Five years on...

Hi Ladies

I don’t come here often now, but as today marks the 5th anniversary of my surgery I wanted to call by and say ‘hi! I’m still here!’

I remember when I was first diagnosed how comforting I found the posts of those people who came back to share their ‘survivor’ stories and made a promise to myself, that should I be one of the lucky ones – I would do the same.

I was diagnosed in May 2010 aged 47. I’d had a history of cervical abnormalities and always had my smears, which is how my cancer was found. The shock was profound as I’m sure many of you know.

I had a radical hysterectomy, ovaries and 16 pelvic lymph nodes removed at the [Name of Hospital removed] in Gateshead. Surgery was pretty straightforward and luckily no complications. As my tumour was quite large there was a chance I may need chemoradiation after surgery – but luckily this was not the case.

The emotional recovery was less straightforward and for the first year I just lived from check up to check up fearing it would/had come back. I was scared of every tiny symptom or health issue. My way of coping was to start to plan trips, visits, holidays – things to focus on and look forward to. For a while I didn’t dare to think I had a future, but planning things made me feel like I did. Planning things distracted me and that in itself was helpful

Physically I found myself wanting to take back some control of my body. I was very overweight at diagnosis and over the next year, I embarked on a weight loss and exercise programme and lost 7 stones in weight. I took up regular exercise and 5 years on I have maintained the weight loss and still regularly exercise. I was never good at this before – but focussing on making myself as fit and healthy as I could be really motivated me and allowed me to feel that I had some control over my body again.

Five years on I have now been retired from my job as a Community Nurse for 18 months. Having a life threatening illness can help with the process of making significant life decisions! I’d had 30 years of a job that was getting increasingly stressful and I decided enough was enough! Sometimes you have to put yourself first and we – as women – find that particularly difficult.

Jo’s was a lifeline to me at the beginning and I met some lovely people, some of whom are sadly no longer with us.

 So to all of you ladies going through the process of diagnosis and treatment, I wish you all the very best and hope one day you are able to come back and share your stories. I hope mine might have helped someone today.

With much love


Louise xx

What a lovely way you turned a bad situation into a good one. I'm delighted you live your life for you now. I only had CIN2, but even the possibility of having cc made me realise the same kind of things. I now use all those lovely soaps and creams instead of "saving" them, and wear my good clothes way more often that I should. The scare was enough to make me want to do things that make me happy. Best of luck to you and I hope you continue with good health xx

Thanks so much louise! I am almost 10 months from rad hyst for 1b2 grade 3 also and have panic attacks almost daily about it returning. It is so helpful to know there are people who come out the other side so well! Thanks 's again, helen xxx

Hi, I am called Sara and I have just signed up to this forum so i do not know really what to say lol!xx


Louise, thank you so much for sharing, I love this post!
I spent most of my first year convinced it had/was coming back and emotionally found it so hard to move on. After a scare at my one year check I also spent most of my second year in complete terror!

It’s only now, 2 and a half years on, that I’m starting to believe things might just be ok. Posts like this are so helpful.

Thank you
Love Ali xx

Hi Sara - you've gome to the right place! Lots of good advice and information here. Explore the site and read as much as you can then if you have questions you can post on the forum or use the 'ask the experts' facility.

Good luck xx

oops double post!

Hi Helen

so happy to have helped! We had the excat same diagnosis. I promise it gets easier - you learm how to manage. Some people find talking therapies really useful, particularly mindfulness. It concentrates on living in the moment and trying not to let the 'what if's' take control. 

Take care and all the best Louise xx

You are welcome Ali - sounds like you've been through the mill but come out the other side! Two years was definitely a milestone for me. I started to feel more confident about the future after that! 

All the best for the future!

Love Louise xx

Thanks for sharing your story Louise :)!! Glad you're enjoying life and moving forward after everything you've been through xx

Thanks so much Louise - really sweet of you to remember to come back and sprinkle some sunshine :-)

jj :-) I just love that about the soaps and the creams and the good clothes - Ra ra ra!

Sara Davison :-) Welcome :-) Enjoy yourself :-) 

Be lucky everyone :-)


Hi Louise

What a brilliant post - I love it!  I'm 20 months post op and although the scary thoughts arent as bad as they were I must admit I'm looking forward to getting past that 2 year milestone.  I'm still on 4 monthly check ups and due to have a MRI in November.  My consultant said if that is clear then I go to 6 monthly ones - yayy!!

I've practised mindfulness too and although I need more practice, it definitely does help.

How inspiring about all your lifestyle changes too, I need to adopt some of those!

Wishing you lots of love, luck & happiness for the future.