Sarah Nicholson of Newcastle upon Tyne, England, was diagnosed with Stage 3A2 low-grade serous carcinoma in 2018 at the age of 25.
She had noticed a change in bowel habits, weight loss, fatigue and bloating. She saw her GP numerous times and was prescribed laxatives, given a new contraceptive pill and advised to keep a food diary to see if she might be intolerant to certain foods.
For the next four months, she attributed the ongoing symptoms to other, less serious causes. When it appeared that she had cancer, at first it was a relief to have an answer, but “at the same time my entire world crumbled around me and I was terrified about dying so young.”
Exploratory surgery showed a large tumour and results from biopsy came back borderline.
She then underwent a full hysterectomy and abdominal debulking. Thirty-seven pelvic lymph nodes were removed. One tumour was 10 pounds and another 4 pounds.
She had 18 weeks of chemotherapy, one session every three weeks.
“Life isn’t what it was,” she said. “Each day is filled with fear at the back of my mind. I’m more grateful for things. I say yes to more opportunities and experiences now as I’m aware the cancer may come back. I’m more resilient and patient than before. You don’t know how strong you are until you need to be strong. I’m not able to do lots of the things I previously could, I have advanced osteoporosis and I’m menopausal.”
She says that since she is unable to have children, she aims to be “the number one auntie to my beautiful nieces. The most important thing in life is happiness. Life is better when you are happy.”