So I have bitten the bullet and decided to reach out to the community because (of course) in typical stubborn reaction to my diagnosis was... "I am all good!" "I'll be fine!" "I don't need any help!" "I got this covered!".
Needless to say, not good, not fine, do need help and I am not sure I have covered.
I have a tendency to turn a "chat" into a novel so please bear with me. I'll try for the short version... albeit a little blunt at times.
I have always had "issues" with my reproductive system. Very young I was told it was unlikely to ever have children due to problems with my eggs reaching my uterus... I did however by some form of a miracle, have a daughter when I was 20 years old.
Tired to have another child but that didn't work so rather than stay on the pill, I chose to have my tubes clamped at 23.
As a whole periods were regular and everything seemed fine, until I reached 40! Or as I prefer to call it... mid-life maintenance time.... because everything seemed to either fail, give up working or needed fixing in my body. Appendix removed, glasses needed, shoulders needed quarterising (so did my hip) husband had an affair and I kicked him out, daughter moved out of home... blah blah blah ect ect... and I had a huge massive pain in the top of my legs followed by massive blood loss at work one day. I had dealt with this before but not like this... I was scared this time.
So off to emergency I went and spent 12 hours there with an "undiagnosed bleed". They put it down to a heavy period and sent me home to rest with panadol and a wheat bag.
It happened again about 3 weeks later.
I was referred to a gyenocologist and after scans, tests etc. it was recommended I have a Mirena inserted. That was a hard NO for me as I had a friend nearly bleed out due to complications having one removed, so we settled on an a ablation.
The ablation couldn't be done as once I was under, it was discovered my uterus was full of polyps. Further testing determined they were "pre-cancerous" and my option to have a hysterectomy was presented and I took it up immediately.
What should have been a simple proceedure, turned into a nightmare.
5.5 hours of surgery, huge doses or morphine, a top up of blood due to loss, no feeling in my upper legs for 2 days due to being vertical in stirrups for 5.5 hours and the inability to remove my uterus and cervix in one piece. Instead it was cut into about 8 pieces and removed bit by bit.
All pieces were sent to pathology for testing.
I was called into the doctors office 9 days after my surgery unexpectedly. It's sounds cliche now, but walking into that office, I knew what he was going to say, I just had that gut feeling.
And there it was, the results...
"We didn't know there were 14 fibroids clustered on the back of your uterus, encased in a membrane. This is what was causing the pain and severe bleeding as they were pushing on your uterus and forcing a "normal" period to come out unexpectedly. We were able to remove the encased fibroids in tact but when they went to pathology, the results came back as cancerous. This puts you into a stage 1 cancer bracket"
Luckily my mum was in the room with me because I didn't remember much after those words.
So scans of my lungs and pelvic region 4 days later showed up the cancer had already started to spread to the lymph nodes in my left pelvis. And there was my Stage 2 diagnosis.
And now I am waiting to start 27 rounds of radiotherapy over 5 and a half weeks.
Don't get me wrong, I am sympathetic to other peoples diagnoses and I do realise I am EXTREMELY lucky to catch this cancer early on because the majority of uterine cancers aren't detected (because there is no detection test etc for them) until much later and advanced stages but I just have this overwhelming feeling of (apologies for swearing) "For fucks sakes... what else can I face without actually breaking and losing it?" I guess I am just feeling a little overwhemled, vulnerable, unsure and defeated before I have even started this fight. Is it just me or are these "normal" feelings?
One thing is for sure... I will fight this because it's all I know how to do. Don't give up, stay strong, have a cry (without too many people seeing) and keep fighting. It's worked for me so far.
Thanks for reading my story. xx
Yep a cancer diagnosis is always a shock and sends your head into a spin, but you will be okay but it can be a bumpy road.
I am 73 and had endo cancer 3 years ago mine was 1b and I had only 4 rounds of radiation and so far no recurrence I have a scan each year to watch for and spread and so far none.
Your 27 rounds of Radiation will make you quite fatigued for a while after, so just take it easy it will pass and you will recover.
Sending you good vibes that this will finish of the intruder for good.
@Nickelbee75 That was a good move coming here and posting. This is a great place to open up with your feelings and get support. You can also ring the Cancer Council and speak directly with someone. I've done that and found it tremendously helpful. It's not unusual to feel that the odds are being stacked up against you, but it is a stressful time. Finding diversions for your mind can help you maintain a positive outlook. Things that interest you that you can focus on or 'bury yourself' in. It can seem like the road ahead is long and daunting, without any shortcuts, but given time you'll get there by staying focussed and positive.
All the very best
Thank you for your kind words. It is very much appreciated xx
I am keeping positive and in a good head space. Some days seem better than others but I think that's just because I am still waiting for my treatment to start. It's the waiting that zaps my positive energy. But I try to keep busy and do things that take my mind off everything.
Have a great week
Hello and thank you for your reply.
To be honest, I wasn't going to post but I read your story and it inspired me to write mine because I realised, I am not actually alone in this. These feelings are quite normal and almost to be expected.
I am happy that you found an outlet to come too also as it hopefully doesn't seem so daunting being in a regional area when there are people only a few clicks away now.
Thank you again,
Indeed, together we will fight and win this illness battle. We are glad to hear your story and for inspiring us at the same time. We'll just have to believe that everything would be okay. Thanks for sharing your positive vibes here!
Youve had a rough time Nickelbee, I, too thought I'd be right, dont need any help when i was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. I now have uterine cancer and think I need all the help I can get. Wishing you all the best with radiation and your recovery. x
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