At 50 I was having some heavy bleeding during my periods, so my GP sent me for an ultrasound. As the ultrasound technician told me that everything looked okay, I put the heavy bleeding down to the menopause and didn’t go back to my GP to check on the results. It wasn’t until a year later when I saw my GP again that she told me that the ultrasound had shown I had fibroids and referred me to a gynaecologist.
The gynaecologist performed a dilation and curettage for the fibroids and to help with the heavy bleeding. As a matter of course the tissue was sent for testing, and four days later I was told I had uterine cancer and booked in to see an oncologist.
The oncologist recommended a hysterectomy. I chose to have robotic surgery to remove the uterus, cervix and ovaries, as well as some nearby lymph glands.
After the surgery, my oncologist informed me that the cancer hadn’t spread, but it was very aggressive and well advanced into the walls of the uterus. He recommended that I have radiation therapy to reduce the risk of a recurrence.
With the support of my family and workplace, I was able to schedule the appointments before work. I found the sessions easier than I expected, although I got very tired at the time. I have also been left with some scar tissue around the bowel, which means I have to be careful with what I eat.
I’ve just passed the five year mark and have had my final appointment with my oncologist – this has been a big relief.
In the last year I’ve become involved as a volunteer providing telephone peer support with Cancer Connect. I didn’t connect with any services when I was diagnosed, and I now realise how helpful it would have been to speak to people in similar situations.