THIS IS MY LIFE , "BC & WC"

Hi I read Margaret's blog telling the story of her journey through cancer. I had an idea we could all tell our stories to help others I am calling it " This is my life " BC & WC

BC before cancer and WC with cancer.

Here is my story.

I was a very active 57 year old very fit and healthy the odd cold but nothing serious. I worked full time helped with looking after the grandchildren and went to the gym regularly. One day back in April 2012

I started getting stomach pains nothing too bad I just put it down to IBS as my motions were getting rather loose as well and I was passing water every hour. I started putting on weight but thought maybe I needed to up the exercise and cut down on food I was 57 and had an under active thyroid. When after 5 weeks I had put on 10 pounds and could not fit in my clothes I mad an appointment with my GP.

He examined me and said I had A Twisted Bowel and said I should go and have an X RAY. I went that evening to our local hospital after the X Ray I was told to check in at A&E. When I was seen by a doctor I was told I was being admitted. I was given a CT scan an internal scan, a drain was inserted into my side and I had loads of blood tests. After two long weeks of being in hospital they finally said I has Ovarian Cancer and they said you can go home now. They said I would get a phone call on Friday with an appointment to see a gynecologist.

I was in shock and yes very upset I sat in the loo and cried for ages. I phoned my husband who came and got me and we drove home and both cried. Being the person I am I went on the web and read as much as I could about Ovarian Cancer some good some not so good it was then I found OVACOME the best thing I could have found.

I had my appointment on 7th June at Maidstone and saw a lovely doctor she explained all about chemo and said after chemo number three I would have a CT scan and then if things were going well I would have an Operation. Chemo one, two and three were fine and I carried on working through out this time. I went for my scan and my tumour had shrunk enough to operate. i had one more chemo and then on the 8th October I had my operation. I had a TAH and SBO in other words I had it all out. womb, tubes ovaries cervix and omentum. Im not saying when I can round I felt bad but imagine being run over by a steam roller and that's how I felt with tubes in my hand and back and yes a cathiter. I remember waking up and saying I need to wee. The nurse said you have a cathiter and I said "But I dont know how to use it" I wondered at the time why she started laughing.

I came out after 5 days and was told to rest. Once home I did not need telling to rest I could hardly walk. This lasted about four weeks its now six weeks after my op and I feel fine now still a bit tender around the scar but Im walking about now doing housework and counting the days till I can return to work. I had chemo number 6 yesterday. I feel fine today but I know on Sunday and Monday I will feel pretty rough but its only for a couple of days.

Its a special day for me today in two ways . I have finished chemo now, and its my Birthday.

My thoughts are now onward and upwards. Here are to many more Birthdays, not just for me but for every other lady with OC.Love to you all hope I have not bored you too much but wanted to show its not all doom and gloom with OC.

Love Babs x x x

14 Replies

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  • Hi Babs,

    Thank you.... love and best wishes x G x :-)

  • Great idea to do this after Margaret's moving story, Babs. Agree we should all do when we feel able - a good way to reflect as well as being useful. Will get to mine...soon.

    Happy happy birthday! May the next year be better than this!

    Sue

    X

  • Thanks for writing this Babs. Here's wishing you many more happy birthdays.

    Love

    Mary xx

  • What a lovely positive reflection, Babs! I wish you many more happy years of health and happiness and fun and family. it is a good idea to do this story-writing, it will hopefully give lots of different perspectives to women who have been diagnosed. I am aware that mine will be quite different, as time has lent a different perspective. Will try to give a flavour:

    BC: always busy, high pressure job, rushing around, working 70 hours most weeks, holidays spent with older parents or chilling out with husband, we had gone through trying for a family, infertility sadness and I had always had really painful then flooding periods and endometriosis. I often felt drained in holidays and had migraines regularly at weekends and holiday times. I enjoyed my life but I was becoming more aware of the detrimental effects of my stressful job, kept waking up at 4am etc etc. went to the GP several times with various classic symptoms but told it was my age, my job, anaemia. I was under the impression that they thought I was a time-waster. The rest is on my profile ;-)

