I also had vaginal discharge. I thought I should get it checked out, so went to the doctors. I went twice, in fact. Examined and a swab taken – everything seemed OK.
But then just after Christmas, still worried – I went back to the GP. I was examined again and, still no one seemed worried, so I went off to Spain with my husband, as we had planned just after the New Year.
"Great", I thought, all OK and now for a bit of winter sunshine. How wrong could I be! Things didn’t improve while I was in Spain and I saw a local doctor. He immediately felt something was not right and referred me rapidly to see a gynaecologist.
I had two biopsies taken from the uterus and a CT scan. A week later, I was called back for the results – it was cancer.
Of course, I was shocked - devastated even. By February 4th, I was having urgent surgery in Barcelona. I had a total hysterectomy, 20cm resectioned from my colon, omentum removed and ovarian cancer deposits from my peritoneum cut away. I was staged as 3B (IIIB).
My husband Alastair was wonderful, offering all the love and support he could. Yet, I felt totally isolated from everyone around me. After 5 weeks’ recovery, we returned home to the UK. I was referred by my GP to the Dorset Cancer Centre and met with the clinical oncologist to begin chemotherapy treatment.
Little did I know, as I got back on the plane to the UK, that something rather remarkable had happened in Dorset while I’d been away, something that took the isolation and loneliness away.
had just been established by Hilary Maxwell, the gynae-oncology nurse specialist at Dorset County Hospital, and I read about it in the local paper.
I plucked up the courage and phoned her and the very next day we met for a coffee. I was blown away by the warmth and support and knew that I now had the opportunity to be part of an amazing support network that would help me through this difficult journey.
The Group meets once a month – something all GO Girls
look forward to. Hilary organises for us to meet for coffee, a chat, a laugh, and those all important essential GO Girl hugs – where would we be without those? We share our experiences and give each other advice and tips. Not only do we get supported, but our husbands and partners have now joined in too. It’s quite a crowd and it’s helped them all so much as we undergo gruelling treatment.
I don’t quite know what I would have done without the GO Girls. I firmly believe this amazing group has helped me change my outlook and my plans for the future. It’s given me great encouragement and I’ve now made new friends for life – that’s very special to me.
are here to make you stronger, together.