" I initially visited my GP as I had complained of a slight bladder leak, where I was told it was likely to be stress incontinence, but I was determined to prove that this simply wasn’t the case.
As a result, I tried several types of medication over the course of months which caused a wide-range of side-effects including constipation. After having a Urinary Diagnostic Test I was swiftly prescribed 8 weeks of TENS treatment which proved to have no effect on my urinary problems, after this I was given the option to be referred to Liverpool Women’s Urinary Clinic or be placed on different medication as there had been no improvement.
Over several years, I continued to see my GP due to bleeding and passing clots after intercourse and painful intercourse which was strange as my periods had ceased. My GP performed a smear test and this came back suspect and I was referred for a colposcopy which was performed and came back clear. However, no further tests were done to determine why my periods had stopped at this stage – which I feel was a missed opportunity.
I was given HRT at several different times for menopausal symptoms but my blood was never checked to see if I was actually in menopause before being prescribed HRT. Subsequently I have found out that I have Hashimoto’s Disease which can present you with symptoms of the menopause.
In Feb 2015 I started getting pain in my left hip which was excruciating, and coincided around the time of when I should be having my period, but it then progressively started occurring all the time and which proved to be unbearable at times.
I saw my consultant in June 2015, by which this time I was having daily foul smelling black bloody discharge that made me very self-conscious, which I mentioned during a check-up, unfortunately this was seemingly ignored. After 12 weeks of bloody discharge and pain in my pelvic area a uterine biopsy was performed, with the possibility of fitting a Mirena Coil or them performing an ablation procedure. However, during this time I visited my GP who sent me for a pelvic x-ray, but these results were inconclusive.
Before I left for a holiday in early October I started opening the post. I found that I had been sent appointments at Liverpool Women’s Hospital and one for a MRI. As we had to leave the following day, I rang Liverpool Woman’s Hospital from Greece and told them I would not be able to attend my appointment and asked why was I being seen by them, as at this point I did not know I was speaking to the Oncology department. They were not able to answer my query but sent details of my consultant to contact him.
I rang the consultant, and received a message later that day, requesting I see him as soon as I got back, but I wanted reassurances and asked whether I needed to bring someone with me. He said it would be a good idea if I brought someone with me. This information let me know that it wasn’t good news. I then asked if this had something to do with my biopsy and he said he really didn’t want to go into over this over the phone – but I couldn’t continue on my holiday not knowing what was wrong. He then confirmed to my horror that they I had endometrial adenocarcinoma. The look on my husband’s face when I repeated back to the consultant that I had cancer is something I will NEVER forget.
Upon my return, I had very difficult surgery as my bladder was fused to my uterus and I had to have a large T-cut performed on the inside of my vagina in order for them to remove both my uterus and the tumour, which was the size of a tennis ball. The pain in my hip which I had been suffering with from February to November ended up being a pocket of infection in my pelvis, which was cleared up by a course of two antibiotics. The histology revealed my cancer was Grade 1b Stage 2 with cancer cells in the micro capillaries of my uterine wall. I chose to undergo 5 weeks of external radiotherapy and one brachytherapy
Both myself and my husband have been left with grief, emotional and mental anguish and very angry that no listened to me when I knew something wasn’t quite right. I was made to feel like a hypochondriac, being told “Oh it’s just because you are a woman of a certain age”.
I am now trying to recover both mentally and physically from this experience.
Womb cancer is more common than both cervical and ovarian put together, yet all of my symptoms were missed or ignored. I do wonder how many other women have had their symptoms missed and their cancer found too late?"
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xx Kaz xx