“6 months ago I struggled to even think about getting out of bed and now I am taking on a 10k run” - Ovarian cancer survivor Emma
Emma Muldowney from Dalkey, Co Dublin was twenty-three years old when she was told she had Dysgerminoma, a rare form of ovarian tumor.
Emma Muldowney from Dalkey, Co Dublin was twenty-three years old when she was told she had Dysgerminoma, a rare form of ovarian tumor. She is currently in recovery from her diagnosis and has been chosen as this year’s Dublin City County Champion for the VHI Women’s Marathon taking place today. Emma has already raised over €13,000.
Emma explains why she decided to fundraise for the Irish Cancer Society “I have personally seen how beneficial the services are. I wanted to put my energy into raising awareness of my diagnosis, because it’s so rare, even if it helped one or two people in the future. I am also trying to regain strength and focus on my exercise after my treatment so the training has also helped a lot. I am taking part with 17 of my friends, we have nearly all been effected by cancer in some way, whether it be friends, parents or grandparents.”
Emma’s treatment involved invasive abdominal surgery in October 2020, following admission to hospital with severe abdominal pain. In December 2020, she began her chemotherapy treatment, known as the BEP regime.
Emma mentions that for her, she found this point the hardest “The chemotherapy was really difficult for me. I would have to stay in the hospital and get the chemotherapy for five nights in a row for a week, then once a week the next week and then start the cycle again. I lost all my hair, I felt like I was attached to a hoover that was sucking out all my energy. It was Christmas time and the Covid-19 cases were incredibly high.”
I did a few sessions of the remote counselling from the Irish Cancer Society when I finished chemotherapy. I found when all the physical work stopped, the mental health side caught up with me.
In February 2021, Emma finished the BEP chemotherapy and has had two scans since that have been clear. She will go back every three months to get checkups.
“I did a few sessions of the remote counselling from the Irish Cancer Society when I finished chemotherapy. I found when all the physical work stopped, the mental health side caught up with me. It was really helpful being able to talk to an external person who wasn’t directly involved in my life. I was also put me in contact with a girl in her late twenties, she had a different diagnosis to me but it was good to chat to someone around my age about our experiences.
I’m in the recovery process. The shock of it all, I am still processing it. Even telling people my story now, it sometimes doesn’t even feel like I am talking about something that happened to me. The experience has changed my perspective on everything. It’s not all bad, it’s given me a whole new appreciation for health and for life.” She notes.
Emma acknowledges that her diagnosis at such a young age is rare but still feels young people need to be aware “For many young people, I think our health can be taken for granted sometimes. It’s presumed we are always going to be fine. Don’t always presume it will be fine, it’s so worth going to your GP if you feel something is not right, it’s only going to take about twenty minutes to get checked out.
I am so incredibly grateful that I was diagnosed early enough to make a full recovery. I also can’t say how thankful I am for all the support that I received from family, friends and medical staff throughout this process. I don’t know what I would do without them.”
Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line
If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm
For more information
1800 200 700