"I've never liked fair ground rides; I remember once screaming so loud on a ferris wheel my mum had to get it stopped for me; but in May 2011 I started on a rollercoaster ride that I couldn't stop, I just had to hang on for the ride.
My journey started by a simple trip to the Docs, an oddity for me, I very rarely went. I had found a small lump on my vaginal wall, quite painful. I thought it was a cyst, which it was, but my GP noticed something; she said I looked really pale, anaemic in fact and ran some blood tests.
I got an urgent call the next day, they wanted to see me straight away. I was borderline needing a transfusion I was so anaemic. My GP asked me about my periods. I had always had really heavy long periods, from being 18, they had got worse over the last three years, but I had just dealt with them.
My GP was fab and said it needed looking into. She referred me but I heard nothing. In the meantime she fitted me with a mirena coil. This lasted a week, I had a bad reaction to it and hemorrhaged, so my GP removed it and was horrified by the amount of blood and clots. She said I needed to see a consultant urgently; things were not right. I was put on meds to slow the bleeding, but it didn't stop, this was in October.
She got on to the hospital, they finally sent me an appointment for November.
November came I was still bleeding, I saw a young registrar who took biopsies and examined me, did some scans, didn't say much, just said I needed more tests!
December came, I was given a hysteroscopy, it was agonising, I was still bleeding, no-one really answered my questions.
By now I was feeling quite ill; my GP was seeing me every week, checking my blood levels and giving me lots of support, hounding the hospital for answers and results; she felt now my only option was a hysterectomy.
January came; the hospital said all biopsies were negative. I had an enlarged twisted tilted womb, with lots of cysts and fibroids; however they wanted to try an ablative first, I said I felt a hysterectomy would be better, but the consultant said they had to at least try, so I put my faith in them.
January 25th the ablative failed; my womb was too enlarged and twisted.
By now I was in agony. I spent a week.in hospital after the ablative, but no-one seemed to listen; they just gave me pain meds and more meds to slow the bleeding.
My GP was outraged; she wrote to the hospital to speed up my appointment, I was by now unable to work,
The hospital finally saw me in March.
The consultants first words were "I hear you think you need a hysterectomy", I just broke down; all my agony, pain, frustration just flew out. I think I even screamed at him; another consultant came in, "we will see what we can do" she said. I walked out feeling like a mad women who was faking it and putting on.
I rang my GP in floods of tears; she reassured me she would hound them again.
The letter came a week later; I had to see another consultant the following week.
Progress I thought! The appointment was brill, I could have the op in May; a long wait but I could manage, even if by now I was on 45 tablets a day and still off work.
The day came; they wanted to try it by Lap, I put my faith in them. I came round on HDU, the operation had took 7 hours, I ran into breathing difficulties as my womb was so hard to remove, they had finished up leaving my ovaries and cervix, no biggy I thought at least no more bleeding, after a long year the ride was over.
I came home 4 days later but I still felt so ill, just part of it I thought.
On 30th May 2012 at 1pm the hospital rang; could I come in tomorrow /I knew then it had to be bad news. I wanted the roller coaster to stop, but the driver wasn't listening!
I didn't sleep; my Hubby and I arrived at the hospital at 10:00 am; finally at 10:45am we were taken to see a consultant; the same one who asked me why I wanted a hysterectomy! She dropped the bomb shell; I just wanted to scream at her. I was being transferred to Sheffield for my care; Chesterfield didn't deal with cancer! All I could think was, thank god for that!
Sheffield rang me the next day; "could I be there by 4:00pm"; god its happening fast, I thought, but good!
Mr Gillespie was brilliant; he talked through what had been found but said it was hard to know exactly as my womb had been shredded! "What??" I asked, I didn't know, Chesterfield hadn't told me! He was appalled; He said my treatment had been dealt with wrongly from the start, but we had to move on.
I was booked in for a open abdominal BSO and cervical stumpectomy, plus abdominal washings on the 21st of June. I saw another consultant Miss Kew, who would do the op; a consultant anaesthetist Miss Bland, because of the issues I'd had before, and my CNS Angela, they were all amazing. For the first time I felt listened to, I felt confident in them.
My GP rang me when I got home, she was stunned with my diagnosis but she too was happy I was at Sheffield.
Op day came; the nurses and doctors were wonderful, so attentive. I had a melt down, think it finally hit me.
I finished up on intensive care but Miss Bland never left my side till I was stable. The op went well but they couldn't get my pain under control, or my blood pressure.
A week later I was home, sore and tired, but I didn't feel ill like last time.
On the 2nd of July, my hubbies 50th birthday, we were given the results. My pelvis was clear, no cancer was found anywhere else; however because of the uterus being shredded they were not sure yet if I needed radiotherapy. Never the less I was elated!
The hospital called the next day, they felt to be sure I should have Brachytherapy. They knew my cancer was 1b but thought it likely to be a grade 2 but because of the mess Chesterfield had made they couldn't guarantee it.
On the 4th of August I went into Weston Park. Again all staff were excellent. I have to say it wasn't the best experience I have had, it was a hard 3 days of treatment but the staff got me through.
So here I am, hopefully at the end of my rollercoaster journey. I hung on tight, gritted my teeth; through the loops, bumps, and terrifying moments, I can finally slow it down. My GP; Sheffield team; my family and friends got me through. I survived. I am still here, still smiling and that is all that matters!"