Devastation, help needed, thank you x

I am hoping that by writing this down I will in some tiny way help me to start to come to terms with what lies ahead. I am 32, I have cervical cancer that is at least a 1b but am expecting a more advanced staging after MRI and PET. I have been told that my fertility will be taken. So here I am with a life-threatening illness, no kids and the prospect of ever having any fading into the distance. My ovaries are definitely going so I’ll go into early menopause. These things have been told to me as definites.
My life has been turned completely upside-down in a couple of days. I have been fearing and expecting this diagnosis for a few months but now it is here I have no idea how the rest of my life is going to play out. I am devastated.
So, things I am afraid of.

  1. Finding out I’m at Stage 4. The radiologist technician who took my MRI looked like she had seen something bad on the scan. That it had spread. Badly. She got awkward when I asked her about it she got awkward and nervous. When I was leaving I said I was scared and she said ‘I’ll pray for you’. I could hear the funeral bells in the distance.
  2. Dying. Obviously. I am not ready to go. No-one is.
  3. Treatment. Whether is is total hysterectomy/radio/chemo it is going to be a battle. A battle that I don’t know how to prepare for.
  4. Menopause. I am 32. I do not want to lose my sex drive. I do not want to look older than my years.
  5. Infertility. Having children is pretty much the only definite think I know I want in my life. I have always said it. Now I will never carry a baby. Surrogacy costs money I will never have.
    So as you can tell, my life is now a mess. I don’t know if I have a future and if I do that future will be filled with sadness. The constant fear of recurrence. The constant envy of other people’s lives and children. Why can some people have all the things they want but I have been dealt this hand- ‘You might die, but even if you don’t you will spend the rest of your life miserable as the one absolute you had has been taken away. And you’re in menopause’
    Even if I do get through this, what man is ever going to want me? What can I possibly offer?
    I am trying desperately to think of pluses- I can freeze some eggs. Whatever that will mean for me in the future, I don’t know. But I have to give myself some kind of chance.
    On clinical examination the other day the consultant did not feel anything untowards which makes him think it may not be anything beyond a 1b. If it meant JUST getting the op and no radio I think I might feel a small bit better. But with radio the uterus is still there, just it doen’t function. Maybe if I knew it was still inside me, however useless, I wouldn’t feel like so much less of a woman at such a young age.
    Anyway as you can tell, I’m very very lost and very very scared.
    Can anybody share their experience to in some way help? Can I get through this?
    My friends and family have been amazing. I am so thankful for their support.

Hi Maeve,

Firstly, I think you really need to deal with one problem at a time as you are bombarding yourself with far too much at once!

The shock of receiving a cancer diagnosis is a huge upheavel and mind blowing, this in itself will take a long time to sink in and while it may seem difficult

now a positive mental attitude is needed to get you through.

I believe what helped me get through was a friend who was undergoing therapy and was so unbelievably strong that her positive and mental attitude

gave me too the determination to fight this vile disease!

I also think I slipped into auto pilot :-)

Sadly, I am childless I hope to Foster or adopt, Believe me there are times when I feel angry and confused asking the question 'why Me?'

I had early menopause too, I still feel feminine and I'm sure when you reach the end of the treatment you will feel different.

Don't be too hard on yourself take one step at a time and Im sure you will have the strength to get through.


As for the Radiologist I think we all study their faces for a reaction, My radiologist was bubbly and chatty before the MRI then afterwards looked quite solemn so, instantly I feared the worst. 

It is a very stressful time, You will get through this wishing you the very best wishes, strength and positivity X :-) Best of luck

Firstly, a huge hug.

I totally understand your feelings. At 34, I felt like I had the summer from hell! This diagnosis turns everything upside down and I felt every emotion - mostly grief because I thought I had lost the life I imagined and hoped for.

