Family, Love and Cancer

Name: Lisa Avery

Age at diagnosis: 42

Country: Melbourne Australia and Bristol UK

I am: A wife to my best friend Ricki and mum to two beautiful adult children Alannah and Harry. I am also a daughter, granddaughter, sister, auntie and friend.

In 2014 we made the hard but exciting decision to move from Bristol in the UK to Melbourne. It was hard as we are extremely close to our families but once in a lifetime chances only happen once in a lifetime! It took a couple of years to settle but we soon fell in love with Australia. The beaches, the birds and of course the beer! (Ricki and Harry now drink pots not pints!)

The cancer was found when:
I had been having various symptoms for a couple of years including irregular bowel movements, shoulder pain, extreme tiredness, numbness in left leg after walking a distance and random sickness. I finally went to the doctor when a pain in my right side just wouldn’t go away. Luckily my doctor took me serious and sent me straight away for a scan and from that day on my life became a roller coaster of emotions.

Within a couple of weeks I had undergone the usual hysterectomy and removal of omentum and debulking surgery. I spent just under a week in hospital and was glad to get home to my family. My lovely mum had flown over from the UK and took over the house….that was a massive help, she is a top notch cook too!

I was recommend a course of 6 chemo treatments. Carbo/Taxol. I had my port placed and during my first infusion I had the dreaded allergic reaction. I decided to stop the chemo. As low grade is mostly chemo resistant I made the decision to move straight onto hormone blockers. So that’s where I am right now, taking letrozole. It’s fairly tolerable though. It does cause some joint pain which is a constant reminder of why I am on this medication but if it’s helping keep the cancer away then it’s worth it!

How your donations would impact me:
Ovarian cancer has a very high chance of recurring. Low grade serous carcinoma has 85% chance. Can you imagine living with this knowledge every day like so many of us women with this disease do. By raising money we can make it possible for new clinical trials and fresh hope for the future….for our future.