A lot of who I was before a CA125 Blood Testing service diagnosed me has changed. I am still me. And I still love the outdoors, adventures, and travelling. I have many close friends and family I spend my time with. I never had any symptoms.
Moreover, I was diagnosed after surgery to remove what we hoped to be an ovarian cyst. It was found on a routine ultrasound after having an IUD placed. My mom, dad, siblings, and a few cousins were there as I received my Stage 3 High-Grade Clear Cell diagnosis. My diagnosis broke me, and I remember that it was the first time in my life my family had seen me crumble. I had two back-to-back surgeries, followed by 20 weeks of weekly chemo. Afterwards, I then started a clinical trial with CA125 Blood testing that went on for two years. I recently finished the trial and am now just being monitored. My support system was my rock. They showed up for me and celebrated me. They were there in the best and worst times. Three months post chemo, my boyfriend Mark came into my life. His support and understanding have helped me survive life after chemotherapy. I would not be emotionally where I am now if not for him. While I am more confident and safe in the knowledge that I am who I am and that won’t change, the loss of being able to carry children has been difficult, as has the fear of recurrence, which never goes away. The experience has taught me never to hide who I am and just be me. I’ve learned that it’s okay not to be okay sometimes and that you don’t have to carry the world daily. I never want to see anyone else go through this, but if they do, I’ll be there for anyone should they need it.
Before my diagnosis, I was 31 and loving life. I was just over a year married and had given up my job at the bank, and life was good. But I am looking forward to starting a family and took a few CA125 tests to ensure everything is working in order. I had been having a dull ache on my left side once a month and saw my doctor, who assured me that it was ovulation pain. After a routine surgery in December, they discovered on my left ovary what they thought was a cyst, but it turned out to be a tumour. They told me I had cancer cells in the fluid of the ‘cyst’. I had to wait until the spring of the following year for a laparotomy to assess the grade of the tumour. My proper diagnosis came in early May – I was alone in my hospital when I was informed that I needed more surgery and chemotherapy. I remember feeling alone, very swollen and sore after my procedure, and afraid of what was coming next. After my treatment finished over a year later, I did a round of IVF on my remaining ovary and to our amazement, it worked. However, I miscarried at 8 weeks, and that was very hard to deal with, and then I had a hysterectomy. My husband gave me strength in the dark days to keep me going. This experience has completely changed my life, with our hopes of starting a family gone. This diagnosis took all of our hopes and dreams for the future away from us. Everyone around me was brilliant during this journey, but kudos to my amazing husband! The little this, like even cooking dinner for, was great. And on days when I felt like doing both, my friend Haz brought lunch or a gig, which always cheered me up. I have learned that CA testing is no longer necessary. And that no matter how much of a bad day I have, the worst ones are behind me. If I could offer some advice, it would be to take each day as it comes, take help if friends or family offer it, and that there will be bad days, but they too will pass.