Lydia Brain: My Gynae Month #2
Day 8 and I’m catching up on #MyGynaeMonth posts because I have been busy at Bestival. To break up the dreary cancer chat I thought I would posts something uplifting, as right now I’m feeling good. Sometimes life after cancer is just life. Every now and then (even if it's rare) I get a whole day barely thinking about it (I say barely because I still do a bit, because ya know, it's a bit deal and what not).
Day 9 and I can finally post something to educate on actual gynae cancers now I've finished my interviews for my little project, keep your eyes peeled! There are 5 gynaecological cancers, ovarian, endometrial, cervical, vaginal and vulval. Please familiarise yourself with them and their symptoms! Any unusual bleeding (which includes any bleeding post menopause) or discharge, any excessive and continued bloating, or any changes to the skin of the vulva (lumps/ warts etc) please go and see your GP.
Day 10 and I'm posting another flashback, this time to my diagnosis day. Two months after I had surgery to remove what was thought to be a fibroid I got an appointment with my gynaecologist, I assumed to check up on my recovery. Two months is a long time so I'd assumed everything had been fine with my results from the biopsy. I went alone half way through a workday and was planning to return to work later that afternoon. My gynaecologist (who worked in benign gynae and I don't think was very practised at giving bad news) said that they hadn't seen anything like my lump before and had sent the biopsy to several specialists around the world. It had taken 8 weeks of investigation, it was very rare and no one had seen anything like it before. She made it sound like they were still not sure what it was and were looking into it further. She didn't mention the C bomb at all, I was super confused by the whole conversation as she was being extremely vague. While she was talking away, I read the paper on her desk and saw 'Myofibroblastic tumour'. I kind of knew then and there what was going on but it didn't seemed to register properly, I don't know why (maybe denial). TBC tomorrow.
Day 11 and I’m following on from yesterdays post and continuing the story of my (kind of, who knows) diagnosis day. After my consultant had finished confusing me she introduced my CNS (clinical nurse specialist) as my nurse who would now be my point of contact moving forward. After our very odd consultation my new nurse (and guardian angel) took me to a different room that said Macmillan on the door and that's when it all started to sink in. She passed me a booklet on Endometrial cancer and all of a sudden I felt sick. She was a babe and could straight away judge my character and knowledge of cancer. She was straight talking (just my kind of person), I told her what I had read on the paper and asked if they knew it was a myofibroblastic tumour and she said yes. She talked some more but I can't remember a word of what was said. Then, from my dodgy memory she said something along the lines of 'blah blah blah, hysterectomy' and I finally cried. She seemed really surprised I hadn't registered I'd need a hysterectomy, but why would I when I didn't know what the heck was going on and everything was such a confusing whirlwind. TBC.
Day 12 and the third and final part of the story of November the 10th, my diagnosis day. I was just leaving the hospital after a very confusing half hour, my mind was a bit of a blur and my memory is sketchy. I called an uber and stood there for a few minutes not able to find it. The driver pulled up and kept saying how ‘I should have seen him, it says the number plate on the app, he was right there, didn’t I see the number plate on the app, I should have looked’. I just kept saying okay and praying he would stop talking because I really didn't want to cry. If I cried, I would cry a lot, and I’m not sure I would have been able to stop. He kept saying the same thing, over and over again. Perhaps five or six times. Maybe my spaced out, zombie like ‘I’ve just had terrible news’ appearance looked like I didn’t hear what he was saying. He kept going on and on! I was just thinking shut the hell up, right now, for God sake, before I break down. Please leave me alone!! I just wanted to hold it together long enough to get home and that man was making it very difficult. He was picking me up from a hospital not a bloody fun fair, hospitals mean something bad, assume I'm fragile now: PLEASE GO AWAY DRIVER.
Day 13 and it's our second #WombWednesday . I spoke to Sarah Graham at Broadly about my experience with womb cancer and losing my fertility. I'm thinking back to my worst bleeding situ, which was on the whole HORRIFIC. It was Sept 2015 and I was a wee lass. Not on my period I stood up at the end of a several hour flight and whoosh! Blood everywhere. My jeans were soaked and it was pretty damn obvious. Luckily I was flying alone because it was mortifying. I covered myself with my coat and panicked like hell. The queue for passport control before any toilets was long, around 40 minutes, and I was scared I was either going to die or had somehow had an immaculate conception and surprise miscarriage. Why is heavy bleeding only ever shown in the media from miscarriage? It's very confusing for a young little cancer girl like me! I had to throw my jeans in the period bin in the toilet and very loudly cry for half an hour before I could move. I just stared at what looked like enough blood in the toilet to ensure my immediate death. After this freakish incident I didn't bleed anymore, it wasn't the start of my period. The doctor wouldn't rescan me or do any tests as it was a ‘one off’ occurrence. F off (sorry, but swearing is completely justified) apparently it was most likely caused by stress. I wasn’t stressed, I was now very stressed.
Day 14 and I'm stealing a post from EveAppeal to let all you people know the symptoms of womb cancer. Any unusual bleeding go to the GP. Unusual bleeding includes ANY bleeding post menopause. Make sure you are aware of your own body, you need to know what’s normal for you so you can spot any unusual symptoms. Make doctors take you seriously and properly look into any symptoms, if for anything, at the very least your peace of mind.