Sophie Reddan from Rayne in Essex is celebrating her five-year all clear from ovarian cancer with an all girls trip with her daughter to Seville.
But five years ago she was in a very different place:
“My symptoms were vague, like bloating and constipation, but I knew I wasn’t myself,” she said. “I felt totally drained.”
Sophie needed urgent surgery after finally seeing her GP and undergoing tests.
“It would have been easy to put it all down to menopause,” she said.
“When I finally went to the doctor she offered me a blood test and I almost declined when there was a bit of a wait and I wanted to get back to work.
“Luckily I had the test and it showed up some major warning signs. I was called back immediately for a CT scan, which showed a huge mass. I was admitted to hospital and within a few days I could barely walk.
“The tumours were almost the size of a small rugby ball, on each ovary.”
Following urgent surgery and chemotherapy, Sophie returned to her work as a pre-school manager and says she now feels “incredibly lucky.”
“It has been a really long journey since my diagnosis in 2017 but I am so grateful every day that my cancer was caught in time.
(The photo on the left at the bottom shows Sophie at the start of her recovery journey - after diagnosis and treatment in May 2018 and the following year in October 2019 at the same hotel)
Sophie wants people to know they must see their GP when things don’t feel right:
“I tell everyone to check themselves but not to self diagnose.
“I made the mistake of looking up information online and it was all very gloomy. I feel so lucky I have now had the all clear and I want people to know there is hope.
"They must listen to their body and see their GP as soon as possible if they have concerns. Don’t put it off.
“If even one person reads my story I hope it will help."