Hi my name is vicky i am 31 years old. I have 5 children who are 15,13,10,7 and two as well as a few other kids who call me mum. I have an partner who i hadnt been with long before my cervical cancer diagnosis.
There are a few reasons for me creating this blog. I wanted to share my journey to help people understand the process and how it can impact on a life, i say a life as this is only from my perspective maybe at a later date if my family or close friends wish to share theres i will add to my page. i also hope that someone in a simular sitituation isnt alone in some of there feelings or thoughts. Obviously the feelings will differ and vary one the individual but some will be the same. Also i hope that by sharing my journey it helps even one person to get checked or argue if the feel the need to for a second opnion.There is a like and share button at the bottom of the page as well as a comments box feel free to like share or comment x
I had to have my last baby by c section as I got stuck at 3cm dilated and she was getting distressed things didn’t go smooth at all, I ended up with two bad infections anyway I got better and got allowed home.
After a few weeks of being home I bled quite badly, didn’t think too much of it as I thought this must be normal as I had a C-section, I mean how was I to know I never had one before. Then the heavy periods started so I went to doctors they gave me tablets which were meant to help. They did help at first I mean the first month or so then they stopped. I went back to doctors and they just prescribed the same tablets and said I couldn’t be that bad. Then the pain in my ovaries and abdomen was getting really painful no standard painkillers would help so I went back to doctors explained it all again about the heavy periods and now the pain they basically said I was over exaggerating and the bleeding couldn’t be that bad, but then the bleeding between periods started and I thought this odd so I went back again and the doctor said oh just break through bleeding keep on with the tablets they should help. The tablets didn’t help at all and the pain was so bad it actually felt like something was pulling at my cervix I was losing two different types of blood weight was falling off me so off I went again to the doctors which I was then told I was stupid I couldn’t be losing two different types of blood and there is no way the pain from my ovaries abdomen are that bad they didn’t pay any attention to the pain I said I had in my cervix and said the weight loss was fine as I was still in the right bracket and slight bleeding during/after intercourse but said to book every week for a smear test till they can get one. So finally managed to get a smear test done, after 3 months of cancelling appointments and booking for the following week this was in January 2015. The smear come back inadequate they said I had to wait 3 months for some reason again I thought this right and normal still convinced the pain and two types of blood and the excessive bleeding was in my head or me being a hypochondriac, I mean after all doctors know what they’re doing why shouldn’t you trust them? But then I started to bleed during/after intercourse badly sorry for the gruesome details but it’s as it was I had gone from 13stone to just 10 stone 2lb by this time my now ex partner was getting even more concerned. One night I got up and ran to the bathroom my ex was used to this as my heavy bleeding ment I had to change often, but this night he decided to come in as men do he wanted to do his teeth! Worse than the kids I know hehe but as he walked in he was mortified! I hadn’t made it in time and there was blood and clots everywhere, he was sheet white and said ‘oh my f***ing god are you alright you’re going to the doctors tomorrow’ to which I replied they said its normal I’m fine, you know I have been as you have been taking me anyway he argued back and said you’re going that isn’t right so off I went two days later to the doctors explained what had happened this was May 15th 2015 the doctor told me that losing weight would help my period so I asked where should I lose weight from as I’m 5ft 9inches weighing 10stone to which he didn’t reply he then said unless you have cancer I will refer you but book in for a smear test, so I left went and booked in for my smear test. On 20th may on the way to my smear I had a call from the hospital telling me they were trying to get me an urgent appointment for a colposcopy and they would call me back asap so I went in for my smear the nurse was lovely done the usual chit chat, then she said when did you have your last smear? so I explained January and that it had come back inadequate and they said to wait 3 months she asked where I had it done, so I said here by another nurse to which she looked even more shocked and went on to explain that whoever done my last smear, didn’t look at my cervix at all as it was completely abnormal and that she was concerned so she went on to do the smear but as soon as she touched my cervix I was bleeding heavy. 20 minutes I was laying there for I explained to her that what I was losing was normal and even the doctors said so but she said if the bleeding didn’t slow in the next few minutes she was calling an ambulance. Then I started to worry and Vmy ex had been waiting in the car for me for 45 minutes already I couldn’t reach my phone. So after 30 minutes it had slowed and I left when I got home I had a call saying I had an appointment for the next day for colposcopy. The next day I went to my local hospital for the colposcopy my ex sat in waiting room with my youngest daughter while I went in. The doctors introduced themselves and proceeded to ask me to get on the chair the doctor then began looking I could see on screen my cervix but didn’t know what I was looking at exactly or what to look for but her face dropped, she look worried then said I’m going to let my superior take over so the other doctor sat down and she looked worried and kind of lost to be fair, like she didn’t know what to say then she said I want to talk to you shall I get your partner in so I said no way I’m on a chair legs akimbo and he has my daughter out there who is only nearly two. She said are you sure and I just said just tell me what is going on I want to know her response was I have some very bad news for you I am 99% sure you have cancer! I just can’t tell you what type or how bad and in that split second my whole world came crashing down. My thoughts were about my kids and my partner at the time now ex my perfect little bubble was popped that c word had smashed through my happy ending. She asked if I was ok and I said not really she said that she had to take some hole punch biopsies so I told her to just do it. She did the biopsy’s it was so painful but all I could think of was my family my kids my partner my mum my dad how was I going to tell them. She done the biopsy’s but again I had a problem with bleeding so she packed my cervix and used adrenalin and said go and see if you can get your daughter picked up, I will see my next patient and get you back in to talk and if the bleeding hasn’t stopped you will have to stay in. so off I went out the room had to make sure I keep it together till my daughter had been picked up so 10 minutes later I had the first hurdle to get over. I had to tell my partner now ex I had cancer how do you tell someone that? I struggled then blurted it out his eyes welled up he went really pale and then just squeezed me I also had to explain what I had just had done and the complications and that I may have to stay in. Then we went back in to doctor she arranged a CT and a wedge biopsy.