However, the waiting was the worst as it gave me far too much time to imagine every dreadful possibility – particularly what was on the screen! My way of coping during this time was to gain knowledge of my disease. I needed to think through the information in a logical manner in order to make my decisions on my own health. Once I knew and understood my condition, I felt like I had some control over my choices again.

After miscarrying in 2008, my husband and I knew that having our own biological child was not likely. This made me feel very guilty – I felt it was my fault. With counselling, I realised that losing a baby and the possibility of carrying any was tragic and not my fault. I had to hear and say that a lot to believe it.

As a result, before diagnosis, we decided we wanted to adopt (and have almost completed the process!) Although this journey is on hold for now, I know that there is no reason why we will not be successful. Our social workers have been amazing – cancer will not stop me from being a mum!

Due to the type of cancer diagnosed, keeping my ovaries was a risk I was not willing to take. Yes, I have had symptoms of menopause (I thought I was going to age 20 years in a day) but it hasn’t been as awful as I had convinced myself! With HRT, I hope that side effects such as bone thinning etc. will be prevented.

The journey of infertility and cancer has taught me to be compassionate to myself – I don’t need to be perfect – no one is! It is difficult to show self-compassion but be kind to yourself. Take every ounce of help and comfort from your support network.

Sending love and best wishes xxx

Thank you so much, I hope your friend got through it all ok too. How are you doing post-treatment? You are so lovely to get back to me with encouragement. X

Hi Beau,

I am also a member of the endocervical adenocarcinoma club! So I know exactly what you mean about the ovaries having to go. That damn estrogen fuelling our cancer. Were your margins not clear on biopsy too? I am so freaked coz I asked the radiologist if she had seen my cancer cells on the MRI and she said yes which makes me think THEY HAVE GONE EVERYWHERE. Anyway I won't know for def until I get the results. 

My fears regarding looking older after early menopause; does that happen? 

I am so delighted that you are nearly there with your adoption process. You sound like you will be a great mum xx

Estrogen has always been my nemesis! My two biopsies came back with evidence of early cancer so I knew I had it before the CT and MRI scans but didn’t know if it had spread. I couldn’t control what any of the scans of biopsies showed, but I could control how I chose to handle it. My support network were great at helping me!


Before my operation, I chose to have a second opinion from a female consultant because I feared the menopause and the effect treatment would have. I didn’t want to age prematurely. I’d imagined myself as a sweating, emotional wreck unable to run around with/after any child I was lucky enough to adopt. I didn’t want cancer to take away the opportunity of me keeping up with a young family – I’d waited too long! But, after talking to the consultant (she is amazing!), I was able to have all my questions answered clearly so I could make my choice. I realised this really didn’t have to be the case if I didn’t want it to be.


As to looking older after my operation – no. I have had a few small spots on my face (like a teenager so time reversal!) but 7 weeks post op, I feel less bloated, more energetic and sleep better than I have in years and consequently, when a colleague saw me today (I haven’t seen her for nearly four months), she said I looked great!


I have spent time during my recovery having my hair and nails done, pampering myself in the bath with face masks but I feel and look no older. In fact, (trying not to be vain!), I look better as the unopposed estrogen was causing havoc! I’m walking daily with my dog, swimming twice a week (following the okay) and cut back on alcohol as I found this caused hot flushes (a glass is okay though!) I have started HRT recently so will hopefully feel the benefit of this too.


Waiting is the hardest part of this journey. I read a lot of posts on Jo’s trust which helped me immensely, I also used the help line when I felt like nothing was going to be okay (the day before my operation). The strength and support of all these amazing women is inspirational. You have definitely come to the right place!

Yes my friend is doing ok thanks, 

I had a Radical hysterectomy and thankfully didn't need treatment, I recovered quite well, few little hiccups, I can go weeks feeling great but I do get a lot of times I 

Do get the odd twinge in my back or stomach and panic sets in! I expect that stays with most people having experienced Cancer! I'm trying to do a lot more with my body than I did before (regarding exercise) struggling a little but then I'm quite a bit older than you! 

