What now

Do I had a radical hysterectomy on the 24th of January followed by 5 weeks chemo one day a week and 6 weeks radation, now what?? What sort of check ups will I have and when?? So far I only have a 6 week check up with the radation doctor.  Shouldn't I be seeing the gynaecologis? Who gives me results that I'm all clear? 

Congratulations & well done, you made it through all that and have come out at the other side. 

My chemorads/brachytherapy finished at the end of January. This is what has happened to me, which is a pretty standard follow up. (I'm in the UK.) There'll be some variation in the timeline depending on the way your Consultant/MDT works.

I had a one month follow up appointment at the end of February, where I saw my Oncology Consultant, but I would have been just as happy to see my Radiology Consultant. (They are both specialist Oncology-gynae experts & liaise closely in the same MDT.) She asked lots of questions to check on any side effects, any new changes that might have happened and also did a vaginal exam and looked at my cervix. This is mostly to check we haven't been suffering un-necessarily in silence about things that can still be addressed - nausea, diarrhoea, constipation, urgency/frequency weeding, vaginal or rectal bleeding, weight loss, difficult psychological recovery etc. At this stage there's still quite a bit of radiation whizzing about our pelvis still doing it's thing, but there's also healing & scar tissue forming, so it's too early to do a scan thing see how effective it's all been.

At this first appointment, I was also told the week in which my MRI scan would be booked to check I would be available, and the 3 month (after the end of treatment) follow up appointment to discuss my scan results 10 days later. I received letters confirming my MRI scan booking & results appointment the following week.

All went as planned, and my three month appointment happened at the end of April (last week). I was given the results of my MRI scan, asked the same questions as before regarding potential side effects & changes, but not given a vaginal exam because my scan was so recent.

It was explained to me that from here on, I will have three monthly appointments for at least the next two years. At these, I will be physically examined (internally & externally) and asked questions about any side effects, physical changes, concerns etc. As things stand I will have another MRI in one year. HOWEVER, if I have any concerns about anything that has changed, it has been made clear that I can (and should) contact the Macmillan Team at the hospital in between any of these three monthly appointments, and if necessary they'll 'call me in' earlier if there is a real worry about something. Likewise, although there's no plan for another MRI for a year, if there are concerns and they think a scan will clarify things, they'll bring it forward.

The hardest thing for me was the waiting in between and trying to keep my head from imagining that every little pelvic ache & groan was a sign of the cancer not being gone, or that any twitch somewhere else was some kind of symptom of cancer spread. I set myself small goals to increase my exercise tolerance, listened to my body when it said I should sleep and sod social norms(!) and by about 9 weeks after treatment I started to feel something approximating normal again. By 10-11 weeks I felt better than I had since long before my diagnosis.

I hope this helps. While waiting, try not to overthink things (that's really hard admittedly) but most of all, be kind to yourself.