Story about mum with incurable cancer goes worldwide
TRUDY Crowley's declaration of incurable cancer and her positive attitude touched the hearts of many.
Showing her baldness to the world exposed how determined she is to create a conversation about ovarian cancer.
Losing her hair was one of the hardest parts of the journey - a mixture of society's definition of what looks normal and the fact people would know she was sick.
"I was like 'Oh my God, don't let my hair fall out'," Mrs Crowley admitted.
But her hair began to drop out in clumps and Mrs Crowley said visiting the hairdressers had been a daunting prospect.
The turban which had become a security blanket was taken off.
"I had to tell myself not to worry and to embrace it - suck it up," she said.
Losing the hair from the top of her head was just the start, soon all of her hair was gone including her eyebrows, leg hairs and all but a couple of eyelashes.
"It was great when I went away, I didn't need to take shampoo, conditioner, a hairdryer or a straightener," she laughed.
Mrs Crowley, 44, confessed being in control was a big deal for her, with her husband and sons in mind, she has started to plan her own funeral.
"I've picked out my coffin and there are plans in place - it's so the boys don't have to worry so much," she said.
This positive outlook on life was embraced by readers of Mrs Crowley's story.
The news of her cancer came as a surprise to some friends and acquaintances who she had lost touch with over the years.
From England to Zimbabwe and around Australia loving messages have been sent Mrs Crowley's way.
"Through family and friends it went worldwide - it was amazing to have my journey spread like that," Mrs Crowley said.
She was amazed by the response and admitted it had been a raw experience to see it all unfolding.
Her openness stirred up conversation about the cancer and that's what Mrs Crowley wanted.
The response to article reinforced Mrs Crowley's resolve to leave a strong message about ovarian cancer through her upcoming event The Nude Lunch.
Presented by Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal on September 23 at Clarion Marquee, all proceeds for the event will be donated to Ovarian Cancer Australia.
Mrs Crowley hopes the cancer can someday be detected earlier than the later stages when it's too late.
"Many people ask me if I had my paps smears but pap smears focus on cervical cancer only," she said.
The only signs Mrs Crowley had were pain in her back right-side, blood after sex and tiredness.
And it's not just about women, Mrs Crowley said the cancer affected men too, emotionally and physically.
"The Nude Lunch is open to men and women," she said.
This week Mrs Crowley received back results from genetic testing which she had done to find out if she would pass on inherited mutations such as BRCA1 and BRCA2.
"I believe that my grandmother could have had breast cancer, we know her sister did," Mrs Crowley said.
"The BRCA gene can skip a generation and it was possible it might be related to the ovarian cancer but I wanted to get tested for the boys and grandchildren."
Mrs Crowley confessed if she had known about the possibility of having ovarian cancer, she would have had everything removed after the birth of her children.
But the tests came back inconclusive.
In some joyful news, Mrs Crowley and family are happy to announce another Crowley is entering the world as her son Levi's girlfriend Kaylissa Neilsen is expecting a child.
Nicknamed 'Blueberry', Mrs Crowley is looking forward to seeing her second grandchild in February 2017.
If you would like to support Trudy Crowley's Nude Lunch presented by Dalrymple Bay Coal Terminal, tickets are available from www.redhotblue.com.au.
For more information about ovarian cancer visit ovariancancer.net.au or to follow Trudy Crowley's journey visit https://www.facebook.com/NUDE-LUNCH-1147618205301200/?fref=ts