So basically what I'm trying to say is physically I feel pretty good all things considered.

When do your receive your MRI results? X 

Hi.....i to am 32yrs old, i have stage 2b CC i was diagnosed in April and have under gone rounds of chemorad and internal radiotherapy. I do not have any children and now i will not have any children. I finished my treatment in July and went straight into the menopause but luckily got lucky with the first HRT i was prescribed and my hot flushes are well under control. Ive recently had my first MRI and now have to have a PET scan. Its normal to feel the way you do, everything about this disease and what goes with it are terrifying to say the least but you have to take each day at a time and keep soldiering on. Remember your not alone xxx

Right lady! Firstly breathe! I am 28 and I was told on the 3rd March this year that I have advanced CC, I have had 7 rounds of chemo, 28 sessions of radiotherapy and 3 sessions of bracatherpy - it is the hardest thing I have ever had to go through as the treatment made me loose my hair, eyelashes and eyebrows, it made me violently sick, and so poorly some days I couldn't walk - I went down to 6st because I was so poorly. BUT 6 weeks after the treatment has ended I am now eating everything in site - I sometimes eat like I've never been fed the amount I am eating! - I have put on over a stone in the last month and I still gaining weight, my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes have all come back and I am feeling like my old self again I am not 100% yet but I'm getting there!!

I am not telling you this to scare you but to show it's not the end of the world - my last scan before I had my bracatherpy showed my cancer had shrunk from the size of a melon to the size of a pea so the treatment does work!!

I am so angry at the person who said they would "pray for you" they had no right to say anything as they are not a doctor and they don't have all of the information so they shouldn't of said anything!! A complaint needs to be put in as this has put you in a difficult situation and has made you worry. The person who has said this may of "seen" something but who's to say that they haven't mistaken I don't know an organ for something bad?? This is why they shouldn't be saying anything!

I wouldn't take what they have said to be correct - hard I know - and I would wait for my doctor to explain everything to you.

I haven't read your full post as once I read what you were told it made me angry! Your feelings are normal I still get them and I've finished my treatment now.

Good luck and keep us informed xx

Sorry! Read your post now.

1: children - I am now infertile and I am fine with this as I have never really wanted children but my mum can not accept this. I think before all of this she thought that I would eventually change my mind but now it's a full stop if you like she is struggling to accept this - she keeps telling me that people have kids all the time after treatment - not me! Surrogates do not charge as it is illegal in the UK - it is upto the parents to decide if they want to offer living expenses etc - a lot won't accept payment as they aren't doing it for the money. I beleive that freezing our eggs is an option as I was asked about children before my treatment.

2: treatment - I won't sugar coat it but it is a very rough ride! It was for me but I have advanced CC so my treatment was a lot harsher than someone at a lower scale - radiotherapy is a walk in the park! It's just a ball ache having to go everyday to the hospital - other than a possible upset tummy and some pelvic pain  there isn't really anything bad about it (that's my personal opinion - compared to chemo)

3: menopause - all I have had is hot flushes at night and the odd one in the day - they're annoying but not as bad as I thought they would be and there is things that can help with these - natural things. The menopause doesn't make you look older either - 4 people thought I was 18 the other day! I'm 28!!

4: men - a real man will want you regardless what you can or can't give him a real man will listen to your story and accept what you have had to deal with and this won't affect your relationship. So stop worrying about what you can or can't offer him and think about what he can offer you and what you want from him - I do. I maybe single but this is by choice as I won't settle :-)

The thoughts snd worries will come and go I still get the worries 10 months down the line! I've planned my funeral so many times, I've cried, screamed, shouted and stamped my feet so many times but the only thing I have never done is thought why me? I have accepted I am unlucky and I have fought this head on.

It's hard to be string but when you need to be you will find the strength you need I promise - when you find this don't let it go it will help you so much.

Keep us all updated - if you want to talk you can inbox me xx