Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Pippa Hatch, 21, Reading, Marketing Manager

“Having cancer never made me hate my body, but having a baby has truly made me realise how amazing it is – it has fought my sarcoma and grown a mini human!”

“It sounds strange to say it, but I was actually relieved when I was diagnosed at age 15. I had been feeling unwell for years –  I was constantly run-down, couldn’t eat certain foods and was always getting colds – and no one knew why.

“At the time, I was doing my GCSEs, and due to surgery, I did most of my coursework from my bed. When I returned to school, I had missed half a term and my friends didn’t understand what was wrong. They were told I had cancer, and although I had lost a lot of weight, I still looked relatively healthy and didn’t fit the stereotype of a cancer patient.

“My surgery started with a small operation to complete a biopsy on the large tumour in my stomach, just a few weeks later I underwent major stomach surgery to remove the tumour and two thirds of my stomach. This meant a lot of re-connecting internally from the stomach to the other organs and the operation took 13 hours. I recovered for 10 days in hospital and once I was discharged I had to learn how to eat all over again. This caused a lot of sickness while my stomach stretched back and healed and caused me to lose a lot of weight, taking me down three dress sizes in a month.

“My particular type of sarcoma is known as incurable  – I will be scanned forever and there is a potential for re-growth – but I am currently NED (No Evidence of Disease). Being scanned yearly gives me a sense of security, as I know the doctors are keeping an eye and will catch any new tumours early. This makes me feel more comfortable than I would be if they were to put me in 'remission' and never saw me again!

“I met my fiancé Luke in 2013, he was an old family friend who I had lost touch with, so technically I have known him since I was four years old! I bumped into him in a pub and we just clicked. We moved in together after 11 months and I fell pregnant nine months later. Having cancer never made me hate my body, but having a baby has truly made me realise how amazing it is – it has fought my sarcoma and grown a mini human!

“Life as a mum is fantastic and very rewarding, we have been blessed with a happy, smiley and healthy baby. Two months after I had Oscar, I had my annual scan and it came back clear which was fantastic news for our family. Now we can enjoy our little boy forgetting about sarcoma until next year, which is a huge relief!

“I see only positivity in my future, sarcoma is out of my control and so I live everyday to the full and get on with things I want to do. Since being diagnosed I feel very strongly about pushing myself to reach all my goals in life and I hope there will be many exciting times ahead.

“Luke and I are getting married next year and enjoying time with Oscar and my family! I also aim to carry on my fundraising for Sarcoma UK in the years to come, hoping to help fund further research, educate people and support others going through similar experiences.”

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