On 2 January last year, I was given the news that would change my life for ever. My nine-hour operation to remove a tumour the size of a grapefruit in my abdomen had been cut short, because the tumour was larger than expected and the surgeon had realised that a full hysterectomy would be necessary. Feeling groggy and sore, I looked squarely at my surgeon and asked him three questions: is it cancer? Will I lose my hair? Have you caught it early? His answers – yes, yes and no – set me on a path I could never have imagined.
三级成人视频I was two years out of uni, working in property in London five days a week and partying four nights a week. But niggling tummy pains had been bothering me for months and, after eight visits to the doctor and a false diagnosis of IBS, I eventually went to A&E, desperate for some relief and peace of mind.
When they first detected the tumour, I was determined to stay positive, but on hearing that I had stage 3 ovarian cancer and would need a full hysterectomy, I broke down. I later learned I was the youngest ever person to be diagnosed with that stage in the UK. It was an unbearably hard pill to swallow for a girl who has always carried round a list of future children’s names in the back of her diary.
A week later, I had a second operation, during which my incredible surgeon removed the tumour, my ovaries and all other visible signs of cancer that had spread up to my diaphragm and around my liver. Sadly, the cancer had also spread through to my bowel and I was fitted with a permanent colostomy bag. Coming round and feeling that bag on the side of my body was incredibly upsetting, and at that point, instead of hoping I wouldn’t die, I started thinking I wanted to. Recovery was incredibly hard. For the first few days, I just stared at the wall, struggling to process what was happening. Lying in the dark at night, I could barely imagine surviving chemotherapy, let alone living with a colostomy bag and never having children.
Fortunately, I had the most incredible support system of friends, family, doctors and nurses. My mum, and my three best friends, Ida, Alex and Missy, have been with me throughout. Recently, I saw a photo of myself in intensive care that I have no memory of, but my all-girl team is there, holding my hands, smiling and laughing. Some would say it’s silly, but I feel so guilty for what I put them through. I didn’t want my mum to see her little girl breaking, so I tried my best to stay strong for her sake, as much as myself.
Before my chemotherapy treatment began, I made the decision to shave my head as a way of asserting control over what was about to happen. But it was still a devastating blow; with no hair, I suddenly looked like a cancer patient. The Little Princess Trust, a charity that supplies wigs for young cancer patients, gave me a beautiful wig, and people would compliment my glossy, blonde locks, not knowing my hair was very much a sticking plaster, my broken body hidden beneath it.
三级成人视频I finished chemo last June and celebrated my 24th birthday the week after, partying until 6am as if nothing had changed. Since then, I’ve been given the all-clear, but I still crave my old, pre-diagnosis life so desperately. In some ways I’m the same Emily – addicted to sausage rolls and partying until the early hours – and yet my body, my mind and my life have completely changed. Every time I see a baby it is like a knife to my heart.
My greatest fear is that if the cancer comes back, I won’t be strong enough to get through it again. All I can tell myself is that I’ve done it before and I can do it again, especially with my army of friends beside me. For now, I’m just hoping I don’t have to try.
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As told to Charlie Newman