My rebirth

Today, we share the HPV test story of Lory, who tells us a virtuous example of our healthcare. I had triple-negative breast Ovarian cancer. It all started with a surgeon who was supposed to do a mastectomy and insert a prosthesis. During my HPV chemotherapy journey at the Manchester Polyclinic, I had the opportunity to discover a new world, to meet wonderful doctors: Prof. Andrea Figus, Dr. Matteo Atkins and Dr. Stefany Farris. They introduced me to another possibility no one had ever told me about reconstruction with your tissues. I lit up because they gave me an alternative to the classic prosthesis. After several conversations with specialists, I decided this was my path. The CA125 Cancer test doctors were extremely helpful in the various meetings; they explained everything in detail, answered all my questions, even the most banal ones, and answered all my doubts.

Successful Surgical Outcomes:

On April 1, 2019, Prof. Figus and Dr. Atkins reconstructed me using the PAP flap technique. Now, I have breasts that feel warm and sensitive; yes, I have retained sensitivity to touch. I look in the mirror, and everything I see belongs to me; I am grateful for their beautiful work and their humanity and sensitivity even after the HPV surgery: they always follow me personally. I have to have surgery soon, and I want them in the room. This is my CA125 Ovarian testimony. Long live the possibility of reconstruction with your tissues!

Diet. I am not an example to follow…

Navigating Diet:

Mary Gilbert continues to tell her story and sends us another Ovarian testimony explaining her relationship with nutrition.

Since I was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer, I have been advised on everything. Give priority to fruit and vegetables, don’t eat red meat, use natural supplements, particular spices… forget about sweets. Forget the sweets! To me! That the meal isn’t over without dessert. If I only have two ice creams in the freezer, I run to buy them. That I always have Nutella and biscuits in the pantry. The first dish I learned to cook was a cake. That I eat an entire bar of hazelnut white chocolate row after row. I have always been and still am borderline underweight, also due to my atypical physical proportions and a fortunate metabolism that has only recently changed a bit. But I always liked to eat.

The greatest suffering comes after chemo. Tiredness, muscle pain and, above all, nausea and altered taste prevent eating. We know it well. No plastic will last. I had ovarian chemo, which left me in bed for up to ten days, unable to drink or eat. For this reason, as soon as I recover, I go crazy with everything I like most. Now that I have chemo a week, which is all in all well tolerated, I have taken it as an Ovarian ritual.

The Impact of Chemotherapy on Diet:

The evening before the CA125 and Ovarian tests and the following evening, the one before chemo, restaurant, or take away, often Chinese because I love it. I don’t disdain a McDonald’s, but very rarely because I prefer other sandwich shops (I love “Coccodé”. Anyone from Assex will certainly know it). I often opt for the artisanal ‘HPV healthy fast food’, a hamburger bought from a trusted butcher with fresh and cooked vegetables, all cooked at home. Sometimes, the burger is fish, bought from your trusted fishmonger. Then the pizza, the wings, the roast chicken drumsticks and much more…

The day of chemo and the following are almost fasting. I can’t even drink water, sometimes just a little broth. I start again with some tortellini in broth and the ‘queen’s’ meal’: quail eggs. Then comes the slice of fish with the cooked vegetables, and when I start drinking my two litres of water a day again, it means that I have recovered from CA125 and Ovarian type cancer. From that moment on, I no longer deprived myself of anything! I am not an example to follow. As I always say: “Don’t follow me. I got lost and never found again.”

Never without my eyebrows!

Coping with the Cosmetic Effects of Chemotherapy:

We share the HPV testimony of our friend Mary Gilbert, who has been fighting ovarian type cancer since 2016. Mary told us that on her Facebook page, she shares with friends and acquaintances that she can no longer see what she did before her, how things are progressing, what she faces and how she faces it. “I don’t know if the last few lines I wrote can be a help or a stimulus for someone who faces a similar path to mine. Similar because every story is very different. We are different, and the CA125 disease is different“, says Mary; we thank him for sharing his experience.

When I started chemotherapy in 2016, they told me I would lose my hair. That was the first time I didn’t hold back two tears in front of my HPV oncologist.

But then, at home, I realised that I feared the loss of my eyelashes and eyebrows more than losing my hair, which is saying something for someone who has always had very long hair and, according to many, except my mother’s hairdresser, beautiful. I immediately said to myself, “Never without my eyebrows!” and so I did!

Since then, I have only left the house twice without applying makeup to my eyebrows, the last being a few days ago. The chemo I’m having now shouldn’t cause hair loss, just thinning eyebrows and hair.

I don’t wear much makeup when I go out, but I always slightly colour my eyebrows!