Aussie fashion designer Camilla Franks has shared an open letter about the “grief and pain” of having her ovaries removed, in the hopes she might inspire us all to take action in the fight against cancer.
The 45-year-old undertook the procedure as a preventative measure because she has a harmful BRCA2 gene variant which increases her risk of recurrent breast cancer, fallopian tube cancer, ovarian cancer and more.
In the message posted to her 382,000 Instagram followers, Camilla shares a photo of herself lying in a hospital bed and describes her cancer journey as “hideous” and never-ending:
“First was the discovery of a lump, and the heartache of having to wean my 8 week old baby off my breast within days. Then 6 months of the bazooka of all chemo to attack my cancer, successfully. Then my treatment shifted to prevention. I underwent a double mastectomy, saying goodbye to my breasts which had only just been nourishing my beautiful newborn. Next went my fallopian tubes. But now, this.”
Camilla says having her ovaries removed “leaves the biggest hole of all.”
She explained that she’d kept putting the surgery off, hoping to have “a brood of bubbas” first but now accepts that she will have one biological child.
“I am beyond grateful that I have my beautiful little girl, Luna. I am blessed to have experienced motherhood. But as far so many other mothers and would-be mothers, breast cancer has cruelly decided our future.”
She hopes that sharing her story might get us all thinking about the preventative measures we can take ourselves – hello regular breast checks or simply going to the doctor when something doesn’t feel right within us.
“My hope is that you will stay vigilant with your own bodies, that you will support each other through treatment.”
She also encourages her fans to donate to organisations working to find a cure including the National Breast Cancer Foundation where she’s an ambassador and regularly uses her platform to raise awareness about the disease.
“Today, I am more determined than ever to fight to find a cure and wipe this bloody breast cancer off the face of the earth. I never want to see my daughter or any other person go through this,” Camilla continues.
She ends by explaining that she’s “a fighter” but admits: “right now, I’m not.”
Swipe to read her full message below:
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(Feature Image Credit: @camillawithlove/Instagram)