Miscarriage and Cancer. Two words that many of us can relate to whether it's personal or through someone we know.
Molar pregnancies occur roughly every 1 in 600 pregnancies, they are rare. They happen at the moment of conception where a fetus would usually form, a fault occurs during this time and instead, a mass of rapid growing cells form creating a 'mole'. This can cause either a complete molar pregnancy (no viable fetus present) or Partial pregnancy (fetus viable) . This is usually treated successfully with a simple procedure. However, in further rare cases cells can grow back and require further treatment. This is carried out with Chemotherapy to stop the spread of cancerous cells infecting other bodily organs.
We found out at a routine 12 week scan in October that something was wrong. Two days later I had an operation to remove a mass of cells from my womb. An agonising two week wait for lab results confirmed I'd had a complete molar pregnancy. My first routine blood test then showed a spike in pregnancy hormone levels indicating tissue growth. I was flown to London with my husband the very next day, admitted to Charing Cross Hospital to begin my first round of Chemotherapy for Persistent Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (GTD)
To go from expecting a child to fighting cancer is terrifying, especially when you are labelled with a disease you have never heard about. Today I begun my fifth cycle of chemo when I should be in my second term of pregnancy. I can't begin to explain how emotionally painful and heartbreaking this has been and continues to be. I will need chemotherapy until my hormone levels are back to normal. I'll then need to have routine testing for the rest of my life.
The Charity I'm raising funds for is the Cancer Research and Treatment Trust in Charing Cross. They are the UK's main research and treatment facility for Molar pregnancies as well as caring and treating for those suffering from other cancers. Founded in 1985 they have treated 3650 women with chemotherapy after their molar pregnancies. I cannot begin to thank the team there enough for all they have done and continue to do for me and other women like me.
I've found support and comfort in many forms. I feel more knowledge of the disease can help eliminate a lot of the fear and trauma for future patients as well as better understanding for those supporting families dealing with loss and trauma of any kind.
With your help and awareness, we can help make a huge difference to the lives of many families in the future.
I have some ideas lined up for future fundraisers when my health improves. In the meantime, your help and support would be greatly appreciated by myself many others.
To find out more about molar pregnancies please view: www.hmole-chorio.org.uk/index.html