EMMA Brown had done everything "right".
She ate well. She exercised. She wasn't overweight. She didn't smoke. She looked after her health.
So when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, she was dismayed. Angry.
"I distinctly remember feeling quite peeved off about it all," she said.
"I did all the right things... I didn't even contemplate this could happen to me."
For Mrs Brown, of Hamilton South, it all began with a strange rash on her arms and face two years ago.
In hindsight, the mother-of-three says it was her body's way of alerting her to the problem.
"I noticed it on my arms and my face, and I thought it was a bit odd," she said. "I was away for the weekend, and I thought I must have brushed up against something.
"But it got itchier, and the rash went up my arms and over the top of my back, and I couldn't work out what it was. I went to the GP, they didn't know what it was. I went to a dermatologist, they couldn't work out what it was.
"My face started to swell up like I had a bad anaphylactic reaction or a bad dose of Botox."
Eventually she was diagnosed with dermatomyositis - an extremely rare auto-immune condition that affects the skin and muscles. But there was another catch.
"They said there was a chance it could be linked to malignancy, so I started getting ultrasounds, MRIs, PET scans," she said. "Two days later they came back and said: 'You've got ovarian cancer'... People talk about the shock and the racing thoughts when they are first given that diagnosis, but I was just feeling so sick by then, I didn't care."
Mrs Brown underwent a full hysterectomy and her ovaries were removed. Due to complications from her auto-immune condition, she was unable to swallow. She was hospitalised for three months.
"Because it attacks your muscles, I really couldn't sit up in bed very well on my own," she said. "I couldn't shower on my own, dress myself on my own. My first goal was to walk one lap of the hospital corridor. Then I built up to five laps, then 10, then a lap outside.
"Before that, I used to run three times a week."
Mrs Brown said ovarian cancer symptoms were notoriously vague - bloating, feeling full, needing to use the bathroom more often, abdominal pain - but she urged other women to get any symptoms investigated.
Mrs Brown said she found it unhelpful to focus on the survival statistics for ovarian cancer. But more research funding was needed.
"There is no point dwelling on negative information," she said. "Worry just takes energy that you need.
"You need to just look ahead and focus on being as healthy and as fit as you can."
Mrs Brown advised others who may be facing a similar diagnosis to "take control" and be engaged in their medical management.
"Ask for further referrals or second opinions," she said.
"You would get a second quote building a deck... why not on your body?
"Read information, but make sure it's medically researched, and not internet quackery.
"Don't read the negative bits. Skim over those."
She said she preferred to look forward.
"Notice negative thinking but don't give it energy or time - it doesn't help in any way," she said.
"Remember, your body is amazing. It can give you signals early about something not being right. Don't ignore those signals. Follow up and have them investigated."
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