I had been suffering with very heavy bloating and period pain and decided to consult the doctor at my workplace. The doctor took one look at my abdomen and asked if I was pregnant. I explained rather embarrassingly that I wasn’t and he proceeded with an abdomen examination. He was concerned by what he described as my rotund stomach and advised me to visit my GP. That evening I went to see my local GP practice. The GP told me I had IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and that I should quite simply “stop eating white bread”. I explained that I thought this may be something more serious I suggested that perhaps I was Celiac. He did not believe I was Celiac but I pushed him and he agreed to take a blood sample and send it for testing. The results came back negative and I was advised that no further follow up was necessary and I should just watch what I ate.
What followed were two years of bad period pain and bloating. I became used to people not simply asking if I was pregnant but rather how far along I was. My body imaged suffered but I learned to just get on with things. Then one January Saturday morning I decided enough was enough and my condition warranted further investigation. I went back to my local GP practice, this time I got a different doctor who agreed to send me for an ultrasound scan.
I was told I had a large mass probably of ovarian origin extending from my lower abdomen right up to my rib cage. I had so many questions but the sonographer explained that this was outside of his expertise and he really couldn’t answer a lot of my questions. When I left the scan I was very upset but to be honest Fertility was my only concern at that point I was a young woman in my twenties without any children. I didn’t realise at that point that there were other concerns. It wasn’t until I returned to my GP the following Monday afternoon and he explained that the mass was complex with many different materials that the reality struck me. We danced around the subject until eventually I said “are you saying you think I might have cancer”, his reply was simply “I’m saying that’s a possibility yes”. The breath left my chest and I completely fell apart, work stopped, I stopped and the weeks that followed were a daze. It’s like a dream world looking back on it now I just floated from each appointment and into the Coombe.
Dr. Tom Darcy performed my operation which involved removing a large tumour, one ovary, one fallopian tube, appendix and omentum. The tumour was borderline and as it was removed in its entirety without any rupture I did not require any further surgery or anti cancer treatment. I cannot praise the staff at the Coombe hospital enough they were so supportive in every way and made me feel very comfortable and “at home” during my stay. Dr. D’Arcy was fantastic and came to see me each day to examine my progress and run through any questions I had. It was under their care that my faith in the medical profession was restored as I was very angry that I had lost so time due to the misdiagnosis two years previously.
It is now over three years since my operation. I no longer suffer with the painful symptoms I had before my operation and I have my confidence back again. I would like to thank my loving partner, fantastic friends and wonderful family who literally carried me through the tough times.
Ovacare has given me a voice and it feels great to be a part of something that I am so passionate about. There is change on the horizon for Ovarian Cancer suffers and it starts here.
(UPDATE) In February 2013, Molly once again returned to the Coombe but this time round was a much happier occasion….the birth of her baby boy Tomás Eóin. Molly explains that the name choice was not a difficult decision, “it was always going to pay tribute to Dr. Tom D’Arcy”. I’m sure he probobly thinks of it all as just another day in the office so to speak but I feel I owe him and his team dearly for the skill they in vested in my care both during the operation and in post care. For a long time I felt hard done by, due to misdiagnosis and having to go through something like this especially so young and I carried alot of anger and worry around but the moment I held Tomás in my arms I got my happy ending”.