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In July 2012, at the age of 38, I was given the devastating news that I had advanced ovarian cancer. This is my blog and the story of my fight to regain my health. I hope to share with you things that I've found helpful along my journey and keep you posted on my progress.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Chemo ‘Hiss’, Wedding Bliss

Hi everybody,

Sorry it’s been a while since I updated you. Here’s what’s been happening.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I recently went to see a practitioner in Cardiff who uses techniques from Brandon Bays’ well known book, “The Journey”.  I had 3 sessions in total over 3 days.   I found the whole experience quite emotional but it did help me to come to some realisations and I’m very pleased that I did it.  Even though I didn't have a massive breakthrough, I'm happy with what I've got out of it. Thanks to these sessions I had couple of blissful days where I felt only gratitude and love during the whole day.  It was absolutely amazing and unforgettable.

I have also been to Germany to try an immunotherapy treatment called immunepheresis. I was there for three weeks. Although the clinic has had a lot of success with this treatment, unfortunately it did not work for me.   In fact when I checked my tumour marker three weeks after I came back, it had gone up to 4 times its previous level.  I also had another CT scan recently and this confirmed that the cancer has grown. I was very disappointed, as you can imagine, as I really did feel that this could help me, but I think my immune system was simply too weak after all the chemo I’ve had.

The only approved treatment available to me now under the NHS is more chemo, this time given once a week at smaller doses instead of once a month, but I really don’t want to have more chemo – while this may reduce the cancer again in the short term it will also cause even more damage to my healthy cells, reducing even more the chances of long-term remission.  Plus the side-effects are likely to make me feel very ill for much of the time, as well as causing me to lose my hair again.

So, I’m looking into other options.  I asked to be referred to the Drug Development Unit at the Royal Marsden, which conducts very early trials of new drugs, some of which have never been tested in humans before.  They have come up with a suggested trial for me to participate in which would involve weekly infusions over the next 6 months.  There are risks with the trial but the treatment seems much less toxic and damaging than chemo, so I am seriously considering this.  The doctors don’t expect it to work long-term though, but hopefully it would give me some more time to try to raise the money I need for the other more promising options that I’ve been looking into abroad.

I also arranged an appointment at The Royal Surrey hospital to see what clinical trials they had available to me.  There was one trial going on there that I thought I might be eligible for.  This was a trial of an immunotherapy treatment that uses a virus to fight the cancer. Unfortunately, it turned out that I was not eligible for that particular trial. So that leaves me with only one option under the NHS and that is the Drug Development Unit trial at Royal Marsden.

In the meantime I got married! Hooray ;-))

The big day came and now I am taken :-)) I have to say it was such a lovely and perfect day. I couldn't have asked for anything more. Everything was just as I wanted it to be. I was very nervous on the day, as I had a lot of things to do that I had planned out, but everything worked out perfectly. The wedding was very small and intimate and it was very emotional. We were lucky enough that a small group from the Rock Choir sang a song at the ceremony, as my husband is member of the Guildford Rock Choir, and that made it even more special. The small but perfect reception had an amazing atmosphere thanks to our lovely friends and family and I am still in a dreamland as a result of everything that happened. We didn't go on a honeymoon for financial and health reasons. I really don't mind as I am just very happy and grateful that I got married and can call John my husband and became a “Mrs”.  By the way we have decided that I will change my surname and I will take John's, so I need to get used to that ;-))

There have been quite a few donations to my fundraising appeal since I last wrote, so I would like to take this opportunity to say a very big thank you to everyone who has helped with this. Everybody has been so generous and kind and I can't thank you all enough.

Thank you for reading.  I've included a few more of our wedding photos below.

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