treatment center
Photo of author and Fonzie, the cancer therapy dog, in 2018

It all started with a cyst on my ovary. Most women get them; they’re usually benign and no big deal. However, this cyst turned out to be a huge deal. It was growing so much that it started pushing my uterus and bladder out of the way to make room for itself. I was in severe pain.

My only options were surgery or to live with the pain. I reluctantly chose surgery, which meant removing the cyst and the ovary it inhabited. Figuring the worst was over, I gave thanks to the Most High and spent the recommended six weeks in recovery.

Unfortunately, my nightmare was only beginning. After testing the cyst, the doctors determined it was malignant and suggested I may have lingering cancer cells inside of me. My response was to get a second opinion. But when the second opinion appeared precisely like the first, I let fear take over and went into denial mode.

Things escalated quickly. I began experiencing pain like no other. Some days, I could barely stand or sit. I also dropped forty pounds overnight, causing me to resemble Gollum from The Lord of the Rings. Family members and friends pleaded with me to go back to the doctors, and eventually, I complied.

Doctors diagnosed me with stage four ovarian cancer, and within a couple of weeks, they performed emergency surgery to save my life. I then spent the following six months receiving chemotherapy. Thankfully, by the end of the summer of 2018, I was in remission.

Every year that goes by, I increase my chances of no recurrence. So that means more birthdays and other occasions I get to celebrate.

Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I hope you enjoyed learning more about me.

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Jay Renée

Helping others through my stories is my thing.