Yesterday I went to see my consultant. I had a radical hysterectomy on 1st November for 1a2 adenocarcinoma and physically, recovered relatively well from it, got the all-clear a couple of weeks later and got back to driving at 7 weeks, etc etc.. The past two weeks I've been getting bad pelvic pain and pain down my leg, as well as some pain in my vagina. My bowel has never recovered from the op either. These symptoms weren't going away, so rather than wait until my check-up in April, I rang my cancer nurse who spoke to my consultant, who thought it was best to get me in for a 'thorough going over'.
Anyway, thankfully everything is fine in the sense that he is very happy that this is not cancer-related and that I'm still clear of cancer. I have a vaginal prolapse. I also had some scar tissue at the top of my vagina, which he removed there and then (that was grim - not radical-hysterectomy-grim, but still grim, and I'm sick of having my bits mucked about with). I also have adhesions and the surgery has given me irritable bowel syndrome. He's given me some things I can do that might help - only time will tell - there is a possibility that I will just have to put up with the pain for the rest of my life. It's a very strange feeling to be so pleased to be told you might have to put up with pain for the rest of your life - I don't care, I can deal with that, as long as it's not cancer!
I saw my gynaecologist in his general gynae clinic, rather than his gynae-oncology clinic. This was good because it meant he could see me sooner, but it was difficult as well because it meant I was surrounded by pregnant women, which I found really hard. Anything to do with pregnancy or babies at the moment I just find so upsetting.
After the hospital, my husband and I went for coffee at my favourite coffee shop. Before we got our coffee, I popped to the loo. When I looked down, I saw blood in my knickers. I have often thought since my rad. hyst. what it would be like to see blood in my knickers again. It became both the thing I most longed for (because I'm grieving for my menstrual cycle) and the thing I most feared (because it would probably mean the cancer was back). I have often thought that I would not be able to cope if it happened because of the fear associated with it. And of course, that could still be the case - the blood I saw yesterday was spotting from the procedure I'd had to remove the scar tissue at the top of my vagina, and I knew that, so I knew it was 'safe'. Seeing blood there again was both devastating and lovely - like hearing a song from another life, playing in the distance. My periods are from another life - my life before I had cancer - every month for 25 years and then all of a sudden, never again. They were painful, sometimes inconvenient, but oh my goodness, how I miss them, and how much grief there is for them.
I suppose I wanted to post on here today because people who haven't been there have a tendancy to think it's all over once you get the all-clear, and of course, nothing could be further from the truth really. I am feeling teary and delicate today, as well as overwhelmingly relieved and happy.