".I decided to do a bit of gardening on the 17th March 2015; it was a Bank Holiday in Northern Ireland and a nice dry day. I remember thinking this is the start of bringing some much needed attention to the garden. I had been busy raking out weeds and just enjoying being out of the house.
The next evening I felt I had cramp pains but thought what had I ate as I have IBS I thought nothing of it as the feeling passed . Thursday the 19th I was at work and again had pain it reminded me of period pains a distant memory as I had not had a period for 10 years. I went to the bathroom and I was shocked i had a bleeding .It was heavy that day I thought this is a one off but I was concerned, quietly. I googled and what I read was pointing me in the direction of making a Doctors appointment . I inform my husband spoke to my sister and of course they advised going to see the Doctor. During the course of the weekend there was no trace of the bleed I tried to put it out of my head ,however on the Monday it was back ever so lightly but it was there. I was at work and one of my colleagues asked what was wrong i told her and she said that if I did not ring the doctors she would. I phoned the Doctors explained and I was there that afternoon.
I was given an examination but to be on the safe side the Doctor was referring me to the Hospital for further investigation. How was I feeling frightened, terrified google again in case I missed anything .I googled the procedure I was to have. Did you know they actually have a video of it on you tube .Really! I did not watch it sometimes too much information I am not that brave. I dreaded the post but the letter arrived Monday the 13th April 10 am appointment.
The procedure was endoscopy . I was anxious ,my husband seemed to park the car at the furthest point in the car park , seriously every step felt like a mile I just wanted to get it over with . I did not have long to wait I was taken into a cubicle to change I had deliberately chosen a long top to cover my dignity .Why do they make these so narrow? I felt like running . The inner door opened and i meet the consultant. He was very matter of fact , some medical history questions he complemented me on the fact that I had attended regularly for my smear test the last one was two years ago and all was normal . Now there is a word would I ever feel 'normal 'again. During the examination I was asked to look at the screen . Was this man being serious , he had explained that there appeared to be a polyp but he turned it over and I thought or rather I stated praying. He asked could he do a biopsy he said that I had not been prepped for it I consented. I thought why put myself through another appointment.
The consultant informed me that the results would be within a fortnight all i could think of that would be my birthday I must of said it out loud because he said well we can have them earlier than that He said that I probably disturbed it . He said he must look at it in 'its most sinister' . What ? I stood in the corridor the receptionist asked was I alright someone else spoke to me . I could feel the tears prick my eyes but i was conscious that I had to step into the waiting area to tell my husband I was ready to leave and I did not want to scare others waiting to be seen . Breathe ,I mentally said and smile. I f I thought the walk was long on the way in it was longer on the way out . I decided I wanted to go into work my daughter was at home from university and i did not want her to see me upset she was about to embark on her first year exams. I went in my Employer asked was I ok and we spoke privately did I want to go home no I just wanted to get on with my day here at least I could feel in control , I could feel 'normal'.
It was exhausting I had to face going home I went through the motions I was glad my daughter's friend arrived I said I would give them space and retired to bed. My husband and I were to have many whispered conversations over the week . My husband ,sister and work colleagues were being positive but they had not been at the appointment. I nodded my agreement but I knew . I received a phone call from the hospital on the 20th April Monday asking me could I come on the 21st how could I say no.
I went to work as normal the appointment was at 2.30 pm My Boss drove me to the hospital she was ware that I was nervous and that I could met my husband there. She is a very spiritual person and prayed with me before I left her car. I found comfort in that. I met my husband he was doing his best to talk about anything other than the reason we were there .My name was called . I remembered being very calm the Consultant introduced himself and the other doctor but he did nor give acknowledgement to the third party who was a nurse. I was ahead of him my friend or enemy Mr Google said if there were three parties at the consultation one would be a cancer nurse.
I told myself to breathe , listen . So on the 21st April at approx 2.45 pm my life as I knew it changed. The Consultant drew a diagram it was to be the first of many and informed me that I had Cancer of the Womb Grade 3 aggressive . i was informed about the journey I was about to begin timescales for operation, treatment scans etc. I wanted to cover my ears but I kept saying to myself 'and breathe '. I was conscious that my husband was behind me , my backup , my support . He has told me he was right beside be but I could not see him I just felt his presence ,his strength. As I walked out go the room i felt like crying but no I could do that in a private place not in a hospital corridor I was directed to another room. The nurse was a Macmillan Nurse; she asked did I have any questions how was I expected to think straight . She said three things that have stayed with me,
(1 ) be selective in who you tell
(2) do not go on a diet
(3 ) do not start a new exercise programme
No's two and three made me smile . I decided there and then not to tell my daughter I wanted her to get through her exams without additional stress. I should be awarded an Oscar for my acting ability over the next month.
I felt the desire to tell someone I phoned my boss if I said it out loud it would sink in this was real it was happening to me. I asked her could i inform my colleagues I wanted to tell them myself . Why? We lost a work colleague a year before to Cancer it was as if she just disappeared out of our life's I wanted them to see that I was going to face this head on I wanted them to feel comfortable around me I wanted them to treat me as normal not Grainne with cancer, just Grainne. I was still and am the same person. There were in disbelief I said I was going home and I would see them in the morning that to morrow there would be no tears that their strength would keep me strong and that was now it was.
Telling my dear sister was not easy she is eight years older than me and we are close yes we argue ,agree to disagree but we are close. she told my two brothers for me , my bridesmaid was the next person I told she hung up on me at first but rung back once she was able to speak. She came to visit me that night and to be honest she looked worst than me.
I went to my own doctors that afternoon as I have asthma I felt it started to flair and I will say the Surgery I belong to has been very supportive. Guess where I went next ? To the pub ! Yes I had a glass of wine ,I cried over the top of it people there probably thought I had come from a funeral I was wearing a black suit. Thank goodness my daughter had returned to university. I was suddenly emotionally exhausted. This was real i wonder will i ever feel 'normal 'again.
I have prayed like I never prayed before . I felt I was on a roller coaster and I could not get off. I looked at myself in the mirror yes it was still me but I has this thing inside me . Note I did not give it a name I refused to let the C word become part of my everyday language. I studied my body why has it let me down I asked what did I do wrong ? Should i have exercised should I have cut down on the biscuits and chocolate with a cup of tea. I felt I had let my body down. I had a fleetly thought why me ? As soon as that entered my head it went out that was a selfish thought it would mean then why not someone else. I asked God to bless me on this journey and to bless those who would be assisting me the medical teams, family and friends."
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xx Kaz xx