    WC or A-op: I have slowed down, worked in a slightly less demanding job, loved getting back to my roots. We had a friend who died of a massive heart attack just after I was getting better and she was only 43, in a similar stressful job to my husband's and mine ..... We both cut back on responsibilities, hours and pay of course! Now both retired, we love it! I am more contented, appreciate little things in nature, weather, travel friendships, I write quite a bit, just to help me to reflect on things, I try to paint, I do tai chi and walk a lot .......all help me to appreciate the calmness in my life now. Of course there are some stresses but I try not to dwell on them. If there's a funny feeling in my tum, I wonder .....sometimes I panic a bit, but so far, so good. I never dwell on what if, or when will.....I could get hit by a car and it could all be over before I got to do what I still want to do :-(

    So A-op I am optimistic. I appreciate things with a greater focus and clarity now, as I am aware that it could all go pear-shaped at any time. I try to fit in time to do what I want to do. I enjoy my life and feel that it has been enriched in a lot of ways.

    I agree, Babs, it's not all doom and gloom. However, I am VERY aware I am really lucky, so far

    Love Wendy :-) xx

  • Thanks Babs and Wendy for sharing, it's very interesting to know what others have gone through on their 'journey'. Being positive obviously helps so much. Good luck to each and everyone one of us!

    Love Linda xx

  • Happy Birthday Babs! And thanks for sharing!

    Love M xxxxxxx

  • Happy birthday babs x life before cancer I never thought it could happen to me. Not once but twice! I didn't have a major stressful job and life would just plod along with me and my kids. I did have a few problems with abnormal smears and a hysterectomy at age 33. I have sort of hijacked the site as I don't have oc, I had cervical cancer back in 2005. But people here seen so nice and friendly I decided to join. I don't say a lot but I read the blogs most days. Anyway, I had chemo & radiotherapy back in 2005 after my tumour removed. 7 weekly cysplatin and 7 weeks of daily radio. It was clear and had checks for 5 yrs after. I started to get more exercise etc. I didn't have checks for 3 yrs then early this year I knew something wasn't right and was referred back to the hosp. I had a few strange goings on with my lady garden. I had a biopsy done on my bladder and vagina under a general. I found out on fri 13th July this year I had squamous carcinoma very low in my vagina. Which is in a very difficult place to treat. I was unable to have surgery due to place and size of tumour. Very upsetting time as they didn't know whether curable. I started chemo on the 3rd sept 2012 on 3 weekly carbo/ taxol and was told I would have 3 to start with and see how it was doing. Then have an MRI and if all was well I would have 3 more. I am a bus driver by trade and have carried on working through this as much as possible. My boys of which I have 3 have been a great support to me as have my friends:) I am only 44 and having this unwanted squatter not once but twice has been a pain to be honest n it I'm tough and won't let it win lol. I didn't get my scan til after treatment 4 but I had results from my scan yesterday and its all good my tumour is shrinking. My onc says it is soft and squishy inside so it is seeming to be dying which is great news. I have another 2 to go next being Monday. Then see where it takes me. I must admit after 4 I feel great and far more comfortable than I have for months. Am still smiling and plan to be here for a lot longer yet. I now have a 6 week old granddaughter I plan to spend as much time with as I can Kelly x

  • Happy Birthday!!! Cx

  • That's great news, Kelly, that the treatment is working. Your boys must be a great comfort! There's nothing like the needs of youngsters to keep things real! (I was a teacher!) All the best to you for your continuing treatment, and thanks for sharing your story :-)

    Love Wendy xx

  • Babs, I really admire the way you've approached the whole experience and I was amazed at how you carried on working during your first chemo cycles.

    Thanks for telling us your story. and have the best birthday ever!!

    Love Linda xxx

  • Thanks Wendy. Boys and life do make you put things into perspective. Glad you have had the chance to fulfil many things to enrich your life and got out of the stressful job :) may you have many more years of that to come. Kelly xx :)

  • Dear Babs,

    I'm wishing you a happy birthday a day late. I was thinking of you yesterday but haven't been on the site for a day or so (rotten cold followed swiftly after gastro-enteritis) .... so it's a HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!

    Thanks for posting up your blog. I remember your first one. You were so upbeat and 'let's get on with it'. A breath of fresh air. I had no idea what a trauma you'd just been through to reach a diagnosis. I'm a bit astonished they didn't get your husband in to tell you both together as it's not what you expect to hear when you're in hospital for general symptoms - but symptoms we now know are classic Ovarian Cancer.

