Ovarian cancer and plans to help us kick it!


[00:00:00] I know. Look at me. Look at me. All the makeup, I'm all dolled up. I never get this way. Right. Do you know why I'm wearing all this makeup? I'm gonna tell you the news, which I've kind of been like, sorry. I'm also a bit of a mess. Um, I have also like, like sprinkled out some drips and drabs about what is changing in my life that now my practice knows. 

I mean, my partners have always known, but now like my practice, like my patients know, so I'll let the public in on it. I know you've been hanging on the edge of your seat, haven't you? Wondering what I'm. I'm kidding. Like there's so many other things in your life, obviously. Um, here's what's going on. As many of you know, I've been in ob GYN for 22 years. 

Impossible considering how young I am, but it's possible cuz I'm not that young. So 22 years I've been doing it and I love it and I love every minute of it except for the times I'm exhausted and stressed. I love the way I've practiced. I love the fact that I've practiced slightly differently than other people. 

Just my partners and I have managed to create a. System in so many ways that I could talk [00:01:00] about forever that I won't. But our system has worked for us and we've loved it. That said, I like change. Change is good. Learning is good, and morphing is good. And so at 51, I really solidified what I thought I knew, which is I love being a doctor, not for the science sake. 

But I love being a doctor for the sake of engaging with people. And when I engage with people, particularly women, I am able to help them and teach them about what I think they need to learn about their physical body and health, but also about like their mindset and why their physical and body and health is so attached to their mindset and why maybe if we all can be calmer and less fearful about things, it can permeate into so many other parts of their lives, right? 

So through. Here's what is the change that's happening in my life. I am morphing in my practice and I will be as of January, doing only the obstetrics part, which is so weird. Most gynecologists give up [00:02:00] the OB and they still do the gynecology, and now I'll like to shave things up, so I'm gonna do it a little different. 

I'm gonna do only the OB and not the gynecology. And it's not because I like the OB more. Sorry, all you pregnant ladies, I love you. But it's not that I love the pregnancy more. I don't. It's actually the logistics of it. I think the gynecology part is almost more important because some women never do the OB part. 

And even if you do the OB part of your life, You spend more time in your life as a gynecology person than an OB person. Just a fact, right? You spend more time in your life, not pregnant than pregnant. So your knowledge and education and understanding of your body and physiology and hormones is incredibly important. 

Whether or not you realize it, and the more you learn and understand about it, the better and calmer you can feel about so many aspects of your life. That said, my practice happens to have a system where we can. One week on call and then a couple weeks in the office without being on call, and that does not lend itself to doing kind of an intense gynecology week. 

It lends itself to an intense obstetric week on call. [00:03:00] So what I'm gonna be doing in January is my intense obstetric week on call 24 7, hanging out in the hospital. Which is totally my jam because I really do love that environment, even though I know so many people hate hospitals, like as doctors. Like that's our, that's our playground. 

That's where we thrive, and I get to be with the nurses that I love and I get to see the patients through their like, crazy experience of birthing. And I get to talk about all my little mindset nuggets and all the things I like, and I still get to stay in the game of medicine and know what it's like to be a patient and a doctor. 

And really stay on the ball of learning. But then in contrast, instead of that one week on call, it will be followed by two or three weeks where I won't be in the office and I won't be seeing gynecology patients and I won't be doing kind of the general daily. Office practice that I have been doing for these 22 years, and to be honest, while I'm so sad to be saying goodbye to so many of my patients, I am so excited because I still will get to do what I love, which is engage. 

I will get to engage through these different [00:04:00] mediums. Media, like social media, my own Instagram account, big Love Your Juju and Tribe called v. Jenny Hayes and I, my business partner, will be building up our tribe called V. We've been working on all of the gynecology platform part of it, so I'll be able to really hone on all those videos that will help teach you as women about HPV and herpes and perimenopause and menopause and dry vaginas and vaginal discharge and all the things that we talk about. 

We're gonna continue our pregnancy program. But then in addition, I've been consulting, so I just started working back to the makeup for a Aspire Women's Health, which is an amazing women's health company, diagnostics company, and they have really been able to hone this test that helps general ob GYNs, like me stratify who is more at risk for ovarian cancer or not when it comes to them having a mass in their ovary. 

