August 02, 2020
Listen to HuffPost UK Life’s weekly podcast Am I Making You Uncomfortable? about women’s health, bodies and private lives. Available on Spotify, Apple, Audioboom and wherever you listen to your podcasts
‘I Had Ovarian Cancer, Then Coronavirus. But I’m Still Determined To Be A Mum’
As far back as she can remember, Sunita Thind has known she wanted to become a mum. “I’ve always had a maternal instinct and longed to have a child to share experiences with, to shower with love, and to help them succeed in the world,” says the 37-year-old, who lives in Derby with her husband, Peter.
But Thind’s whole world – and plans for a family – were shattered in April 2016, when she was suddenly diagnosed with ovarian cancer, having shown no previous symptoms of the disease.
“I just woke up one day and literally looked pregnant,” she recalls of the cruel joke her body seemed to be playing on her. “My belly was all swollen and I was in excruciating pain and kept vomiting. It was the worst pain I have ever experienced.”Related... 'I Was Told It Was Women's Problems': Meet The Ovarian cancer Patients Who Fought For Diagnosis And Treatment Thind was rushed into hospital, where 11 litres of fluid were removed from her abdomen, before she underwent numerous tests and scans. When the doctors realised it was cancer, they removed her left ovary, appendix and fallopian tube. 
“They wanted to do a full hysterectomy but I desperately didn’t want this,” she says. ”I was only 33 and wanted to have children. So they shut down my other ovary and I went into early menopause.” 
Little could she have imagined what other challenges lay ahead.Thind, a former primary school teacher, who is now a writer and poet, had six months of chemotherapy, followed by physiotherapy to begin her recovery. 
“Having ovarian cancer changed my world. It shattered me and I felt like I was living with constant fear.” she says. “There was always this little voice wondering if I did the right thing by not having a hysterectomy.”
Three years after her initial cancer diagnosis, in April 2019, Thind had fertility treatment to freeze her eggs and managed to secure eight viable eggs. All the while, she was having regular scans to check that the cancer had not returned. 
By November, specialists told Thind they weren’t happy as the cancer markers were high. Then in February this year, she was told there was cancer in her remaining ovary and that they needed to get rid of it. She was “absolutely devastated”.As a woman, I didn’t want to lose my periods, my fertility and my womanhood as it is part of my identity. But I knew I had to have it done.This time, it wasn’t only the doctors advising a hysterectomy. Thind says her husband Peter, who she describes (alongside their dog Ghost) as her “rock”, was also worried for his wife, because his own mother had had breast cancer and then ovarian cancer and died of it 10 years ago. However, he realised how strongly she felt against having the full operation – and supported her decision.
“I wanted to keep my womb as I still wanted to have a baby using my frozen eggs,” she says. “I knew the ovary needed to go and that was heartbreaking [enough]. As a woman, I didn’t want to lose my periods, my fertility and my womanhood as it is part of my identity. But I knew I had to have it done.”
It was then the coronavirus pandemic hit.Thind was booked in for surgery to remove her remaining ovary in May, during the height of UK lockdown, making a stressful situation even more challenging. 
Before going in for her surgery, Thind had to have a Covid-19 test, which was negative. However, the hospital gave her a letter warning her that there was a risk she could get Coronavirus while in hospital and be put on a ventilator.
The hardest thing, she says, was not being able to have her husband by her side or any visitors, due to the strict lockdown measures in place.
Doctors had warned that if something went wrong during the surgery, they might have to do a hysterectomy anyway. The prospect of waking up to this news without her husband there to support her frightened Thind.
Luckily, the operation went smoothly – she didn’t lose her womb and the care she received was excellent, she says. Even so, the experience felt “surreal”.
“You weren’t allowed to wear a dressing gown and slippers and I was wheeled into theatre just wearing the hospital gown,” she recalls. 
