In April this year, WCSUK marked its 6th Birthday. That’s 6 years since we began and it’s been a long 6 years. I never envisaged, when I began the FB page on the afternoon of 11th April 2011 that I would still be doing what I do. In the beginning it was about being a source of support for women who had been diagnosed with womb cancer. I remember how I had felt just over 12 months previously when I was told I had it. Scared, alone and worried what the future might hold.
Within weeks of the FB page going live it soon became apparent that there were many other women who felt the same way. There was a lack of womb cancer specific support out there, both online and in the “real” world and WCSUK was filling a vital gap.
It also became apparent that there was lack of awareness about womb cancer. Many of the women who came to us had, like me, never heard of this cancer before they were diagnosed. This came as shocking news because as I was now aware, womb cancer is the most common gynaecological cancer. Why did it not have an awareness month like other cancers? Why did women not know about it? Why was there never anything about it in the papers?
So, WCSUK became not just a support organisation but also an awareness one. In September of 2011, we held the first womb cancer awareness month, following on from our Peach Sisters in the US who use September for their awareness month. Ever since then we have worked hard to raise as much awareness as we can, not only in September but through-out the year.
WCSUK has never been about me. I do what I do because I know what it felt like to feel scared, alone and unsupported and I didn’t want other women to feel the same way. The ladies who have come to WCSUK, especially the ones in the private chat group we have on FB have formed friendships and support each other through the tough times, and the good times. As some of them move on and feel they no longer need the close support offered in the group, other newly diagnosed ladies take their place so that the group is always buzzing and the ladies are supporting each other with advice, friendship and lots of hugs, even if they are only virtual ones!!
There have been times when I have wanted to move on and leave cancer behind me just like many of our ladies who get the all clear and push their cancer diagnosis to the back to their mind and take back some control of their lives. I am over 7 years post-diagnosis now but feel unable to move on; I’ve never been told I am in remission so I don’t feel that I have had a cut-off date from cancer if that makes any sense.
It somehow feels selfish to want to put myself first for a change but it’s getting to the point where I am going to have to – but for now there is September’s womb cancer awareness campaign to plan for.