Laredo Family Brings Awareness to Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is a silent killer that affects women ages 50-65 years old. The symptoms are hard to detect and usually go unnoticed until it's too late. It took the life of a local woman seventeen years ago. Her family wants to share their story to help anyone else who might be suffering with it.
"My mother was very very healthy except back in late 1992 she started noticing something different."
Michelle says her mother went to their family doctor to get checked out. And he immediately knew something wasn't right.
"Her symptoms were precisely what I described, bloated, gaining weight, increasing abdominal gurth. that already tells you something is wrong."
It was not long after that when Michelle got a call from her mother that changed her life forever.
"My mom said well I've got some news for you. I have cancer."
"Part of me was in denial. Part of it just washed over me."
Michelle's mother Mary began traveling to San Antonio frequently for chemotherapy treatments. The specialist she was going to gave her one to five years to live. The Romani family enjoyed the Christmas holiday together before Mary died. Michelle was a student at U.T and recalls talking to her mother as she arrived back home after the holidays.
"I said ok mom I'll see you this weekend. I love you. I love you too. That's the last thing she said to me."
It was the very next day when Michelle's dad called her telling her to come home. She rushed home from Austin but was too late.
"I said mom I'm here. She was still very warm and my dad said she's gone and that was the hardest thing for me."
Mary Romani died two years after she was diagnosed. Although she has been gone for seventeen years, her memory lives on. Her husband John visits the cemetery every day.
"I come here and spend time with my wife. I have taken her death like she's sleeping here and I'm sleeping at the house."
He says he sits down and talks to her when he has problems and feels her there.
"Just because a person is deceased they're still with you in spirit."
It was important to the Romani family that Mary's story was told. But they also felt it was important to educate women and urge them to get checked out for ovarian cancer.