I was alone in the house, and heard the voice of my gynaecologist down the phone explaining to me that the results of the MRI scan I had recently had indicated that I had endometrial, or womb cancer.In that moment, I stepped aboard the cancer rollercoaster – and I’m still on it 4 years later!!
Surgery, chemotherapy and then radiotherapy followed and then I looked forward to getting back to normal – but I soon realised that there is no “normal” and my health would never be the same again.I look around me now and see women within the womb cancer support group who, although having to cope with the side effects of their treatment and the hormonal consequences of going through a surgical menopause, are getting on with their lives.
They are back at work; going on holidays; getting on with life! All the things I want to be able to do! I used to love going camping and walking around the lovely island I live on, off the west coast of Scotland.Four years down the line, my health is worse now that it was when I was diagnosed. Apparently, I am one of the unlucky ones!
Since my treatment ended I have been diagnosed with severe depression; an epi gastic hernia; an underactive thyroid; lymphedema in both legs; I have bowel and bladder problems as a result of the radiotherapy; cognitive issues and memory problems as a result of the chemotherapy; I also have severe fatigue due to not sleeping properly. To say I am a little p****d off is putting it mildly!
It sometimes feels that having cancer was the easy part – it's dealing with the after effects that is hard work.
I know I’m not the only one who is having to deal with this; but it sometimes feels like it. Trying to explain to family and friends that just because I no longer have cancer that doesn’t mean that everything is ok! Living on a small island also means that medical and aftercare facilities are very limited so most appointments involve going to the mainland, which in itself is tiring and only adds to the problem.
We see and hear stories every day of people who have “conquered” cancer and gone on to live fulfilling lives - but we hear very little about the people for whom every day is a struggle. I don’t want sympathy – I, and the many others like me, just want people to understand how hard it is for us to get through each day.If you have a womb cancer diagnosis and would like some support or just someone to chat to then join us on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WombCancerSupportUK xx Kaz xx