A Fairytale ending!

Once upon a time their was a woman who turned 50. She had a lot of exciting things going on in her life, except for one thing, her life was ruled by an evil curse, let’s call her Eve!. Eve not only consumed her for ten days a month, but she kept the women prisoner in her bed chamber for up to four days each month.  Eve not only ruled over the woman’s life but Eve also affected other peoples lives.  She would force everyone to change their plans and on one occasion nine people had to rearrange their plans appease to Eve’s demands. Eve then decided that 10 days a month was not enough, she decided to play havoc and drop in unannounced whenever it suited her, making life even more difficult for the women. The women got so fed up with Eve that she went to see a magician. The magician was worried the curse could have an accomplice named Cancer so the women was sent to a far away place to see if the curse of Eve could be lifted. Many people worked hard to help the women and to everybody’s delight Cancer did not reside with Eve. A party and a banquet was thrown to celebrate the good news but unfortunately Eve was still in the picture and the women just hoped and prayed that the curse of Eve could one day be lifted and that she could live happily ever after. THE END

I wrote the fairytale as I started this blog with the hope for a fairy tale ending. When I was researching I could only find negative information which seemed to point to the fact that my symptoms were  probably due to Uterine Cancer. I hoped by writing this that people in similar situations would see that not every story ends with a diagnosis of Cancer but if  you exhibit symptoms for this or other women’s Cancers, please get it checked out.  When my doctor told me she suspected Cancer I immersed myself into as much information and literature I could find on the subject. Dr google played his part in my quest for knowledge on this serious subject. I read many blogs,  joined groups, I even read a book on the subject which opened up a whole new world to me, not a pleasant world but it made me realise many people are being diagnosed every day some are given good odds on survival and others not so good. With Uterine Cancer the first port of call is to have a hysterectomy and after this major operation the grading is done to see if the Cancer has spread. Then depending upon how bad the Cancer is different treatments are offered. radiotherapy and chemotherapy seem to be the treatments frequently offered. Radiotherapy can be external or internal. With external  beam radiotherapy usually involves a series of daily treatments over a number of days or weeks. The temporary DNA damage to normal tissues causes side effects. Common side effects include sore skin, tiredness and hair loss. So just imagine, feeling sick, sore, tired, losing your hair and having to go possibly daily for treatment which would mean travelling, finding a car park, waiting your turn, having treatment, travelling home and then having to do it all again the next day probably feeling dreadful. If that wasnt enough this awful treatment can be followed by Internal radiotherapy which involves placing a small piece of radioactive material temporarily inside the body near the cancerous cells. With Uterine Cancer I can only imagine how uncomfortable that must be. While we are at home going about our day to day life many people are undergoing these terrible treatments. Chemotherapy also causes side effects and often the two treatments are used together. Most chemotherapy medications have a poisonous effect and often cause feeling tired and weak, feeling and being sick and hair loss. I have read that people don’t know how to deal with Cancer so often will avoid seeing or talking to their friends. The word Cancer holds such a stigma of illness, death and dying almost like leprosy, you might as well be ringing a bell saying unclean. People are scared of the word and don’t want to associate with the victims as it makes them uncomfortable but just for one minute try to have empathy for what they are going through. Not only do Cancer victims have to suffer pain and ill health, loss of income and dignity but often their support network abandon them. I only got a tiny taste of that bitter pill. Most people were understanding to my predicament but I could see the cloud of embarrassment lurking making people uncomfortable at even the suspicion that my symptoms could be due to Cancer. These women who have been diagnosed are still the same people, but they are now fighting a terrible illness and have many obstacles to battle over a long period of time. Even when they get a clean bill of health they still have to be monitored just in case the Cancer comes back. I have two requests. the first is if you know someone battling Cancer, please be kind compassionate and caring, they will probably need a friend. My second request is if you have any symptoms of women’s Cancers, please don’t leave it. The terrible treatments can often be avoided if you act fast. I said to one woman I think you’re so brave and she said I’m not brave I just don’t have a choice.

 

 

 

 

