I was being treated for fibroids which required a radical hysterectomy and it was only through the pathology notes after the operation that I discovered I had cancer. I had no idea beforehand and despite the symptoms it was a huge shock. At first I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and then it was changed to stage three carcinosarcoma.
I was added to a waiting list to have a scan and I got into a terrible anxious mess over it all.
Things weren’t happening quickly so I borrowed some money to have a CT scan done privately in Newport. There were no obvious signs that the cancer had spread which was a huge relief but those months had been the worst time of my life.
The whole team at Velindre were so kind, and the radiologist told me that I’d been very lucky. I didn’t think I’d been that lucky at all but I took it as a sign that I had a chance of getting through this. It was around that point that I thought I could probably benefit from talking with someone about the situation.
I have a 15 year old daughter but I couldn’t talk to her with a complete feeling of freedom because it would have been too much for her. Although she does love my honesty!
I didn’t really have anyone close by. My mother passed away ten years ago, my brother was very supportive but lives near Ludlow and my sister hadn’t been very well herself, so it was great to find information about Tenovus Cancer Care’s Support Line at Velindre.
I started speaking to a nurse called Elaine. After I’d made the initial call, Elaine would phone me every two or three weeks. She was incredible, and lovely to talk to. I was keen to know how I would feel with all the different types of treatment. I felt like I was having the book thrown at me and didn’t know what to expect but Elaine was very knowledgeable.
I felt like our calls were a moment to sit down and reflect on where I was going and what I’d been through, and what was normal and not normal about it all. We also talked an awful lot about nature because we both have that interest in common! Using the Support Line allowed me to be open and reflect without putting any burden on my daughter.