We’ve had a beautiful, warm September in the Chicago area. It has been a true gift, and I’ve tried to soak in each day and not think about the inevitable frigid months that will be here before we know it.

That’s why this is always one of my favorite months. It’s our last chance to live our best summer life before we hunker down for fall and winter. So, even though Mekky Media is crazy busy right now, I’ve been doing my best to get outside and feel the sun on my face every chance I get. In fact, I spent last Sunday working, reading and relaxing on my deck. It was a lovely day!

But there’s another reason I love September. It’s Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, a time to heighten knowledge of this disease and its subtle signs and symptoms, as well as raise funds to support national and local programs that advance research and assist patients and caregivers. It’s also a time that we honor the courage of the many women who have been affected by ovarian cancer.

This, of course, is a cause I’m passionate about. It was seven years ago that I was fighting ovarian cancer and wondering what my future would hold. I was incredibly lucky and blessed that I was diagnosed early and my prognosis was good. I’m thankful every minute for my good health today. But too many women who have ovarian cancer do not have that experience. By the time they know something is wrong, they have advanced disease.

That’s why I’m committed to helping the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition (NOCC) with its important work all year long, but especially in September when there is a concerted, national effort to renew our fight against this illness that takes far too many lives. The Together in TEAL walk is a centerpiece of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. This year, I was once again proud to have a Mekky Media team made up of my entire staff. The walk was virtual, but we all put in our steps and spread the word to help fight this disease. I want to thank my staff members who donated and raised funds, and everyone who contributed to our team. I also thank my friends at Abt Electronics, a Mekky Media client, for sponsoring our team. I’m proud to say that we exceeded our fundraising goal!

If you would like to donate to the Mekky Media Together in TEAL team, it’s not too late. Simply visit this link. Thank you!

Before we say goodbye to this beautiful month and jump head first into fall mode, I want to do one more thing to honor Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I’m using this space to share the signs and symptoms of ovarian cancer, in the hope that this information will help educate readers of my blog — either for themselves or to share with women in their lives. Early detection is so important, but signs and symptoms can be easy to miss. Here’s what NOCC tells women to watch for:

  • Bloating
  • Pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
  • Urinary frequency
  • Upset stomach, heartburn or constipation
  • Back pain
  • Fatigue
  • Menstrual changes
  • Pain during sex

According to NOCC, “If symptoms don’t go away within two weeks following normal interventions such as laxatives, rest or changing diet and exercise, contact a physician immediately. If cancer is suspected, a gynecologic oncologist should also be consulted before surgery.”

The NOCC site has a wealth of information about who’s at risk, detection, diagnosis, types and stages, treatment options and more. I encourage you to check it out and share the knowledge with someone you love.