Kelly’s Story

  • 7 years ago
  • Location: VIC
  • Age: 36
Read more stories from women with cervical cancer.

June 2014 will always be the worst month of my life.

It started a few months before then, abnormal heavy bleeding after sex, which I put up with for a while. However, once my hubby and I decided that we would start trying for another baby I thought it best to get sorted. My GP was not overly concerned but referred me to a gynaecologist at the local hospital.

My first appointment with her was two months after my initial GP visit, that day was my first colposcopy (of many many many). I was terrified but my gynaecologist was great! She found a polyp and some abnormal cells. I was booked in for a polypectomy and a Lletz procedure.

I remember being outside the operating theatre and an student confirming my procedure, she said hysterectomy, and I quickly corrected her quite abruptly. Little did I know that in about a month, that a doctor would be telling me I needed one. A few days later, I was taking it easy waiting to pick my daughter up from school, when my phone rang, it was my gynaecologist. My stomach flipped straight away, she asked me to come in and that it would be a good idea if someone came with me.

My husband works away, I rang my sister who luckily is a nurse, she met me at the clinic. We waited maybe 20 minutes and went in, after some polite chit chat, she just said, you have cervical cancer… that was it. I don’t really remember what else she said, but I asked if it was genetic. I remember she said no.. I’m pretty sure my sister asked more questions but I was done. I just needed to get out of that room.

I had to tell my family, 2 years prior my brother who was 36 at the time was diagnosed with bowel cancer, he underwent surgery and chemo. He is all good now.

How was I meant to tell my family that it had happened again? I told my big sister, she told mum and dad, cause honestly I don’t think that I could. I never told my daughter, at 6 she was just too small to understand. My husband, he just dealt with it. Same with me, no fuss, no drama just get on with it. I was essentially a single mum and had to keep moving. I couldn’t stay in bed all day and feel sorry for myself, I needed to keep everything normal for my daughter, she was the only thing that mattered.

I didn’t tell my work, just took sick leave. My work colleagues didn’t know, my neighbours, my friends, no one at school. I thought that if I could just pretend that it wasn’t happening it would all be good.

Except driving, when I was on my own and couldn’t distract myself with something I would just sob. I don’t think that I have mentally dealt with any of this, denial is not a coping mechanism.

My gynaecological oncologist wanted me to have a hysterectomy, I refused. I didn’t know how much I wanted another baby until I was told that I would never have one. I argued and demanded to see his boss! I did and he said he would give me a cone biopsy and see how that went. There are so many other things that happened but I’m so glad that I am a stubborn person or I would be sitting here with no chance of having another baby.

I’m 1 year clear, I’m still not pregnant, which may be due to my scarring or the fact that my husband works away, but either way, we have an appointment with the IVF doctor. Just to be on the safe side.

So here I sit, incredibly thankful that I’m here and I’m healthy, listening to my happy blissfully unaware daughter chatting away.

My tips for Australian women about cervical health:

Never be too embarrassed to get a Pap test, they do save your life, and if you want or need other treatment options ask… sometimes you might get one.