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.