Monique Clark, Alaska
“My husband and I got married at a young age, I was 19 and he was 20. I was on birth control because we were not in the position yet to have a child. When I stopped my birth control my body went on a wild ride. I gained about 75 lbs in a month in a half which at 20 years old was a big hit on my self esteem. My confidence quickly drained. I couldn’t figure out how this happened, none of my clothes fit but I didn’t have the money to buy a whole new wardrobe. I will save the details but my cycle started going haywire causing my husband to take me to the ER. The doctor told me that I was slightly anemic and that my body was doing this because the birth control and to follow up with my primary doctor. I’m so grateful for this primary doctor because she just knew something wasn’t right and sent me to the OBGYN. I found out that I had PCOS and was extremely anemic (any longer with our iron and I could have stroked out and died). The anemia made since because I would fall asleep all the time and just couldn’t understand why, I thought my nutrition was messed up. The thing that stood out to me with my PCOS diagnosis was having a hard time having children…all I ever wanted to be was a mom. After finding all this out we decided to try some medication and leave it up to chance.
Fast forward to 2018, before Maci I had never heard anyone talk about PCOS. I was actually embarrassed to talk about it because I thought I was a lone soldier. I cried watching her story and every time she speaks out and did something with PCOS on Teen Mom, it inspired me to speak out and it was amazing the feedback I got and how many people reached out to me for help! We decided to take the steps forward and try infertility treatments because my body still hadn’t became normal and no pregnancies. Through this process not only did I have the cyst on my ovaries, but I did not ovulate. We did four very trying rounds of IUI treatments. It was mentally and physically draining, shots, endless appointments, negative pregnancy test. I felt broken and less than a woman wondering why me what did I do to deserve PCOS. Our fourth round, I didn’t even want to take a pregnancy test, why take it if it will be negative. But it was positive!
Fast-forward to 2021. I’m still not on BC but was told if we wanted another baby we would have to do another IUI. This year I was on a new diet, losing weight (it’s been a real struggle I am one of those people with the difficult PCOS weight) and using natural drops to balance hormones and help my ovary health. I took a pregnancy test (negative) I started medication to do the bloodwork for the IUI process but it didn’t work, so I took another test (within three weeks) POSITIVE. I couldn’t believe it, I just knew it was a false positive. But it wasn’t! At my first ultrasound I was already 9 weeks, how the first test was negative we have no idea. But because I don’t have a cycle everyone is calling this baby a miracle. He is due Christmas Eve. PCOS has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to navigate, but knowing I’m not alone has given me strength. And I refuse to let this be what keeps me down, I am a warrior and after this baby I plan to continue to fight to get healthy and help others.”
Amy Goddard, Indiana
"Hi my name is Amy Goddard and I’m 38 years old. I’m married to my wonderful husband John and we have two girls together. Rylynn is 9 and Taylen is 7. I also have an amazing job working at a school in my hometown as a resource teacher. I work with some of the greatest people and getting to help the students brings me so much joy.
I’ve been very blessed to be where I’m at in my life and I really didn’t have many worries until this past December when I tested positive for Covid on December 17th.
I was so upset that I wasn’t careful enough and now had to be quarantined from my family. On top of all that I felt awful and didn’t get out of bed much for days. I felt drained and didn’t have the energy to do much. Then the night of December 27th I told my husband that I was having a lot of discomfort in my chest and as I was rubbing my chest I felt a lump. I immediately had tears in my eyes because I knew that the lump was something new and that it couldn’t be a good thing. The next day, which also happened to be my Birthday I went to a convenient care. My Doctor was out of the office for the holidays so that was my only option to get seen right away. I had to get some answers to what this lump was. The doctor there told me she wanted me to have an ultrasound done. I asked if there was anyway I could have it done that same day. After some phone calls they were able to get me in at the Breast Center for an ultrasound and mammogram.
So later that day I went in and had the ultrasound and mammogram. The nurse told me that sometimes the doctor likes to come in and look at things himself, but I knew that if the doctor came in that he wouldn’t have the best news. I remember being so nervous and just thinking the worse and all the what if’s. So the next thing I know the doctor is coming in and and telling me that he doesn’t like how this lump looks and that regardless of what it is that I will have to have surgery to remove it. I couldn’t even gather my thoughts I just shook my head and stayed calm while he kept going over things. My next appointment would be a core needle biopsy to find out what this lump was. After the appointment I got to my car and cried and then called my husband. I was so scared and worried of what they would find out. Sometimes the days felt like weeks going by as I waited for the next appointment.
So I ended up having my biopsy done and then I got a call the next day from my doctor. The call I will never forget. He confirmed that it was breast cancer. I couldn’t even think or believe what I was hearing. I’m 38 and healthy and breast cancer doesn’t run in my family. I kept thinking why me and how is this happening. I kept thinking about my girls and my husband and what this was going to do to them. There was so many things going though my head. It was so hard telling my husband and my family. It was just so unreal that I was even telling people I had cancer.
Fast forward to March 4th and it was time to start my first round of chemo. I dreaded that day so much because I didn’t know how it was going to make me feel. I didn’t want to be sick and down in front of my girls. I was also told and knew I was going to loose my hair and I knew that would be hard on me. I couldn’t imagine how hard it would be on my girls. I knew through all of this I had to stay positive for them and stay strong. I wanted them to see me just as they always did. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job, but somedays I’m just so tired and need the rest. They are both such great kids and have been so helpful and caring through all of this. My husband has also been amazing though all of this. He has stepped up on helping with the girls and cleaning the house and most of all just being there for me. He makes me smile and laugh so much and I appreciate him more than he will ever know.
I’m now on round 5 out of 12 on my chemo. I go every week for 12 weeks and when this 12 wks is up I will continue only one of the chemo drugs for every 3 weeks up to a year. After that I will also have to have my ovaries removed since my breast cancer was hormone driven. Then I’ll have to take a pill for the next 5-10 years to hopefully keep the cancer from coming back. I was diagnosed with Stage 1 breast cancer and I’m very thankful I found it when I did. Things look very promising and I know I will be fine, but this was something I never envisioned happening to me. It’s definitely a bump in the road for me, but with the support and love I have from my family and friends I know I will get through this and be stronger for it!"
"Warm hugs from Florida. My name is Megan Bishop and I want to share with you my reasoning for my #TeamTaylor shirt!
On March 15,2021 my life was changed forever. I was driving home from a dr visit with my 4 yr old son Taylor when a single engine plane crashed into my small SUV. Unfortunately, my precious baby Taylor was in the car and did not survive. So, as you can imagine it’s self explanatory why I made this purchase. This shirt means more to me than you will ever know. It’s my way of being connected to my son and to fight for justice for him... Please give your children and loved ones an extra hug and kiss as we never know what tomorrow brings.