Today, 14 March, is exactly one year since I first went to my GP with unusual abdominal discomfort , only to be told "it could be something; it could be nothing". Well, we all know it WAS something...
So, one year on, it's time for an update and I am have some unexpected news to share:
Following a routine three-month blood test and scan, it has been confirmed that there is small sliver of cancer cells which appear not to have been nuked by the first round of chemotherapy. They were probably too small to show up on the scan in December, when I was classed as No Evidence of Disease (NED).
However, last week my CA125 blood level was slightly raised (42, just outside the normal range of 0-35) and a subsequent CT scan revealed the rogue cancer cells.
This is not a new enemy but the old villain who had been clearly lying in wait for an inopportune moment to strike. Ironic it should choose to rear its ugly head during Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month!
So, I am faced with the prospect of a second round of chemotherapy - a different cocktail and a kinder regime - four cycles, once a week for two weeks, then two weeks off, starting on 3 April, then beginning of May, June and July.
I have some trips planned at the end of April and May and the treatment is being worked around these because I am buggered if I am cancelling holidays again. This time, it's on MY terms!
Obviously I am disappointed to be having treatment again so soon and I am having to face the very real fact that I am now classed as having a chronic condition for which I will have to take drugs, in the same way as someone with heart disease takes beta blockers or a diabetic person is insulin dependent.
Once this round of chemo is complete, I will then progress onto PARP inhibitors, which are an excellent drug for people who carry the gene mutation, BRCA1 - because in the intervening period, I have also had this status confirmed.