Saturday, 6 October 2012

A Positive Cancer Scar

Number of years since finishing chemo: 4 & 1/2
Current CA125 level: 17
How I feel: in control

There's a lot of things about being diagnosed with cancer that make you feel like you have no control: you can't carry on with your 'normal' life, you can't control the side effects of the treatment drugs, you can't erase the physical surgical scars, and you can't stop your body failing you. But, once your treatment is over and you start trying to put the experience behind you (as much as you ever can do with something like having cancer), there are things you can do to take back control.

I'm 4 & 1/2 years out of my second course of chemo for recurrent ovarian cancer, and I'm still finding ways to take back control and prove to my rotty cancer that I'm the one in charge now. Last month I decided I'd had enough of only having a horrible scar to show for everything I've been through. I wanted something more positive than a scar, something I'd chosen to have, rather than something that had been done to me. So, I got a tattoo.

I'd been thinking about getting a tattoo for the last couple of years, but with the girls coming along it wasn't the right time - I didn't want to get a tattoo only for it to be covered in stretch marks! But now we've got our two gorgeous girls, the time seemed right. I didn't want any old design you can pick from a book though, it had to be something with real meaning to it. So I designed my own, using four stars to represent our little family of four - me, Justin, Molly and Tess. They also represent the four babies I've been pregnant with - Molly, Tess, and Arthur and Martha, the twins I miscarried just after starting my second course of chemo.

To make the tattoo symbolic of ovarian cancer, one of the stars is filled in teal. And I've had it done right over the top of where my right ovary should've been. It's my tribute to myself for surviving ovarian cancer, and it's finally given me a positive 'scar'.



  1. Hi Emily,

    I'm happy for you. It's good that you see and do things in the right way like when you had your tattoo. Some people nowadays are getting tattoos and other stuff done to themselves without valid reasons. I'm glad that you're not like them.

    I wish you and your family all the best. Happy new year! God bless. :)

    PS I'm sorry for my bad English.

  2. Hello~

    This is going to sound creepy, but despite not even knowing you, I think you're an amazingly brave and strong woman. :) All the hardships you endured would have destroyed a lesser person,but somehow you've overcame that, and I really hope you get the happy, wonderful life you deserve.

    Now excuse me while I go whack myself for being so sappy.

    1. Ah, that's a lovely thing to say! Thank you.


  3. Hey em, Wow, I've just spent the last day reading this entire blog and your journey and I just have to say I respect and look up to you so much. To the so open about your journey is so brave and courageous! I hope you and your family live incredible and happy lives. You really deserve it!

    1. Thank you so much. It has been quite a journey so far, like you said, but it's always worth sharing it knowing there might be someone else out there who finds comfort in it and can see they're not alone in their experienced of this horrible thing.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed reading it, and thanks again for leaving such a lovely comment.

      Em x


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