It is scarce to find someone who hasn’t been effected by Cancer, the statistics are now showing 1 in 2 people will be effected. I along with many have lost, but also in the presence of friends or should I say warriors, who survived this unrelenting disease. In April this year we had the news no one ever wants to hear, my mum Elaine was diagnosed with Cancer. It only feels like yesterday that I was just getting on the train back home from work that I called mum to see how her scan went. We both hadn’t said anything to each other prior, but we both had that gut wrenching feeling that we knew what it was. I held it together as she tried to insist that I should call when I got home, but eventually she said the words, ‘I have cancer’. Your heart sinks and your eyes bulge but instead of releasing you know you have to find that inner strength your Mum needs … So it is swallowed … Instead I ask her ‘What’s the plan!. To which she replied, ‘well we’re going to fight this Alien inside me’ . She had further tests to come on the Monday, but they had allowed her to head home for a GIN!
That weekend I was actually heading to Liverpool to teach, so a bit of fate that for a change, I could ‘easily’ go to see her and my dad. Monday came, Dad texted to say they’d got the results and I called them. She had been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer, we found out later that it was borderline stage 4 and she was offered a clinical trial.
Now there a quite a few cancers out there but one I had no real idea of was Ovarian. As you may remember from our Ovarian Cancer Awareness Day in salon (8th May) the statistics aren’t particularly great. There are currently no schemes to detect this type of cancer and it can be tricky to get a GP to test you, as I discovered, as this condition can be hereditary.
Ovarian Cancer detection is hard and even with these tests there still isn’t enough evidence to prove a change in the outcome. The main test is a blood test called CA125. It measures the protein CA 125 (cancer antigen 125) which can help to look for the early signs of Ovarian Cancer. However it’s not completely accurate because many noncancerous conditions can increase the CA 125 levels. The other is a full ultrasound scan to look for anything abnormal. If you do have a family history it would be good to get a BRCA test, this to check for the gene mutation BRCA1 and BRCA2. This gene is hereditary and can be passed on, luckily for me and my brother, that eventhough it’s something my grandparents may have had due to our family history, it’s not something my mum is carrying.
So to give you some good news, Mum’s CA125 at its highest was 3008, and it’s now sitting pretty at 8! She had her operation the beginning of October, which went so much better than her doctors had expected and she had her last main chemotherapy treatment just before Christmas. She has her next scan on Friday 3rd January and starts the next stage of the treatment (we think) a week later.
Now I am lucky enough to have had and still have, an amazing partner and a whole army of ladies behind me during this time, every single one of them at some point has either called, sent a text or even popped into the salon with lunch. Firstly they all have extremely busy lives so hearing and or seeing them is extremely humbling, but I want to thank you all, this year has been extremely tough, but having you all has made it so much more bearable, my love for you is infinite.
This is why for me Maggie’s is the perfect charity to support.
Not everyone has their own personal army and family members can be shy with giving their family information about their treatment (if your one of them, it really doesn’t help, we’d rather known, otherwise we’ll just google it! Don’t let us, it’s so much worst) Maggie’s is there to support everyone during every step.
At the Christie where Mum has been receiving her treatment the Maggie’s Centre has a beautiful garden which she’s enjoyed walking around, but they also offer Yoga Classes, Meditation Workshops, Makeup Classes and a friendly kitchen table to chat around… so much. We have two near us in London and there’s one being developed in Southampton.
A cure for Ovarian Cancer is obviously top of our agenda but this charity, Maggie’s touches more lives and hearts of clients, friends and families.
To my warriors Gemma, Melissa and my mum Elaine, you truly are an inspiration.
To my friends Jess, Zoe and Trudy there’s always a shoulder and an ‘army’ here if you need it!
Cancer may have started the fight but together we will finished it, I just hope this year’s Blue X Sale goes a little way to helping.
Thank you for reading,