It was 2012, I was pretty sure something wasn't right. The doctor sent me for an emergency scan and the next morning he was on the phone, saying to go straight to the hospital where they were waiting for me.

I didn’t think much about it and was just glad someone was seeing me quickly to sort things out. I arrived at the hospital, had another scan and then knew something really wasn’t right.  You know when the doctors look at the scan, say nothing but instead say they’re going to consult with a colleague - you start to think oh ! oh.!

Well as it turned out, I had ovarian cancer which needed operating on ASAP.  Everyone reacts  differently when they get this news, my brain went into “its not happening to me, I'm watching it all happening to someone else” like in a film.

The operation did not go as brilliantly as expected and I needed a course of chemotherapy.  Well, this is where the fun started - My tongue and gums turned black with no sense of taste, or feeling for food or drink.  I had tingling hands and feet, and the pain after each treatment was unbelievable.  My brain couldn’t string a sentence together and I couldn't settle to read or even watch TV.  I was in and out of hospital like a yoyo with blood transfusions and all the hair from my body had gone.  However, it is important to remember everyone’s journey is different, some have no real side effects, some a few and some, like me, the lot.

I felt I needed to just be on my own and cut off from everything.  A cancer nurse suggested a cancer massage, however I was very sensitive to touch with no real patience for anything for a long time plus I worried if they would treat me the same as I’d had my fill of being treated differently.

The treatment was the best thing I did! The therapist treated me just like any other client with lots of questions, but that was okay, it gave me a clear understanding of how the massage would progress. The first good thing was the wonderful smell of oil (I could have chosen an unscented oil).  The massage was heaven and the therapist attentive, when I said "not there" or “stop” or when the emotions got high and the tears came, she would stop.  For the whole hour I probably had only 30 mins of massage, but this was excellent as it was at my pace and my needs.

How did I feel after? Like a normal individual who had been able to go somewhere and be just me, more relaxed and just happy.