Cancer category: Germ cell tumours
Cancer type: None
Ellie was 19 when she was diagnosed with stage 4 dysgerminoma, a type of germ cell tumour that affects the ovary. After treatment that consisted of chemotherapy and two operations, she is looking on the positive side, starting with a multi-coloured Mohawk.
It all began for Ellie when she started to get multiple water infections:
“I was suffering from fatigue and I first visited a GP in October with a water infection. I went there five times between Oct 10 – Feb 11 and was given antibiotics and sent away. A doctor found a lump in my abdomen four months after my first symptoms.”
“After the lump was found it took 3 weeks to diagnose cancer.”
Ellie was diagnosed with stage 4 dysgerminoma of the ovary with metastasis, a spread of disease from one organ to another non-adjacent organ, to abdominal and chest lymph nodes, organs of the immune system:
“My treatment was 4 rounds of chemotherapy lasting 3 months, followed by two surgeries to my neck and abdomen. It was almost an entire year from my diagnosis in March to my last surgery in February and I have no further treatment planned.”
“When I found out I had cancer it was a complete shock.
After being told several times that she almost certainly didn’t have cancer, the news was a lot to take in:
“The past few weeks I'd been told several times there was nothing to worry about. And then I was suddenly faced by all these questions...Why me? Why now? How do I tell people about this? What about my education and my future plans? Telling people was hard but I was lucky that I have a really supportive group of friends. I also tried to be as positive as possible. When I knew my hair was going to fall out I got my friends together at my house and got people to sponsor me to cut my hair into a multi-coloured Mohawk. It raised £3000 for Cancer Research UK.”