I’m a fit, active young women with no previous medical problems so to say I was shocked was an understatement! I’m a paediatric oncology nurse working at Great Ormond Street Hospital and have been helping children with cancer for the past 5 years, so it was safe to say I never thought I would end up being a patient!
My main symptoms had been abnormal bleeding, but like most women we know lots of different factors can cause this so at first I wasn’t overly concerned! Bleeding after sex was my first real symptoms back in February and then by March I was bleeding every couple of days in between periods. During this time I had just finished a hard 5 month diet (my show was cancelled at 3 weeks out), was also going through a very hard break-up and also had covid-19 pretty bad, so my GP said this was down to stress and the Covid virus passing through my body! I was given antibiotics for my raised glands which they said was a secondary bacterial virus due to my immune system being so low after having covid-19 badly! I also had bloods taken which should my inflammatory markers were raised but yet again we put this down to covid-19.
My smear test (second one since turning 25) was booked for March 16th however it was cancelled down to a Covid-19 and when I asked to GP if they could still do mine as I had this abnormal bleeding my GP said I was very low risk of cervical cancer because I was only 27 and I would be seen when they were allowed to see patients for routine checkups!! My pervious smear at 25 was completely normal.
After the forth phone call to my GP, who dismissed all my concerns and said it was either a cyst or a STI and I didn’t need to be seen I took myself to A&E, I felt silly going to A&E at 10pm but I couldn’t leave it any long and just wanted a doctor to examine me as I was unhappy with my diagnosis over the phone by my GP!
And within 3 weeks (from going to A&E) I had ultrasounds, Biopsy, PET scan, CT scan and MRI, and I was diagnosed with cervical cancer!! I can’t think what if, but I can’t help but think if I had my smear back in March like planned how the outcome could have been very different! But I just want to share the message that we know our bodies the most and if we feel like something isn’t right then trust your gut feeling and insist on getting seen just a doctor!!
To say I’m still in shock would be an understatement! Iv slowly come to terms with this devastating news and now have a plan in place to beat this cancer!! The next 12 weeks will be the hardest battle of my life, starting with an operation to move my ovaries higher up in my body to keep them safe from the radiotherapy! I’m having weekly chemotherapy for 12 weeks, daily radiotherapy for 6 weeks and brachytherapy for 3 days where I will be required to stay in hospital. I cannot thank the team at UCLH enough for everything they have done for me and I know I have the best doctors and nurses looking after me and I will beat this!!
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