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Kerry shares her experience of living with advanced ovarian cancer

31 May 2021

Transcript available here:

[00:00:00] Kerry: With my diagnosis, I think it brings to light everything that is important. For me, personally, quality of life is much higher priority over length of life. And I want whatever our time is, I want it to be quality, and be able to spend that time doing what we love. 

[music] 

Before I was diagnosed, well, we were very, very active, very busy people, both running our own businesses. I used to be a Taekwondo instructor. 

[00:00:41] Alison: You didn't have any symptoms of anything at all? 

[00:00:45] Kerry: No. 

[00:00:45] Alison: You were just laying in bed and you felt a lump in your stomach? 

[00:00:49] Kerry: I felt a lump in my lower abdomen, which seemed to come from nowhere, really. I was quite slim at that point, but I was still carrying on teaching Taekwondo. I felt fine in myself, given that my mom and my nan were diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was very conscious of what they had gone through and how quickly the disease had taken them. I remember me saying to you, "If this is cancer, life's too short. I need to do what makes me happy." 

[00:01:25] Alison: You can't live every single day thinking, "Is it back? Where has it gone?" because it would just pull you apart. 

[00:01:37] Kerry: You definitely then appreciate time a lot more. You appreciate holidays. You appreciate time with your friends and family. After the first operation, mentally, I was struggling to get out of bed. I was struggling to see what a normal future would be for me, and then having my second operation, and being in oncology, all I really wanted was to be back, being able to do the normal things, like seeing the girls, like being able to go out for a meal, walk the dog. 

All the things that we all take for granted every single day, you don't realize until you are that ill, but those are the things you're just craving you want to do. You are living with cancer, you're not dying of cancer. But it doesn't need to say that we can't continue to live our life as normally as we can, but it does make you appreciate that life is fragile and that you do need to make the most of every moment. 

[00:02:41] Alison: We don't have to be sat talking, we just enjoy being together. 

[00:02:46] Kerry: Yes. I'm not one of these, "I want to travel around the world, and I want to see this place and that place." I'd like to go and see more of the UK. I'd like to just spend time with the people that mean something to me. 

[00:02:59] Alison: I love her. I love every part of her, every being of her. I just love her. I just love being with her. She is my soulmate. 

[00:03:15] Kerry: Just to be in her company is all that I need, for however long. 

[music] 

[00:03:49] [END OF AUDIO]