The C word (children mentioned)

I had a radical hysterectomy 3weeks ago and I am waiting for results. I am saying all the right things like ‘I won’t let this define me’ etc and people around me are amazed how positive I am but the truth is I am in denial.
I have a teenage daughter and wanted to be as honest as I could with her but was conscious that the unknown was the most difficult so decided not to tell her until we knew what the treatment would be. So I had colposcopy and lletz and waited for results which diagnosed me and then had MRI And CT and waited for results and treatment before telling her.
As a result I have buried my head in the sand a little and worry that it will all hit me at a later stage. I am hoping to get my pathology results next week and I am slightly worried that I haven’t even come to terms with diagnosis, I haven’t been able to say cancer out load, instead referring to it as the c word and cant bring myself to complete the dates in the signature on here although it helps to see others. can anyone relate?


I understand  exactly what you mean a d how you are feeling.

I shed no tears at diagnosis but my worry and tears  were about treatment and all the waiting we have to endure. I think our survival  instinct kicks in and makes us practical. I had everyone and everything organised and got very stressed about the waiting.

I gradually started to accept my diagnosis more  post op and crucially at my results appointment. Results are what defines your future treatment or check ups and most certainly thats when it hit me.

I think i had focussed so much on getting rid of it with the operation i had 't given much thought to the future at that point.  It was difficult at that appointment when it suddenly  dawned on me this wasn't over , i couldn't "draw a line under it" as in my head i had planned  to(rather naive i now realise)

6 weeks on from that appointment I do accept the enormous challenge i have overcome and am learning to move on  and be positive about the future. 

Everyone reacts differently so be kind to yourself. You will eventually accept on your terms in your way .

Best wishes at your results appointment

Kath xx

Hi Louise,

I agree with Kath - its so different for everyone but I have had a similar reaction to Kath and to yourself to some extent.  On the other hand I have had no touble talking about the cancer and have almost been blase about it.  I'm now at the point though that its started to hit home as I wait for results (treatment ended 27/12) and I sometimes think I made things more difficult for myself by being positive all the time as if I do have an off day I feel I need to hide it from others for fear of worrying them!!  You deal with hit how you deal with it...I am having more tearful days now than on diagnosis and treatment but that might be hormonal now menopause is setting in!!! People tell you how brave and strong you are but I dont see that in myself, yet if someone else was going through this I would be saying the same to them and in complete awe of how they were coping...I dont know what that means or says about me and my coping mechanism....maybe its denial, maybe its autopilot...I dont know but I'm coping and you will too.  I have recently returned to work as Kath has and friends and family have questioned my decision and although its tiring, it helps me enormously and my confidence is beginning to return...that is a great feeling.

If you ever need an ear, we are always around in the background...So many ladies helped me on this forum and I hope I can now do the same.  Private messaging is there too so dont be frightened to contact any of us...

Take care Louise and let us know how you are getting on


Thank you ladies, it is helpful to know I am not alone. I have an idea of how I think I should be and am worried that it would be selfish to not be strong. This is a fabulous site, thank you. 


You are definitely not alone! I found it so interesting reading the replies to your post, Louise. You are not unusual. 

When I went for my histology results, after my radical hysterectomy, I was potentially facing a second operation. The results were 'good', which meant I didn't require the second operation or any other further treatment. I was aware at the time that any relief I felt was about not having another operation, rather than about the result in terms of cancer. A good friend of mine asked me how I felt, "I don't know," I said, "I don't think having cancer has sunk in yet, let alone not having cancer." And I think that was absolutely right. I felt nothing, apart from relief about not having to face the knife again! 

It was a little while later, when everything else got back to 'normal', when the offers of help had dried up, when I was supposed to get on with my life, that it actually hit me. Having now looked into survivorship quite a lot, I am aware that with some people it gradually hits them, while with others it hits them all of a sudden. I was definitely in the 'all of a sudden' group! It suddenly hit me, that I'd had cancer, that I was now someone who'd had cancer. I found that very difficult to deal with and it will take time to comes to terms with it. It's such a massive thing and for many people will be the most difficult thing that will ever happen in their lives. I have a friend who had cancer and had to have very major chemotherapy. All his hair fell out. He said that he actually started to resent it a little but when his hair grew back, because then he looked like everyone else. He said that at least when he looked like he cancer, people took it into consideration. When he went back to looking like everyone else, no one made allowances anymore, whereas inside he felt at a complete loss and actually, this was the time when he really needed the help and understanding. 

Lots of studies have been done into this and I want to reassure you that it's so common for it not to sink in while you're actually dealing with it. I think you go into 'emergency' mode while you have cancer and while you're dealing with the treatment. It's a little while afterwards, when you know you're not in immediate danger anymore, when those around you don't arrange their entire lives around you anymore, when you're expected to go back to doing the things that you've always done, that it really hits you exactly what's gone on. It's a difficult thing and it's really important that you are kind and patient with yourself. There is no 'right' way for you to feel and there is no such thing as how you 'should' be feeling or what you 'should' be doing. You feel how you feel now. That's fine. Those feelings will change when your mind feels you are more able to deal with it. That's fine too. What helps you is different for everyone. I would suggest doing some things that you really enjoy doing. Spending some lovely but undemanding time with those you love and giving yourself some space and time to contemplate things as and when you need to. 

As Andrea so rightly said, we're all here and will listen, not only now, but at whatever stage of your recovery you need it.

Take lots and lots of care, 

Love, Annabel. x

Hey I can totally relate, I remember feeling in a haze for a while and was sure I was in complete denial. Now I realise it was all coping mechanisms, I made jokes, I refused to let people do things for me was determined to be "normal". Some people it hits them.right away, other through treatment, at the end of treatment or in the middle of the supermarket. There is no one way we all get through we just find ways of coping, my aunt has been through melanoma and she copes in a very different way to me. We are all individual with this one thing in common :). Diagnosis and treatment can fly past you and then you get some time for reflection and processing I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. 

Take care

Charlene xx

I have only just spotted that this is not the thread Birmingham wrote but one which was begun in 2013