Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Elise Has a Close Call with Cancer; Small Steps on Road to Recovery

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

Elise Has a Close Call with Cancer; Small Steps on Road to Recovery

Article excerpt

Byline: Bianca Box

ELISE Pratt is just taking each day as it comes.

For the young Gladstone woman it is all about taking small steps to recovery after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2009 at the age of 22.

Her life has since been an up and down battle to get her health back on track.

Ms Pratt had no symptoms and didn't expect anything was wrong when she first went to hospital with mild stomach cramps.

When she was flown to Brisbane for further tests she was diagnosed with Stage 3C ovarian germscell cancer and was operated on immediately.

She instantly left her simple Gladstone life behind for numerous bouts of chemotherapy and hospital stints to combat the disease that could have been fatal.

Unbeknown to Ms Pratt a tumour the size of a football was lodged in her stomach, compacting all of her organs.

C[pounds sterling]At first I just thought it was nothing to be concerned about,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]I then realised that my cramps and loss of appetite were more serious then once thought.C[yen]

The tumour and many of Ms Pratt's lymph nods were removed but unfortunately the tumour had already burst and spread.

C[pounds sterling]After surgery I went straight into three-week cycles of chemo,C[yen] Ms Pratt said.

C[pounds sterling]I was just in shock Co I had no idea about ovarian cancer, I had no family history and didn't know what to expect.C[yen]

Since first diagnosed Ms Pratt has never thought about the dying even though 75% of women diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the advanced stages don't survive beyond five years.

C[pounds sterling]It is just something you don't think about. I didn't focus on the negative, I couldn't. You just find something to focus your attention on think positive and tell yourself Co this is not the end.C[yen]

Ms Pratt said she was lucky to be alive as her cancer spread rapidly.

C[pounds sterling]I had quiet a severe case. The more rapid it is the more dangerous it is.

C[pounds sterling]I was really lucky Co though I had all the physical signs like hair and weight loss I am still here today.C[yen]

Ms Pratt is now 18 months into remission and, for now, is happy to be finished. …

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