Monika Tasic was just 27 years old when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at the end of 2017.
After a colleague pointed out her abdominal bloating, she underwent a series of tests that returned no answers before visiting her local GP, who performed a physical exam. In a matter of seconds, she was referring Monika to an ultrasound technician.
Monika’s GP referred her to Gynaecological Oncologist/Surgeon, Associate Professor Brand at Westmead Hospital.
I woke up the morning after my surgery to Professor Brand and her team in my hospital room. "Malignant". That’s all I remember from that conversation. Professor Brand had explained that the initial tests had proven the tumour was malignant, and she was confident that it was a Germ Cell tumour. She explained this was good news. Like I'd "won the cancer lottery". Which was confusing—how could anyone with cancer consider themselves lucky?"
I could feel my world crashing and burning around me. I definitely didn’t feel lucky. I was 27 and in prime health…and now I had a huge laparotomy scar and I was kissing the next four months goodbye. I still can’t believe the only symptom I ever had was the bloating."
Monika was staged at 2A with a Dysgerminoma Germ Cell Ovarian Cancer.
"I remember feeling so overwhelmed with information as my chemo protocol was explained to me. Hair loss, NAUSEA, hearing loss, NAUSEA, lung capacity, NAUSEA."
After going through egg removal, Monika started three rounds of chemo over nine weeks.
"All up it was 21 infusions over 57 days. Some days were great—I was full of energy and positivity. But towards the end of chemo, the negativity seeped through a little more and I found myself having more bad days than good. Without the undying support of my parents, partner, sister and best friend—I would have been inconsolable."
Monika is currently in remission.