Penny Brohn UK
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Diagnosed with a tumour on my cervix


I have just been diagnosed with cervical cancer. My mum died of cervical cancer when I was 15, mum was 40, the same age I am now. I never ever thought I would truly be unlucky enough to have the same disease at the same age as mum. I always worried but if I'm honest, I didn't think life could be that cruel. Saying that, I'm not going to die from this. There is no way I'm letting my children and husband go through what I went through.

I have been bleeding after intercourse for 2-3 months and have had a horrible discharge that feels as though it is flooding from me. I went to the doctors at the end of March and she took a swab, which came back clear. She told me to go for a smear in the middle of my cycle, which I did on 15th April. My smear result came back as High Grade Dyskaryosis. I went to see a gynaecologist on 26th April. He saw a lump on my cervix and took a biopsy. I received the result of the biopsy on the following Tuesday. I was told that I had a tumour, which is relatively small, central on my cervix and growing out wards, not inwards. This is all good news...if you're going to have a tumour at all, this is one of the better ones to have :-).

I had told my gynaecologist that I urinate often...he decided to do a cystoscope that Friday to look at my bladder. He found I had interstitial cystitis, which would explain my need to wee a lot. He is going to treat that after everything else has been sorted.

I had an MRI last Saturday with dye injected into my blood during the MRI. This will highlight the tumour in my body. This will also ascertain if my tumour s contained in one place or if it has spread.

On Wednesday of this week I saw a different gynaecologist, as the one I saw previously isn't covered to operate on me from his hospital....some insurance cover policies can be funny, so I have been referred to a different hospital where I am covered. This Dr was very nice, just not so 'soft' as the other chap. He examined me and also told me my tumour is Grade 3 aggressive. Something that shocked me to the core. Now, I'm really scared and desperate for the MRI results to see if it has spread and keen to have the treatment to remove this nasty thing from my body. The radiologist is on holiday and will be able to look at my MRI on Saturday....that's tomorrow...

I had my pre admission at the hospital today. All being well, if it is contained in one place, I will have a Radical Hysterectomy on Thursday evening. They will save my ovaries if they can, otherwise I will go into immediate menopause. I need to get more information on this before Thursday....anyone have any advice on this? I'm tempted to have it all taken away...what if I get ovarian cancer? It's hard to recognise and I can't risk that getting to me... If they leave my ovaries, is there screening to check whether it rears its ugly head again? What's early menopause like?

I'm trying so hard to stay brave as I have a 7 year old and 9 year old and I can't let them see me sad or know about what I have. They know about my mum and they would worry themselves silly. I feel as though I'm having an out of body experience and I'm not really here, going through's just my body and I'm detached from it all. In truth, I'm scared to death and want to scream and shout.

I have a wonderful husband and really loving family who will help me through this so I'm lucky. I just hope and pray I will receive good news from the MRI. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me x

L x

4 Replies

Waiting is always the worst part because you don't have the answers to the myriad of questions that will be running through your head right now. It IS important that you let some of the emotion out and give voice to the rage and fear, but you need somewhere and some time to do this. A long walk in the country? Bouncing a Teddy Bear off a wall somewhere (they are very forgiving and completely understand)? Some one you can actually speak to? It might help to try if you are in the UK though their helpline is only open on weekday evenings, as listed on this page.

Find some time to centre yourself and remind yourself that right this second you are alive, have two children, husband and family. There are things that can be done to help you but part of the journey is also what you can do for yourself and the whole Bristol / Penny Brohn approach is brilliant. Don't know who originated this but 'Cancer is a WORD, not a sentence' in every way.

Finding ways of dealing with cancer doesn't happen instantly and is an on-going project. I have lived with a diagnosis of Metastatic Breast Cancer (it's spread and considered incurable) since Jan 2008. At the moment I am in one of my down times, but I have learned to ride them out and allow the feelings to happen so that I can go back to better times. Looking out of the window the sky is an incredible blue, the sun is out and today I am ok. I don't totally believe that right this second, that I am ok, but I accept the theory that it is true.

Vicki xxx


Thought for the day:

Why have we forgotten how to dream? With our innocence gone, and the entertainment industry doing all the work for us, we quickly lose our capacity to dream possible futures. Stop. Close your eyes. And dream again. Put the stars in your dreams. And then reach for them. No need to struggle. Simply nurture the dream, sustain the vision, and watch it come true. It must, it's the law.

Target for the day: start dreaming again!


Hi Loulou,

I'm so very sorry to hear your story. I can cast some light on the early menopause question. I had one of those when I was 32, following oestrogen sensitive breast cancer with metastasis. My life was made bearable by using Progesterone cream daily (applied to soft skin, ie. inner arm, thigh, tummy), available on prescription from my GP, enabling me to sustain a relationship with my husband and retain some sanity. Combined with eating 5 - 8 portions of vegetables a day with my meals, has meant no hot flushes at all. All these 25 years later, my children are grown up and I feel fine!

Penny Brohn Cancer Care can help with Nutrition and also on many other levels around developing brilliant self-help tools. I sincerely hope your MRI scan gave you good news?

Love, from Achillea


Hi Loulou72 we are very sorry to hear about your recent diagnosis, unfortunately we are not medically trained on the Penny Brohn Helpline but there are a number of medical helplines you could phone in order to discuss your options further. Macmillan Cancer Support Telephone number 0808 808 00 00 or Tenovus have an Oncology Nurse you can speak to their phone number is 0808 808 1010 or Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust's Helpline number is 0808 802 8000 (all the Helpline nos are freephone). We have holistic doctors here at Penny Brohn who you can discuss your treatment options with in detail on a 1:1 basis if you would like to know more about accessing our services please do not hesitate to telephone our Helpline on 0845 123 23 10 or you may wish to access our website which is Best wishes Helpline.


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