Fitness influencer Sabrina Parr has revealed that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer earlier this year and is currently recovering from surgery to have the tumor removed.
"I have been quietly battling something for quite some time, and I'm finally ready to share it," she wrote on the September 12 Instagram post. "I found out this year that I have been walking around with a malignant tumor inside my ovary that has grown to about 5 inches wide in size. I'm just now sharing because I've had to process a lot!"
Sabrina-Parr-Diagnosed-with-Ovarian-Cancer-GettyImages-1314550813 of ovarian cancer.
After her diagnosis, Parr said she kept asking God why it was happening, and why at this point in her life. But she says she knew the answer: "I've been alive long enough to know that when God wants you to sit down, that's when he's preparing you to stand up even taller," she wrote in her message.
Although Parr was diagnosed earlier this year, she chose to not immediately get surgery to remove the tumor, as she had committed to many activities over the summer involving her kids and niece. "I knew if I shut down, then so would their lives. I chose to push through for them. I asked God to get me through the Summer. Let me get these kids back to school, and then I can refocus on my health!"
As she waited to have her surgery, Parr had to lay off working out and jumping rope—two activities that usually fill her Instagram page. "Every day I fought off depression as I struggled through the pain and watching my body change," she said. "Despite what was weighing me down, I had to learn how to get up and still be me every day!"
Now that summer is over, Parr is back to focusing on her health. After her surgery on September 13, the mother of two shared, "I'll be down for eight weeks and will have minimal mobility. I think that is the most challenging part to process." But the personal trainer has had four knee surgeries in the past, so she says she knows what to expect when it comes to the post-surgery healing process.
Following the surgery, Parr gave a video update on Instagram: "Everything was successful, my tumor is removed and I am now recovering!! They are having some issues getting my pain under control so they will be keeping me until that's handled… Other than that all is well!!!! Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes!"
Her followers filled up the comment sections of the two Instagram posts. "🙏🏾 excited to see you beat this!!!," one person wrote. "Prayers for your Strength & recovery Queen," someone else said. "Sending you positive energy ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️," another commented.
Parr is one of about 21,410 US women who will receive a new diagnosis of ovarian cancer this year, according to the American Cancer Society (ACS). A woman has a 1 in 78 risk of having ovarian cancer during her lifetime, though the diagnosis rate has been slowly decreasing over the past two decades, the ACS reports. It's currently the fifth leading cause of cancer deaths in women, and while it's more likely to be found in postmenopausal women, any woman of any age can develop it.
While Parr did not open up about the specifics of her diagnosis, including the stage of her cancer or any signs that may have led her doctors to test for it, the ACS lists these as the most common symptoms:
- Pelvic or abdominal pain
- Trouble eating or feeling full quickly
- Urinary symptoms, such as always feeling like you have to go or having to go often
Other symptoms of ovarian cancer can include:
- Upset stomach
- Back pain
- Pain during sex
- Changes in your period, such as heavier bleeding than normal or irregular bleeding
- Abdominal swelling with weight loss
Parr shared inspiration and advice to others who are battling their own health journey. "Do not just lay down and die! Instead, find new reasons to live! Figure out how to come alive again!," she wrote. "At first I was preparing to die. Now I am preparing to live better than ever!!!"
To get our top stories delivered to your inbox, sign up for the Healthy Living newsletter