Then I had to go and tell my family……………..
So I did explained what had been said you could see it affected my mum and dad and sister but mum and dad held it together as well as parents could. I had to tell my nephew and what you have to understand is my nephew had lived with me before and we have always been close he has always been there to help me out and the look on his face absolutely broke me then on to tell my elder two children me and my partner at the time went to pick my son up with his best friend we sat in a car park and told him he got out the car with his friend both looked very angry but upset too, they got out and walked off I knew to leave them for a bit and they would come back so after a bit they got in the car and we came home. I said his friend my adoptive son could stay my son was there when I told my daughter and he was very grown up and supportive to his sister it hit them both hard but I have been there mum and dad I’m there most reliable person in their life who has never let them down up until my now ex that is and I am so grateful they had him he was there dad their friend their reasoning when it got tough later on.
28th may the day before my youngest 2nd birthday!!I had to go to the hospital they rung me with last minute appointment which is where I was told I had cervical cancer adenocarcinoma.
1st June I had my cystoscopy and wedge biopsy then my CT on the 5th of June. I had all these thoughts and fears and emotions running through my head my main one was the fact I felt I was meant to protect my children as a parent and I couldn’t protect them from this they would see me going through all sorts and they aren’t stupid. On the 8th of June I have the results from the tests I had and was seeing gyne consultant specialist for the first time he asked questions about my symptoms and when I said about my last birth he said oh I thought as much then I said about the two types of blood he said you’re not stupid your right one is normal menstrual cycle blood the other is your own blood fresh blood and went on to explain the blood tests I had been having every 3 months over the last 18 months, show I was losing blood but I was having these tests due to other conditions and the doctors always said they were fine anyway I got the diagnosis of adenocarcinoma of the cervix a 4cm tumour a cysts in my ovaries extra fluid in my 4 quadrants and that I needed an mri and I would get a call as it was put through as urgent I fell to pieces in the town centre just had a major overload and felt like everyone else was in control of my body but me I felt pressured to stay positive and all I wanted to do was melt down and fall to pieces, so I disappeared off left my mum and partner sat the time with my daughter didn’t say where I was going I didn’t even know at first and I ended up at one of my best friends flats fell to pieces in her friends arms she was so not expecting me to fall to pieces. Emma then got home and gave me a hug made me one of her amazing coffees and we just talked well I did crying and sobbing and she was just there for me I wouldn’t answer my phone or texts anyway a while later my get away and hide plan failed my now ex knew where to find me I came home and just cried even more. I had my MRI then had a call asking me to go in the next day for results it’s urgent. 11th June when I thought nothing could get worse hadn’t prepared myself for this at all the consultant couldn’t even look at me properly, even my now ex knew by the look on his face there was something wrong then bam in a stuttered sentence out it comes I am very sorry there is no easy way to say this you have a 4cm tumour on your cervix and tumours on both ovaries I am so sorry but you have stage 4 cervical cancer we will confirm the secondary cancer once we remove ovaries and send them for testing so I asked what that meant he said that it means. He said they will treat in a hope to cure slap right there in my face thought I was in a nightmare everything I feared that I blocked out was all right in front of me. He went on to organise my surgery my local hospital couldn’t do it on the Monday as he wanted it done asap so he got me into Watford general the other hospital he worked at and that was for the Tuesday this was on the Thursday so I only had a few days to get my head round all this information and the fact I would be losing my ovaries which at the time I thought just get it over and done with. I had to go and let my parents and siblings know I also told my nephew and niece, this was all hard to say I told my mum dad sister brother and nephew first then when my niece came home I couldn’t find the words, she looked happy and rather flustered after work then gym the riding her bike home I didn’t want to pop that bubble, she went upstairs to have a shower but her mum followed I sat on the chair wishing I was anywhere but there. My sister then told my niece and called me upstairs she was in pieces as was my sister and then me .I did not tell them all the full diagnosis as I didn’t want my children to know and start researching and reading bad outcomes so although they knew what I had not very many knew the stage and that was my bit of control and protecting for my kids I wouldn’t tell them unless it became absolutely necessary. So had my ovaries out on the 16th June and came home on the 17th June. 2nd July I see consultant post-surgery and yet again more bad news I had in fact a 7cm tumour on my cervix not a 4 which meant it was in operable and on one ovary had a 3cm tumour the other had a 4cm tumour I would have to have chemotherapy radiotherapy and brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy) and