Samixa is taking part in The Ovarian Cancer Walk with her husband to fundraise for us, and took time to tell us her story.
I was diagnosed with Grade 3, Stage 4 ovarian cancer in May 2012, a week before my son’s finals at university, after first presenting to my GP in October/November 2011. Even though I had suspected that I had ovarian cancer from the start, it was only confirmed after seven months of visiting the gynaecology, gastroenterology and haematology departments of my local hospital. As if that wasn’t enough, I had also started a new job in January 2012.
I was very fortunate that I could attend my son’s graduation on 30 June 2012 because I would not have missed that for anything. However our celebrations were dampened since we knew that I had to have chemotherapy and then possibly surgery starting in a few days’ time.
Once I was diagnosed, my husband, who is severely visually impaired, and I got busy planning how to manage every day affairs that I dealt with in case I was not well enough to deal with these. Fortunately, when our son came home after completing university, he was able to take over many of these responsibilities. In addition, we also got a lot of support from my parents, other family members and friends.
In the week that my son started his first proper job as a graduate, I had to go in for my surgery and I was petrified because I did not know what the surgeon would find once he opened me up. He had already warned me that if the cancer had spread to any other organs like the stomach, liver or spleen they may have to remove these organs.
It was a very stressful period for the whole family and I am very grateful that I recovered well from the surgery and have been in remission since my chemotherapy finished on in October 2012. I had to have Avastin for one year after that which finished in October 2013.
I believe that my being in remission three years on is due to the fact that I went to the GP very early and was diagnosed early enough for chemotherapy to be effective. In order to celebrate my three years of being in remission and two years of not having any intravenous drugs, my husband and I have decided to take part in The Ovarian Cancer Walk to raise funds for Target Ovarian Cancer, who do a grand job in raising the awareness of early detection to help more women with ovarian cancer live longer.