" I am 48 years old, and I am a womb cancer survivor. This is my story to date.
In 2008, I was told that I would need a double repair, due to a prolapse of my vaginal walls. This I was told was due to having had 4 children in relatively quick succession, in my early 20’s. I was nervous, as anyone would be, due to surgery, but also a little excited as my sex life hadn’t been that good for a few years, due to lack of sensation etc. The surgery went well, as did the recovery, and I can tell you it was worth it on the sexual front. However, I had asked my consultant if he could remove my cervix at the same time, as I had had low grade abnormal cells for years that they had been monitoring…..he refused !!!
In December of 2009, my period started as usual, but was a lot heavier than usual, but I thought nothing of it. 3 weeks later, I came on again, and it was unusually heavy but this time it didn’t stop. I went to my G.P but he was very unsympathetic, and told me it was probably my age, and that periods changed blah, blah, blah.
Things worsened over the Summer, with my tummy feeling bloated all the time, a constant dragging feeling and regular ‘flooding’, which made my work life quite difficult – I carried a bag of spare knickers and trousers in the car with me, due to the ever increasing incidents.
I tried to put it out of my mind, as my eldest daughter was getting married in the September, and I was busy helping her with her wedding plans. I went back to the GP, twice more during this time, and each time was fobbed off, and made to feel that I was being neurotic, but I knew something wasn’t right.
On my daughter’s wedding day, I went through 20 sanitary towels and 5 outfit changes, due to flooding. It was getting ridiculous. The following Tuesday, at work, I started with chest pains. After much debate with my work colleagues, I took myself to A&E, where I joked that I knew it wasn’t a heart attack, as I would have died already, the length of time I had been having them. The S.H.O at the hospital took my bloods and then started asking me general questions about my health. I told her about my periods, and she looked concerned but didn’t say anything. My blood results came back, and I was severely anaemic. She wanted to admit for an iron transfusion, but I refused as I was flying to Florida the day after. Instead she gave me a prescription for high strength iron tablets and made me promise that I would see my GP and ask for a gynae referral on my return.
My holiday was a disaster, I kept fainting, spent a lot of time in bed and couldn’t enjoy it. On returning to England, I phoned my GP for an appointment, and got one the same day with a female GP. Only at that appoint did the GP examine me. Her face said it all. “We need to get you an urgent referral to gynae” she said. “I’m going to phone them myself now”, “try not to worry” AS IF!!!
My head was all over the place. I had an appointment for the very next day. I laid on the examining couch, with my legs akimbo, whilst the nurse held my hand, as a junior doctor prodded and poked my insides. “I just need to get my senior” he said, took his gloves off and left the room, leaving the nurse to make idle small talk. In walked the senior, same procedure, then "I just need a quick word with the consultant”, gloves off and he left the room. “I’m sure its nothing to worry about” said the nurse uncomfortably – yeah right I thought. In walked the consultant, same procedure, “Erm,, you have a number of masses protruding from your cervix. I need to arrange a hysteroscopy and an ultrasound as a matter of urgency.” That was Thursday, and within a week, I had had an ultrasound, a hysteroscopy, a blood transfusion, and was sat in the consultants waiting room. Sat there alone, all alone. he said “ You have cancer”. “Do you have any questions?” What? I had so many questions, but my head was spinning, and the ground was caving in “ Am I going to die” was all I could manage to say. “ Hopefully not, we are transferring your care over to the oncology team at Preston”. And with that it was done…I HAD CANCER. I HAD FUCKING CANCER. I WAS GOING TO DIE. I HAD CANCER !!!!!
That was in October, and I had a radical hysterectomy on the 13th December 2010. I honestly couldn’t wait, I need to get this ‘thing’ out of my body. The hardest bit was telling my children, especially my older ones, 2 of whom were pregnant at the time. I had to pretend it was all going to be fine, and that I was ok, but really I wasn’t, but no way was I going to show them that.
So almost 6 years on, here I am, I am a survivor…..yes the cancer has gone, but at a price. I no longer feel like a woman, I have lost my sense of identity, my marriage has suffered beyond belief, and I now suffer from severe depression and anxiety…but I am alive, and for that I am truly grateful.
I have met some fantastic, strong ladies along the way, from Smiling Debs, who first introduced me to Kaz, and WCSUK, to Pam, who lives in the next village. They have supported me every step of the way, and in turn, I hope to support every woman, who develops this disease, by raising awareness. My hope is that this little known cancer, will one day be as well known as other women's cancers and that in raising awareness we can help save a life.
Thank you Kaz for being there for me xxx"
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xx Kaz xx