After 10+ years of no menstrual cycle I suddenly started bleeding. At first I thought piles, or I’d caught myself somehow with a scratch. Then the stomach cramps came too. I felt like a teenager not knowing if I had started my periods ( again, obviously). The blood got heavier, some days bright red, pinkish or brown. Then some rather large blood clots or lots of splinter size clots appeared. That’s when I decided to go to the doctors. I was immediately sent to A&E. My husband called a friend to take us, as he didn’t want me driving that far. ( It’s about 45-50 mins drive if traffic is good or can be an hour plus) Once there I knew it would be a long day!
Due to Covid-19 restrictions I had to register at A&E then go in by myself, while hubby & friend waited in the family room. I was soon called into Triage & assessed. I started to feel a bit silly at this point, thinking they’d see me as a Drama Queen! In all honesty I wasn’t waiting long before being called to see the doctor. Living in Spain & not speaking much Spanish is definitely frowned upon by medical staff ! I have to start every conversation with “ Lo siento, hablo muy poco español “ ( Sorry , I speak very little Spanish) Which always gets the same reply “ But you live here, no ?”
So I apologised and the doctor talks in broken English, which is still better than my Spanish attempts. After answering questions on my symptoms she’s examines me. I’m then sent for blood tests & given two drips ( to stop the bleeding). A further wait then called back to hear my bloods are ok, take these tablets for 5 days & wait for a call for a further appointment with Gynaecologist.
Bleeding stopped for 2 days but then returned. Four weeks later I went to see gynaecologist. Again due to covid I had to see consultant on my own, while husband & friends waited outside hospital. I had written down & translated into Spanish all my symptoms & recent events. I also mentioned that my Dad had had Cancer of Colon, liver, pancreas, stomach.
I was told to sit on “The Examination Chair” ( legs in stirrups) while she examined me. She called a nurse in with some urgency. I wasn’t prepared for the rest .... a hysteroscopy scan, two cytologies & a biopsy.
Think whole hospital heard me yell as she did biopsy, it took me by surprise & she hadn’t warned me! I was left to compose myself for about 5 minutes then rejoined them in the office. She said to sign the form, presumably for doing biopsy. I was told she would see me in 6 weeks. With the language barrier, it’s harder to speak out as you normally would & feeling fragile, I said OK & left.
I came out & cried while telling hubby what they had done. We google translated the notes she had given me to see exactly what she had just done ! Once home I was on google looking up all the words on the doctors sheet. Translating & evaluating it all. Thicker womb lining, so googled what it should be etc ... Everything pointed to Womb Cancer.
My husband told me not to google or to worry ! Easier said than done! I was back at work but working in tourism in Spain was getting worse with the pandemic & our flights from UK were suspended again, so back on ERTE ( Spanish equivalent of furlough) Giving me more time to sit & ponder !
The bleeding got worse & so did the panicking. I tried not to think about it. I hadn’t told anyone about my biopsy etc except the friends who took us to hospital. I have 2 grown up girls & a granddaughter living in UK & didn’t want them worrying. My husband mentioned my heavy bleeds & clots to our friends who said to go back to doctors as I might be getting anaemic. So off I went, only to be told to go back to A&E. Which I did. Same thing as last time, bloods taken, put on drip, tablets given to take for 3 days. I was told the results from biopsy weren’t back & would have to wait to be called back & would be in next 4 weeks ( 6 in total as originally advised!)
So here I am, bleeding had stopped for 6 days after last hospital visit but then resumed! I’m no nearer knowing what’s going on, what my diagnosis is or what journey I have ahead. All I know is the fear of having Cancer is the worse thing ever.
Every symptom I have points to C and not sure it could be anything else. Deep down I have that “ gut feeling” it is Cancer, but until I hear from the gynaecologist I won’t be totally sure. I’m hoping I’m wrong & this will all go away but not sure how, without a hysterectomy.
My journey hasn’t started yet, this is just a pre-journey , an insight, with the fear factor looming!
My biggest fear is having to tell my girls, who have already lost their father.
I sit & await my results , which are yet to come....
UPDATE : On my 3rd week after biopsy I was called for my results appointment in two days. Now the panicking really set in! At the appointment we went into a different part of the hospital, very quiet & serine. Sat waiting seemed like forever. The waiting room was further down the corridor from the consultant too, so you never saw anyone going in or out.
I was told that the results were inconclusive but she hadn’t seen anything “sinister”. She examined me & did another biopsy. She said the biopsy were “blind biopsies“ & they needed to see inside the womb more which would be another hysteroscopy but under general anaesthetic so they can look deeper & get a better biopsy sample. She indicated that if found, it would be early stages & treatable. The end results would probably be a hysterectomy.
Due to Covid 19 the clinics aren’t running as normal so I may be waiting up to 2 months for my hysteroscopy appointment. So I’m still waiting for a final diagnosis but feel better that they didn’t find anything big to begin with. It gives me hope.
I’ve now told my girls in UK & received a large bouquet of flowers followed by my youngest on a surprise visit to Spain ( & yes I cried when I saw her!) I now have their support too, which I’m so grateful for.
MORAL HERE TO ALL LADIES - know the symptoms of Cancer & please get checked out at the first signs of anything you know not to be right! Better to spend time at doctors & be wrong than leave it to grow!