“The hospital was like a ghost town – I had the bay to myself and there were only about seven people on the whole gynaecology ward. Unless you needed something, you were left to your own devices. I received great care in hospital, but it was gruelling trying to recover in such a lonely way.” Related... Coronavirus Means These Cancer Patients Must Delay Lifesaving Treatment Or Risk Deadly Infection Despite the warnings, Thind didn’t contract coronavirus while in hospital having her surgery, but three days after her first chemotherapy session in late June, she started feeling breathless – and was re-admitted for a test. It came back positive for Covid-19 – another blow on top of everything else. 
“It is hard to say where I got exposed,” says Thind, who believes she could have contracted the virus from anywhere. “The week before I went into hospital, I went to Asda wearing a mask. Or I could have got it from my husband as he was going to the pharmacy to get medication for me.
Regardless, she went straight into quarantine. “I isolated at home for a week and my husband isolated for 14 days. I had chest pains and felt tired and dizzy. But luckily, I recovered after about four or five days.”
Thind feels doubly grateful for the speedy recovery, knowing that coronavirus disproportionately affects people from Black, Asian and ethnic minorities – and that it could have seriously impacted her cancer treatment. 
“I had a lucky escape as the chemotherapy kicks in after about seven to 10 days so fortunately, my immune system hadn’t weakened.”  Cancer is still stigmatised in the Asian community, says Thind, with many people unwilling to talk about it or seek help soon enough. 
“They call it the silent killer as it is often caught too late,” she says. “I have a distant aunt who had ovarian cancer but she was too ashamed to go to the doctor until it was too late and she ended up dying of it when she was in her 40s. Although I didn’t experience any symptoms, I was very lucky that my ovarian cancer was caught so quickly.” 
 “I want the Asian community to realise that cancer isn’t something you should hide or brush under the carpet.There were members of her family who wanted to “keep it quiet” when she was diagnosed. Instead, she has become something of an ambassador – even taking part in a fashion show for the ovarian cancer charity Ovacome. 
“I wanted to raise awareness and for the Asian community to realise that cancer isn’t something you should hide or brush under the carpet,” she says.
Nevertheless, the double whammy of cancer and coronavirus have left her emotions “all over the place”. As well as support from Macmillan Cancer Support and ongoing therapy to deal with the impact of all this on her mental health, she is using writing and poetry as an outlet, and published her first collection of poems, The Barging Buddhi, earlier this year. Thind’s writing covers a range of themes from religion and gender, to cancer...  and family. 
“I am still desperate to be a mum,” says the 37-year-old. “I’d like to give it a year for my body to recover and get healthy and then I’d like to use my frozen eggs to have a baby. Hopefully, this will happen. I’m determined not to give up in my quest to have a child and become a mum like I’ve always wanted.”
What would have been a difficult period of her life has been magnified by Covid-19, says Thing, but she remains resolved on recovery.
“I just want life to get back to normal. Everyone is in the same boat, but I am in a slightly different boat which is further out in choppy waters.” Related... 'Very Much A Taboo Subject': Asian Cancer Survivors On Dealing With Stigma After Diagnosis Ovarian Cancer Patients Face A 'Postcode Lottery' That Needs To Be Fixed One-Upmanship Needs To Stop, Coronavirus Is Hard On Everyone
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
'Julie and the Phantoms' Stars Cheyenne Jackson and Booboo Stewart on LGBTQ Representation
September 23, 2020
AmgkvK3xcJ4
John Cusack Says He Was Never Going to Play 'Breaking Bad's' Walter White
September 24, 2020
t8dtgMU4whA
2020: The Tipping Point for Connected TV Storytelling and Advertising - Variety Streaming Room
September 24, 2020
RtGX38E26SI
Japanese Actress Yuko Takeuchi Dead at 40
September 27, 2020
AA9FpWs-Wz4
Max Ehrich Says He Learned of Split With Demi From Tabloids
September 26, 2020
oKKgDNItF-Q
Necessary Realness: Celebrities Dating Civilians | E! News
September 26, 2020
pFjBX1UlSJQ
Caitlyn Jenner and Sophia Hutchins in Talks to Join 'RHOBH' | TMZ
September 27, 2020
qjOO64aA6RM
Best Of TMZ on TV This Week: 9/21-9/25
