When Glynis went to her GP complaining of bloating he quickly sent her for a CA125 blood test. She had no idea his quick thinking would end up saving her life…
I lost my husband three years ago to cancer. When he was sick he looked so ill, so when I got ill and looked so well, I couldn’t believe I was going to die. I try not to think of what could happen, I try to be very positive about it. I’m determined to live with this disease and now I have been given time.
It all started when I began experiencing slight swelling in my tummy. I’m a coeliac so I was used to having some bloating in my tummy, but it would normally go away quite quickly.
I went to the doctor and asked if I could be allergic to something else. He said I looked fine but he would send me for blood tests. At the time I didn’t know what blood tests I’d had, but later I discovered I’d been sent for a CA125. I got a call that afternoon from a different doctor at the surgery who asked me about my symptoms and confirmed to me that my CA125 was over 1,000. He asked me to come in the following morning and informed me that it could be ovarian cancer. It was the first time I’d heard of the idea. I thought they were joking.
The day after I had the CA125 test, I was referred for an ultrasound scan and a meeting with the gynaecologist. The scan showed widespread cancer.
Although I was told that I needed an operation within the next week, I ended up waiting longer because there was no space for them to operate. This really worried and scared me. Eventually I had the surgery – a hysterectomy – followed by three months of chemotherapy.
Mind over matter
Ovarian cancer is the deadliest form of gynae cancer. Apart from the bloating, I had no signs at all, so the doctor who gave me the CA125 test saved my life.
If I’d heard about it before my diagnosis, I could have had the blood test much sooner. Women should be offered screening for this disease because finding it earlier means you have better chances. It’s important for me to raise awareness so that we can make that happen. I want to tell everyone about the symptoms and the CA125 test.
I do have my down days, but I try to pull through. Sometimes it’s mind over matter. Some people, as soon as they hear the word ‘cancer’, they think it’s the end. I want people to know it doesn’t have to be.