Sue was diagnosed with Stage 4b ovarian cancer in January 2021 when a persistent cough and heaviness in her chest during an online gym class made her book a GP appointment.
I was complacent really looking back. I thought that I was aware of my body, but how wrong can you be. I’d had some pain in my pelvis as well but just put it down to overdoing it whilst exercising.
She began chemotherapy in the February, having three rounds before a break for surgery. The surgery was successful and after recovering, Sue completed her chemotherapy with three more rounds.
After that, appointments reduced to every three months for routine scans and tests – and albeit slowly, with support and encouragement of her personal trainer Nick, Sue was able to get back to her weight training which she's so passionate about.
It felt good to be able to get involved. I’m not really a runner, but with the option to walk it felt like it was something everyone could participate in. Arriving on my own I wasn’t sure what to expect but the atmosphere was great and I immediately felt really welcome. I got to talk to lots of people, including people from Target Ovarian Cancer.
“It was lovely to have the chance to meet Annwen, the Chief Executive of the charity, and her team and learn more about the organisation – including how and why it was founded. I really enjoyed the day!”
During a routine appointment in January 2023, Sue was told that the cancer had returned. After another six rounds of chemotherapy she was shocked to learn that it had not reduced the cancer as much as before and was no longer an option for treatment.
Recently, Sue has started taking a maintenance drug called Niraparib and she will know soon if it's effective.
“It’s twofold really,” said Sue, “you have to learn whether you can tolerate taking it, and then whether it’s working for you."
Every person is different, and every story is different, but one thing we all have in common is hope and positivity. These are both free and easy to share.
Since sharing her story whilst fundraising for Target Ovarian Cancer, Sue has taught others about the symptoms of ovarian cancer. So much so that someone in her community recognised them in her mother-in-law who was subsequently diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
Sue is currently preparing to take part in this year’s Ovarian Cancer Walk|Run at Regent’s Park on Sunday 22 October.