"I was diagnosed with stage 1A ovarian clear cell cancer in February 2014, at the age of 54. Two years before I was diagnosed I was suffering with stomach pain and constipation. I would wake up in the night suffering from sharp stomach pain.
I thought it was just IBS and I would just have to live with it, so I didn’t consult my doctor. Eventually my husband persuaded me that I really ought to do something, so I went somewhat reluctantly, fully expecting the doctor to say I had IBS.
I was extremely fortunate that my GP sent me for an ultrasound scan the same day and the result showed I had a large ovarian mass. It was then that the alarm bells started to ring.
Two weeks later I had my ovaries removed, having had a hysterectomy some years ago. However, when I came round from my operation my surgeon informed me that I had to have a colostomy fitted as the ovarian mass had become completely entangled with my bowel.
I couldn’t believe what had happened to me. Following this I then had the news that I had ovarian cancer and endured eighteen weeks of chemotherapy. I definitely did not want to live with the colostomy so it has been a huge haul to get to the point where I am now.
I had to have an operation, which involved reconnecting my colon, but having to have a temporary ileostomy until my colon had healed. On top of that I suffered a pulmonary embolism following one of the operations. Two months ago I had the ileostomy reversed and I am now back to something like normal so I cannot tell you how marvellous this feels.
I survived the cancer thanks to my GP’s early diagnosis but I know not everyone is so fortunate. I’m sharing my story to highlight the importance of recognising the early warning signs of ovarian cancer. Make sure you know the symptoms and badger your GP if you are unsure. I would not want anyone to go through the same thing as I have done over the past two years."
If you would like to share your story or become an ovarian cancer voice, please contact Ross@ovarian.org.uk