As well as documenting my views and opinions on motherhood, I wanted to start this blog to hopefully raise awareness of cervical cancer, the importance of going for your smear and my experience of having cervical cancer. Next week I am booked to have a hysterectomy which will “complete my treatment”. I want to make daily diary style entires on this blog to record the process-my thoughts and feelings on the road to becoming a HYSTERSISTA!! (I’m not sure if I’ve made that up or not but I’m taking credit for it!!). Before I start rambling on about losing my uterus I thought I better give a quick summary of my personal cervical cancer story.
I have never missed a smear test; I didn’t know it at the time but the smear I attended in August 2013 would be the beginning of a long, life changing journey with many bumps along the way.
So it goes like this:
- Aug 2013: smear test
- Sept 2013: abnormal cells found
- Oct 2013: colposcopy&biopsies
- Nov 2013: results of CIN 3 (cervical infra-epithelial neoplasia)
- Dec 2013: LLETZ treatment to remove the abnormalities
- Jan 2014: diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer
- Feb 2014: cone surgery to remove cancer
- March 2014: told that they were happy with the margins of my surgery and I wouldn’t need chemo
- In remission!!!
That basically sums it up! I was lucky that my cancer was caught early and treatable with surgery and I didn’t require chemo. Sometimes I feel that because of this my cancer wasn’t as real as some people’s-but that’s a whole other blog post!
At the time of diagnosis I was 27, my consultant wanted me to have a hysterectomy then but due my age and my want for another baby if possible it was decided to try a more localised surgery, which was successful. Despite 3 monthly check ups&annual MRI scans, knowing that some of my cervix and womb/ uterus was still inside me made me believe that the cancer was going to come back.
I was lucky enough to have another baby in 2016 after a miscarriage in 2015 and being told I may not be able to carry children again!? She is such a blessing and will always be precious to me. The pregnancy was full of worry due to questionable cervical length, risk of premature labour etc. But she arrived safely by an elective Caesarean section last March. 💜
Surgery in 2014 has left me with chronic pelvic pain. This pain is sometimes just a dull ache and other times it’s horrendous and it affects my day to day life. I have also had small, non cancerous growths on my cervix since which have been removed. At my appointment in February this year, my consultant advised me to have a hysterectomy. It is the best course of treatment for me and I am hoping it will give me some closure?!
So that’s where I’m at at the moment. There have been ups and downs over the last 3 years (too many to fit into one blog post!) but next week at the age of 30 I am becoming a HYSTERSISTA. I have mixed feelings about it, to be honest I’m shitting myself!! Ya know nobody wants to lose their womb do they? But at least I’ve been able to put mine to some use and grown 2 humans, not everyone is so lucky!!
Come along on my journey with me. I plan to blog about as much as I can, starting with the pre operative assessment to the hospital stay&surgery, to the recovery period. I hope some can find my posts useful and it encourages women to go for their smear tests; cervical cancer is a preventable cancer if abnormalities are detected early enough, we are lucky to have the screening process here in the UK.
Attend your smear test ladies.. it WILL save your life!!