Listen to HuffPost UK Life’s weekly podcast Am I Making You Uncomfortable? about women’s health, bodies and private lives. Available on Spotify, Apple, Audioboom and wherever you listen to your podcasts
As far back as she can remember, Sunita Thind has known she wanted to become a mum. “I’ve always had a maternal instinct and longed to have a child to share experiences with, to shower with love, and to help them succeed in the world,” says the 37-year-old, who lives in Derby with her husband, Peter.
But Thind’s whole world – and plans for a family – were shattered in April 2016, when she was suddenly diagnosed with ovarian cancer, having shown no previous symptoms of the disease.
“I just woke up one day and literally looked pregnant,” she recalls of the cruel joke her body seemed to be playing on her. “My belly was all swollen and I was in excruciating pain and kept vomiting. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced.”
- 'I Was Told It Was Women's Problems': Meet The Ovarian Cancer Patients Who Fought For Diagnosis And Treatment
Thind was rushed into hospital, where 11 litres of fluid were removed from her abdomen, before she underwent numerous tests and scans. When the doctors realised it was cancer, they removed her left ovary, appendix and fallopian tube.
“They wanted to do a full hysterectomy but I desperately didn’t want this,” she says. ”I was only 33 and wanted to have children. So they shut down my other ovary and I went into early menopause.”
Little could she have imagined what other challenges lay ahead.
Thind, a former primary school teacher, who is now a writer and poet, had six months of chemotherapy, followed by physiotherapy to begin her recovery.
“Having ovarian cancer changed my world. It shattered me and I felt like I was living with constant fear.” she says. “There was always this little voice...