You don’t have to wait to be nominated – Share a #loveyourovariesphoto now

To help women know and remember the symptoms of ovarian cancer, Finding Cyril is trying to launch a viral campaign- the #loveyourovariesphoto. As in my Facebook post below: take a #loveyourovariesphoto, list some symptoms and nominated some friends to do the same. Every person who partakes is another person who will learn what symptoms to be wary of.

As I mention in my blogs, no more should women be satisfied with the diagnoses of IBS for symptoms that are indicators of ovarian cancer. Under the picture I have written what I put on Facebook for you to copy and paste with your photos.

I will aim to post as many of your photos on the blog and on twitter as possible! Be sure to tweet them to @FindingCyril if you want them in a post. You can also email them to

I have also included out text donation code FICY58 with the campaign. If you are a UK resident, send this code and an amount (e.g. £2) to 70070 to donate. All donations go to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity.

Thank you for for your support! Cant wait to share all your photos here!

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Persistent pelvic and abdominal pain, constant and increasing abdominal bloating, difficulty eating and the urge to wee more often. I know the symptoms of ovarian cancer. NAMES- Do you? What symptoms can you name? Spread awareness and show love for your ovaries with a ‘Love your ovaries photo’. If you want to donate to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, text FICY58 £2 to 70070 to donate. #FindingCyril @FindingCyril

Other symptoms can include:

  • Irregular periods or vaginal bleeding after menopause
  • Lower tummy (abdominal) pain
  • Back pain
  • Passing urine more often than usual
  • Constipation
  • Pain during sex
  • A swollen abdomen
  • Feeling of fullness or loss of appetite
  • Loss of appetite or a feeling of fullness in the abdomen
  • Feeling or being sick
  • Constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Noticeable swelling of the abdomen



A new way to donate

Finding Cyril is now offering sponsors the option of donating to our chosen charity, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity, via text. Text FICY58 and an amount (e.g. £10) to 70070. Thank you for all your continued support.

Please note, this option is only for UK residents. If you live outside the UK and want to donate, please click the JustGiving image below.
JustGiving - Sponsor me now!



My fourth chemo session – Start of the second cycle

Yesterday, I completed my fourth chemo session. This marked the start of cycle two!

Unfortunately, I was sick (for the first time) over the weekend, so I ended up in A&E. As a chemo patient, I was seen immediately. It turned out to be an upset stomach and nothing related to ‘Cyril’ or my chemo, but I am glad I was checked over. It was a long night; I got back home at 5AM, and the A and E experience shook me. I felt disheartened and almost blamed myself. I started to question whether I had done something wrong. Messages from my amazing friends helped me snap out of feeling low.
 Below there are a few of the messages I received :
 From Dominique
So I was thinking about it. When you’re feeling ill – that’s when the battle between chemo and Cyril is taking place. So your body is the arena the battle is taking place in. So every time you don’t feel good you need to think – chemo is taking on Cyril now and they are having their battle, and when you feel better it’s because chemo knocked Cyril out of the ring.
 From Jessica
This is just a minor set back after a long line of massive achievements in the last few weeks. You are doing so well and we are all so proud. You made me so happy on Friday and I can’t wait for the next time. Get some rest and love you lots xxxx
 When I walked into the chemo room, I felt even calmer than last week. The fear melts away as you get used to the routine. The doctors where not worried about my tummy upset (it seems to have been food related), and meeting the dietician will help me to understand more about what to eat and what not eat. My bloods came back normal. However, my iron is still too low. This means I require a blood transfusion next week. I am not worried about this because I know that low iron can occur with chemo. Also, my professor feels that I have dealt with the dosages so well that he increased the levels of one particular drug. This means they are hitting Cyril even harder! It will also mean that my body will be hit harder, and I may feel worse, but paradoxically, that’s a good thing. Also, I received positive tumour marker results. After round one, the markers have gone from 3,000 to 1,000!
 The nurses and doctors are so kind and caring; when they found out I have never had blood transfusion before, they asked me if there was anything I was worried about. I spoke about feeling anxious about seeing the blood! Due to this, they said they can cover the blood bag so I won’t see it. I never imagined myself having a blood transfusion. I am so thankful to the people who donate blood, because they have made it possible for me to have the transfusion. When I am back to full health, I will do my part by giving blood, because I know what if feels like to need the blood. We are lucky to have organisations like the Joely Bear Appeal, which run local blood sessions three times a year. For more information on the vital work that this charity does please look at @JoelyBearAppeal and Sunday 10th July, The Joely Bear Appeal hosts their 65 blood donor session as Yavneh College in Borehamwood from 9:15-4:30. A supervised crèche is provided for children.Yesterday, whilst I sat in my chemo chair, I realised just how vital blood donations are. If you are able to, I urge you to consider donating blood. As I realised yesterday, you never know when you will need it.
 It was great to meet a member of the press team at the Royal Marsden. We discussed the Finding Cyril website and about things to come on the website. So watch this space …
I also had my regular foot massage from amazing auntie. Whilst I fight Cyril, she is fighting a fear of trains for me. I am so grateful and touched by what my aunt is doing. Staff and patients have recognised how great she is, and how massaging feet is a wonderful idea! In the future, my aunt has decided that she will be going back to the chemo room at The Marsden to volunteer in this way and offer a bit of solace and support to other cancer patients.
 Please take a look at the photos from my 4th session and have a look at some of the messages from my family.

