‘Silent Killer’: Santa Rosa Beach woman takes her fight with ovarian cancer to the public

Sara Markey

Sara and Phillip Markey in a recent photo.

Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012 at 02:29 PM.

In April 2008, Santa Rosa Beach resident Sara Markey began experiencing abdominal pain and bloating along with fatigue.

Markey began visiting doctors and was told it was her gallbladder or her colon, and when tests showed them to be normal, she was told she needed to just relax, as she was just getting older and aches and pains were normal signs of aging.

But, 56-year-old Markey knew her body, and she knew something was wrong. She became too sick to work and could barely stand. By the time she had the answers she sought six months later, Markey was diagnosed with Stage 4 ovarian cancer.

"At that point, I was in such bad shape that it didn't hit me until I was recovering that I had cancer," she said.

She heard the bad news at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston Oct. 15 and was in surgery Oct. 16 for a hysterectomy and to remove her spleen.

Four years later, Markey is still battling the effects of the disease but considers herself a survivor.

"I will probably have to take chemo indefinitely," she says. "It's part of my life at this time. It's the new normal for me."

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