Name: Jenny Harland
Date of diagnosis: February 2019
Age at diagnosis: 34
I am: A sociable and outgoing young woman who loves to sing, swim, cook and share delicious food. I’m an animal lover and spend much of my free time volunteering at animal shelters both here in NZ and overseas. I love to travel and believe that friendship and family are the most important things in life. I’m a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter and an aunty and one day I hope to run a hectic household filled with children and chaos.
The cancer was found when: I was undergoing fertility treatment. We’d been trying to get pregnant for 2 years with no luck. I’d been back and forth to the doctors for over a year with abdominal pain and in the end they diagnosed me with suspected endometriosis. The keyhole surgery was supposed to diagnose and remove it, so I’d have more success getting pregnant. Of course once they went in to have a look they didn’t find endo, they found cancer. Chemotherapy has made me infertile now so I can’t have my own children it wasn’t possible to harvest any eggs without risking further spread of the disease.
How your donations would impact me:
I have stage 4 cancer that has spread to my lymph nodes. I can’t have surgery now, it’s too risky and the procedure would be huge. Low grade serous carcinoma is resistant to chemotherapy which doesn’t leave me many treatment options. For now we only hope to keep the cancer at bay but I need a cure, I need more time. Time to marry my boyfriend, time to somehow start a family, time to outlive my dog Pickle and time to see more of this wonderful world.
What I would say to someone else going through this: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You didn’t cause this and you can’t be expected to fix it all on your own. You’re going to get lots of advice from well-meaning people about diet and lifestyle but you need to follow your intuition and listen to your body, you are unique and there is no one size fits all approach.