Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Living WITH Ovarian Cancer

Recently it was the 3 year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. I celebrated with a beautiful dinner out with my husband Paul.

It was a moment of celebration and also reflection of the incredibly hard times we have all been through as a family, but have managed to get through as well as we can.

I've also stopped chemo for a while. Its a very strange feeling.....
I went in for my routine scans during maintenance chemo and then in to my meeting with my oncologist, where she said after 20 months of clear scans it was time to stop chemo for three months and see what happens. She never thought we would be at this point and neither did I.

I was elated! I was so over chemo!!!! I know I had to have it but I really was completely worn out physically and emotionally after 2 years straight of monthly chemo treatments.

I remained on the hormone blocker so was still on some treatment, but the side effects are nothing compared to pumping chemical into your body every month.

I've enjoyed the last three months without chemo immensely and when it came time to have my next scan I had totally prepared myself to be going back in for chemo and for my cancer to have relapsed.

The scan was clear!

I was happy to hear this but I'm not sure I was emotionally prepared for this. I didn't leave the room fist pumping. It's very hard to explain to someone who hasn't been through this.

Paul was quite cross with me. Why didn't I appear happier?

The thing is Ovarian Cancer is not curable. I have another scan in three months time and that is always hanging over your head. My cancer will return it is just a matter of when.

Life with chemo was somewhat altered for me so that I avoided risky situations of infection and had time to recover. Don't get me wrong, I'm extremely grateful every day to be alive!!

So where to now? Its like I'm in limbo. Living life but not quite to the fullest.......

In Australia one woman dies every ten hours from ovarian cancer.
The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation is working hard to support finding a cure and developing an early detection test for ovarian cancer. To find out more visit the OCRF.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017


What is Frocktober?

Throughout October, the Frocktober campaign invites women to band together and wear their favourite dresses while raising funds for the OCRF.
For a day, a week or the whole month, something as simple as the clothes we put on our back has the potential to start important conversations, raising awareness of the lack of early detection method, of women’s experiences, and of how we as a community can do more to support ovarian cancer research.

Why should I frock up?

Frocktober empowers women of all backgrounds, lifestyles and fabulous fashion senses to support a common cause: ovarian cancer research. It’s a chance to connect with like-minded women, share personal experiences, and play a pivotal role in the journey towards an early detection test for ovarian cancer.'

How do I get involved?

Frocktober is all about participation, in whichever form that may take.
Dedicated supporters might curate a month-long Frocktober wardrobe, uploading a snap of themselves in a different dress each day to their social channels. Others may choose to gather a group of friends to frock up and attend a single event. 

So what am I doing to support Frocktober?

After the success of the Adelaide Silver Style Cocktail Party 2016, I decided it would be a good idea to run another Adelaide Silver Style event.

To mix things up a bit I'm holding a fundraising lunch inline with the Frocktober Campaign.

Planning of the Adelaide Silver Style Frocktober Friday Lunch in support of the OCRF is in full swing!

I've assembled the best of the best in Adelaide.

Adelaide Silver Style Frocktober Friday Lunch
Date- 27th October 12pm till 3pm
Venue- Stone's Throw - recent winner of Best New Restaurant - Metro  Restaurant & Catering 
Guest Speakers - Lucinda Nolan CEO OCRF and Georgia Arentz OCRF Researcher
Fashion Showcase & Illustration by Petar Prodonovic

Huge thanks to major sponsors Adelaide Obstetrics and Fertility and Abbott Pathology for once again supporting the Adelaide Silver Style.

For more info head to

For more info about hosting your own event head to

Saturday, May 6, 2017


Photo via Witchery

I recently had the honour of speaking at the Witchery White Shirt Campaign Launch at the Roslyn Packer Theatre.

The campaign is a fashion based initiative by Witchery in support if the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation

Photo via Witchery

The event was attended by the 2017 campaign ambassadors including Megan Irwin, Tahnee, Atkinson, Annabella Barber and Zoe Cross. Along with Australia's top media Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, , Elle, Marie Claire, Instyle, Sunday Life and style influers Yan Yan Chan, Nadia Fairfax, Nathan Joliffe and Kaitlyn Ham, as well as many others including members of the Witchery and OCRF teams.

With Lisa from the OCRF photo via Witchery

I share my speech with you here....

Firstly massive thanks to the OCRF and Witchery for having me here to share my story today. The more we hear real stories from patients and survivors the greater the awareness will be.

I’m Letitia Linke 37 wife to Paul, and mum to Ollie 11 and Tommy 10. I live on a farming property 2 hrs from Adelaide.

In 2013 I went on a health kick and lost a large amount of weight through diet and exercise.

I felt some pain in my abdominal wall and felt a lump.

 I went to two GPs who suspected I had a hernia and referred me to a reconstructive surgeon.

This surgeon sent me off for an MRI in which they noticed some unusual tissue, at this time they thought  it to be endometriomas.

I was then referred to Gynaecologist who booked me in for a cleanup operation, on one of the worst cases of endometriosis she had ever seen.

Whilst in surgery she biopsied my ovaries.

A few days later I had a call from her to discuss my results.
I received the news that they had found ovarian cancer cells. I was aged 34.

A few days later I underwent a radical hysterectomy.
At this point I felt extremely grateful for having had my two boys at a young age.

During this surgery they removed the abdominal lumps I had felt. These turned out to be cancerous tumours.

What followed was 18 weeks of chemotherapy once a week in Adelaide.
Then another operation to remove yet another tumour.
5 weeks of 5 day a week radiotherapy in Adelaide. Then another operation to fix part of my bowel which had been obstructed by the cancer.

During this operation my doctor noticed some spots on my abdominal wall....

My cancer had relapsed.

I wasn’t surprised. I’d seen it happen to other patients and the percentage of relapse in Ovarian Cancer Patients is extremely high.

I then started another 6 months of monthly chemotherapy.

I am now still on maintenance chemotherapy once a month. My latest scans are good but I know that this can change at any time.
It’s chemo once a month and life as normal the rest of the time.
I feel extremely lucky that my cancer was found early enough to treat. Not everybody is so lucky.

There is a huge need for an early detection test for Ovarian Cancer. Pap smears do NOT detect it despite 50% of our population believing incorrectly that it does.
Before I was diagnosed I knew nothing about Ovarian Cancer.

The work I have been doing in my role as community ambassador for the OCRF has been both rewarding personally and a great positive focus to have whilst undergoing treatment.

The White Shirt Campaign has helped hugely to raise the profile of Ovarian Cancer Research in Australia whilst also raising the vital funds needed to develop an early detection test and more targeted successful treatments.

My heartfelt thanks to Witchery and the OCRF for their support of Ovarian Cancer Research.

During the WHITE SHIRT CAMPAIGN I will be wearing my white shirt proudly because until 3 years ago aged 34 diagnosed with ovarian cancer I had no idea of the signs and symptoms. I would like to raise awareness for this horrible disease, educate women to know their bodies and help fund research for an early detection test. 

I will also wear it for my friends from the chemo room who have sadly lost their battle.... let’s all do our very best to help others win theirs!

You can get your white shirt here !

With my bestie Sally photo via Witchery