Danielle Golding is an ovarian cancer survivor. She hails from Reading where she lives with my partner Niall and a beautiful daughter, Frankie. She is a qualified hairdresser and hopes to get back into work real soon as “I want to make this year the best I possibly can, I want to take my daughter on her first holiday.”
She also hopes to make the rest of her donation fund to have another baby, fingers crossed this year or next.
Talking about her future goals, Danielle adds “My future goals are to complete my family and spread as much awareness as I can to help young girls find signs of ovarian cancer sooner rather than later, as sadly it can happen at any age.”
Catch Women Fitness in conversation with Ovarian Cancer survivor, Danielle Golding,
When were you diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer? What were the earliest symptoms that you experience?
I was diagnosed in August 2015 and had surgery on the 15th of October 2015.
At what age were you diagnosed with cancer? What was your age back then and did you have children?
I was 23 when I was diagnosed and I didn’t have any children
What was your reaction to the same? Did you have a family history?
I was completely shocked when I got the news, I had been struggling for so long not understanding what was wrong with me or why I kept feeling so poorly. There has always been cancer on both sides of the family but never ovarian.
What was the line of treatment suggested? What diet & lifestyle modifications do you undergo to battle the same?
So firstly they wanted to see how bad the cancer was around my tumors and if there was anything they could do to save my eggs. We went for an internal scan with me and my partner and that’s when we received the devastating news of my ovaries were not solid nor producing eggs. They were in a roundabout way like mash, completely smushed where the tumors had wrapped themselves around them.
It was absolutely devastating knowing I would never be able to have a baby naturally or at all through the “normal” way. At this point, treatment wasn’t an option because the cancer was too aggressive and it wouldn’t actually do anything, so the only way to take control and save my womb as thankfully this was completely normal, was surgery. This meant removing everything but my womb!
At 23 you don’t ever imagine this happening to you, but it was. My doctors and surgeons told me to take it easy and make sure I was drinking plenty of water and lay alcohol and takeaways. Keeping my body in the best way I could.
In your story, you indicated “The NHS provided our first round of funding for IVF, which we were extremely grateful for. We were so lucky that it worked the first time.” Please elaborate. How many kids do you have?
In regards to our IVF, we were granted a chance to have a baby through a donor egg. Unfortunately, as I said before I could not produce eggs nor did I have any to save, so our only option to carry a full-term baby myself was to have a donor egg. This is something we both sat down and discussed for ages and we agreed to go ahead.
We had 1 round free so we crossed every single finger and prayed it would work. We jumped for joy when we saw those two beautiful lines on the pregnancy showing us it was positive! We were going to be parents! We were desperate to be parents for so long and tried for so long and nothing had happened and now we finally had that chance!
What is your present-day routine? What kind of diet do you follow? Foods you keep to a minimum and must eat?
Day-to-day life for us now after having all surgery and being 7 years free of cancer I try not to take advantage of my body.
I eat as healthy as I can however I treat myself now and again to a cheeky takeaway. My surgeons had told me that my diet will change how I feel so anything too greasy in the food I really can feel the difference and it can upset my tummy. I’m not a massive drinker so that’s never been a problem to try and stay away from.
Since having my daughter I try and give her the best diet possible so it’s actually made it easier as a family to eat better and make sure we’re all healthier. I have been told to make sure I have a balanced diet so healthy vegetables and fruit. However, too much fruit and an overload of natural sugars can upset my tummy also so it’s just having that perfect balance. Of course making sure I’m drinking plenty of water which I try very hard to keep on top of, as I can really feel the difference if I don’t.
Your daily fitness routine consists of what? Do you train for fitness, please elaborate.
I have never been a huge fitness person however I do enjoy a walk, so at any given opportunity I will happily go out into the fresh air with a little one on her bike or pushchair. Swimming is also a great way to keep on top of my fitness but again it’s making the time.
Frankie, my daughter keeps me on my toes so I am always running around the house with her, which is a workout in itself haha!
How has your family helped you in overcoming this health challenge?
My family has been fantastic every year when I get to another milestone of keeping clear of cancer they always congratulate me and say look how far you have come. I can’t wait to hit my 10 years which will be in 2025! I will be completed in full remission.
This is a goal I really can’t wait to achieve. This year we have said as a family we will be more active and make sure we set our watches to higher goals, make sure we’re hitting our rings, and feel more positive in our mindset as that’s also really important. I found that my mental health was so low for so long without telling anyone and putting on a happy face because I didn’t want to burden anyone.
It was so tough to get out of the dark space of what had happened and how my body and life had changed but now I turning a complete corner and working towards goals and a happy future.
Message for women to take precautions?
My biggest saying now is “go with your gut”. Your body is your body and only you know what feels right and what doesn’t. When you’re having super heavy periods or you’re feeling uncomfortable through constant bloating get yourself checked over. It’s not a waste of anyone’s time and if something is wrong and you have got there early it could change your complete outcome.
We as women go through so much with our bodies so a lot of the time we put it aside and get on with our day-to-day lives, however, it’s time to start listening to our bodies and looking after them. Have your smears having your test there super important and could be crucial to your lifestyle and health.
Life post-cancer treatment.
Life is a rollercoaster it can be up and down and after having all my low parts I feel like I’m on the way up. Enjoy every single day, don’t take it for granted.
I have a checklist of things I want to achieve and I’m so ready to get ticking. We are currently saving for another round of IVF to give our daughter a sibling and complete the last piece of our family if possible. We were very kindly set up an IVF page from a group of ladies and we have definitely felt so much love through the incredible donations coming through.
I hope to return this amazing opportunity to another family struggling one day. Whether that be through a 5k walk or some kind of challenge.
Learn more about Danielle Golding,