So – what’s happened since August last year??
Well, my love life is still fantastic. Pete is brilliant, we’re in love, and moving in together shortly. It’s all good, really. He’s my good karma.
About 2 weeks after I met him I went for a PAP smear – a regular bit of nastiness that every woman undergoes because it’s the only way to tell (other than pain) if there’s anything wrong with your insides. Well, there was something wrong with my insides. I received a letter a few weeks after the smear from the local hospital saying that I’d been scheduled for a colposcopy to remove a ‘vaginal wart’. Of course, I went to the appointment! They cut the wart off, it was approx 9mm x 4mm, and the docs at the time said that it didn’t look unusual, and that it would be sent for testing and I should get the results in about 3 weeks.
2 weeks to the day (incidentally, it was a Friday), I received a letter from the Oncology Dept asking me to come in in 10 days. Geez, I was in a state that day! I was ringing everywhere, the hospital, my GP, my medical insurance people, asking for ANY information – why was I being sent to oncology? Why do I have to wait 10 days to find out what’s wrong? Why can’t anyone tell me anything! Lordy, that was a very messy day. Anyway, I finally got through to the consultant’s PA who was brilliant, compasionate and as helpful as she could be – she gave me an appointment for the following Monday afternoon. I only had to spend the weekend in distress. Not brilliant, but better than nothing.
That weekend, because I just had to distract myself, Pete and I went to Salisbury for the weekend. Stayed in a brilliant hotel, went to the Cathedral & Stonehenge, did some shpping and ate some good food – it was a lovely weekend.
Monday afternoon I met with my consultant, Mr S, who told me that I had Stage 1B1 cervical cancer. Adenocarcinoma of the cervix. Apparently it was only stage 1B1 by 2mm – the cut off point for stage 1A is 7mm. Anyway, he said that I was very lucky that the smear test actually picked up the abnormal cells, as the smear test is designed for the more common form of cervical cancer – the one I didn’t have. Oh. Lucky. Yeah. Lucky. He said that it was very early stage, that he thought the colposcopy had removed all the cancerous cells and 90% of the pre-cancerous cells, but that the margin between the section removed and the healthy cells wasn’t big enough for his liking, and he’d like to take a bit more off to be sure that it’s all out. No problem says I. Understand totally. Totally agree. Go to. He tells me he wants me at Day Surgery to give me an exam under anaesthetic – ok. a bit scary. only been under once in my life – wisdom teeth about 15 years ago, and they had trouble waking me up. Apparently I’m suseptible to drugs.
Anyway, that was booked for two weeks later, then a two day stay in hospital two weeks after that for a laparoscopic pelvic lymphadenectomy and trachelectomy. Two days & two nights in hospital, keyhole surgery to remove my cervix altogether and stitch me up, just leaving a small hole for insemination/menstruation. This was my best option if I want to have kids. But the kids won’t be born naturally – must be caesarian – and probalby won’t be to term because of the weight pressing down on my non-cervix could rip me. Nice. But manageable if I’m aware of it.
So you can imagine the niceties I’ve been through in the last couple of months. I got the operation on 29 Oct 2008, spent a very uncomfortable couple of weeks whilst my battered stomach muscles healed and the stitches disolved. The tiredness was the hardest to take – I was exhausted all the time, had no stamina. But been getting better every day since and got a visual all clear in January, and I’m back to Mr S in April for another smear test to check everything is still alright. I feel good, but then I felt no pain or discomfort when the ‘wart’ was there – I had no way to tell I was sick except what the docs told me.
Pete was an angel and stuck with me through all that, and is still with me. I’ve moved into a new house closer to the new job. Lovely house for a new lovely life. I’ve stopped smoking on 1 Jan 2009 and haven’t had once since. Turthfully haven’t missed them much – haven’t even gone through 50 pieces of nicotine gum in the 7 weeks.
So it’s all good now. I’m confident I’ve kicked it. I’m feeling good, feeling positive in life and love.
All I can say is – girls, it’s a horrible piece of embarrassing nastiness, uncomfortable and a little humiliating, but GET YOUR SMEAR TESTS! Especially if you’re over 20, because you won’t be getting the Human Pamplona (?) Virus vaccine that they’re giving to all school age girls now, and HPV is the most common cause of cervical cancer. If it wasn’t for my smear test, I wouldn’t have known about anything, and may have been in a state similar to Jade Goody in a year! GET YOUR SMEAR TESTS! Guys, if you care about the women in your life, make them get their smear tests done. Listen to Auntie Jane. She knows best. :)
More later – now the update’s done I don’t feel the pressure anymore! PHEW! Hope you are all well, wishing you health, happiness and joy. xx