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I still don’t think it is necessary! – Sian’s story

Well, as you will see, the title of my story isn’t strictly true, but my journey started when I went to my GP with slight menopausal bleeding. It took me a few days to decide whether it was bleeding or just slightly coloured discharge, however, she told me that they always refer anyone over 60 with post menopausal bleeding to the aptly named ‘post menopausal bleeding clinic’!

I was out enjoying a meal with friends, when I received a phone call from the clinic inviting me in for a consultation the next day, a bit quick I thought, but never mind let’s get it over. I had an ultrasound scan, a biopsy if the lining of the womb and a blood test and was told that I would get the results in a few weeks. Life carried on as normal , but a few days later I had a letter saying that the womb biopsy was clear, the blood test within normal limits. However, my left ovary was smaller than the right one so I was invited to have a CT scan!

I went into radiology and had the injection into my arm and had the scan. I went home and fed the grandchildren, cleared up and put on my pyjamas, but when I settled down to watch television, I had a funny lump in my chest, it felt like I couldn’t swallow, then I had heartburn, something i never suffer from, I mentioned it to my husband and that is the last thing I remember. I had a seizure!

My husband and son rang the emergency services and I was admitted into casualty. I had lots of tests and they could not find a cause and I was discharged home and referred to the first seizure clinic and told to surrender my driving license! Shock horror, it couldn’t be happening to me?

The first appointment with the first seizure clinic was in twenty six weeks! So I paid privately to see a specialist, who confirmed that the injection I had been given prior to the CT scan could have caused the seizure, however, he said that I would have to have an MRI scan on my head and an EEG, just to rule out epilepsy, and if they came back clear, we could conclude that the injection was likely to have been the cause of the seizure!

Two days later I had a telephone call inviting me for an MRI scan on the pelvis! This was duly carried out, and I received a telephone call from the clinic asking me to come in to see the Gynaecologist! The test results indicated the need for a radical hysterectomy!! I was feeling fine, healthy, did I really need this?

The gynaecologist was very nice as she informed me that the scan had shown a cyst on my left ovary and that there had been a meeting of consultants and they thought it necessary for me to have a radical hysterectomy! I was absolutely shocked. Did I really need it? Yes she said! Which way would I be cut? Vertically she said!

I was booked in for a few days later, December 6th. The operation went really well, the consultant came to tell me that although they were sending all my bits away for testing, the operation went well and as far as she could tell there was nothing sinister! I went home with the usual medication and 28 pre prepared syringes that I had to use to inject myself in the stomach every day for 4 weeks! Not something I enjoyed doing, but necessary and I soon got used to it.

I recovered really well and was astonished at how well I felt. The Hysterectomy Association daily e.mails were spot on and really helpful! They knew how I was feeling before I did and gave excellent tips and cures for minor problems and reassured me everything I experienced post op was normal! Then, just two days before Christmas, on the Friday lunchtime I received a letter from radiology inviting me for another scan. I did not recognise the doctors name so I rang up to ask what the scan was for. Imagine my shock, when I was told it was as a baseline to see whether the chemotherapy was working!!!

What!!!
Chemotherapy!!!
Not me!!!

In a panic I rang my GP and she managed to pull in a few favours, (everyone was on annual leave for Christmas) and obtain the results of the lab tests carried out post op. I was invited in to the surgery and she read me the lab report, which said that some cancerous cells had been found in my left ovary, or the cyst, I am not completely sure which one! And that Chemotherapy may be required after I have had a consultation with an oncologist!

Is this me she is talking about?

She told me it was grade 1A, the best one to have if you have to have cancer, it was all contained within and had not burst. No cancer cells were found in any other organs, or in the washings they took or in the apron of fat samples taken at the same time. Everything had been removed, so I should be cancer free? Shouldn’t I? She apologised profusely for the manner in which I had been informed and said I would hear from the gynaecologist and the oncologist after Christmas!

Well, Christmas was here and life goes on, I put it out of my mind as best I could, and enjoyed the grandchildren!

I then had a telephone call between Christmas and new year inviting me to come in to see the gynaecologist. She confirmed what the doctor told me and informed me that I would have to have another CT scan, not something I want to go through again. Anyway, I am here now, waiting for my six week post operative consultation with the gynaecologist on Monday, prior to which I will have a CT scan of the Thorax, pelvis and abdomen. I have also been given an appointment for an MRI scan on my head with reference to the seizure.

I have my first appointment with the oncologist on the thirty first of January to discuss where we go from here! So, I will let you know how I get on! The actual hysterectomy was fine and I have recovered well…. although I still don’t think it was necessary… but I know it probably was!!

Linda Parkinson-Hardman

Transformational counsellor, coach and women's health advocate. Professionally I'm an information scientist who specialises in change management, culture change and adoption of digital technologies in large enterprises and organisations. I am a writer and author of nine books to date, and I've edited a further seven; phew what a lot for a Thursday afternoon :-)

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