    I deeply admire your buoyant attitude and energy and for your birthday wishes I'm sending you a wish that you enjoy many many more happy returns of the day.

    with love xxx Annie

  • Here is my story:

    It's been a long, long five months for me. BC back in June 2012 I was a busy girl - running my business, trying to go international, servicing clients and exercising my speciality of business IT writing - and trying to start a home business on the side. I had a husband and dog and way too many cats (6) to look after, but that was good fun; no kids so we had a nice selfish life. I was feeling tired, I suppose, but it was situation normal so never thought to go to the doc; I hadn't been in years and had even avoided all the things one really should do, even smears... I never caught colds, and generally had a view that I never got ill. Then I had some bouts of constipation, not particularly unusual for me but more frequent than usual, and it started dragging me down. After a couple more weeks I gave in to my husband's nagging and booked an appointment. A locum saw me and, though he didn't say much, he did suggest a blood test.

    I was sitting in the office late a couple of days later when my GP (whom I had never met) called me and said the results were very worrying. She mentioned OC as a possibility but said markers were up for all sorts of things, and she wanted to send me to the local gynae unit for an ultrasound. Then the ascites started to build - though I didn't know what it was, I started to feel really crappy and a few days later went back to the GP, who sent me straight to the hospital. That's when the nightmare really began. Two lots of drainage, the ultrasound which showed a large mass, a CT scan, an MRI and finally a biopsy all in the course of a few weeks, before they would commit and confirm it was stage 3c endometroid OC. By this point I was fairly sure what it was from my own research, and frankly it was a relief to know for sure and have a plan. I had my first carbo/taxol before I was discharged - with the slight complication of going into anaphylactic shock from the first 5ml of taxol, which was terrifying and has left me pretty scared each and every chemo session since. Thank God for Lorazepam!

    The side effects I had were unpleasant, bad peripheral neuropathy especially, and the total loss of taste and appetite was depressing. I have lost a ton of weight which is a benefit of a kind. I was always in the obese BMI range; it's odd to be normal and, as a former fat bird, I found it totally weird to be told to eat whatever, whenever, and however much I liked. My chef husband was pretty depressed himself as he had thought one thing he could at least do was keep me happy with food, but I lived on plain rice most of the time. Funnily enough I didn't mind the hair bit too much. I got my wig after a hilarious trying-on sesh with my best mate, took it home and bought it some pink and purple hair extensions. It has lived on a bronze bust of Nelson Mandela in the living room ever since: completely unworn.

    I had my full hysterectomy, plus ovaries and omentum out, in September, and restarted chemo 3 weeks ago on the PETROC trial. I was put in the cisplatin/taxol group with IP delivery so now have an inter-peritoneal port on my hip. Horrible, quite painful and definitely getting in the way of full recovery from the op. However, CA125 is down from 3000 to 17. Two more cycles to go and, assuming the neutrophils hold up, I should be done just before the New Year. Numb and zingy fingers and toes all crossed.

    WC life has only just started, I guess. I know things have changed forever and just hope they will get better. Right now I know I don't recognise myself in the mirror any more. I don't really sleep these days and I struggle to focus on work. The grumps and hot flushes of the surgical menopause are horrible. None of these things are sustainable or acceptable so I have to work at them until they are cracked. I do still have my sense of the ridiculous and value it and my crazy fur-filled life hugely. I have my adorable husband to make me both food and laugh. A lot. Although nicknaming me 'Ned' after the skinheads of old is a bit much I will forgive him for that as he has just bought me a new kitten. Yes I know - that's 7!

    What I resent most is the loss of control. I don't know what the future holds and can't control whether this thing comes back and I hate that. I can't see myself slowing down workwise though - I'm not sure I know how.

    Sorry to ramble - it's the writer in me ;)

    Sue

  • This is a fab idea for a blog and it really helps. I don't have OC myself, I have joined on behalf of my mum who was diagnosed in October and is halfway through chemo, but I do know that one thing she struggled with was feeling like a 'freak' as she put it, because we didn't know anyone with OC - I'm not sure we'd even heard of it before. So these stories will make her feel like she's not alone, so thank you ladies for bravely sharing xxx

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