59-year-old Debbie Pritchard was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer in July 2019. She had been seeing a gynaecologist for more than three years, regularly getting things checked whilst going through menopause and undergoing a few procedures to fix a stubborn fibroid. After realising that something wasn’t quite right, Debbie was told that the best plan to permanently resolve her issues with fibroids was through a hysterectomy.
“My surgeon agreed that he would leave my ovaries if they were looking okay. But during surgery, he found signs of ovarian cancer. I’d had two or three years with some small symptoms and as my results were always clear, I certainly never thought it could be cancer. I was stunned. A week later I receive a phone call with my results – I had ovarian cancer.”
Debbie was then referred to Icon Cancer Centre Southport, where she received chemotherapy once a week for 12 weeks before undergoing a radical hysterectomy. She says from that moment on, she focused on the positive – that everything was going to be okay.
“I nicknamed the procedure ‘cheese and crackers’ rather than chemo to take my mind off the meaning of the word. I adapted to the treatment really well, with only a few side effects.”