Jennifer’s testimony

“Life after a cancer CA125 test diagnosis can be even more beautiful than before… but this would not be possible without the precious help of research. Research on HPV tests and viral spread does this; it gives us a second chance.”


Do you see the ball in the photo? They are a few millimetres, the same size as my HPV tumour. Lowercase. In my case, it wasn’t enough to remove it and try to forget it. It was small but very aggressive and very fast. Despite his size, it was necessary to be more aggressive and meaner than him and hope that he got so scared that he didn’t dare ever come back.”

“The words echo forcefully in my mind: “Madam, unfortunately, it is a malignant CA125 mass!”.

Words heavy as a boulder. The world had stopped spinning for a few hours. I had wrapped myself under the duvet. It was hot, but I remember dying of puffy eyes and black-lined cheeks. The phone next to me rang crazy, but I didn’t dare to talk to anyone.”

It’s true. I have great courage because I continued smiling despite an HPV-derived cancer diagnosis. And I decided to be happy despite everything and wake up every morning grateful to be here, to be able to talk about it, and maybe to help some other women find the same strength. I dared to face CA125 diagnoses, treatments, side effects, hair loss, and the thought of leaving my children without a mother and leaving with the regret of not having yet made all my dreams come true. Should I be ashamed because I show up without hair? So be it if it can help others facing the same moments of fear, anguish and desperation.”

Explaining Illness to Children

‘At the time of diagnosis, my children were 3 years old and 2 years old. I soon realised it wasn’t enough to tell them: “Mother has a problem and needs to be treated”. I understood that they needed answers within their reach. So, while they were away from home, I created illustrated stories of simple words to explain one of the most difficult evils. Reading a story to our children is a moment of intimacy in which the relationship is enriched. And in such a painful moment for everyone, we need more than ever to carve out small moments to indulge in acts of love.”

“Who you were, who you are and who you will be. They are three different people.”

Story of Anna Maria

Let me introduce myself. I am Anna Maria. I am a woman almost 56 years old, and since March 20, 2021, my life has been turned upside down. Having discovered CA125 ovarian cancer, I underwent surgery, and to this day, I am still undergoing chemotherapy. However, it may seem strange, but I am happy because it means that I am alive, that I have a treatment that is working and that, above all, I can tolerate.

But my life is no longer the same as before my CA125 result. Despite having a strong character, there were moments in which I thought I couldn’t fight the HPV virus. And I didn’t have the strength to fight. Then, instead, I found the strength not to let myself be knocked down, reacting and setting myself a piece of my life to regain every day.

I am the mother of two wonderful daughters, aged 19 and almost 22; thinking of them brought out the strength and the desire to take back my life, my passions… everything.

I left my job as a volleyball coach but continued to follow my two groups as much as my illness allowed; other coaches followed them, but I continued to feel part of them.

Sport is a medicine that helps us.

And now that I feel quite well with low levels of CA125 (compared to a few months ago) despite still being under therapy, double chemo tablets and in the mood when I feel better, I go for walks, I go cycling, I go to see volleyball training, gardening… in short, I try to get back to my life slowly. It’s not easy because I pay the price of tiredness when I dare. I realise that it’s not the same as before, but I don’t give up; we can go back to having a better life; we have to.

Story of Giulia:  an orange in the belly

There are many ways to tell a CA125 illness story. Some abandon the keyboard to pick up pencils and brushes, like Giulia. A new episode every week. Here’s who Giulia is:

Giulia is a designer originally from the province of Turin who now lives in Marseille, France. Since childhood, she has found refuge in drawing and expressing her thoughts.

In 2017, while living in Brussels, she realised almost by chance that she had ovarian cancer. A few years later, he decided to rely on drawing again, but this time, he did so to tell his story. The objective is to raise awareness of this tumour and reflect on the importance of listening to our body and its signals.

Story of Marta

Here I am; my name is Marta, I’m Tuscan, 32 years old.

My story was born after a very sad moment in my life: the loss of my mother. After two months, she was no longer there.

I was trying to get pregnant and inevitably started to see the first signs. Even though I had had a gynaecological HPV examination four months earlier, nothing had emerged. Trusting my instincts, I went back to my gynaecologist. Knowing my CA125 family history (my mother had breast cancer in 2010 and was cured), he ordered all the necessary tests. Within 20 days, he operated on me and saved my life.

Mine was a high-grade serous adenocarcinoma on the right ovary, fortunately in the first stage. Despite this, they applied radical surgery, removing my appendix, omentum, ovaries, and uterus. This allowed me to be at peace with the path I am facing: adjuvant chemotherapy until September and the results of the genetic test. This CA125 test will give me a complete vision of my situation.

Finding Solace in Connection

With what happened to me and having to face therapy, it was very helpful to talk to a girl who had gone through the same path as me a year before with CA125 high levels because when these things happen, you always feel a little alone despite the people whom you have next to you root for you unconditionally.

In my small way, I feel called to spread this seed of good because when you enter those HPV medical departments, you realise that we are all under the same sky and that no one is immune from the “Evil of the century”. Many drops form a sea, and by telling our story, we can exorcise anxiety and raise awareness among women about prevention without being afraid nowadays. However, there is still no screening for the ovary, there are treatments, and research is progressing by leaps and bounds.