Hi, I’m Lisa and I was diagnosed with endometrial (womb) cancer in January 2012. It was only by chance that I was diagnosed as my daughter was due to have her first ever smear test and she was really nervous, so for some moral support, I booked mine in at the same time, even though it wasn’t due for a few more months.
I’d had a number of smear tests before so as soon as I left the doctors I almost instantly forgot about it, until my husband phoned me at work a couple of weeks later to say that I had a letter from the hospital stating that my smear test results showed some abnormality. I was referred to Warrington Hospital, which is where I had my twins over 20 years ago, and the doctor confirmed that I did in fact, have cancer. A place that had once brought me great joy was suddenly filled with sadness.
I was completely shocked by the news and remember just sitting there in absolute disbelief when the doctor told me the news. I’d had no symptoms, no pain, no bleeding, so I just couldn’t accept what they were saying. It sounds strange but I’d always just thought cancer happened to other people, not me.
The treatment process was really quick but a little frightening and, after anxiously awaiting the results of all the necessary scans and tests I was referred to the Women’s hospital in January 2012. They decided to treat the cancer aggressively and I had a full hysterectomy in January this year, followed by 3 rounds of radiotherapy. It was all a bit of a whirlwind but I am recovering well and back to work.
As well as the help of my loved ones to get me through, there were other women on the hospital ward who were suffering with cancer so it was great to be able to talk to them. We used to share fears and concerns but we’d also try and cheer each other up as well.
When I came out of hospital, I posted a request on the internet to find other women that had womb cancer or had previously suffered with it and come out of the other side. I now have friends from all over the world who have had a similar experience to me; I think it’s great to be able to talk to people who understand.
I also want to make sure that people are provided with the correct information and risk factors around womb cancer so that people can adapt their lifestyle for the better. The internet has been great for this and one of my friends informed me that she had started a recognition of a womb cancer charity in the UK which has taken off raising the increased awareness of the disease.
I really want to see these numbers continually rising so we can do as much as possible to prevent the disease. I get strength form helping others. It gives me a purpose.
If I could give someone in a similar situation to me any advice, it would be...
- Make sure you have people to talk to and to support you through your journey
- Get as much accurate information as you can – don’t be afraid to ask
- There are people out there that have the knowledge and can support you – you need to be strong and find then
- Go with what you feel and just do it
These are my messages for Action on Cancer...
- Do talk openly about your illness and any concerns
- Cancer is not a death sentence
- Never feel alone – there is a lot of support out there
- Share your experience with others
Womb Cancer facts...
- Cancer of the womb is the fourth most common cancer in women
- The lifetime risk of developing uterine cancer is one in 46 for women in the UK