My name's Lindy Waldron. I've just had my 58th birthday
and in April 2004, I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
My reaction was complete shock.
I just went into sort of complete numb shutdown, really.
It was like being in a fog
and like having heavy weight around me.
I just couldn't see through it. I couldn't see round it.
I could only just focus on one thing,
which would be an image of me fading away.
Although I'm a district nurse and I should have known
that what I was experiencing, the symptoms I was experiencing,
were not just due to stress,
I had so much going on at that time
that I kind of ignored it, as women do.
They have odd pains and they just put up with it.
You just carry on. I was working full time.
And I did rather ignore it and I did rather leave it late,
which I feel embarrassed about.
I had surgery. I had the mass removed.
I had all the gynae bits removed that you would expect,
and unfortunately, the cancer had spread to my spleen,
so I had to have my spleen removed as well.
So it was a big operation and I am now on antibiotics
for the rest of my life because I'm prone to infection.
I had six sessions of chemotherapy after the surgery,
which was quite aggressive, it needed to be aggressive.
They did warn me there would be possibly long-term side effects,
which I've had problems with.
I lost the feelings in my toes and my fingers.
The feeling in my fingers has come back now,
but my toes are still fairly numb.
Chemotherapy, I was surprised how...
It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
It wasn't pleasant. It was just something that you had to get through.
You knew that you had to get through these six cycles of treatment
and that you would have times when you were not feeling well,
you would have times when you were feeling really well
and in between, probably just very tired.
But it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.
A lot of it goes in a blur. You don't really...
I did keep a diary, which is fascinating to look back on.
And that's also a very positive thing because I can see how ill I was.
I probably wasn't aware of it at the time, how ill I was,
how strange I looked,
because the steroids make you very bloated.
And I had no hair. So I did look strange.
I did have a wig for a short time,
which I probably think wasn't a good idea,
but everyone was very polite and said it looked nice.
I wrote in my diary, and this is what I actually wrote.
"I feel fat, freaky, unattractive and clumsy."
That was how I felt. Keeping a diary was very good.
Another piece of advice is whenever you go for an appointment,
take somebody with you always.
Or get whoever's talking to you to write it down.
When you go for your appointment,
you might remember the first two sentences,
and after that, if it's something that you didn't want to hear,
the rest of it has gone.
You need somebody with you.
My life has changed. It has been... It's a sense of loss.
It's a sense of loss of identity, in a way.
My feminism, the body-image side of things.
And financially it has been difficult.
I had to give up my job
and I'm not able to go back to a responsible post.
I'm working part time at the moment
and it was very difficult to find another job.
It's difficult to think long term,
but just hold on to the fact that the treatment now is wonderful,
the support you'll have is wonderful
and we just don't know what's around the corner.
But it's easy to say keep positive, but I do think that helps.