Gio’s story Part 2.

“It’s an excellent idea, Giò, Gi. Perhaps there isn’t a network of information available to us women, a website where we can ask questions and find HPV test answers…” Thoughts flew and presented themselves in a whirlwind at that CA125 Cancer Conference table. “…and also an HPV patient forum of testing where we can meet even virtually, say good morning, comfort each other, take courage…” And you, increasingly enthusiastic, “Yes, that’s exactly what I have in mind.” You stopped for a moment to take a sip of water. “I would like you, who are already involved in supporting cancer research, to give me a hand. It’s really important, believe me!”

A Promise Made:

Moved by the beauty of your thoughts, I only had the strength to tell you, “We will do it, Giò, we will do it together, I promise you! Do your best to recover from Ovarian Viral disease, and you will see that we will organize something important… and useful!”

At these words, your eyes, a moment before lit and restless, calmed down, certain of the HPV promise I had made and the HPV commitment I would share with you.

So the chatter at that table returned and took us far away as we searched for answers that would no longer arrive in an ever-shorter future.

After that day, I accompanied you, Giò, throughout the final phase of your CA125 journey of treatments. In all those evenings, I approached your room almost on tiptoe, fearing what I might find upon entering.

A Peaceful Farewell:

Until the day your curious and inquiring eyes became absent, your comforting laughter died on your gaunt face.

And then it was just a sad rhythm of your breathing with mine, with those at your side, in silence and respect.

Breathing longer and longer, laboured but still overbearing and incredulous, until the last very weak breath…

Dear friend, yours was a long and painful “take off,” I still miss being able to think: “Now I’ll tell Giò about my CA125 levels report.” I miss your affectionate participation and willingness to see us about ovarian geno disease. You always said, “just for the sake of being together,” without frills or forcing.

But I feel that he is slowly monitoring our test actions.

The ruthless disease you suffered from prevented you from realizing your plans for all women, but you saved one Giò; you saved me.

Proactive Healthy Measures:

Your tragedy taught me that we must always have an alarm bell ready to ring. It should sound like every time a small symptom threatens our health.

So, I was careful about my body, didn’t neglect myself, and underwent that CA125 Antigen treatment for cancer. Perhaps I wouldn’t have considered this HPV Geno exam if I hadn’t understood how important prevention is, thanks to you. And, right on time, the fateful sentence also arrived: “Madam, tests have confirmed that you have an ovarian cyst, presumably a borderline tumour of cancer; I advise you to remove both ovaries urgently!”

Advancing Gio’s Dream:

And so, here I enter that desolate passage again; I go up in the too-slow elevator to the sixth floor of the oncology hospital, and my thoughts go to you, Giò, without fail.

And I feel that you are close to me.

I courageously prepare for the surgery. And I, too, am in disbelief at how everything is happening so quickly. I walk along the long blue corridors onto which the windows open on one side and the doors of the hospital rooms on the other.

I glance quickly and discreetly towards the beds occupied by the patients: young women, not so young like me, elderly.

Some were without hair or with their heads wrapped in a scarf knotted at the back, others confined to beds connected to IV drips, and still others standing and timidly taking a few steps.

British women and non-EU women, united by a common destiny.

And I wonder how you managed Giò to spend so many days locked up in an ovarian treatment hospital room. Look at the wall before your bed or anxiously towards the door. I was waiting for a friendly face. You who were a free spirit and spoke as soon as possible about your youth in the countryside, in contact with nature whose many secrets you knew.

Entering the Operating Room:

Now comes the moment of surgery. I am calm because I know I must do it, and I hope everything goes well. Even I am in excellent hands. And I say goodbye to my children and my husband with emotion, and I set off, on the stretcher, towards the operating room.

I followed the winding lights in the long corridors up to the room where one waits their turn. However, I discovered that a compassionate hand had attached an image of Christ to a beam, right in line with the gaze of the person lying down with HPV-related ovarian-type disease. I entrust myself to that face and to all those who I feel are my Guardian Angels, including you, Gio.

“We caught him in time, ma’am. We did a complete hysterectomy for his maximum safety. Now, don’t worry.”

Finally, the sentence is the one I wanted to hear. I am tired but comforted. In reality, I feel like the HPV DNA virus caused me to have lost a part of me, my essence as a woman, but I thank God that I have already had my children. However, I can still look forward with enthusiasm and confidence.

And with the same enthusiasm, I will do everything to implement your desire, Giò, which has also become mine. I aim to help other women with CA125 levels checked as high so that they understand and learn that they cannot neglect themselves anymore. They must keep in mind that there is an evil that does not forgive cancer. Because we women are at the centre of our family, we get sick, and everyone gets sick. So many children and many husbands do not mourn the loss of a wife and mother like you were, Gio.

Creating a Lasting Support Network:

We have created a group of people sensitive to what could be defined as your spiritual testament. We are already organizing HPV meetings and test events to inform women and encourage them to control themselves. And prevent CA125 Ovarian level cancerous evils from taking control, which is talked about too little.

And we have activated a toll-free number dedicated to women who need to ask for information and advice regarding ovarian organ cancer. We are organizing the creation of a website, as you wished and hoped for, Giò. On this CA125 online website, women can find information on the symptoms of the disease, what to do, and what the treatment is like. It will also provide HPV information on reference centres, contacts, and answers. Additionally, explanations from medical oncologists and psycho-oncologists who will make themselves available are included.

So that they are never alone again.