Julia Slade In hindsight I had been living with bloating, abdominal pain, tiredness and prolonged bleeding for a long time but it’s easy to dismiss or trivialise all these symptoms. In June 2010, not long after getting married and two years after a doctor had dismissed me with these symptoms, I went to another doctor and she referred me straightaway to a consultant who took scans.

In January 2011 I had one ovary removed with the cyst in an attempt to preserve my fertility. However, biopsies taken during the operation confirmed it was cancer and exactly three weeks later I was back in hospital for a full hysterectomy. Further cancer was found in my womb but luckily for me it had grown to the size of a melon but stayed in stage 1. The hospital thought I could be spared further treatment as the cancer seemed to be contained.

Most devastatingly, as a newlywed in my mid-thirties I had lost all chances of ever having children.
The cancer was equally hard for my husband and family but they were always there for me.

Around Christmas 2011 I found a lump in my groin. The cancer was back in a lymph node. Early 2012 I went in for keyhole surgery to remove the lump. I had chemotherapy – Paclitaxel and Carboplatin - from April to July 2012. I opted to wear the painful cold cap but I still lost most of my hair. However, I found the mouth ulcers and tiredness were the most difficult symptoms to endure. Following chemotherapy I had 25 sessions of radiotherapy over five weeks.

Cancer made me determined to appreciate life and I’ve since run road and trail marathons, cycled two 100 mile sportives, completed triathlons and regularly run with my dogs, enjoying the countryside I love.

Ovacome provides a range of support services for anyone who has been affected by ovarian cancer, whether directly or indirectly. They offer a free telephone support line, a 24 hour online forum, email support, instant chat services and face to face support groups. They also work to raise awareness of the disease and to provide information from some of the top clinicians in the field of ovarian cancer.

Ovacome also fund a research fellow at Birmingham University, who is working to develop new therapies and understand and improve outcomes for women with advanced ovarian cancer.

As a smaller charity, every donation really helps Ovacome to continue and expand their services, providing vital support to those affected by this lesser known form of cancer. Any amount that you can offer would be greatly appreciated and would contribute towards their important work.

Please share this page with your friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere, so that I can reach my target and that together, we can help Ovacome to do more for those affected by this disease. Thank you! Julia Slade