Have I your attention? I hope that you’re here with me, as I want to discuss something that is very close to my heart. I’ve had a huge year, and it’s all centred around my ovaries.
For years, I have put up with chronic pain, thinking it was just part of becoming a mother. The tiredness, the general feeling of being so sore at certain times of the month, I just thought this was normal.
But it was only when I ended up in the Emergency Room of my local public hospital, in an agony that just would not stop, I realised that maybe all my mysterious womanly issues may just be something more serious.
It took me months to get a diagnosis, and I had to live with the knowledge of the possibility of Ovarian Cancer for weeks – yes they lost my first test, and I’ll never forget the agony of not knowing. (Both my parents died of Cancer, so for me this is my big scary monster).
I wrote multiple letters to my dear friend in Nebraska, she was the only one I opened up to on my fears, and how frightened I was of this scary journey I was on. And she listened, and phoned me to check, and for that I will forever be grateful for.
I struggled with a medical system that still does not understand the reproductive health of women. Of male doctors who just looked blank when I described the pain, and told me that bed rest would make the pain go away.
A dear friend suggested most politely, that it was now months after the registrar of gynecological health had suggested that bed rest and pain killers would help, and could I go back to the GP? So off I went and with the assistance of my GP who knew a Gynaecologist, I slipped into to see him.
And I was finally heard. After months of being told it will go away by itself, someone actually took the time to diagnose it. And so I was sent to surgery. And in the words of my gynaecologist an EPIC operation ensued.
You see, all those years of me thinking all my pain and chronic fatigue was due to being a mother, that it was normal to have heavier and heavier but shorter in length periods, and pain that saw me bedridden for days during the heaviest days, that my hot flushes and moodiness where menopause coming on hot and strong, was proven in that one operation. What they saw was far worse than they had thought might have been happening, and it was only when the surgeon actually went in, did the sheer size and impact of the growth that had quietly been growing and merging with everything it could hold onto, could actually be measured.
Now months later, as I’ve taken it easy, rested, and just begun to do the major healing, I look back and I’m amazed at how long this took to get sorted. And how many times I was turned away with the feeling that it was all just a woman’s complaint. That it was nothing.
When in actual fact it was something, and something very big and very complicated. I was lucky in that my growth was not malignant, just big. But if you think you may have any of the symptoms, please go to your GP and keep going until someone takes notice. You owe it to yourself to make yourself the priority.
Ovarian Cancer symptoms: