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Danielle's Story

Danielle's family visited Ben's Retreat in February 2024.

Initially it all started back in 2021 when I had been complaining for years about having pains in my lower abdomen.
Eventually I was sent for scans end of October of 2021 were they found a cyst that was deemed large but they weren’t going to do anything due to me being petite.
So I carried on complaining about my pain to all healthcare professionals and they were all aso made aware that cancer has been in my family in every generation.
Fast forward to end of 2022 I was really struggling to keep a load of symptoms under control and I had a lump that wasn’t going away.
I went to my doctors and they sent me for scans but was told it was most likely IBS related, however, a month later I went back and told them my stomach had grown more and it was getting harder to do regular day to day things.
By this point my lump was very prominent and was just growing increasingly fast, so I was sent for urgent scans.
By this point it was mid February 2023 when I went in for my scans, after a couple of hours of scans and questions I was sent straight to A&E, when I got there I was put into majors where I had catheter fitted and yet more scans to determine what exactly they were seeing on screen.
Later that day I was told that I had been referred to St Michaels oncology unit under the suspicion of cancer but not to worry as only 3% of the people they refer are diagnosed with cancer.
Within that time, I had further CT, MRI, ultrasounds, transvaginal scans so that my surgeon could have a better image as to how my operation would be done.
Fast forward to May 2023, I was booked in for my operation a week after my birthday. It all went well in terms of no complications, they removed just under 2litres of fluid and some other bits. I was told that they would be in touch in 4 weeks with results but if I received a call before then, that unfortunately news wouldn’t be good.
12 days after my operation, I was called into hospital where I was given the news that the cystic mass was confirmed to be a tumor and was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer (only 2/3% get diagnosed every year) I was also booked in for another surgery in 4 weeks time (end of June 2023) in order
Again that surgery went well and that I would see them in 2 weeks time to see how I am recuperating. During that time my wounds had gotten infected, was back in hospital to sort it out.
Mid July, I saw my surgeon and they said no cancer was found in my last surgery but I was advised to do chemotherapy to wipe out any cells that had escaped in my first surgery and due to my family history.
On the same day, I had signed the papers to do 6 rounds of intense chemotherapy and was sent to fertility clinic in order to preserve any remaining fertility I had left. However to bear in mind that my type of cancer didn’t response well to chemotherapy and if it was to ever come back in future that unfortunately I would die.
At the start of August 2023 I began hormone therapy and chemotherapy, where I lost all my hair and was put in a premenopausal state.
Before my hair fell out, I decided to cut it really short and donate all 24 inches to princess trust so that another person could find happiness within dark times.
I finished chemotherapy at the end of November 2023 and was told I was in remission in December 2023 just before Christmas.

I am please that I’m in remission and that I just have to deal with the long term side effects :)

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