Beverly Witz was born April 2, 1951 in Shinnston, WV. She is married to her husband Mike and they have a Wiener dog named Louie. She works as a Provisioner for Cardinal Health where she places orders with multiple vendors for data and voice circuits worldwide.
Bev was diagnosed with ovarian cancer on June 5, 2007 at Stage 2. She says the only symptom she had was some vaginal spotting, but no other symptoms of ovarian cancer. Because of the spotting, she went to her GYN for an annual checkup and told her doctor about the spotting. Her doctor ordered a trans-vaginal ultrasound which resulted in a CA-125 blood test. “My level was only 40, so Dr. Christopher Lutman was brought in for a consultation with my doctor. Because of my age and the fact that I was post-menopausal, they did a hysterectomy. June 1st was my surgery date. During surgery my one ovary was checked and there was no cancer found. On June 5th, however, I was told they finished the pathology report and they had found cancer in the other ovary. Within an hour of being told I had cancer, Dr. Lutman was in my room to introduce himself. My first thought was ‘Oh My God I’m going to die.’ My maternal grandmother died from breast cancer. Multiple aunts and uncles died from colon and lung cancer. I started 6 courses of Chemo of Carboplatin and Paclitaxel (Taxol) July 25th and finished November 14th .”
During treatment, Bev experienced many different symptoms. “I had neuropathy in hands and feet and severe fatigue. I lost my hair but what I missed most were eyelashes.” But none of that stopped her from her will to keep going. “I wasn’t finished living…too many places to go and things to see. I got very angry because I had cancer and I think that gave me the strength to fight.
“In 2010 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Again, I got very angry which helped me fight the good fight. I was scheduled for 6 chemo sessions but, due to neuropathy, only took 5. My 5 year anniversary for breast cancer will be July 2nd, 2015! FYI – It was primary cancer and unrelated to the ovarian cancer.” Since her remission, Bev has done a lot of traveling and has also returned to work.
Bev has two pieces of advice for those newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer:
“First: Stay off the internet! I had never heard about Ovarian Cancer before my diagnosis. As I was in the hospital for 2 weeks after my surgery, due to complications, I didn’t read about it until after I’d met with Dr. Lutman and talked to him in detail. My husband (the world’s absolute best care-giver ever !), went to the internet to research and it frightened him half to death. Second: Become you own healthcare advocate during your treatment. You know what feels right for you and what is normal. Pay attention to what is going on with your care and treatments. The doctors and nurses are wonderful but they have many patients and you only have you to take care of. I questioned and wrote down my drug reactions to discuss with the doctor at every visit.”
Bev became involved with the Education Committee for the OCAO in 2008 until her breast cancer diagnosis in 2010. She has since rejoined the Education Committee as of 2014. Her hopes for the OCAO are to educate and save as many women as possible. “We need to get the word out on symptoms to make women aware so they can have an earlier diagnosis. It’s giving back for those who can’t.”
Bev says her involvement with the OCAO has taught her many things. “It’s all about how many wonderful survivors and family members there are out there. Each year the attendance of the walk in September increases so we must be doing something right. Gladdens my heart.”
More About Bev
Favorite quote: “It will all be alright in the end. If it’s not alright, it’s not end.” – The Most Exotic Marigold Hotel
Favorite movie: Galaxy Quest (farce on Star Trek)
Favorite holiday: I don’t have a favorite; I think every day is a holiday.
Favorite book: It’s a series – The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon,
Share an interesting fact about yourself: I was Miss Frontier Days (WV) in 1969.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? Island near Tahiti, called Taha’a (Ta-Ha-Ah) – it is so far off the grid, an absolutely beautiful peaceful island. Home of one of the world’s best pearl farms and many vanilla plantations.
What is the first thing you notice about another person? Eyes
Do you have a celebrity crush? George C. Scott, Brad Paisley and Keith Urban
What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? Surviving cancer twice!
If you could have any super power, what would it be? Transportation so I could immediately visit any place on Earth.
What is the best advice you have ever received from someone? From my grandmother – Don’t Lie. (It’s important to taste your words before you spit them out.)
What is the best advice you can give another person? Don’t wait until retirement to live your life.
What are 3 words that best describe who you are? Stubborn, Happy, Loyal