Ovacome launch Young Ovarian Cancer Support Network

Hi everyone. I'd like to introduce myself. I'm Kerry, I was 37 when I was eventually diagnosed last year. I finished treatment (surgery and chemo) in February 2010. After treatment ended I was relieved on the one hand but on the other, I felt as though I'd been cast adrift in the ocean, with no prior nautical experience and not what you'd call seafaring legs!

My medical team were techinically excellent but there was no accompanying psychosocial or emotional support. The cancer diagnosis was a blow, the infertility devastating and the surgical menopause felt like the final cruel straw. All I wanted to do was talk to someone who had been in the same situation. At the same time I wanted to turn this nightmare into a series of positives. Thanks to Ovacome I'm here to share one of those positives, one I hope you'll embrace too.

We're often told that Ovarian Cancer is a disease of the more mature woman, but go online and you'll find ladies in their teens, twenties, thirties and early forties all needing practical and emotional support and advice. The needs of these women, many of whom have yet to start a family of their own, are slightly different. So with that in mind, Ovacome have agreed to launch a face to face Young Ovarian Cancer Support Network and it's success very much depends on us. Here's the official info:

*****Ovacome launch Young Ovarian Cancer Support Network*****

Ovacome the registerd charity and support network for ovarian cancer are aware of the specific need to support young women with a diagnosis and are arranging a Young Ovarian Cancer Support Network evening to address these needs.  A diagnosis of ovarian cancer is in itself a challenge but due to the nature of cancer treatment many young women are also faced with an early onset menopause and infertility at an age when they are yet to start a family of their own.

An initial meeting will take place at the Central London offices of Ovacome 1st Floor, Butler House, 177-178 Tottenham Court Road, London W1T 7NY on Wednesday 19th January 2011 at 6 for 6:30 pm (and will run until 8/8:30pm).  It is open to ladies with a diagnosis at age 45 or younger at any stage in their cancer journey.

The aim of the evening is to provide a support network for young women who have or have had ovarian cancer. It will be a chance to meet other young women who have faced a similar diagnosis and many of the same challenges; a place to exchange experiences, advice and support .  It will be a friendly, informal meeting, led by an experienced Support Line Nurse. Tea and cakes will be provided!

We are also interested in hearing from ladies who are outside the London area as we are looking into the possibility of providing a conference call facility for all those scattered across the country who wish to join the network.

If the evening proves popular Ovacome would like to offer this service on a regular basis. Ideas for future meetings include informal talks by experts in HRT, adoption and surrogacy as well as reflexology, deep relaxation techniques and other complimentary holistic therapies.

Due to financial and practical limitations the future of the group very much depends on inital take up. Ovacome are only able to hold the meeting if at least 6 ladies put their names down to attend. So if this sounds like the haven you've been searching for contact Ruth Payne at Ovacome on 020 7299 6650 or email r.payne@ovacome.org.uk to register your interest and secure your place at the meeting.

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So come on ladies, jump aboard! Pop the 19th January firmly in your diaries and email Ruth today. Let's navigate this pesky raft together!

Land Ahoy!!

Kerry xx

8 Replies

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  • This is an amazing accomplishment and I know for 110% certainty that you will help so many people with the Young Ovarian Cancer Support Network! Kerry, if you would share your story with us at itstimetoshout.com, we would appreciate it beyond belief...what do ya think? Email me at: rachelfine@hotmail.com when you have a chance, would love to connect!!!!!

  • Spooky - I was just saying to my boyfriend how much I'd like to talk to people in the same situation, and then I saw this! Count me in - I'll contact Ruth.

  • Well done! That is a great achievement. I was 41 at diagnosis and it really was absolutely devastating in so many ways. I am still here though 9 years later and in pretty good health, considering, even though I was diagnosed with advanced stage III. So take heart ....

  • Kerry this sounds fantastic and I would love to come to this. However, I live in Scotland! I'll let Ruth know that I'll try to make it, but otherwise perhaps I could join in via conference call or webcam?

  • Hello ladies

    Well, what a fantastic response! Thank you – that's great news Rachel and Catherine that you are planning to join the group. There's a definite need out there and the responses I've been getting are very encouraging. Ladies are keen to join – it's just a case of letting them know about the group and the meeting in January. So I'm trying to spread the word as much as possible - after all we are a minority (only 10% are diagnosed before age 45) within a minority (OvCa is not one of the most common cancers as well you know). So please do tell your CNSs so they can tell other patients, past and present. I can email the flyer to anyone who needs it too. My lovely CNS has already done this and circulated it to all her nurses and put the flyer up in the hospital oncology waiting room. Giunevere that's just the news we so want to hear – thank you for making my day! I'm so glad to hear you are doing so well. And you qualify to join by the way if you haven't already – this is open to ladies at all stages of the journey. It's always an inspiration to meet ladies who have come out the other side.

  • Kerry,

    i am 34 years and i have been diagnosed with early grade of rare ovarian cancer in December 2010. I live outside London and i live in Lancashire area. I wish i could meet somebody in my area to speak to.

    My family is far away (I'm Polish) and i am in England for 4 years already.

    It wouls be great to have contact with somebody who is going or has gone through the same.

    Gosia

    <b>Updated on Jan 9 2011 6:13PM:</b> I have my first oncology appointment on 13th January and i really don't know anything about it and my treatment yet and it makes me stressed.

  • Hey I know Ive missed this but if any more come up I would love to join. At 26 and undergone a hysteractomy I would love to meet younger women who have been in the same position. At the hospital where I was having my treatment all I ever got from everyoner was, 'oh but you're so young,' which is natrually just depressing especially when everyone else in the ward, chemo unit are older than my mum! Would love to know that I am not the only one xx

  • Hi, there will definitely be more meetings, make sure you register your interest with Ruth Payne at Ovacome and keep an eye on this site. I found it really helped to meet other younger women & swap stories. Rachel x

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