Having a positive outlook has helped me to keep going since I was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2003. I was leading an active life at the age of 46, so when I started to feel lethargic to the point of exhaustion, my stomach was bloated and going to the toilet was a nightmare, I went to my GP. I was advised to see a dietician but my bloods were okay and my diet was healthy so I asked to see a specialist instead.
Soon I was taking 48 pain killers a week to deal with the stomach pain, so when I was offered a consultant’s appointment in three months’ time, I knew I couldn’t wait that long. I scheduled a private appointment and was diagnosed with a large tumour over both ovaries. I had been expecting to be told to eat more prunes!
My first thought was how to tell my three childrenAngela
My first thought was how to tell my three children. In the end, Hugh took mum into the front room, and I herded the kids into the kitchen. Until then I hadn’t shed a tear, but with them, I broke down with all four of us hugging and crying.
I’m still here with a smile on my face to tell the tale. My mother was a marvel and stepped into my shoes whenever needed. My family and friends never failed to overwhelm with their love, care, cards, flowers, phone calls, shepherd’s pie and concern.
I'm still going strong 10 years after my last chemotherapy session. Keeping fit helps me physically and mentally and helping others with the disease is remarkably therapeutic. I also volunteer in a hospice as I feel my experience with the disease helps me to understand the patients.
Ovarian Cancer Action has been a lifeline. Feeling isolated with this disease is crippling but the charity has allowed me to feel part of a group and knowing there is always someone there to talk to is such a comfort.