I started getting pains and swelling in my stomach in May 2011. I went back and forth to the local doctor for a few weeks as the pain was getting worse. The doctor I saw at the beginning diagnosed me with constipation which was then moved onto fibroids. As the pain grew worse i decided to see another doctor as i felt that the first doctor wasn't taking me serious about just how much pain i was in , I was then referred by him for a CT scan the following week.
The doctor informed me that it was not what he had anticipated and that the mass could not be identified accurately as he could not see from the scan where the mass started and ended. At this point he referred me to a consult at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
After doing her own investigation and looking at my notes, the consultant said she was 95% sure it wasn’t cancer as I had had a clear smear test earlier in the year and she wasn’t worried but decided that a full hysterectomy would be the best option for me. While they completed the operation they would do a wash and biopsy to be on the safe side.
As I am a self-employed singer I had to take a break from work as I was told after having the operation that I had to take at least 8 weeks to recover.
I had the operation on October 11, 2011 and all seemed to go well. I waited three weeks on the results of the biopsy. I was then called in by the consultant to give me my results. We (my partner and I) were taken into the consultants room and were informed that it was not good news, that it was in fact cancer. She then went on to explain that it was clear cell cancer, and it was one of the worst types which was very hard to detect. She explained that they could not tell by looking at the mass at the operation stage that it was diseased and needed further biopsy to confirm the disease. She explained that the type of cancer I had doesn’t always react well to chemotherapy but that was the treatment that they recommended for me to take. To say that we were left in pieces was an understatement as we really didn’t know what kind of future I had to face, if any at all.
I was then referred to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where they told me that I had been so lucky as I was diagnosed at Stage 2c and was not as bad as first thought. The doctor explained how they planned to go about curing the disease rather than containing it. I can’t tell you enough how relieved I was to hear this news. It gave us hope and strength that we needed to face what was coming next.
I started my chemotherapy two weeks later on the 22nd November just six weeks after my hysterectomy. So i settled into my regular hospital trips for my 6 sessions of chemo and finally got the all clear in April, i would love to say that this was where my story ended but unfortunately i can't .
I started experiencing pains in my stomach again that resembled period pains but as I had a full hysterectomy that is impossible so I mentioned it to my consultant at my first 3 month check. She decided that a scan should be done just to check everything was ok , I then had to go back for my results. That’s where things take a turn for the worst. I am sorry to say that the cancer IS back, unfortunately they can’t do any more surgery because of where it is, and at the moment they don’t want to do anymore chemo as I feel well at the moment and they don’t want to make me feel ill too early so they are going to wait till I start to feel unwell due to it then blast it with more chemo, unfortunately we are now talking about containing it rather than curing.
Please all women out there I can’t stress enough how important it is to know the symptoms of ovarian cancer for it IS a matter of life and death and the earlier you catch it the more chance you have of making a full recovery. It seems I have won the first battle now it’s time for the war …. x