Life can often throw unexpected challenges our way, and Wendy Tuck’s story is a testament to resilience and courage.
In 2014, at the age of 71, Wendy received a diagnosis that would change her life forever– stage 3C ovarian cancer, ironically diagnosed mere days after a saved-for, long-desired facelift. Today, at 80, she shares her remarkable journey of navigating an ovarian cancer diagnosis with determination, positivity, and unwavering hope.
Wendy’s first instinct was not to let cancer define her. She made the decision to continue living life on her terms even through treatment. Cancer had taken residence in her body, but it wouldn’t take over her life. “I realized that although I had cancer, perhaps I could deal with it and still do all that I had been doing,” she stated. “Not just attending to face-lift stitches, but also walking and lifting weights and emptying the cat litter box and driving!”
Wendy immediately started treatment in Los Angeles, where she received outstanding and thorough care. She attended support groups, sought reliable information, and asked questions to remain knowledgeable about her condition. Wendy attributes her smooth cancer care journey to relying on conventional medicine at academic centers and making informed decisions about her health with her healthcare team. Wendy’s proactive approach included thorough genetic testing, allowing her medical team to stay ahead of potential challenges.
She also acknowledged that she was not alone in her battle with ovarian cancer. “I realized that I was and am not unique,” she pointed out, “I am one of many women who is coexisting with a serious disease. I know it may come roaring back.”
And it did. In 2017, cancer reared its head once more, but Wendy faced it head-on with the same courage and resilience. She underwent surgery, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. “I kept my port…just in case,” Wendy explains displaying the kind of preparedness that only comes by lived experience.
Today, Wendy enjoys a life beyond active cancer treatment. She continues to monitor her health with regular blood tests and gynecological exams. “Those who have heard the words, ‘It is malignant, cancer, metastatic, etc.’ are unlikely to forget them, but we can still laugh and be happy,” she reflects. Wendy acknowledges that cancer is a part of her life, but it doesn’t define her. She reminds us that even when navigating daunting health experiences, joy is not out of reach.
Wendy’s journey is a testament to the possibility of living a full life even after a cancer diagnosis. Her story is a beacon of hope, reminding us that a positive outlook matters and the human spirit is strong. Wendy leaves us with a valuable lesson: cancer may be a part of our story, but it doesn’t have to be the whole story.