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Hysteroscopy with pictures

With mixed feelings and trepidation I rose from my bed the early hours of the morning. I had to get up at stupid o’clock so I could have a light breakfast. To me 7am is stupid O’clock  but In the rest of the world this is quite an acceptable time, but I wonder if the rest of the world have difficulty sleeping due to pain and are still awake at 2am. That is one of the little adjustments both myself and my husband have had to make for the illnesses that have consumed me. I notice the feeling of butterflies in my stomach as I contemplate the day ahead. We have to be at the hospital by noon and I was allowed a light breakfast before 7.30am and clear fluids up until 11am. We left for the hospital at 11am and realised I had forgotten my phone and needed to go back for it, and then the strap on my sandals broke which was a bit inconvenient but was just the start to a very long day. We arrived in good time and joined lots of other patients waiting for their day procedure. There must have been fifteen or more of us just sitting with magazines, newspapers, kindles and phones patiently waiting to be called for assessment. One by one the names were called and each person disappeared around the corner to emerge fifteen minutes later wearing fetching bottle green stockings and wrist bands. Everyone seemed to have been called through but I was still waiting, had they forgotten me? Then slowly people were called to see the consultant,  then off some went  to have their operations and I was still waiting for my fetching stockings. I was feeling quite anxious and unsure of what was going on so my husband Paul asked a nurse why I had not been assessed. The nurse said they were very busy in a “don’t bother me” grumpy manner,  so he came and sat back down. Then a consultant called me through, to a small room, she ran through all the things she had planned. “I will be fitting a coil, performing a Hysteroscopy, cervical smear and biopsy” I nodded, just so thankful that I was actually seeing someone after hours of waiting. There are risks to these procedures she continued, the list was daunting. I could perforate your bladder and you could wake with a catheter which would probably be in for about 10 days as it often repairs itself!  Your bowel or womb could be perforated and you could need another operation and blood transfusion. You will need blood thinners as your not very active and a suppository up your bottom. OK!! but then she done something I would not expect from a consultant and it did not instill much confidence, she leant over to the desk and said “Touch wood”  She smiled and said “Oh it’s not made of wood but it should be fine” I asked my questions and was informed I should get a letter in a couple of weeks with the results and if I didn’t then to call the  hospital. Then back to waiting! I was called back to the tiny room by the anesthetist and asked more questions about previous operations and any side effects and was told that I could wake with a sore throat and damage to my teeth or mouth. We were allowed to stay in the small room and wait. As we sat waiting our attention was drawn to the radio playing ” Show me Heaven” in the background, this experience seemed a bit like something out of a sitcom! The nurse eventually came in and checked my blood pressure and heart and I got the obligatory stocking fashion wear and bracelets, the nurse also left my notes on the table which I so wanted to read but being so close to the nurses station I was worried I would be caught and in trouble with the already aggravated overworked nurses.  By 4pm I was starting to feel unwell, the fatigue from the M.E was overwhelming, I had a headache, felt shaky and my panic disorders were in overdrive. Paul asked for a pillow so I could lay down on the very narrow cold stiff examining bed. Then it happened, they were eventually ready for me, I had to change into the gown and remove all of my underclothes. As we left the small room we noticed the silence and lack of people in the holding area, I was indeed the last one standing! I was feeling too unwell to walk and needed my wheelchair to get to the theatre reception. Paul wheeled me to the door and a kindly nurse took me through.  The room was filled with people recovering from operations some sleeping, and many being monitored by medical staff. I felt anxious as not only do I have fatiguing and pain illnesses I also suffer from agoraphobia, G.A.D, Panic disorder and PTSD. I was totally dependent on my husband and I have not left the house along for over 10 years so found myself in a vulnerable anxious state. I tried to breathe deeply and tell myself that It won’t be long then I would go through. Again time slowly ticked by, I watched the clock on the wall next to my bed minute by minute and still nobody came for me. The panic started to win so I drew the curtain around me to shut away all the things going on. The nurse at the station noticed that I had closed my curtains and came over to see if I was ok. The kindness of the nurse made me lose my cool and I started to blubber, I was so anxious, scared tired, hungry and shaky and was without my comforting husband. The nurse realised my distress and send somebody to find my husband to sit with me. In my upset state I questioned why I was left until last as they had been informed about my medical conditions. I needed the bathroom yet again and had to go all the way back to the holding area as this was the only bathroom and I seriously considered just leaving and going home, in the gown naked underneath but we had left our bags in the theatre reception so had to return. Eventually at 5pm a lady in purple scrubs came to fetch me, we passed a nurse on route who I know from my church who said some kind words but by this time I was so distraught that I just could not stop the tears from flowing. I was taken through to the knocking out room and a nice friendly anesthetist  let me have some gas and air to calm me down. This I must say was amazing, as I took deep breaths I went further and further into an amazing hallucination. I was in a beautiful green field, it was sunny and warm a perfect day, I briefly opened my eyes and was astonished to  see the doors to the operating theatre, I did expect to be surrounded by the beautiful field I had seen in my hallucination. I remember holding my hand out, I wanted to hold Jesus’s hand but to my dismay I was left hanging. This concerned me being a Christian and I questioned God about this and woke with a Scripture verse in my head. Psalm 46 God is with us. So he was with me, I had not been abandoned He was with me all along.  My daughters thought that as the view was so beautiful that if Jesus had taken me by the hand I might have thought I was actually going to heaven. That’s the last I remembered until I was back in the theatre reception surrounded by many recovering patients.  I was much longer than had been anticipated as there was complications and they could not do what had been planned. Firstly they could not fit the coil as my womb was too big, they could not complete the Hysteroscopy due to the position of the Fibroids and as they could not complete the Hysteroscopy they could not do the biopsy and instead done a D&C. My husband was worried and made such a fuss that they released me from the theatre reception and as I was doing well, managed to eat, drink and wee I was released fairly quickly. The nurse showed me pictures of the procedure, which I don’t know if she was suppose to. I am not sure what the pictures are of but I quickly snapped a copy on my phone. I wondered if they were my womb, cervix or my Fibroids and what are the brown marks? are they normal or something to worry about? Just shows that a little bit of information can be a dangerous thing. They have also changed my plan from a letter in the post to another appointment  to discuss options and I had some of the findings on the discharge note.

Please see attached copy of photo’s and discharge note.

Results

Hysteroscopy Photo 1Hysteroscopy phot 2

Hysteroscopy -pic 3Hysteroscopy  joint pic