For those who do not know, in December I was told it was “highly likely” I had cervical cancer. In early January this was confirmed, the next day I met with a surgeon who talked through the procedure I required.
A radical hysterectomy in which my cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes, the upper part of my vaginal wall and the lymph nodes in both my thighs would all be removed. We then went through a bit of a whirlwind and now I’m here on the other side of the op, healing, awaiting news on whether I will require further treatment or not.
My surgery was about 8 hours long while they sent my lymph nodes to be tested while I was asleep. Luckily they came back negative for cancerous cells.
We don’t know the exact stage yet but we think somewhere in the stage 1 banding.
Ever since this news about the cancer hit my friends, family, those around me there has been an immense outpouring of love, empathy and people who genuinely just want to help do something because they don’t know what else to do.
I have also been called brave during this period more times than I think I have ever in my life.
But, I am not brave.
I am doing what is necessary to survive. I am not risking anything in my quest to still be here. Be a mother, and a wife. To keep the vows I made to my husband only two and a half years ago. Bravery doesn’t come into it.
I have been told how strong I am.
I don’t feel strong. I often wonder how I am still going. Truth be told I am exhausted.
I understand that people want to tell me something nice, something to say to try to make you feel better and these platitudes are meant with nothing but love and kindness. But please, if you want to do something, do something for yourself. Book a smear test if you’re a lady putting it off. Check your boobs, your balls, get a well needed full MOT by a doctor. Look after yourself. Because tomorrow your world could shatter like mine did.
And trust me, you won’t feel brave. And you won’t feel strong.