When you’re young, you take your health for granted. Then suddenly, one day, you get a wakeup call and you begin to realise just how important your health is.
When I was 17 I developed a large ovarian cyst and within it was an ovarian tumour or rather stage IA adenocarcinoma. The cyst itself weighed 3.7kg and because the cyst was encompassing an ovary, my right ovary had to be removed.
Looking back, there were signs, such as abdominal bloating, changes to my appetite, more frequent urges to urinate and increased tiredness / low energy. But like many girls at 17 who were sitting their A Levels, I didn't pay too much attention to the symptoms and I just passed it off as the result of exam stress.
Knowing what I know now, I realise I should have paid attention to those symptoms and should have seen my GP sooner, like when my stomach first started growing.
The trouble is when I was 17 there was not much in the news or media about Ovarian Cancer and to be honest I never suspected for second that I could possibly have cancer.
I am so grateful that the tumour was caught early and that thankfully only one of my ovaries had to be removed. I am also grateful that I didn't need chemotherapy and that it was stage 1.
Through taking part in Shine Night Walk, I hope to raise awareness about Ovarian Cancer especially in young women.
I hope to make more women realise that - Ovarian Cancer is NOT a silent killer - there are symptoms and there are most definitely are signs which you should be aware of. Don't ignore what your body is telling you. Get it checked out as soon as you notice a change.
Please therefore dig deep as donations of any size will be greatly appreciated! Let's raise awareness and raise some funds for this worthwhile cause!!