Having felt unwell and totally exhausted for about a year, after many tests and a tentative diagnosis of ME, I retired at the age of 61 from a job I loved. This was October 2013. I must have had every test going and the only diagnosis was would I accept ME or CFS as a diagnosis……ugh No! I know that I was not well.
I had an appointment for some results from a scan I had the previous week, when the day before my appointment I had a bleed. I was not unduly concerned as the Dr. has prescribed an oestrogen cream for me some months before and I was aware that bleeding was one of the side effects. The Dr. was very efficient and said that any post menopausal bleeding needed to be checked, she made an appointment with the gynaecologist for the next week.
Attended said appointment, the gynaecologist took a biopsy (I was not expecting that at this stage)…..she also sent me for an internal scan the following week. After this scan the radiographer said that there was some thickening of the endometrium but the results would go to the consultant. I am still at this stage, convinced it is the oestrogen cream!
A letter arrived with an appointment date for the following week……….I attended this appointment with my husband and duly went in to see the gynaecologist,,,,his first words to me were ‘have you anyone with you’? I knew then it was not good news. Husband duly fetched in and we were informed that I had endometrial cancer, the consultant had made me an appointment for the next day for two MRI scans and a chest X-ray. Taking this news in was very difficult. It doesn’t happen to me, it happens to other people! I went home in complete shock.
The Gyny/Oncology nurse phoned me the next day with my appointment to see the surgeon the following week. My hysterectomy would take place on February 20th, one month after the first appointment. I was very impressed with the speed with which I was treated.
I have had many operations, so was not worried about the actual hysterectomy as the surgeon said he could perform a vaginal hysterectomy and didn’t think he would need to cut me……..which in my mind was a bonus as my belly already looks like a patchwork quilt!
Freezer filled, jobs all clear bag packed I was prepared.
Wasn’t prepared for outcome after my op……..the hysterectomy went well, but I had a very bad reaction, I had a respiratory arrest….I woke to 11 Doctors around my bed (very scary) I was monitored very closely after this……..it seems it may have been the morphine that had cause this…..so the only tablets I took after this were paracetamol….so in some pain the first night. I also had cellulitis in my arm (from the cannula) so had to have a course of antibiotics…..I thought I would be home the next day but had to stay in for 5 days so that I could be monitored.
At home the first week ok…..starting to eat and go to the toilet ok,,,,,,then the second week I had tremendous pain in my belly and back and could not stop being sick…….so had 3 more visits to the hospital and back on antibiotics again, I had a bladder infection.
Gradually I did start to feel much better. I had to cancel 2 oncology appointments but eventually went and was given all the relevant information regarding the next stage………after long discussions and weighing up all the pros and cons I opted for the brachytherapy and HDR. I am having this over three weeks and hopefully that will be it…….apart from the dilators I have to use for 6 months,,,,I was very apprehensive about the radiotherapy but the consultant and nursing staff were brilliant and apart from your dignity it doesn’t hurt…..I am feeling tired but if this is the only side effect I will be happy……..
The reason I have called my story ‘What are the odds’ is because 8 weeks post op for me…..my older sister has been diagnosed with exactly the same….she is 65 and she will have her hysterectomy on the day I finish my brachytherapy……….at least I can help her through and hopefully she will feel as I do after 8 weeks………..Sorry this is a bit long winded. I was going to start ‘My Story’ after my op but didn’t feel like it. Am in a much better place now……..long may it last.
Now available on our online store and all other online book store’s. In My Own Words: Women’s Experience of Hysterectomy is full of many other real-life stories from women the world over.
Other people’s stories help women feel less isolated. They show that they aren’t going mad, missing the point or stupid.