there was only a 18% chance of it working they were giving me radical treatment in hope it would work. If not palliative care only this was hard for me to hear it broke me and now ex to pieces made me feel like the hope I was holding on to wasn’t there at all. I shut myself off from as much as I could I couldn’t process everything I had two of my other girls birthdays one on the 21st one on the 29th July I wasn’t able to do my usual party for them didn’t have the frame of mind let alone the energy and accepting the treatment and what it could do was hard in every way possible my brain was in overdrive. I went and got my hair chopped into something I wouldn’t normally have and not normally as short as I wasn’t sure if I was going to lose my hair or not and that for me was really hard to try and come to terms with but lucky enough it turned out I wouldn’t lose my hair. I had to have tests and scans to see where the radiotherapy would need to go so I got little tattoo dots to line me up on the machine for my treatment and tests for the chemotherapy. My chemotherapy and radiotherapy started on the 5th August 2015 that was chemotherapy every Wednesday for 5 weeks radiotherapy everyday Monday to Friday for 5 weeks but every Monday I had to see consultant and every Friday I would have to have a blood test too. To start off with the first two weeks went so bad but then the tiredness was really kicking in and it was an effort the third week I was getting a little nauseous and my bowels were quite bad so the bathroom and bedroom became my favourite rooms by the fourth week I had side effects in full swing even with the medication I was getting bad nausea I was getting headaches ringing in my ears and really bad diarrhoea so medication for everything but the pain in my abdomen and cervix on top of the other side effects and having to drag myself out of bed early every morning for treatment then became a lot more than quite hard it felt more like mission impossible so many times I wanted to give up. I felt like I couldn’t go no more like I had nothing left to give. Then came the thoughts of I’m doing all this what if it don’t work surely it would be easier if I was just to not be here rather than my kids seeing me suffer physically. my now ex made me go I didn’t get a choice I was horrible I said horrible things I admit I was wrong but at the time I felt I had nothing left to give I could barely walk a few steps without hurting. Anyway last day of radiotherapy I was admitted to hospital for my brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy). So got admitted to hospital had a scan to check for positioning of rods which would be inserted two would sit on my cervix and one inside which I would have surgery for in the morning. So its morning I go for my surgery to have rods put in and a few hours later I have my first treatment which the treatment itself didn’t hurt at all. After my first treatment the pain was getting so bad through all of my symptoms and treatment I had only had tramadol on 4 occasions but this pain I couldn’t cope with. I had to lay flat on my back I wasn’t allowed to move at all I had a catheter and medication to stop me from pooing. I had morphine and it wasn’t touching the pain it was unbearable when my now ex came up to see me he asked them to give me something else as he has never seen me in so much pain and never known me to ever ask for more pain relief. So they gave me other pain meds my partner at the time had to come up to feed me as they wouldn’t help I couldn’t move and had no energy anyway the next two days I had my other treatments had the rods taken out after last treatment no sedation or gas and air I’m glad I saved my dose of morphine for it! They said I could go home if I was up to it as much pain as I was in and I could barely stand on my own I had no energy I wanted to go home so that’s what I done and stayed in bed for two days. This was only the physical treatment of the cancer the feelings and thoughts I had throughout were all over the place, I had loads of low days some a lot worse than others but they got worse once my treatment was over as it had time to sink in and I had time to think too much time in fact. I tried to occupy myself with Christmas shopping through my treatment and after but sometimes this wasn’t enough I was scared, so scared in fact I started to make arrangements regarding my kids as they have two different dads I knew they would get separated but wanted to make sure they still got time together. Also started thinking about when the time comes not if but when it comes I didn’t want my partner at the time to be there didn’t want him to see me just waste away I didn’t want to waste away but felt at the time I don’t have a choice. These feelings were a mixture of what I had been diagnosed with what I had been through and lack of hormones due to not having my ovaries. So then the time came for my 3 month post treatment scan 7th December went to have the scan expected to wait two weeks for the results. The waiting game again it was horrible all them thoughts and fears emotions all over the place. Then on the 11th I had an unexpected call my from my cancer nurse specialist I felt sick thought there was something wrong with the scan results for her to be calling that quick. She said hi Vicky I have some news for you; your scan is showing there is no active cancer cells I had to get her to repeat it 3 times! I couldn’t believe my ears only an 18% chance it would work and there was me in that 18% I mean lets be fair if that was odds for anything else I wouldn’t of bet on it let alone with my life.
