It had all started on 23rd Dec 2009 when I got a phone call telling me that the results of a recent MRI scan (which had been to determine the number and size of fibroids ) had shown that I had womb cancer, stage 1 grade 2,
I had my hysterectomy on 25th January 2010 and was told after the operation they were 99.9% sure that they had got it all and I would need no further treatment – seems they were wrong. When the pathology results came back I was told I needed chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
12th July 2015 has been on my mind since Xmas last year when I hit the first of my 5 year milestones – 5 years since diagnosis; 5 years since my hysterectomy; since starting chemo; starting radiotherapy.
12th July will be the day that marks my 5 years since it ended. But unlike most cancer patients who go out and celebrate and maybe even crack open a bottle of bubbly, I won’t be doing that.
I’m not going to hear those words “Congratulations, you’re cancer free” or whatever it is they say to cancer patients!! You see, since my treatment ended, I’ve had no follow up oncology appointments, other than one quick one 4 weeks after treatment ended.
Apparently my Oncologist deemed that I didn’t require any appointments as he was confident that the cancer was gone. Once I got over the initial shock of not being called to follow ups I actually accepted it as it meant I wasn’t constantly worrying about the next appointment like so many of the women I know who are part of the WCSUK private chat group.
However, with the date fast approaching I’m not sure how I feel. How will I mark the date? Just let it pass and try and forget about it? What is there to celebrate anyway? It’s not like I have a good quality of life to enjoy – cancer, or more precisely the treatment for cancer, has ruined my life. The long term side effects as a result of the treatment mean that my quality of life is virtually zero.
The aftercare I have received, both physical and psychological , has been virtually non-existent. The only support I have had has been from my wonderful Macmillan nurse who has been my rock throughout this journey. Sadly, she left the area last June and since then I have had nothing.
Sadly, aftercare for many cancer patients is lacking, and this needs to change. Letting cancer patients walk out of the door when their treatment ends and basically forgetting about them is not fair and it’s not right. It seems that patients in rural or isolated areas suffer more than most and there needs to be much more done to help them. Having to travel long distances to appointments only makes an already difficult situation much worse.
So, tomorrow when 12th July finally arrives what am I going to do? I have no idea yet – but I do know that the date deserves to be marked in some way to justify everything that I have been through in the past 5 years.
xx Kaz xx