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My third chemo session

Two days ago, I had my third chemo session. Remember, I have them weekly, in smaller doses, as I have scalp cooling for my hair. This session marked the end of cycle one! Cyril is realising that he is not wanted and must leave. This brings me closer to the operation, which I am also happy about. When I walked into the unit on Monday, I didn’t feel the usual fears. Even the doctor noticed how calm I was! This is because I now  know what to expect. If it were last week, I probably would have freaked about being told my iron levels are on the low side, meaning that I might need a blood transfusion next week. However, this news didn’t panic me. I’d like to mention that this is a common thing that can happen when having chemo. I will be eating foods rich in iron this week to see if that helps, and if it doesn’t then, it’s not an issue. In the words of my dad, ‘after a transfusion, you feel on top of the world. You’ll have more energy than all of us!’
My brother joined us for this session.  We played a great game, similar to articulate, where you had to describe the celebrities on the stick you picked up. We had lots of laughs and some interesting guesses were made! Thank you @JennieDallal. I also had my regular foot massage from my amazing Auntie, who comes equipped with her oils and creams. The nurses have spotted her and told her how wonderful they think she is. The foot massage takes my mind off the cold cap, generally calms me down, and as you can see from the photos, actually sent me to sleep yesterday!
My wonderful nurse also came to me. I simply adore her. She is there to talk to whenever you need (phone and email). I feel I can ask her anything. For example, I was worried about getting gel nails, as I had heard there may be risks associated with the drying light, but she put my mind at ease. She has been there from day one, (from the night I was admitted with fluid on my tummy), and she will be by my side throughout the whole journey. It’s remarkable how quickly you feel a bond growing with the team of people around you. I have already shared my pixie collection with my team of doctors. They (the pixies, not doctors) are my good luck charms. I carried one with me when I got my results and when I met the professor handling my chemo. I want each person working to make me better to have a pixie. My nurse really liked the one that I chose for her!
I know it’s now only Wednesday but I already feel ready for next Monday. I am getting used to the process so it does not feel so scary. I want to get cycle 2 going, so I can continue to show Cyril who is boss. The start of round two will mean a slightly longer session, but it means more drugs will go in my system and remind Cyril to go away!

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Support and love from France‏

At the start of this academic year, I created a link with a French class in France at my school. The English and French children have been able to Skype most weeks, write to each other and exchange gifts. We look forward to welcoming the French students next year! Although I have not yet met the French teacher and the children, I value the teacher as a good friend and the students feel like my students too. They have a special place in my heart.

When I arrived home from treatment two a package was waiting for me. Every French student had written me a beautiful letter. Every letter made me smile and filled me with a little more hope. I want this wonderful class to know that I will treasure these letters forever, and whenever I feel down I will read them. Their beautiful words and pictures help to keep me in the positive mindset needed to show Cyril who is boss!

Please have a look at the slide show which shows these letters. I feel honoured that the class in France is following the website, and their support and thoughts mean more to me than I can describe in words.

I have found Cyril. I have now started to show Cyril the exit. I am one lucky lady to have people of all ages fighting Cyril with me.

Thank you again to the amazing French class. I can’t wait to see you soon, and continue all the wonderful work we are doing together!

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My second chemo session

Today marked the second milestone on my road to recovery. After having my blood taken and the test coming back as suitable to proceed, I started my second session of chemotherapy. Below are some pictures of my experience.

Thank you to doctors and nurses of the Royal Marsden for keeping a smile on my face and to my aunt for the foot rubs!

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Taking my mind off Cyril‏

I am 27 and going through something that is so rare for my age. It’s the love from family and friends that is spurring me on. What a fantastic day with my wonderful friend Dominique! Loved the park 😀😀

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A present from my favorite artist

Laura Footes is a dear friend from university. She is the most amazing artist. She has worked with my children at school on a few occasions and they adored her! She has used art in a unique way to spur me on in my fight!

You can find out more information regarding Laura Footes on the following websites:



The kindness of stranger‏s

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As a 27 year old walking into a chemotherapy room, I was frightened beyond belief. A fellow teacher sitting on the chair next to me spoke to me about her experiences because she could see that I was so young and distressed. She wrote the message above in my journal to give me hope.