So then came the telling family first my partner who was inside dropping his children home he came out and I had to get him to pull over he couldn’t believe it either he shouted yes we done it baby so loud didn’t think I would here again, but when he said we he was correct we did do it together as a team even when it was rough. Then came telling my kids and nephew this is something I was so happy to say didn’t have to protect them the relief on their faces and strength in there hugs and tears on their cheeks said it all! I told my younger ones over the phone as they were at their dads they were so happy too not that my 7 or 2 year old really understood but my 10 year old did. My 10 year old made me cry she said mummy I’m so proud of you you’re so strong. ><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Then I arranged to meet my mum dad sister younger brother and niece at my parents’ house. This time there were tears of joy and the massive look of relief on their faces there was a few people I wish I could tell them to their face but I couldn’t so a phone call/text had to do. We had a little get together with family and close friends it was a massive weight lifted, still hard to believe but people smiling and joking like old times.
This is not the end of my journey by far as much as its great news, it just means I am in remission being in remission is a great thing it doesn’t stop the worry or the appointments or the effects mentally. I still have a lot to deal with the hormones being all over the place as the HRT isn’t right but that in its self is worry as it puts me at risk of breast cancer, and then there is my radiotherapy damage to my bowel which is hard to deal with physically and mentally. Physically it limits me especially with my energy levels as I can’t get what I need from my food some days are better than others not by much but try to remind myself that it’s one of the prices I paid to be here now. I also have the resentment of the fact that although I didn’t feel I wanted anymore children I resent the fact it was a choice taken away from me, I had no option these are but a few things I am still dealing with as well as still having an abnormality on my cervix and pain.
I would like to leave you with a few bits to think about and maybe bear in mind when someone goes through treatment. Just because treatment is over doesn’t mean that’s the end they have many things to deal with some of which you may understand some you won’t. There is a mixture of feelings involved and they may push people away unintentionally, for me I thought it would be easier for them if I did push them away I didn’t think it would make it harder. Putting on a brave face is easy at first but then gets harder so I shut myself away talking via text or phone or even Facebook was easier no one could see me. If you know someone who is going through or been through the cancer journey have a thought not just for them but the people around them. I love my family and close friends very much and I struggled dealing with the thought of how they were suffering though my diagnosis and treatment and waiting for results.
I just want to thank all my family and friends for their support and my children and partner for being my drive my reason to push through even when I couldn’t you pushed for and with me.
Last of all I just want to say this is not a way to diagnose yourself it’s just an insight to some of my personal journey that I have chosen to share thank you for taking the time to read even if my story helps one person I am more than happy.
So after celebrating 3 months in remission i have an early scan due to pain and other symtoms. They think i have nerve damage due to the radiotherapy. all though not ideal i would be greatful if thats all it is. In the mix of all this me and my partner have decided to get married with everything that has happened and ho high risk i am i wanted to do this while i am well i have no doubt in my mind that this is the right thing to do. I couldnt of asked for a better man by my side all be it we are crazy doing it in a few months but it will be tough as we havent saved. While i am updating i am adding a few pics not great but they are how i as during my treatment to look at them is hard for me as the memories are not great but at the same time it reminds me how far i have come there is a few family pics maybe some funny ones from now my family is my world without them i wouldnt of had the drive to push through.
First pic as my second treatment the 2nd pic was after 18 radio and 4 chemotherapy. The next photo is of me after the surgery to put rods in for brachy and my first brachytherapy the next photo is after the 2nd brachy and the last is of me after my last treatment and rods out waiting to go home with my man by my side as always x
The next photos are of me and my mum, me and my dad, me and my best friend more like a sister to me (Emma) who i mentioned in my story.