PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- AtlantiCare Oncology Breast Nurse Navigator Eve Spiegel works with those battling cancer. But she never expected to be on the side of the care she was providing.
Spiegel says she thought she might have had food poisoning when she returned from vacation, but it turns out it was far more serious.
Thanks to her intuition and her doctor's gut feeling, her life was saved from ovarian cancer.
The South Jersey health care worker is sharing her personal journey during this month's Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.
"I said it's March 2020, COVID is a big deal. I was out of the country, all of the possibilities happening to me," she said.
But it wasn't COVID or even food poisoning. They found a blood clot in her spleen. After a four-day hospital stay to address the clot, she says tests weren't explaining the cause, but the CT scan showed the mass on Spiegel's ovaries was Stage 2.
After removing her ovaries and six rounds of chemo, three of which she did while still working at the height of the pandemic, Spiegel is now two years in remission this year.
According to the American Cancer Society, one in 75 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer in their lifetime.
Speigel says if she hadn't pushed and advocated for herself, the outcome may have been very different.
"I'm afraid that would have been the case. I listened to my body. There were things that were not adding up," she said.
"Usually if a patient brings a symptom up, then that means it's worrisome to them and we owe to our patients to explain and look for the reason," said Loreta Garretson, MD, a medical oncologist with AtlantiCare.
Speigel says patients should always trust their intuition.
"I tell them if something doesn't seem right, have the discussion with your doctor," she said.