The start of ‘Cyril’



This all started with stomach cramps and constipation. My stomach swelled to the point that I looked three months pregnant. My second visit to A & E in one week revealed abnormal blood test results. This led to them doing a CT scan, which revealed a concerning swelling on my right ovary. It felt like my world had fallen apart.

My parents had me transferred to the Royal Marsden because my gynaecologist is based there. He expressed his concerns about ovarian cancer. I felt like the earth had opened up and swallowed me up. I just felt numb. To deal with the potential diagnosis my dad decided we should call cancer ‘Cyril.’ I cannot explain why but that made the whole thing feel less frightening. It even confused my friend when I said in a text that it might be ‘Cyril!’

I was in hospital for three days, had over 5.5 litres of fluid was drained from my stomach and underwent a biopsy. My wonderful nurse came in with me. We discussed what we would talk about but I got so nervous I was completed sedated!

It didn’t take long for the results to be given and a plan to be put in place. I was diagnosed on a Thursday and the treatment started the following Monday. My consultants are so kind and caring that when they recognised my severe anxiety about hair loss they decided to administer the treatment in weekly doses to give me the best chances with scalp cooling. The first photo I will share is of my swollen tummy! It’s a key symptom to look out for and you must remember that ovarian cancer can be confused with bowel problems.

I thank God that the symptoms surfaced because there’s no screening for ovarian cancer and symptoms usually don’t surface. I hope that I can raise awareness for more women [including young women] to get checked. It’s rare in young women but it can happen.


11 thoughts on “The start of ‘Cyril’

  1. Linda Reuben says:

    Dear Laura
    I don’t know you personally but am a friend of Sandra , I was so upset to hear what you are going through and although we have never met, I would just like to wish you well, and send you love and peace and good health , love
    Linda , Mark and boys xxx


  2. JAN SUMMERS says:

    Keep focused
    Keep strong
    Keep your hair …. PG
    Lots of chicken soup , love ,support & care from family & friends
    Lots of love & positivity
    Jan ( Sanys cousin ) x


  3. Pearl David says:

    You have an extremely positive attitude that will pull you through – there will be difficult times ahead and prayers and supportive family members will get you through this – Have faith in HaShem who will help you – you are a very brave girl

    Much love Pearl – your grandpa Frank’s 1st cousin


  4. sinead says:

    Laura.1st – well done to your dad for the naming of Cyril : Clever in so many ways. I have a mate with severe Crohns who thought her ovarian symptoms were to do with the Crohns. The doctors proceeded as of it was,and found the ovarian cancer instead.She had a lot of treatment ; difficult as she was single earner and had to keep earning regardless,but she did really well and its 2 years on ,and she is doing superbly. I am rooting for the same success for you,and very glad they caught it so early. God bless xxx


  5. LaFootes says:

    My dear friend Laura is an indomitable force of nature and a true inspiration. I am utterly humbled by the strength and determination of this brave little warrior. She has documented her story to promote awareness of the sinister and unpredictable nature of ovarian cancer (that has manifested from nothing into quite a something in less than a few weeks!)
    It can silently thrive, almost without symptoms, and strike at any age.
    I have booked my (very overdue) screening next week – don’t forget yours.

    Thank you so much, Laura, for sharing this unimaginably difficult experience. Sending you and your family all my love and thoughts and look forward to drinking champagne and swapping quirky morphine stories with you very soon, because Cyril doesn’t like it when we laugh – but we shall!


  6. Anna says:

    Laurunia, thinking about you and believing that if anyone can win with Cyril. You can bargain with anyone, even God as no one could possibly refuse you! The clear image of 70 pots comes to mind when you asked your friend to contribute one or two for Compass! In the meantime, let me know if you need anything, however big or small. We are all thinking about you and believing in a happy outcome. Typical you, even in difficult time, you think about others! Xxxxxxx


  7. Alison says:

    Hi, keeping positive for you xxx I’ve been to my Dr twice about weird pains … He says bowel problems… I’ve told him about my family Cyril history… Including ovarian, but he just dismisses it. X


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