"Where does one begin – up until the last few years everything had been normal (well normal for me). 2 pregnancies in my early 20s, with one being a twin one resulted in 3 daughters. Periods after this continued every 28 to 30 days so very regular until I hit my early 50s when they became more erratic. This continued for a few years until I was 55 when they stopped after a few months of being very heavy. Great thought I the end is here and now for some carefree days…..
How wrong I was. They decided to start again after 9 months and got really heavy for a number of months and I was on the verge of going to the Doctors to see if there was anything they could do when again they stopped in February 2016 (at this point I was 56).
A few months passed when I started spotting but thought nothing of it just assumed (wrongly) that this was normal after menopause. September 2016 came and I had felt a lump in my lower abdomen so thought I ought to get it checked out but as it wasn’t causing any problems left it for a few weeks. End of October came and a niggly pain in my lower right abdomen for a few days finally sent me to the Doctors – I thought it might be appendicitis – little did I know!
After being questioned and prodded about the Doctor announced - “I can feel a lump, it could be a cyst, it could be an ovarian cyst, it could be a fibroid or it could be cancer – I’m referring you to hospital on the 2 week cancer referral”.
As you can imagine at this point I couldn’t really take in what he was saying, but sure enough within 2 weeks I had an appointment at the hospital at the Gynae Oncology Unit. The next 7 weeks were a whirlwind of hospital appointments from pipelle biopsy, blood test, ultrasound, MRI, hysteroscopy and D&C, and CTI scans and finally culminating with a total hysterectomy on the 19th December.
The 19th December happened to be my 35th wedding anniversary so was not what we had planned – the trip to Vienna for the Christmas markets had to wait! The final diagnosis was that it was Grade 2 Stage 1a womb cancer, multiple fibroids making the uterus the size of a 22 week pregnancy – no wonder I could feel a lump!.
Luckily I need no further treatment and the hospital I attend has placed me on what they call open access for 5 years – meaning that if there is anything I’m unsure about or have any odd aches and pains they are available on the end of the phone to talk through and will see me if they think it advisable – probably the best outcome I could have wished for.
Now just over 6 months later I have recovered well. I am back at work full time, have been out to Vienna for a belated anniversary holiday, feel absolutely fine, and so incredibly grateful for the care and support that I have received both from the hospital and my family.
My mission now is to talk about womb cancer and the signs to everyone I meet – after all unless we talk about periods, menopause and abnormal bleeding how can we educate people about issues that might arise."
If you would be willing to write a blog post for us then please get in touch via the contact form.