I’m A Survivor, Picture 1) Surgery Morning…scared beyond belief. 2) A few hours post surgery, just found out everything went well. 3) Part of my incision, it’s another 3-4 inches long. 4) The day my oncologist called and told me the news. Second happiest day of my life.
I’ve not blogged in while, truthfully it was just too painful. My life has been shit for the last 4 months.
I was avoiding blogging because it hurt too much to rehash my daily thoughts, it made me sad, it didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, and I just ended up in tears with each blog I didn’t publish.
Now, here I am. 3 weeks post surgery, I am still recovering, I am still in pain, my body and mind are still healing, but I have peace.
All of the cancer was removed, nothing had spread, my lymph nodes were clear, all the additional biopsies were clear. I am Cancer Free.
With all of this it is hard for me to say the words ‘I am a survivor’. I didn’t have to fight for my life, I didn’t endure months of treatments, I didn’t have rounds of chemicals flowing through my veins, or radiation shot into my body burning the cancer out of me. I had surgery; Albeit a lengthy, major surgery, but in all, it was just surgery.
I don’t feel justified in saying I’m a survivor, but I guess I am. I’m one of the women who found the disease early enough, I took my health into my hands and didn’t shy away from tests. I took on Cancer head first and won. Fuck You Cancer. I made you my bitch.
My cancer, endometrial cancer, is the 4th most common cancer for Canadian women, each year 3,900 women in this country are diagnosed with it, and if caught soon enough it has a high survival rate. IF CAUGHT SOON ENOUGH….get ready ladies…Imma Preaching!
The most common symptom of endometrial cancer is ABNORMAL BLEEDING, spotting between periods, unusually long periods, heavy periods. This cancer isn’t generally found in younger women, it’s generally found in women who are post menopausal. Women my age aren’t affected nearly as often. I went to my GP in December for my physical which of course included the regular cop and feel…pap test the whole ball of yarn. I mentioned my crazy cycles and periods at that point, and he asked me to schedule another appointment to discuss this further and the different options available to me. Very occasionally endometrial cancer can be caught by a pap test, but often, as in my case it isn’t. Don’t rely on a normal pap test and assume you’re all good.
At my second appointment we discussed my 60-90 day cycles, and 12-15 days of bleeding. Sorry to be graphic, but it sucked. I couldn’t leave the house for the first half of my period because I was afraid of bleeding through tampons and pads. It was awful. At this appointment my Dr. decided to send me to a clinic that specialises in minimally invasive techniques of dealing with crazy cycles. My Dr thought I had fibroids, which are very common and quite treatable.
Sooooo to the clinic I went, I believe I had to wait a month or so for my appointment. At this appointment, I met a new Dr who specialises in women’s health etc. He was quite nice. He unfortunately put me through a whack of shitty tests that I am grateful were generally fast. Some Tylenol and Motrin for a few days and I was fine.
It was during these tests that he found one tumour, he of course didn’t tell me, not until he had conclusive pathology. 3 weeks later I was in for my second appointment with him, and I saw the surgeon instead. He very nicely told me I had cancer and needed to have a hysterectomy, as well as my ovaries removed. He then informed me he could do the surgery around Christmas or he could find another oncologist to take my case….FIND ME ANOTHER DR AND GET THIS SHIT OUT OF ME!
September 26th that’s what happened. My new Dr, who is amazing, and who I love removed all my girl bits, she opened my uterus in the surgery suite and found another unexpected tumour, and then the beginning of another was found when they were doing the pathology post surgery.
And now I’m cancer free. I’m still dealing with what this exactly means. I have the chance to start again, I have a new lease on life. I have the opportunity to do things differently. I will not make the same mistakes. I will continue to be vigilant about my health, next step is genetic testing, time to find out if I too am a carrier of the BCRA1 and BCRA2 genes…if I am, another surgery is on the horizon.
So my life now is trying to evade hot flashes, mood swings which tend to be teary not bitchy, and dealing with post surgery recovery. Sore muscles, nausea associated with the anaesthetic (Today I didn’t PUKE!!!!! Woot!) an incision that puts Frankenstein to shame, and doing all of this while caring for my girl. She makes it all worthwhile. I get to be her Mummy for a long, long time.
I’m 35, healthy, active. I’m a Mummy, a friend, a sister, a daughter, (a penguin). I am a volunteer, a hard worker; and now, I am a Cancer Survivor.