Actress Cobie Smulders has opened up about her battle with Ovarian cancer in the latest issue of Lenny.
The How I Met Your Mother star, who was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of 25, revealed that after multiple surgeries and a major lifestyle overhaul, she beat the disease and went on to give birth to two daughters.
“Just when your ovaries should be brimming with youthful follicles, cancerous cells overtook mine, threatening to end my fertility and potentially my life,” she writes. “My fertility hadn’t even crossed my mind at this point. Again: I was 25. Life was pretty simple. But suddenly it was all I could think about.”
Smulders says that before her diagnosis she could just tell something was off.
“My energy was low, I was just so tired all the time, and I felt a constant pressure on my abdomen that I could not explain. I listened to my body and immediately went to my gynecologist."
As well as undergoing surgery to remove the cancerous cells, she overhauled her diet, started mediatation and yoga as well as seeing energy healers, crystal healers, kinesiologists, acupuncturists, naturopaths, therapists, hormone therapists, chiropractors, dietitians and ayurvedic practitioners. You name it, she tried it.
“I really wish I could tell you what particular combination of these things, along with multiple surgeries, eventually gave me a clean bill of health,” she says. “I wish everyone had access to all these treatments. I am aware of my situation, that I was incredibly fortunate to have had the means to explore any and all options. The good news is that these options are out there. You can do the research and find many different ways to help your body heal itself.”
The 34-year-old Jack Reacher star says she now feels it her duty to share her story and spread awareness about the disease and help open up the conversation about looking after and listening to our bodies.
“It has taken a lot of patience with myself to get to where I am today. I am learning that in life it is OK to travel in darkness, not knowing what your next move is. I don’t allow the stress of the unknown to affect my health, and I listen to my body when it sends me distress signals.
"I wish that we as women spent as much time on the well-being of our insides as we do with our looks on the outside. If you are going through something like this, I urge you to look at all your options. To ask questions. To learn as much as you can about your diagnosis. To breathe. To ask for help. To cry and to fight.”
Ovarian cancer is known as the ‘silent killer’ and is one of the deadliest cancers affecting women. Unlike breast cancer, ovarian cancer can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages, as symptoms are often vague and similar to those of common illnesses.
In Australia, four women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer every day. Owing to the lack of early detection tests, approximately 75% of women are diagnosed at the advanced stage, meaning that the cancer has spread and is difficult to treat.
You can still purchase Georg Jensen’s limited edition earrings and necklace, with a percentage of proceeds going to OCRF to help them continue their life-saving work.
For more information on ovarian cancer and how to donate, head to ocrf.com.au.