September 25, 2020
AK7597t5iAA
Gigi Gorgeous Says J.K. Rowling's Dead to Her After More Anti-Trans Backlash | TMZ
September 24, 2020
eiKX6w8tL3Q
Dax Shepard reveals he relapsed after 16 years of sobriety | Page Six Celebrity News
September 25, 2020
yT7YuvLGDeY
Teddi Mellencamp’s 'RHOBH' exit and more Housewives news of the week | Page Six Celebrity News
September 25, 2020
FZ9FCO_lsKk
Meghan Markle reportedly has serious ambitions to run for president | Page Six Celebrity News
September 25, 2020
vQRPlbqIYck
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
28
Sep
BELARUS: Premier League
FC Minsk - Smolevichi-STI
28
Sep
KOREA REPUBLIC: K-League 2
Jeonnam Dragons - Jeju United
28
Sep
KAZAKHSTAN: Premier League
Shakhter Karaganda - Kaspyi
28
Sep
RUSSIA: Supreme Divison - Women
FK Krasnodar W - Lokomotiv W
28
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League 2, Divison 2
Sunderland U-23 - Leeds U-23
28
Sep
RUSSIA: PFL, Group 1
Makhachkala - Yessentuki
28
Sep
KAZAKHSTAN: Premier League
Kyzyl-Zhar - Kaisar
27
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Juventus
27
Sep
FRANCE: Ligue 1
Reims - PSG
27
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Villarreal
27
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Newcastle United
27
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Leicester City
27
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Crotone - AC Milan
27
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Genoa
27
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Granada CF
28
Sep
CHINA: Super League
Tianjin Teda - Wuhan Zall
27
Sep
SLOVENIA: 1. SNL
Olimpija - Domzale
27
Sep
ROMANIA: Liga 1
CSMS Iasi - Steaua
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Los Angeles FC - San Jose Earthquakes
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Los Angeles Galaxy - Seattle Sounders
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Vancouver Whitecaps - Portland Timbers
27
Sep
MEXICO: Apertura
Cruz Azul - America
27
Sep
BRASIL: Serie A
Atletico GO - Botafogo
27
Sep
BRASIL: Serie A
Ceara - Goias
27
Sep
BRASIL: Serie A
Santos - Fortaleza
27
Sep
PORTUGAL: Primeira Liga
Rio Ave - Guimaraes
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Dallas - Orlando City
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Minnesota United - Real Salt Lake
27
Sep
PARAGUAY: Apertura
Generali Diaz - Guarani A
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Chicago Fire - Atlanta United
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Philadelphia Union - Inter Miami FC
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
Toronto FC - Columbus Crew
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
New York Red Bulls - Montreal Impact
27
Sep
USA: Major League Soccer
D.C. United - New England Revolution
27
Sep
MEXICO: Apertura
Atletico San Luis - Leon
27
Sep
PARAGUAY: Apertura
Sportivo Luqueno - Nacional Asuncion
27
Sep
BRASIL: Serie A
Palmeiras - Flamengo
27
Sep
SPAIN: Segunda Division
Leganes - FC Cartagena
27
Sep
NORWAY: Eliteserien
Bodo-Glimt - Valerenga
26
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Fiorentina
26
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Manchester United
26
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Betis - Real Madrid
26
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Bromwich Albion - Chelsea
24
Sep
EUROPA LEAGUE: Third qualifying round
Shkendija - Tottenham Hotspur
24
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Manchester City - Bournemouth
24
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Lincoln City - Liverpool
24
Sep
EUROPA LEAGUE: Third qualifying round
AC Milan - Bodo-Glimt
23
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Leicester City - Arsenal
23
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Chelsea - Barnsley
22
Sep
ENGLAND: League Cup
Luton - Manchester United
21
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Manchester City
21
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Bologna
20
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Liverpool
20
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Southampton - Tottenham Hotspur
20
Sep
FRANCE: Ligue 1
Nice - PSG
20
Sep
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Real Madrid
20
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Sampdoria
20
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Parma - Napoli
19
Sep
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
19
Sep
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Roma
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.