Julia ~ My Ovarian Cancer Story

29 Oct 2021

My journey started with irregular periods in March 2020. However, I didn't think much of it, and due to COVID and work I didn't see a doctor until September 2020.

My GP sent me for an ultrasound where they found a 2.7-centimetre cyst in my left ovary. Due to my age (34), and no other symptoms, my GP said to monitor and come back in six months.

Luckily, I went back in four months instead for another ultrasound, which showed my cyst had grown to five centimetres. My GP referred me to a gynaecologist where there was a one month wait. During that time, we had another ultrasound, which showed the cyst had grown to seven centimetres and my CA125 marker came back at 45.

I saw the gynaecologist at the beginning of March to remove the left ovary. He didn't think it would be cancer due to my age and instead thought it could be endometrioma, but he didn't like the shadow in the ultrasound. Surgery occurred two weeks later, and my cyst was 12 centimetres.  

My gynaecologist called me two weeks after surgery to ask me to come into his office as the biopsy results were returned. They showed it was High Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer. I was told my left ovary was also ruptured during surgery, so cancer cells have leaked. 

I was referred to a medical oncologist who saw me the next day and ran PET test and more blood tests. A second surgery for a radical hysterectomy was arranged with an oncologist surgeon and I was diagnosed with high grade stage 1. I have since completed six rounds of chemotherapy and my CA125 marker has dropped to 18.

  • Did you have a gene mutation test? Yes, for BRCA but it came back negative
  • What advice would you give to other women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer? Stay away from Google and go straight to the Pink Hope website. You need to surround yourself with people in a similar situation to help you mentally.
  • How did you find Pink Hope? After my diagnosis I felt really alone. I didn’t know anyone else who had ovarian cancer, let alone anyone as young as me. I came across Pink Hope via Google and I’m so glad it did as I’m now part of the Facebook groups and feel like I have a great support system.