Marianne (34 years old) recovered from ovarian cancer, but lost her desire to have children

Marianne (34 years old) recovered from ovarian cancer, but lost her desire to have children

When Marianne returns from her vacation, they drive straight from the boat to the hospital. Soon a surgery is performed in which doctors remove the cysts on the ovaries. When she returns two weeks later to consult a doctor, she feels that something is wrong. “When I saw the doctor passing by, I knew from her look that it was not good.”


Marian was told she had ovarian cancer. “Everything had to be removed: the ovaries and the uterus. I asked: Can you save more eggs? But that was not an option. It was immediate: You have cancer and you can no longer have children. It was intense.

I can barely process it; It was a lot. For example, how was I supposed to tell my parents about this? I found it very difficult.” Meanwhile, she also has to say goodbye to her desire to have children. “I was given the option of saving my uterus, but they recommended against it because of the high risk of the cancer coming back. I then decided to have my uterus removed as well. “I really wanted to live.”


Before the procedure, Marianne takes the time to say goodbye to her body as it is now. “It was so surreal. I would never see my body the same again. I would never get my period again and I would go straight into menopause. I was so afraid of that. In one fell swoop I would become a woman in my mid-50s.”

A week before Christmas, Marianne underwent an eight-hour operation, followed by a long recovery period. “Then I felt a little dead inside. A lot had happened to me. It was all very complicated.”

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I will fix it

After the operation, Marianne does not need chemotherapy. Doctors detect cancer early, before it spreads. Her physical recovery is going reasonably well. “I wanted to get better very quickly and started walking short distances. I just wanted to get healthy, get back to work quickly and participate in the community.

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Although her physical recovery is going well, Marianne lacks adequate psychological support. “If you are diagnosed, you need immediate help,” she stresses. “I really want to encourage doctors and hospitals to provide this, because this is critical. I didn’t understand it, although I found it all very complicated. Especially since I was very young and wanted to have children. This made my situation very specific and I wish I could have gotten specific help for it. Unfortunately that was missing.

specific place

Eight years later, Marian is still cancer-free, but she suffers frequently from menopausal symptoms. “I was having hot flashes, I was forgetful, and emotionally I felt very stable.” Although doctors advise against it due to the increased risk of cancer, Marianne eventually begins hormone therapy. This makes her feel much better now.

“Emotional things are a lot better now. I’ve been able to make room for my lost desire to have children, even though it will always be a scar. For example, I will never see my kids go to high school or become a grandmother. That hurts. But I’m a focused person.” As honest as it is possible, I can now say that I live a happy life, even if it is without children.

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Ovarian cancer often causes symptoms that many women experience every day. That’s why the Olijf Foundation launched the Silent Lady Killer campaign. Many women are diagnosed too late, making treatment often not possible. Five years later, only 34% are still alive, as we know from the campaign. Symptoms such as stomach bloating, nausea, and frequent urination are well-known, but when are they worrisome?

Marianne: “Most women with ovarian cancer are over 60, but as I have experienced firsthand, it can also happen at a young age. Pay close attention to the symptoms, be vigilant, and if you are not sure, go to the doctor. If something is really wrong, they will Feel it. It’s important to trust your feelings and not be rejected.

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