‘IT IS AN EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER’
I remember the day I found out that I carried the BRCA 1 gene mutation.
I didn’t know what to think or how to feel. What I was sure about was that I needed to be proactive and start having surveillance. I had my ovaries checked once before I was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer at the age of 27. I had six cycles of chemotherapy and radical debulking surgery. In November 2016, I found out that I was in remission.
I am now at the Marsden every three weeks to have Avastin (an IV maintenance drug).
When I reflect on everything that has happened over the last six months, and think about the journey I am still going on, there is no doubt it has a huge impact on my family and friends.
My friend explained this well in an article she wrote for the blog I started when I was diagnosed in June 2016. She wrote: “It is an emotional rollercoaster, not just for Laura but for all those who love her.”
The support I have, and continue to have, from family and friends is incredible. They helped me with physical things I could not do after my surgery, they eat healthy food with me, do physiotherapy exercises with me or just sit and laugh with me.
It is so helpful having family and friends sending me texts to make me smile and continue to push forward, or just reminding me that I’m in their prayers. Chai Cancer Care came into my life just before I had my surgery, which was an anxious time for me. After an initial meeting, Chai just seemed to know what I needed. They arranged for me to have a massage and speak to one of their incredible counsellors before my surgery. On the day of my surgery they called me to let me know they were thinking of me.
After I was discharged from hospital, they organised for me to work with their great physiotherapists, to see the counsellor and to have treatments. This is something that I continue to do.
I think about my cancer journey as boxing matches. I won the first match because I am in remission, and Chai was a very important team member. I have now started my second match. The aim is to hold my position as champion and once again Chai is there for both me and my family.
They are there to celebrate with me, help me deal with tricky times, help me manage my fears about my health, and help me get back to the things that define me as Laura Moses.