Thursday, April 30, 2015

White Shirt Day

White Shirt Day- Photo by Kelly Dyett - Black Sheep Photography

Today is White Shirt Day.

Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and Witchery have teamed up to help raise ovarian cancer awareness and vital funds for the development of an early detection test. 

I share my story in the hope it might help save even just one life.................

9 months ago aged 34 years old I was given the news that I had Ovarian Cancer.

Over a year earlier I hit the Michelle Bridges bandwagon and decided to get super fit and healthy.
30 kgs lighter and feeling fabulous I discovered a lump in my abdomen that I could not feel before.
A few trips to the doctor who suspected a hernia and a referral to a specialist reconstructive surgeon, who could fix it and my large abdominal wall separation, led me to have an MRI.

They found what they thought were Endometriomas and one of the worst cases of Endometriosis they'd seen.

So off to a Gynecologist and a routine procedure to 'clean up' the Endo. Whilst in surgery my ovaries were biopsied. Thank goodness they were.... Thankyou Dr Simona Fischer!

On top of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Endometriosis, I had Ovarian Cancer. Me? Really? I didn't have any symptoms. Or did I?

A week later I had a Radical Hysterectomy. I was so incredibly grateful for my two children and for having them when I was in my mid twenties. The lump in my abdomen turned out to be a tumor.

Next it was 18 weeks of chemo once a week in Adelaide. I was lucky enough to have access to the 'Cold Cap' meaning I didn't lose the hair on my head. Those who say 'your hair doesn't matter' you have no idea!  I just wanted to look as normal for my children as possible and to feel as normal as I could.

Last day of chemo and my balloon from chemo buddy and friend for life Kel!

Next I underwent another big operation.

ICU getting in to the ice chips!

And you thought you loved your children before!

Last week I finished my 20 sessions of radiotherapy.

I've had the most amazing doctors and medical staff around me at all times and I've had the most up to date treatment available.

I've met some of the most incredible people along the way and been truly inspired. I've become a much better person than I was before.

I would like to thank my husband Paul and my two boys Ollie and Tommy for their unconditional love and support over my treatment. I could not have done it without them. 

Last day of Radiotherapy

Also to my family and friends for their support and friendship. I know I've been a little cranky and precious at times and I appreciate your understanding and patience. The biggest thanks to all who looked after and out for my boys over the past 9 months.

What I don't know is if or when the cancer will return. I'm just getting on with my life.

Please take the time to learn the signs and symptoms of Ovarian Cancer. I had some of them but I had no idea! We desperately need a screening test developed so that early detection can save lives.

If you would like to donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund and support my team in the 2015 City to Bay please head over my fundraising page