ITW n°26: Mel - K fighter.
Ex K fighter of the Ovary, a "sister" of this damn K...
Like me, you experienced the war of ovarian K, thank you for telling us your story today, because I read how long it took you to accept being able to break the “taboo”… Because Ovarian Cancer it's a hell of a bitch, like all Cancers, but knowingly, having it before the age of 30 is really a twist of fate knowing that it “normally” only affects women who are much more mature, and the very numerous physical mutilations that it causes are very heavy to accept… Thank you Mel for sharing your story…
Let's get started:
Who are you ?
First name: Mel
Age: 31 years old
Profession: Customer relations manager
Where do you live: London
Why do you decide to share your story & tips today?
I decided to talk about it because until today I always hid from it and it is time for me to share a part of my story so that ovarian cancer in young women is no longer a problem. taboo.
What are your main qualities?
What are your passions ?
Travel and photography
Can you summarize your (K fighter) story for us?
In March 2013, when I was 29, I started to notice that my stomach was gradually swelling while I was losing weight in the rest of my body. In addition, I started to have irregular periods... I didn't immediately worry, thinking that the human body was not perfect and that whatever it was, it would pass... The word cancer didn't even cross my mind mind given my young age and also due to the fact that there is no history of cancer in my family.
In April 2013, my stomach continued to swell and I decided to see a GP. What followed were examinations that seemed endless to me (blood test, ultrasound, scan) when I was told that I needed emergency surgery because a tumor was present on my right ovary and that a Biopsy of the mass would be performed once removed to find out if it was benign or malignant. In May 2013, I had surgery for the first time and the surgeon removed the tumor and my right ovary. I stayed in the hospital for a week. I must admit that I was rather calm in the days/weeks that followed and was convinced that these bad times were behind me. However, 3 weeks later, the results came back: malignant tumor and my file transferred to the cancer institute. Such a big shock for my family and myself... but a series of new exams happened so quickly that we didn't have time to realize what was happening.
And on July 16, 2013, I met my oncologist for the first time (a confusing word for a 29-year-old girl) who was great despite the announcement: aggressive ovarian cancer at an advanced stage. As a result, it was not possible to carry out an egg retrieval as I had fluid in my abdomen. I didn't shed a single tear that day, or even the days that followed. I wanted to protect my family from the pain of seeing myself devastated... The following week, after a catheter was installed in me (which I still have today), I started chemotherapy which lasted until 'at the end of September.
And in October 2013, my oncologist told me that they had to operate on me again because I still had liver damage. On November 13, 2013, a bigger operation than the first awaited me in that I had my gallbladder removed, part of my colon, and above all a hysterectomy... what a shock when I woke up to learn that my dreams of becoming a mother one day were gone with my illness… Since that day I have been in remission from my cancer.
What tips directly related to K do you want to share (your feeling with the doctor, your good plans for organizing treatment, anything that seems useful to you ;))?1/ chemo: how did you live the day before, the same day, the days after?
and what were your tips?
From an aesthetic point of view, I wouldn't have too many good tips to give knowing that my hair fell out during chemotherapy, it was inevitable for me. As for scars, I don't have any advice to give either, knowing that my skin marks a lot and none of it has really been helpful.
On the other hand, what was very important for me was to moisturize my skin several times a day which had become very dry during the treatments.
My oncologist, the nurses and the caregivers have always been so professional and human! A big thank-you!
I consulted a psychologist a year after the end of my treatments. I can only recommend it, it did me so much good to talk about my life during and after the illness so freely and without shame.
3/ alternative medicine:
What did you do to clear your mind/clear your head (before chemo, surgery & co)?
My way of relaxing and taking my mind off things during my cancer was to read, watch series and films.
How did your loved ones support you?
My loved ones were all great but especially my Mom who accompanied me every moment of my illness towards recovery without whom I don't know how I would have managed to endure all these operations and the side effects of the treatments.
And what advice could you give to loved ones who accompany a K fighter?
In my case, I appreciated that I wasn't bombarded with questions.
What has the K changed in your life...?
(for example: your vision of the world, your priorities, your essentials, refocusing those around you, in your work, your philosophy..?)
Even though I have always been a big traveler, I jump at every opportunity offered to me to travel to countries I have always dreamed of going to: Brazil and the United States this year and many more to come . My life is ahead of me…
Free field ;)
tell us what you want (which may not have been in my questions):
I wish lots of courage to all people of all ages who are facing the disease.
Thanks again Mel :)
Opportunity to remind ourselves that September is ovarian cancer awareness month!
Unfortunately in France we talk about it too little... While awareness in the United States & Canada is massive... Let's take over in our turn!
The color against Ovarian Cancer is turquoise :)
Lots of sweet positive thoughts
See you soon