I was told, after finally being admitted onto the ward after 6 hours of sitting in the corridor of A&E, that if I had not been admitted that day I would have been dead within 24 hours as there was very little oxygen getting to my brain.
I had been ill for about 9 months previously but had been to scared to do anything because I was frightened that I would end up being told that I had something seriously wrong with me - like cancer!!! I spent 2 weeks in hospital; had 6 units of blood pumped into me and was put on diuretics that meant when I left hospital I was almost 7 stone lighter than when I went in! I subsequently lost a further stone and a half n the next 2 weeks.
I had a barrage of tests whilst in hospital, and further tests and scans in the months after coming out of hospital, culminating in an MRI scan at the end of November 2009 which finally revealed that I had womb cancer. I got the results of the scan over the phone on 23rd Dec.
How long the cancer had been there is anyone's guess - it may well have been there years. But here I was, diagnosed with the very thing that I had always dreaded - CANCER!
It will be 4 years in July since I finished my treatment and I can't say that its been an easy ride. The treatment has left me with long term side effects that severely affect my quality of life. I have lymphedema in both legs; I have been diagnosed with an underactive thyroid; I have bowel adhesions from the radiotherapy; I also have an epi-gastric hernia that they won't operate on because of the adhesions; plus I have long term cognitive and memory problems and fatigue.
I don't regard myself as a cancer survivor, just like I didn't regard myself as a cancer warrior. I took each day as it came, just like I do now. Some days are better than others - many are much worse!
I'm not looking for sympathy - I never have done. I just want some understanding. I want people to realise that cancer doesn't just go away once the treatment ends. It lingers in the side effects that some of us endure, often for the rest of our lives. For me, and many others, normality is something that we will never get back. Our lives have changed forever and it's sometimes very hard to adjust and accept.
Going through the treatment was the easy part - living the rest of my life with the side effects of the treatment is the hard part.
xx Kaz xx