'I went to the doctor’s in June 2017 as I was experiencing a small amount of persistent bloating which I’d had for 7 weeks. I was also very tired all the time. Other than that I was fine.'

 'I explained to my nurse practitioner that I had cut out bread, thinking I might have a wheat intolerance, but it hadn’t made a difference and wondered if it could be IBS. She told me that she was going to do a CA125 blood test, an ultrasound and gynaecology referral.'

'My CA125 came back the next day and my GP rang to inform me that it was elevated. Normal range is 0-35, mine was 1014. My GP informed me that CA125 blood test was not a definitive marker for ovarian cancer and could be elevated for other reasons. I was told to try not to worry and to wait for the ultrasound.'

'The Ultrasound revealed that I had a large mass around both my Ovaries. I couldn’t believe it, I was devastated, I felt well apart from being tired and the small amount of persistent bloating.'

'Things changed very quickly following my Ultrasound; my tummy grew quite rapidly and I couldn’t eat very much due to the fluid in my tummy. I was admitted to hospital and had a drain inserted which removed 6 litres of fluid. It was a painful procedure as the Peritoneum lining was very sensitive.'

'I came home, but within a week my tummy had filled with fluid again and was affecting my breathing. I had another drain inserted and another 6/7 litres of fluid was drained. I was quite poorly as again it was very painful. I could hardly move or eat and lost a stone in weight in a week.'

'It was decided that I needed to have surgery rather than chemotherapy first. On 31 July I had a full Hysterectomy and had my cervix removed. My tumour was approximately 11cm x 11cm and histology confirmed that it was stage 3 ovarian cancer.'

'I had 6 rounds of chemotherapy. I took charge and had a friend shave my hair off the day before my 2nd round. My hair was very long and was falling out in handfuls. I was understandably upset, but found it very liberating. I have only worn my wig 3 or 4 times and although it’s a fantastic wig, I feel fake in it and much prefer to not wear it.'

'I was lucky and didn’t suffer from any sickness during my chemotherapy. I certainly had a few rough days and it wasn’t easy. I also had neutropenic sepsis after round 3 and was admitted for 5 days on IV antibiotics.'

'On 4 January 2018 I had my last round of chemotherapy, of course I was so pleased to be finishing but also felt uncertain about the future. I had had so much done and come such a long way in such a small space of time, it was overwhelming. I had always had the next blood test or chemo appointment to work towards, but now all of a sudden I would only be seen every 3 months for review appointments.'

'I thought at the time that surgery and the side effects of chemo would be the worst of it, but for me, it’s now coping with the mental side of this life-changing diagnosis and being thrown into the sudden onset of the Menopause.'

'I am a very positive person and I have resumed my love of Pilates and I have started swimming. It doesn’t matter how busy I try and keep myself, the horrible thoughts of re-occurrence do creep in.'  

'I’m sure overtime these thoughts will move to the back of my head. Its charities like Ovacome that offer their help and support that are invaluable at this time.'