This blog is titled…”Your cervix looks very nice”
Or.. “The story of a million and one things I never expected my mother to say”.
I start this blog with a quote and I will end with one from the same song.
When you mix music and lyrics sometime the meaning gets lost in translation.
The song I am quoting from is very fast paced but full of amazing words that you might have missed.
“Don’t damn me when I speak a piece of mind, cos silence isn’t golden when I’m holding it inside.
I’ve been where I have been and I’ve seen what I have seen, I put the pen to the paper cos it’s all a part of me”.
(Lyrics from ‘Don’t damn me’ by – Guns ‘n’ Roses)
The reason why I picked this song is because I found myself worrying about writing this blog.
Someone will be offended if I am too descriptive, someone will think it isn’t right to talK about any of this publicly etc.
The fact that certain people have debated the seriousness of my condition means that possibly some of you reading this
don’t even believe I was diagnosed with cancer.
So it’s time to set the record straight. If you are not easily offended then please read on but I am giving you a heads
up that this is gonna get ugly… or beautiful.. depending on your outlook.
One of the most amazing things happened after I first revealed my condition to facebook and the blogging world.
Many of my friends contacted me telling me about their own or their loved ones experiences with cancer and how they dealt with it.
Whilst being happy these people had confided in me I felt very sad that I only learned about their pain because
I had opened up on a public forum. I don’t think that anyone should suffer alone or in silence yet.. these people had.
I also had women contact me saying that they had been avoiding their smear tests as they are horrid or had forgotten about them and after reading my status or blogs they had booked an appointment straight away.
So for any offence or awkwardness I may have caused I could also
have helped some women .
Once I was diagnosed with cervical cancer they told me I would need to have a couple of operations. One to remove the cancer itself and another one to make sure there were no pre-cancerous cells or other anomalies.
They also checked everywhere south of my lungs because once you get it in one lower area you are at high risk to get it elsewhere in the same region.
When I went in for my op and they were about to put me under when I saw them attaching the stirrups to the bed in a vertical position.
To this day I wished I hadn’t seen the position of those stirrups. It’s been the stuff of many disturbing nightmares.
Still, I suppose I at least know where all the random bruising came from.
I didn’t realise till after the op how much I needed the muscles in the lower part of my body to do day to day moving around. My sister-in-law had just given birth and I remember thinking how we were probably moving around in a similar fashion and finding it quite amusing.
Trying to do anything besides laying down or standing upright was a problematic situation. I had to perfect a lean back slight sit up position to be able to eat food otherwise I had to stand up to eat.
The doctor told me she would try and be as precise as possible with the op and only remove as much of my cervix as was necessary to get rid of all the cancer. She said as I was about to get married that she was keen to still give me a fighting chance to have kids.
Funny isn’t it.. I never thought I would be fussed about having children but the minute she told me that there was a possibility of having my baby making bits removed I was very angry. I don’t like being told what to do at the best of times but to have no choice at all?
I mean come on.. how cute would a little girl or boy with my ridiculously large hair and Josephs cheeky smile look?
Recovery came and went, managed to land a new job and I was lucky to get married relatively pain free and moving around with ease.
And what a wedding that was! The happiest day of my life. Married and newly employed with an allegedly succesful operation to remove cancer.
I was The girl who had everything…right?
Well… I wanted to be happy about the op but I knew until my follow up in September I wouldn’t be entirely convinced that everything was okay.
So like a flash the appointment day arrives. Thursday 12th 3.30pm at Queens Hospital Colposcopy department.
Mummy Regan says she will come with me. I tell her I will be fine but she comes along anyway. She knows me better than I will ever know myself.
We get taken through to the examination room and I see the stirrups.. ohh good. Well at least these ones aren’t vertical.
Just normal, horizontal, lady garden examining height.
One of the nurses was taught in school by my mother years ago so as I am getting adjusted to the right position on the bed my mum is showing her wedding photos.. You couldn’t make this up and no, mother doesn’t have a strange habit of taking wedding photos to gynaecological examinations.
She had them in her bag to show someone previous to the appointment.., at least, I hope that’s true.
So I’m there, legs akimbo and now both nurses are telling me how fantastic I looked but I am having trouble sharing their enthusiasm with everything thats going on.
What happens if I haven’t healed right? What happens if they didn’t cut all the cancer out. What happens if they still need to remove everything?
They are all making comments about my dress and hair on my wedding day and I am wishing they would just hurry up and get on with it.
There are two words that a medical professional can say in any given situation which has the exact opposite effect and they are
Yeah that’s not gonna happen today. I am so tense from the hips down that I could probably break stuff. Infact I managed to fire
the speculum out just with sheer nervousness. At least I know, if everything went tits up, there is job waiting for me somewhere with ping pong balls and neon lights.
If you are of the non-female variety and wonder what a speculum is just google it.. if you dare.
Second speculum in and I am aware of my ‘image’ in my peripheral vision on the monitor. I ask if they can turn the image away.
I feel with great certainty that I will throw up if I watch the ‘action’ unfold. My mum watches the screen intently as though its the next episode of Luther.
I try with all my might to relax and then it happens…. the most intense pain I have ever felt which changes me from relaxing breather type to wailing, crying, stress ball. This is when they tell me that oh yeah, THIS IS ACTUALLY GOING TO BE VERY PAINFUL.. WHY DIDN’T THEY TELL ME THAT BEFORE?
I know why of course, if they told me I would have been even more worked up. At this point I look to my mum and feel very grateful that she is with me for I feel utterly destroyed by the pain and wonder if I will stop crying today.
The nurse holds my hand and tells me that I am very brave and I half expect a lollipop or amusing plaster to appear as a reward.
I sob like a lost child and pray that it is all over soon. They tell me that its always very painful on the first post op check up as I am still healing and there is a lot of scar tissue but that there should still be enough cervix left to able to try for a baby.
I feel like a baby, sobbing uncontrollably, looking to my mother for comfort and having strangers use big words which I don’t understand.
They say that with each procedure the pain will reduce. The doctor says that just from looking she cannot see any anomalies and that my cervix is healing nicely and this is the point when my mum says “Yes I thought your cervix looked very nice”. I am stunned slightly and not quite sure how to respond.. I choose to reply with “oh so you think it looks okay?” as though we are talking about a new skirt I’ve just bought.
They spend the next 5 minutes all saying how gorgeous and lovely it looks and I am unsure whether I am being flirted with by the nurses and have the overwhelming urge to drink alcohol and lots of it.
I am waiting for the results to make sure there is nothing invisible to the naked eye that I need to worry about. So I will hopefully be A LOT more relaxed in a few weeks. It feels like I have been waiting for this day since I was diagnosed. Physical confirmation that there is no cancer left and that all other parts of this battlestation are fully operational.
In November I go through the same routine again.. and… I.. can’t…wait. Then I will be ‘looked at’ every 6 months until I am very old. WOOHOOO!
But like Joseph said to me.. the pain is worth it if it means keeping the cancer from coming back.
I do agree with him but wish that they could just knock me out for it. It would definitely save them money on speculums being inadvertently used as projectiles.
So to the end quote for this blog:
“We take for granted we know the whole story. We judge a book by its cover and read what we want, between selected lines”
Thank you for taking the time to read this and to understand a bit more about my situation.
As humans we are really good at hiding our pain and struggling through without needing any help from anyone.
I couldn’t do this on my own and I haven’t, so for that I thank you all.
Until next time
Shazkira over and out.