Smooth ride ahead for patient

Pauline Keating with her Harley Davidson, nicknamed Margaret. Picture: Megan Powell/The West Australian

As new grandmother Pauline Keating finished cancer treatment last year, she promised herself that if she made it through she would buy her dream motorcycle.

Today, the 54-year-old is in remission from advanced ovarian cancer and a proud owner of a shiny Harley-Davidson.

Before December 2012, she considered herself anything but a candidate for cancer.

She was fit and healthy and training for a half marathon, hampered only by occasional bouts of painful bloating in her abdomen which she and her doctor dismissed as symptoms of her coeliac disease.

But when she developed a nagging cough and the pains in her stomach became excruciating, she was referred for tests, which showed cancer in her lungs, which had spread from stage four ovarian cancer.

She had chemotherapy after surgery in May within days of her grandson being born.

"I'm fit, I'm not overweight, so I thought, 'How could this happen to me?' But I tried to stay positive throughout my chemotherapy treatment," she said. A year on from her diagnosis and now cancer-free, Ms Keating is back into running and spends her weekends cruising on her motorcycle.

More than 1300 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in Australia each year. There is no way to detect it early.

Symptoms include bloating, abdominal or back pain, changes in toilet habits and unexplained weight loss or gain.

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