So if you have a mass in your ovary on an ultra. Your doctor can then send you for this blood test to help decide if she needs to be sending you [00:05:00] to the GYN oncologist instead of taking care of you herself. And that's huge. And that's only one of the tests that they've developed. There's another one coming up on the horizon that's gonna help as well. 

So there's gonna be more and more information that I will drip Andra out there about that with you guys. Um, cause I want you to know about it. I think it's so important for us all to know, and I love being able. , um, work for a company where I get to like, use them, right? They're gonna use me to talk to doctors about this test and talk to patients about this test, but I get to use them to make sure and hold their feet to the fire that we are gonna help teach women about everything through the lens of the ovaries, which is like really the biggest part, representing and creating the hormones that it is to be a woman. 

Even though, by the way, I have no more ovaries and I'm still a. , but let's face it, at its inception. What creates us as women is our ovaries and the hormones from our ovaries, so through the lens of our ovaries, and [00:06:00] improving the rates of ovarian cancer by catching it earlier than stage three or four, which is where the majority of women are being caught nowadays. 

Aspire Women's Health is also gonna be able to help teach women generally. About our bodies, about our health, about our hormones, about everything. Because in educating you about ovarian cancer, about why you're not being diagnosed early, about why there aren't yet screening tests about what we can do to find it earlier in educating you about that. 

That means by definition, you're gonna understand what you are getting tested for. You're gonna understand what you're not getting tested for. You're gonna understand the other parts of your body. You're gonna understand your cervix and your uterus, and your tubes better, and your breasts better, and your family history with genetics better, and how that plays into it. 

So through the lens of your ovaries. We are gonna be able to help understand so much more about our body. And I know it sounds corny, like I'm so excited about it, but I'm so excited about it because something's gotta give ladies. We have to start understanding our bodies better. We as doctors have to [00:07:00] be able to give you more information about your bodies and you as patients have to start taking more ownership and understanding it and learning. 

And then collaboratively, we need to be able to sometimes fight against insurance companies in getting the right testing done to find and fix things earlier. So that's why I'm all dolled up because I had to go do some videos for Aspire Women's Health, um, which was super fun. Totally different than my normal day job or night job. 

And there was a great team there to do shoot some video, and they just really wanted to hear my story because my story is different. My story is stage two ovarian cancer. My story is why. Still here kicking and screaming and acting all crazy five years after my diagnosis, right? We do not have to keep missing ovarian cancer. 

We do not have to be instilled with fear. We do not have to relegate our health to just let me go in for a 15 minute visit and not really know much more about ourselves. We can learn more as patients. We can advocate more as doctors. We can overall do [00:08:00] better as women. Okay? We can do it. And we can't blame the patriarchy. 

I mean, I'd like to, but the patriarchy, whatever, whether or not we blame them, it's not gonna help us. So do we wanna be right or do we actually wanna do, do better? My argument is we wanna do better. So go over to Aspire Women's Health and please follow them cuz I'll be doing an IG live with Wendy McDonald on Wednesday night. 

An amazing OBGYN Chicago who is just hilarious and has a great Instagram account herself, Dr. Every woman. We're gonna be talking about the sad truth about how diversity in ovarian cancer with regard to the black women, instead of white women's rate of getting picked up early, they get picked up even later with more poorer outcomes and, um, worse treat. 

So we're gonna be discussing that diversity and the disparity within the diversity there, but more to come about aspire. So I just wanted you guys to know what I'm doing and how I'm morphing and changing and how I'm still gonna be here talking about women's health. In fact, I'll [00:09:00] probably be here more as the months go by. 

And as I, um, kind of, I don't wanna say dedicate cuz I feel like I've always been dedicated. Kind of alter how I meter out my time as far as the education process versus the patient to patient in the patient's room process. It's just gonna change and I'm excited about it, but I know that my patience, God bless you all. 

If any of you're watching, I love you people. You have just lifted me up. I could get Terry thinking. You've lifted me up, you've been there. You took care of me when I had my ovarian cancer. You guys have been just divine patients. Like I could not have been a luckier doctor to have you in my corner and to take care of you, but things are changing and I am excited about that. 

So I won't cry and mess up a makeup. But that's it. Wanted you guys to know, have a great Tuesday, please go. Aspire Women's Health, follow them because they have really awesome things coming up in the future. Okay, bye.