Conquering Cancer

by Debbie Potts
4 April 2022

Life’s unexpected challenges can turn into discovery, determination and resilience!

Exactly 8 months ago on 4th August 2021 was the one-year anniversary of my business! On that very day at 2.45pm UK time, my life changed quite unexpectedly as I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3. Hearing the consultant’s words, I was in complete and absolute shock, but for some reason I remained calm as I attempted to process what I was hearing as well as all the images shared with me from the ultrasound and CT scans. The most challenging part initially was dealing with all the uncertainty and unknowns that lay ahead. I had no idea just how much I would be tried and tested throughout this journey, but as humans I believe that we are quite resilient when it comes to dealing with adversity and unexpected challenges. We are definitely stronger than we think.

Almost immediately after diagnosis, I underwent an intensely aggressive chemotherapy regime for six months but with a severe allergic reaction to one of the drugs as well as intense side effects and several high-risk surgeries. I had invaluable support from my family and friends throughout this journey and I was determined to beat this awful disease because I love life so much. I was and still am so proud of what I had achieved in the first year as Founder and CEO of DAP VA Limited! The sensible action was to work as much as I could until I couldn’t. Thankfully, my clients were so incredibly supportive and understanding and I managed to work until the beginning of November 2021, when I really had to put my business on hold in order to focus on beating this thing.

I did! I’m now free of cancer, a thing of the past for me. I’m a fighter and I’m a survivor! I kicked cancer's butt and I conquered!

I also believe that it is so important to spread awareness of the symptoms of ovarian cancer because according to the target ovarian cancer website each year, here in the UK, about 7,400 women are diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Two thirds of those with ovarian cancer are diagnosed too late when the cancer has already spread. Shining a spotlight on these symptoms early enough, will make it easier to treat - early detection saves lives! That is why you will see some of my social media posts highlighting these symptoms and why I put myself forward to tell my story so that women will begin to listen to their bodies when presented with these symptoms and get themselves checked out by their GP.

The whole process has been a journey of resilience, determination and discovery. I am actually not sad that the universe picked me, but instead, I am filled with gratitude and empathy and I am more focused on the joy of living and doing what I love to do – rebuilding my business and getting to work with fabulous inspiring entrepreneurs and businesses. I’m back and open for business so if you’re looking for a reborn resilient Executive Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager, then look no further. I would love to have an online fika/coffee with you and get to know you. Click on the link below to book some time with me.

Watch my six month cancer journey

Full disclosure: I absolutely would not be here if I did not have the love and support from my partner Dan, my beautiful children, my friends and family and of course the phenomenally talented incredible medical team at The Royal Marsden Hospital, Chelsea. It really does take a village to achieve great things!

Read more about my story on The Royal Marsden's charity website.

You can also read my story on The Lady Garden Foundation website.

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