In January 2016, Lucy was found to have an ovarian cyst that needed to be removed. After surgery, it was discovered that she had stage 1a ovarian cancer.

‘When I discovered I had a cyst on my ovary, I was very worried, but I was reassured by all the doctors that it was nothing to worry about at all. I asked if they though it was cancer and they didn't have any concerns. So, it was a MASSIVE blow when they discovered the cancer cells. After my diagnosis it was all a flurry as my case was moved to a specialist hospital. I saw the new consultant quickly and she was very blunt about what was to happen. At the time everything was such a shock that I found I couldn't hear the details very easily. Luckily I had a brilliant friend that accompanied me to all of my appointments and asked all sorts of useful questions (like, would I still be able to have children, should I freeze my eggs, etc).’

‘I had to wait 6 weeks after my first surgery – those weeks were agony and I was emotionally all over the place, mainly terrified. Weirdly, it really brought home what was important too and I spent a lot of time with the people I loved.’

‘I had the debulking surgery to remove my appendix, omentum and right hand lymph nodes. My right ovary was already removed in the previous surgery and they opted to keep my left ovary and watch it so that I wouldn't go into early menopause.’

‘The operation was supposed to be fairly routine, with a recovery time of 6 weeks, but during surgery they tore a vein and I lost a lot of blood and was in surgery for 5 hours longer than expected. I woke up in intensive care, very poorly indeed. I was wired up to drips and all sorts so the first few days were agonising and I was very weak. It took me a long time to heal and I would say that it was over 18 months until I started to feel like myself again. I'm still feeling the effects of this now, almost three years later, as I had post-surgery hernias and had an operation in February this year. I likely will need to have another operation next year.’

‘The impact of that surgery and the very long recovery time were huge. I run my own business and haven't yet been able to go back to work full time. My savings are gone, and I am living on the kindness of others. I was depressed and anxious, both about having had cancer and about still feeling so poorly. With all the time off my feet I'd also put on 4 stone in weight and I'm still finding that hard to shift. Other side effects I've been left with are weak core muscles, bladder frequency and urgency, shoulder pain, pain in the right side, and fatigue.’

‘I was assigned a therapist at the hospital and that really helped. I also did workshops with Macmillian and went on a retreat with Odyssey.’

‘One of the things that came up for me is that I felt a bit of a fake – the cancer was so early stage and really, very easily dealt with, so I felt like I didn't deserve the support that someone who had a more serious cancer diagnosis than me and had had chemo etc. deserved. The therapist helped me to see that any cancer diagnosis is a big thing with a big impact. Acceptance was a big part of getting well again for me.’

‘When I was diagnosed my dad was also diagnosed with a rare and rapid form of Dementia, so the impact on my family was huge. I live a 2 hour drive away from them, so it was heart-breaking not to be able to visit my dad as he got progressively more ill, and my mum wasn't able to support me as much as she would have liked because she was supporting my dad. My sisters were brilliant and since my diagnosis they've also had ovarian scans so I'm glad that has happened.’

‘I had no symptoms other than the cyst which grew quickly and was 23cm when they removed it. I currently don't have any symptoms and I'm cancer-free. I have all of the usual “middle-aged” lady symptoms of lower back ache, bloating, needing the loo etc., so of course I worry.’

‘Because everything felt so quick Ovacome was a great resource. It was helpful to read the website and to read other people's experiences. I knew so little about ovarian cancer before I was diagnosed and Ovacome was brilliant for learning the facts without becoming overwhelmed with statistics and horror stories.’

‘My advice to others would be:

1.  Don't Google! Look at websites like Ovacome instead.

2.  Join a forum like My Ovacome, even if you can't respond it's a great resource and source of support.

3. If you find it overwhelming to take in all the details, get a loved one or friend to digest the facts and only tell you the bits you need to know.’