Facing Your Fears
- Fitness influencer Sabrina Parr, 34, recently announced via Instagram that she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and just had surgery to have her tumor removed.
- The ex-fiancée of Lamar Odom shared her struggle with facing the disease, and now is taking her battle head on, urging others who are going through cancer or something similar to find a reason to live and fight.
- Accepting a cancer diagnosis can be difficult, and your mental health may suffer along with your physical health, which is why it is important to process those emotions and seek help from medical professionals and support from your community.
“Everything was successful, my tumor is removed and I am now recovering!!” Parr wrote, sharing that her medical team was having some issues getting her pain under control so they were keeping her a little longer in the hospital. “Other than that all is well!!!! Thank you for all the prayers and well wishes! I’ll check back in once I’m home and in my own bed!”
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Just two days ago, Parr revealed her news, explaining how she has been “quietly battling something for quite some time,” and she was finally ready to share it.
“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,” she wrote. “I’m just now sharing because I’ve had to process a lot!”
She joked that she asked God, “why couldn’t you have just given me breast cancer since I already don’t have breasts lol,” but acknowledged that God was preparing her to “stand up even taller.”
“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!” she continued. Parr has two children: a son from her previous marriage to Antonio Davis, and a daughter from another relationship. She is often very private about her kids.
“I haven’t been able to work out and jump rope for months … Every day I fought off depression as I struggled through the pain and watching my body change. Despite what was weighing me down, I had to learn how to get up and still be me every day!”
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Parr explained that she will be recovering for eight weeks and will have “minimal mobility” after her surgery. “I think that is the most challenging part to process. I’ve had four knee surgeries in the past, so I do know what to expect!”
Parr also says that she believes stress was the culprit. “I allowed way too many people and things to stress me out over the past few years! Never again, though! My body has had enough!”
The strong mom concludes with some inspiring words for others fighting cancer or something similar. “Do not just lay down and die! Instead, find new reasons to live! Figure out how to come alive again! At first I was preparing to die. Now I am preparing to live better than ever!!! I’ll see you guys after I wake up tomorrow!”
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Parr’s engagement to Odom, who was once married to Khloe Kardashian, lasted for almost a year. They started dating in July 2019, but announced in November that they had split.
“Y’all know I’m honest and transparent so I have to be the first to let you guys know that I am no longer engaged to Lamar,” Parr wrote on her Instagram. “This has been a difficult decision for me to make but it is the best for myself and my children.”
Processing a Diagnosis
After an ovarian cancer diagnosis, sometimes women put their mental health on the back burner. Like Parr, it’s understandable to want to put your kids first. However, when facing cancer, it’s important that your emotional health is prioritized because it can directly influence treatment results.
It’s important to know that it’s normal to feel a variety of emotions such as anger, sadness, depression and anxiety. It’s necessary that women work through these emotions and take steps in order to prioritize their mental health.
“I think the ways that we can support these women are just to honor really how horrible the diagnosis is and the uncertainty that lies ahead and to try to reframe what is most important to you,” Marshall Gold, a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner at Johns Hopkins Medicine, tells SurvivorNet. “What do you continue to live for? What brings you joy to try to see a little silver lining in a horrible situation?”
One of the first steps in coping with an ovarian cancer diagnosis is acceptance. Gold says each patient comes to accept the diagnosis at one point during their journey. A support network is critical when it comes to coping with a cancer journey and helps with mental health.
“A woman with ovarian cancer, what’s going to optimize her care, I think is just being open [about] her emotional state,” Gold says. “I think most providers are willing to engage in those kinds of conversations…communicate openly with your provider about your emotional state so that you can get the help that you need.”