This week I was told I am in remisison!
In January 2016 I was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.
Due to the cancer spreading into my chest cavity and sitting on my right lung (confirmed by a horrendous biopsy!) I was told that my cancer may be inoperable.
A decision about whether or not I could have an operation was to be made following my first two chemotherapy treatments.
I started chemotherapy two weeks later.
At this time I was unable to walk around the block without collapsing; I was so weak from pain, abdominal fluid and the stress my cancer was putting my frail body under.
So, in support of my cancer treatment (which I know would only make me weaker) I also started to make many lifestyle changes:-
- Daily Himalayan salt baths
- Daily exercise
- Signed off work
- Reduced/illuminated stress
- Daily meditation
- In nature daily
- No sugar
- No dairy
- Minimal meat
- 8-10 veg a day
- Only drinking water
- No processed food
- No alcohol
- Natural makeup
- Coconut oil as makeup remover
- Coconut oil as moisturiser
- Drinking at least 2ltrs per day
- Vegetables at every meal
- Started seeing a therapist
- Took control of my health and situation
- Accepted my diagnosis
- Had a veg juice every day
- Daily yoga
- Built up my strength until I was able to walk 2-3 miles daily
- Min 2 hours outdoors each day
- Made all food from scratch – including my cereal
- Daily homemade ginger juice
Within a month I started to feel much stronger, despite the side affects of my cancer treatment (which is brutal!)
I benefited from:
- Better sleep
- Better skin
- No bloating
- No pain – stopping pain relief
After two rounds of chemotherapy I was given a second scan. This showed that there was no longer cancer on my lung or in my chest cavity and I was approved for radical, major surgery.
I had a third round of chemotherapy before my operation in May 2016.
My operation took over 11 hours to complete, during which time they removed:
- my cervix
- my womb
- my ovaries
- my right fallopian tube (I only had one prior to surgery due to a previous operation)
- my omentum
- my appendix
- my spleen
- part of my colon (resulting in a colostomy bag)
- part of my liver
- part of my diaphragm
- part of my pancreas
I spent some time in a high dependency ward, followed by four weeks in a surgical ward.
Three days following my discharge home I was readmitted by ambulance due to an infection behind my liver.
I spent an additional two weeks in hospital.
This was the lowest point of my journey, seeing me receive multiple daily blood tests, drips and treatment. I was unable to eat properly and as a result I was growing weaker and more frail. I was also no longer in control of my health and unable to do any of the activities listed above. My oncologist and medical team recognised this and worked flawlessly together to get me discharged as soon as possible.
Despite several further hospital admissions, within four weeks of being at home I was no longer on any pain relief. I put this down to the alternative activities above and my holistic approach to my health care.
Following this episode I have received three further doses of chemotherapy. This has brought me to the ‘end of my treatment ‘ and with it my end of treatment scan.
I am absolutely thrilled to say that yesterday my oncologist told me that my scan shows that my treatment to date has put my cancer into remission.
I am also extremely grateful that my oncologist took the time to show me all of my scans to date, allowing me to see my cancer and its affects on my body in January as well as my cancer free (and organ depleted) body as it is today. This was fascinating and offered me so much peace of mind.
I am more than aware that there is every chance that my cancer will relapse. My oncologist is very open with me which makes things a lot easier to deal with. However, I’m a strong believer in living for the moment and in this moment I am cancer free and loving my life!
I’ll not be giving the possibility of a relapse a second thought as all this serves to do is take the joy from today! This reminds me of my favourite quote from the founder of Maggies:
Don’t loose the joy of living in the fear of dying
Today I can say I am free from cancer
Today I can say I am in remission
Today I can say I had cancer
And what is more important than today?…
I, of course, will continue to have a holistic approach to my healthcare.
I will continue to focus on my physical, emotional and spiritual health.
I will continue to blog as my journey is still ongoing (I am still receiving formal medical treatment and support)
I will continue with my random acts of kindness.
Today I am happy and wish happiness on everyone else.