Good afternoon everyone,
This is my first time to the website, first time to the forum and first time hearing that horrible word 'Cancer'.
Two weeks ago I went in for a pap smear as i had a gut feeling that i "wasn't right". It wasn't anything that i could specifically put my finger on and was more a case that there was this horrible feeling that something wasn't right. I had more discharge than normal and had to start wearing pantyliners. I had never worn them before however am 31 this year and attributed it to the body growing older and changing. I've never had children but somehow i thought it must be my body and ignored that horrible feeling something wasn't right. Then came the rust coloured discharge and bleeding between periods. Again, i never felt sick, or in pain. I never had a fever, and it didn't strike me as particularly odd. I woke up one morning with this sick feeling of dread in my stomach. I spoke with a friend and i said that i couldn't explain it and felt like I was being followed and chased by something horrible that was waiting to strike me down. Again, i brushed this aside and had an appointment with my beautician. During our session we ended up talking about different abnormalities clients have come in with (she does waxing) and she mentioned patients with a lot of sexual diseases not even knowing they had them. I wasn't worried about this as I honestly can't remember the last time i was sexually active as I'm studying medicine and as much as i would love someone in my life, haven't found the time. You would think as someone who is studying medicine and someone who understands the body, i would have thought different....
Two weeks ago i woke up in desperation and needed to go to the doctors. I couldn't tell you why but everything in me screamed "PAPSMEAR". I went and wasn't suprised when the doctor attempted to do the smear and i started to bleed horribly. She said that she had barely touched the cervix when it became extremley irritated, commenced bleeding, was quite firm and didn't look right. Within a week I had been diagnosed with cancer and referred to a gynelogical oncologist for a colposcopy and biopsy. During the colposcopy and the biopsy the oncologist confirmed it was cancer and i was also referred off for an MRI.
The MRI along with the biopsy confirmed cancer. It is a 2-3cm length/width/diameter tumour that has extended past the cervix into the surrounding organs however at this stage has somehow missed the lympth glands. At this stage I am in the "lets get you to see as many people as possible and throw as many options as possible at you to confuse the hell out of you stage". As the oncologist recieved the confirmation at 4pm on Friday she has advised that early this week I will recieve a call from the cancer centre, herself, a fertility/reproductive specialist (because at 31, its probably a good idea to save some eggs) and a range of other people.
The options provided to me have been a radical hysterecomy or doses of radiation and chemo. The treatment outcome is the same only with radiation/chemo i will likely go into menopause however with the radical hysterecomy whilst i wont need chemo/radiation it does mean that i will have scarr tissue and if they miss some of the cells, apparently the side effects of radation and chemo with scar tissue is a lot worse.
It's only been two weeks (well, really one week since i heard "cancer" and started talking about treament possibilities and 24 hours since the call came through on "this is what you need to do treatment option wise <insert a whole heap of medical jargon here> but we will arrange 111010101010 appointments for you first". Ive gone from sadness, to numbness to feeling normal. Its amazing how in the space of a week so many people can leave your side, let you down and you really start to learn the real lesson of who real friends are and who is just along for the easy ride. The anger and hatred i am feeling at some people is horrible. Today i started to wonder if this is some kind of lesson or some kind of point for me; that i did something wrong or because im angry about it, that i deserve it more?
I recognise thats messed up thinking to the extreme. It's just where i am at. Close friends and family know and i've started a support page on FB (a closed, secret page only for those closest). I intend to keep going with my studies and am trying to live life as normal as possible. I never expected this and never imagined at 31 to be asking myself questions like "What happens if i find someone and get married and want children?" How do i make these decisions when i dont even have someone in my life? What if imake the wrong decision and all of a sudden when i can't have children or need to adopt, regret it? Do i feel less of a woman minus my organs? Is it better to have chemo/radiation and avoid surgery or have the surgery and hope for the best? My gut tells me surgery, and if i have learnt anything its listen to my gut.
How did you stop from going mental? What were the little things you did for yourself and others that helped you through this?
Much love, hope and joy to you all.