Melissa’s Story

So, my day was travelling along like most others, wrangling the kids and house work. The only difference – I was still recovering from day surgery. But as you know the show must go on, housework doesn’t do itself. Next thing I know, the phone rings and it’s the Midwife in relation to my pathology results from surgery. She asked if I would be able to come straight in to see the gynaecologist. What?? My appointment wasn’t till Friday. She tells me not to speed & get here safely. The kids and I arrive and the midwife watches over the kids whilst the doctor and I go into her meeting room. At this stage you can imagine there are a million thoughts rushing through my head.

The results are in – vulva cancer and abnormal Pap test results. After years of numerous IVF treatments, surgeries, miscarriages, ruptured ectopic twin pregnancy, PCOS, endometriosis and along with a few other things, now this scary word Cancer! So much for the pregnancy sore we thought it had been. Both the doctor and myself are were in shock. I thought I had already had my fair share of crap women’s issues.

The next step: appointment with gynaecological Oncologist. The roller coaster started again. The oncologist talks to my husband (who had to return early from work overseas) and I about my results. Then the doctor takes me to another room to conduct a colposcopy and biopsies. Within the next week I have a CT Scan, MRI & more blood tests. More results are in and I have a rare case of two cancers at once. Both vulva and cervical cancer. It was just suppose to be a pregnancy sore and all my Pap tests were up to date.

The oncologist booked me in for surgery at the hospital. I won’t lie, it hurt a lot. Especially before the surgery having to get two needles with radioactive substance into my vulva so the pelvis lymph nodes could be located before surgery.

Two days after surgery and the pathology results are in. Well… happy to report it appears all the vulva cancer has been removed but not so good for the cervix. I now needed a Radical Hysterectomy and more lymph nodes removed in about six weeks time. What?? That surgery was supposed to remove my cancer?? How has it spread further?? I have to lose my lady bits!!! So as I sat in the hospital bed trying to get my head around what the future holds – further potential negative results with further treatment.

I ask you; busy working mother or beautiful young lady when did you have your last Pap test or check up with a trained professional?

Yes, it’s nice being visited by loving family and friends this week. Being attended to by doctors, nurses, physio, cancer counselors, the chaplain, pastor, and the graduated doctor who wants to do a case study on my unique case. But all I want is to be home with my family, feeling safe and healthy. Cancer doesn’t discriminate. It is real & extremely scary. We are always hearing about breast cancer and have you been checked. But what about gynaecological cancer? We just don’t talk about it. Do yourself a favour and get the uncomfortable 5 minute test done because the potential alternative isn’t recommended.

My tips for Australian women about cervical health

If you feel like something is not right, then go get it checked. A 5 minute Pap test every two years with a trained professional could save your from a very uncomfortable alternative.