For 54-year-old Ipswich local Belinda Mace, receiving not just one but two cancer diagnoses in early 2020 came as a shock. She had been suffering from a cyst on her ovaries for 12 years and when a node was found in December 2019, Belinda was told that at last she was eligible for a hysterectomy – having previously been knocked back as she hasn’t had children.
After undergoing the operation in March 2020, Belinda, who was born deaf, was delighted to find out she was cancer-free and the node wasn’t of concern during an appointment using an interpreter. It was when she received a letter from the oncology department at her hospital that Belinda realised she not only had not received a full hysterectomy, but they had also found signs of ovarian cancer known as serous tubal intraepithelial carcinoma (STIC). Belinda says the news was very confronting.
“My mum had died from ovarian cancer very suddenly. It was extremely depressing finding out I had cancer; I thought first I am born deaf, then my mum dies, and now I have cancer and am experiencing what my mum went through. I feel so lucky that my sisters rallied around me to protect me and help me get up and fight. I say to myself every day – f**k off cancer!”