“Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. You didn’t cause this, and you can’t be expected to fix it all on your own. You’re going to get lots of advice from well-meaning people about diet and lifestyle, but you need to follow your intuition and listen to your body. You are unique, and there is no one size fits all approach.” – Jenny
I am a sociable and outgoing young woman who loves to sing, swim, cook, and share delicious food. I’m an animal lover and spend much of my free time volunteering at animal shelters in NZ and overseas. I love to travel and believe that friendships and family are the most important things in life. I’m a girlfriend, a sister, a daughter and an aunty and one day, I hope to run a hectic household filled with children and chaos.
My cancer was found when I was 34, when I began undergoing fertility treatment. We’d been trying to get pregnant for two years with no luck. I’d been back and forth to the doctors for over a year with abdominal pain, and in the end they diagnosed me with suspected endometriosis.
The keyhole surgery was supposed to diagnose and remove it so I’d have more success getting pregnant. Of course once they went in to have a look, they didn’t find endo; instead they found cancer. Chemotherapy has made me infertile now, so I can’t have my own children, as it wasn’t possible to harvest any eggs without risking further spread of the disease.
I have stage 4 cancer that has spread to my lymph nodes. I can’t have surgery now; it’s too risky, and the procedure would be huge. Low-grade serous carcinoma is resistant to chemotherapy, which doesn’t leave me many treatment options.
For now we only hope to keep the cancer at bay, but I need a cure; I need more time. Time to marry my boyfriend, time to somehow start a family, time to outlive my dog Pickle and time to see more of this wonderful world.
We are grateful to Jenny for sharing her experience with ovarian cancer and for helping us raise awareness. If you would like to share your story too, please get in touch.
OCFNZ started as Cure Our Ovarian Cancer in 2018, with a focus on low-grade serous ovarian cancer. In 2020, we expanded our focus to include all ovarian cancer and, in 2024, we changed our name to the Ovarian Cancer Foundation New Zealand.