© Jocelyn Turner
Ovarian cancer survivor Bethany Hoeg cuddles with her newborn son Maksim
By Jocelyn Turner
Amherst Daily News
AMHERST – There was less than a one-per cent chance of her ever having children. But one year after she went through treatment for ovarian cancer, Bethany Hoeg found herself pregnant. She gave birth six weeks ago to a healthy baby boy.
Hoeg was 25 years-old when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
“I was at the beach one day and I rolled over onto my stomach and it really hurt when I was laying there and it was hard,” she said. “I hadn’t been feeling well. I was tired and nauseous, a lot of things to go with pregnancy as well.”
Hoeg made an appointment with her doctor who, upon feeling the hard mass in her stomach, assumed she was pregnant.
“She said she could feel the baby move and hear the heartbeat and what not. She said I was six or seven weeks pregnant,” she said. “She said I had to start prenatal care and when I went for an ultrasound the next day, there was no baby.”
The ultrasound showed that there was a cyst-like mass on Hoeg’s ovary, meaning she would have to have surgery. It was when she went for an exam at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Centre that the doctors discovered it was a tumor.
“It was determined that it was probably malignant and it was a rare type of ovarian cancer, too.”
Hoeg was told it was a germ-cell tumor, a type of tumor that forms in the reproductive cells, like the ovaries. These types of tumors usually affect one ovary.
“I had my surgery (July 21, 2010), and it was an eight pound tumor. It was really big and it had hair and teeth. It’s off your ovary so it has the qualities of what a baby would have.”
After surgery, Hoeg started treatments and has been in remission ever since. But she was told she would probably never be able to have any more children because of her intense treatments.
“I was given a one-per cent chance or less,” she said. “They were going to do a full hysterectomy but my right ovary was okay and they left that there. But I dealt with it. I had a six-year-old boy already but that was the hardest part, hearing that. I found out a year to the day that I started treatments that I was pregnant with (my newborn).”
Hoeg’s son, Maksim Sloan, was born five weeks early, weighing over eight pounds.
Ever since her bout with ovarian cancer, Hoeg has been involved with The Ovarian Cancer Walk of Hope in the Amherst area. Preparations for the walk have already started.
“We already had our Walk for Ovarian Cancer night at Teazer's in June,” she said. “We raised $723 and we’re going to be doing a country musical afternoon at the end of this month and the walk is after that.”
Hoeg said they could still use more support for this year’s walk to help promote awareness.
“It’s hard to rally people to come out for it because it usually happens in women who are older. And that’s what I saw at the walk last year: a lot of older women but a few people do show up.
“It needs to be advertised more and I’ve done a few wellness fairs and things like that to help make people more aware of it.”
This year’s walk will take place Sept. 9 at the Lion’s Club. There will be entertainment, a 50-50 draw and a barbecue to follow the walk.