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


Jane said...

Oh Letitia! You darling girl. What good fortune to have caught it in time. Sending you love and light from Hobart J x

Simone - honeyandfizz said...

I had been wondering what you had been up to but never imagined this! Sending you love and healthy vibes xxx

Sharon Baysidecottage said...

So very sad to hear this, thank you for sharing. I have very similar symptoms and I'm booked in for day surgery, including biopsy next Monday. I am scared of the outcome. Sending you healing vibes xx

Teresa said...

Oh my goodness... I just thought you were quiet because you were busy.... Thank goodness you caught it early and you are okay xx

Dream House Trish said...

Oh my goodness Letitia, I just figured you had been super busy. So glad you caught this silent disease early. Sending cyber hugs. Xo

Brown Button Trading said...

Darling Girl - You are the poster girl to blow that myth that 'but that happens to other people'. - Words can't express how i've admired you from afar while going through this - and YOU, apologising to ME for not catching up when you were in town for radio - seriously!!!

What a woman, and what an incredibly important day to share your story. Well done. I don't think we know or do enough in the area of awareness, prevention, cure of whatever you want to call it for Ovarian Cancer.

Happy and healthy days ahead bella xxx

penny barns said...

My jaw is wide open!
Good on your for sharing.
Crazy how our life can be changed in one moment.
You are so beautiful and I love your blog.
Sending love to you x

Sam said...

So glad you are ok, sending you

Anne-Maree Russell said...

Oh Letitia! Your journey has brought tears to my eyes. You are a warrior and a true inspiration. Stay well and stay strong. A-M xx

Anonymous said...

I am so shocked to hear this. I've been absent from the blog world for so long, and then to pop on and see this breaks my heart.
It sounds like you really have been through the wars. My hubby is a surgeon and he said it looks like they threw everything at you, so I'm so happy to hear you had an amazing team around you.
You and your family will be in my prayers tonight.
Thank you for sharing your story.
K (The (ex) Blog a House Built)

Kerri - Driftwood Interiors said...

Oh Letitia, so sorry to hear you've had such a rough time lately. I had a scare a few years ago, and while I'm very lucky to have had a benign tumour, it's a frightening experience and I can only imagine what you've been through. Hope you're on the mend now but your positive attitude is fantastic and I'm sure that'll go a long way to help you in your recovery. xx Kerri

Ocean Props said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Seo Sea said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
patio garden furniture said...

I love your blog! You are a warrior! You are so beautiful. It's crazy how our life can be changed in one moment. Thanks for sharing! You are an inspiration!

Anonymous said...

Good site.

Tash Bell said...

Wow, I'm so glad it was found early for you by the sounds of it. I lost my mum (from Price!) to ovarian cancer years ago so I have ultrasounds every 2 yrs to be sure 9totally paranoid!)
You're a fantastic face to such a misunderstood disease.
Wishing you a very long healthy future x

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