Today is my first cancerversary. What does that even mean?! I don’t know. It certainly isn’t an event to celebrate, maybe to commiserate? Probably not either.
I don’t know what it is, but it is definitely a thing. So to mark this something I have put together a timeline of this wretched past 12 months, in gifs, J-Lo gifs. Because what a depressing situation needs is J-Lo gifs.
Day 0; 10th November 2016: I am sat in the office of my benign gynaecology consultant and we have a very confusing discussion. Apparently I didn’t have a fibroid after all, apparently I had something no one had ever seen and no one knows what the fuck it is. I get sent into the Macmillan office, and think shit, are they trying to tell me what I think they are trying to tell me? I get handed a ‘endometrial cancer’ and a ‘hysterectomy’ leaflet.
December 2016: Go in for another surgery to take a biopsy of my remaining tumour to check it is the same as the first one… it obviously is
January 2017: After months of being under a benign consultant I was finally referred to a gynae oncologist, who is a mega babe (all my friends love him), and he totally knows what he is talking about.
February 2017: Me, my friends, and the prof discussed the research (one paper) around my tumour and what it was we were to do. All roads led to a hysterectomy, but we discussed the possibility of me trying to pop out a baby before. How dangerous was it to wait? How dangerous was the increased oestrogen? How the fuck could I have a baby? How the fuck could I afford a baby. This part of my year was the worst. How on earth is someone supposed to make that decision. I didn’t want a baby, but I didn’t want to never have one. I knew already whatever my life was going to be from now on it wasn’t going to be what I want.
February 2017: Prof thinks I have a possible treatment option. No more horrible life decisions to be made. Zoladex (a hormone treatment used in breast and prostate cancer) or Crizotinib (a brand spanking new ALK inhibitor used in advanced lung cancer- because ya know, no one else has my tumour so treatment for me doesn’t exist). Some more contemplating and then I began having monthly Zoladex injections, and I might be able to keep my womb for up to 5 years!
February-May 2017: I was on Zoladex, a hormone treatment, in hope it would shrink my tumour. Zoladex put me into an induced menopause which wasn’t a whole lot of laughs. I lost myself a little bit here. Everything about me was toned down, my mood, my passion, my feelings, my humour, my lust for life, all dimmed. Also vaginal dryness… Big problems.
April 2017: was sat having a lovely curry (the notorious Zam zams) with my oldest and dearest friends, and I started bleeding. I knew straight away that was it, game over. The treatment wasn’t working and something was wrong. Heartbreak.
May 2017: My worst fears were confirmed, my tumour had been growing. Considerably faster than it ever had before. In the few months I was on treatment it was grown a 3rd of it’s size. There was nothing left for me to do. I was scheduled for a hysterectomy ASAP.
June 8th 2017: I went into hospital and had my womb and cervix removed. The nurses were shit.
June 9th 2017: It was my birthday, I was in hospital in tons of pain and throwing up all over myself, but at least I was on lots of drugs.
June- August 2017: I was stuck in my house being bored recovering from surgery. Let me tell you, hysterectomies are awful. The first three days that was the closest I have ever felt to death. It is absolute agony, everything hurt beyond belief. My shoulders (from the air from the laproscopic surgery), and my belly hurt so much and I was throwing up for two days and couldn’t even keep down water. Believe me being sick with that sort of damage on your abs is NOT FUN. A week after I was feeling pretty good, but had a long old boring stint of not doing much.
August- November 2017: Trying to rebuild my life, with mixed success. Who knew life as a healthy person was so bloody difficult. The first 9 months of my year I had something to think about and focus on. Me being the pragmatist I coped with this fairly well. Now all that is over, the dust has settled and I have no focus. I have so much more time for my mind to think about what has happened, and the reality of what I have been through still knocks me for six sometimes. Yet most of the time I am doing great and looking forward to 2018 where I can finally (hopefully) have a whole year without cancer and own that bitch.