Up until now I have been very quiet about my situation, only telling my family and a few friends because for the most part I am a pretty private person and because I don’t much like being the patient. However, as a health care professional I feel passionate about health promotion and disease prevention so I have decided to share my story…here goes… several months ago I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and after a long list of investigations, in January I had surgery to remove the tumour. This involved having my entire cervix removed along with 28 lymph nodes. Unfortunately, this is not the end of my journey because although the tumour was completely removed, cancer has spread to my lymph nodes, so I will be having chemoradiation to try and blitz any remaining cancer cells.
I have decide to speak out about my experience for a number of reasons, primarily because I think sharing stories in this way has the power to help and inform. I have been inspired to do so by friends and strangers who have chosen to speak frankly about their own experiences with mental illness, long term conditions and cancer. Cervical cancer is the most common type of cancer in women aged 35 and everyday 9 women in the UK are diagnosed with it, so I’m by no means alone but there is a relatively small social media presence (in comparison with other common cancers). Hopefully, I will be able to offer some useful information as well as personal experience and if that helps 1 person then it will be worth it.
I apologise if reading this has upset anyone and I appreciate that cancer is a very emotive topic for many so if anyone does not want to read about this I promise I won’t be in the slightest bit offended if you chose to unfollow me 😘
Finally, I have been inundated with flowers and cards which I am SO grateful for. However if anyone would like to do something for me from this point on can I request that you
- Attend your cervical screening appointment (or bowel, breast or prostate)
- Get any lumps, bumps or persistent symptoms checked out by your GP
- Give up smoking, or
- All of the above 😉