Rita from Birmingham has spent the last four years fighting ovarian cancer. Her Christmas wish is to see her teenage boys grow up.
Rita said: “I was diagnosed in 2014 with stage 3b ovarian cancer and underwent a full hysterectomy.
Rita has the BRAC1 Gene and a family history of cancer but because ovarian cancer presents such subtle symptoms it still took a year to get a diagnosis.
She explained: “I had abdominal and back pain, felt bloated and lost my appetite. The first time I went to A&E I was sent home, the second time I refused to leave until they did a scan. They could see the cysts straight away, and thought they looked worrying. I’ve been busy with cancer ever since.”
Rita has had 18 rounds of chemotherapy and two further surgeries to remove the tumours but sadly the cancer keeps returning.
“I have two sons, the youngest was 10 years old when I was diagnosed. He was so young, I wanted to reassure him so that he didn’t worry.
“Now my boys are 14 and 20 and they are great and support me.”
“My last surgery was to remove six tumours, and now I have just one left. I’m about to begin my next chemotherapy treatment which means I won’t quite be myself this Christmas, tired and under the weather, but we will make the most of it.
I’ve accepted that at some point the cancer will get me, but every year with my boys counts. I want to enjoy my life.
I will be 50 next April and I desperately want to get there.
I want another 10 years to see my boys grow and have their own families, my grandchildren!