Laura's story – Maggie's helped me in my darkest moments

Tuesday 28 January 2020

Maggie's Newcastle

During treatment I would have been lost without Maggie's, so I decided to sign up for the Great North Run.


I went to A&E in the summer of 2015 with lower abdominal pain. An ultrasound scan found two large cysts, one on each ovary about the size of a small melon. They drained the cysts that day and I thought that was that.  

I went back three months later for a follow-up scan which showed that the cysts had returned and this time they were bigger. I had surgery again and the cysts were sent off for biopsy, the results came back as being borderline cancerous.  

There’s a history of cancer in my family. After a lot of discussion with my family, especially my husband Andrew, I made the difficult decision to have a total hysterectomy at the age of 29. I was lucky, I already had two wonderful children and we felt happy that our family was complete. 

I had a routine CT scan before my hysterectomy which showed the cysts had come back again which meant I needed to have open surgery. The surgery lasted about 7 hours and I stayed in hospital for just over a week.  

Whilst operating the specialist found cancer on my pelvic diaphragm, omentum, rectum and perineum and some of my lymph nodes had to be removed.

When I went into surgery I thought I had borderline cancerous changes, and when I came out I was diagnosed with low grade stage 3 ovarian cancer. I was told I’d need to have 6 rounds of chemotherapy and that there was a very high chance of recurrence.  

Anxiety and depression 

Following my diagnosis and surgery I really wasn’t very well at all and was diagnosed with depression and anxiety on top of the cancer.  

I was just 29 years old when I was diagnosed, with two young children and the hardest part for me was the guilt that I might actually leave them without a mother, and Andrew without a wife.

I also really struggled with the upset and pain I knew I’d caused my parents and sister after my diagnosis. I found it all very hard to deal with.   

The total hysterectomy also left me in early menopause and with a large scar running from just below my breasts to my pubic area.  

Maggie’s support helped me through  

I found Maggie’s Newcastle after my first oncology appointment at the Freeman hospital. I left my appointment feeling very confused and not really sure what was happening.

Andrew and I decided to go to Maggie’s and we were met by Maureen, a Cancer Support Specialist, who was fantastic. She talked me through things and I left feeling loads better.  

During my chemo I would have been totally lost without Maggie’s. I went on the Look Good Feel Better course, popped along for chat whenever I needed it and had help filling in forms. I honestly believe that their support helped me through it all.  

I always know that if and when I need Maggie’s, I will always be welcomed back and that the support they provide is amazing.   

Back to work and fundraising for Maggie’s 

After my treatment I lost 4 stone, went back to work on reduced hours and started to be able to look forward to life. I’m now really well and back at work. I go for check-ups at the hospital every six months but it’s coming up to 3 years since my surgery now.  

To thank Maggie’s for everything they did for me I decided to raise money by taking part in The Great North Run. It was an amazing experience. I had my husband by my side the whole way around the course.  

Those months when I had chemo were the hardest, darkest and scariest months of my life and a chat, cuppa and drop-in session really cheered me up.

Here with you

If you, your family or friends need support during this time, please call us on 0300 123 180, email or book a time to visit us.

If you're already visiting the hospital, just come in.

More stories from our centres

Show More Stories

Get cancer support near you

To find your nearest Maggie's centre, enter your postcode or town below.

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up to date with our news and fundraising by signing up for our newsletter.

Sign up