Thursday, 26 September 2013

An unexpected path


Yesterday at 5pm my world shifted on its axis.  I had some news that changed my whole life in just a few words.  

My mum has cancer.

I wanted the world to stop turning for a moment, or for time to freeze just for a second, out of respect to my mum and the shattering news.  I remember similar feelings when I found out about my pregnancies, and after my husband proposed - for happier reasons then - I couldn’t understand how the world plodded on when my own personal world had just undergone such a monumental change.

But the world keeps on keeping on.  

Yet I sit here typing and I am a different person.  Feeling fragile and teary, feeling proud and angry, feeling anxious and hopeful.  

There’s a huge journey ahead for her, and for us all.  And we will face what lies ahead with a ‘bring it on attitude’.  

Over the last year I have watched two friends battle cancer, and what I have found frightening about cancer is that it feels as though it takes control of you, and your family and loved ones.  It creeps and it seeps into your body silently, taking a hold, changing your life and the lives of those who love you.

This post is my small way of taking some of that control back.

Because I can do something.  I can write this.  And I can tell every woman who reads this about what to look out for.

My mum has womb cancer.  

We have no history of cancer in our family.  Her symptoms were that years after her menopause she started to bleed again.  Only a little the first time, with some cramps and back ache.  And then again a few weeks later.

Because I had told her about my friend with ovarian cancer, she decided not to take any chances and went to her GP.  And 3 weeks later - yesterday - after scans and biopsies she received the news.

If you have been through the menopause and start bleeding again, or if you bleed in between periods or have irregular bleeding, please go to your GP.  It will most probably be something else.  But it may be early signs of cancer and the sooner it is picked up the better.  There is more information on Cancer Research’s website here.

There is hope that this has been caught early, and that she may well be clear eventually.

For now we wait while the shock and tears work their way through, leaving fight and strength in their wake.

And while we start our journey along this unexpected path, I silently thank my friend with cancer.  Because whilst her battle started too late, she may well have just saved my mum’s life.

56 comments:

  1. Oh I am so so sorry to hear this. I hope it has been caught nice and early and your mum makes a full recovery. Xx

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh I'm so so sorry to read this, I just want to wrap you up in hug and make things better, I can't but I can offer a should whenever you need one.

    Amazing that you can even think of others at this time, will be having a talk to my mum about what to look out for.

    Nothing I can say will make things better, but I'm totally rooting for your mum to go and kick cancers arse xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I think I needed to feel like I could do something positive with the news by raising awareness, so it wasn't totally selfless. Thank you for reading and talking to your mum, that helps a lot. Like me and my mum can make a little difference with it xx

      Delete
  3. Oh lovely. I am so sorry to hear this. There are so many positive cancer stories out there and you're right, your friend might just have saved your mother as she might not have gone to the doctor otherwise. Hang in there. Thinking of you and sending you a huge hug. x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Yes we are trying to focus on the positive stories, and not get too overwhelmed with the other stories xx

      Delete
  4. Sweetheart. I am so very sorry and I am here anytime. Blog it out. That is what I did with my Mum and whenever life just seems too challenging. And don't isolate yourself - there is a huge new community out there you are going to get to know. Always here. Imagine your mum is a very special lady - must be to have a daughter like you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh thank you Kate, what beautiful words. I keep getting teary reading people's comments. The support from people in this community has been overwhelming. I feel very lucky xx

      Delete
  5. Thinking of you at what must be a painfully difficult time and sending you much love and strength to deal with the hurdles ahead. Thanks for sharing the symptoms and signs to look out for, it's a great thing to raise awareness amongst others. Wishing you and your family all the best in coping with what the future holds and especially for your mum, that she can fight this and see it through to a brighter side. xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so very much. We have a fight ahead of us, and it helps me to know that when I feel a little weak I have you and others here around me xx

      Delete
  6. I have tried to comment so many times today Elizabeth, but I couldn't, I've sent you a DM but know that I am sending you so much love and hugs right now. You know where I am if you need anything xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know that I won't be able to find the words to reply here apart from to say thank you - for your love, support and friendship XXX

      Delete
  7. So sorry to hear this - sending you love and support x

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sorry to hear of this.
    I know how you're feeling as I went through this with my mum 7 years ago, she had Ovarian cancer. Like your mum, she acted on the first symptoms and it saved her life. She made a full recovery.
    You will be there for your lovely mother, so allow us to be there for you.
    Sending much love and positivity to you and your mum.
    Love Tracy xXx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Tracy - I really needed to read that and know that there can be a positive outcome to all this. It helps so much to know people are there xx

      Delete
  9. I know exactly how you are feeling right now. Sending you lots of love and hugs and positive energy to your Mum xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you my lovely. I really do appreciate it xxx

      Delete
  10. So sorry to hear this! Sending hugs & support! x

    ReplyDelete
  11. Just seen this post I'm so sorry honey. Sending you love and hugs while you work through it. Anything you need just shout, doesn't matter what it is. If it helps then blog, you are such a fantastic writer, but if it doesn't then don't. But do talk, everyone is here to support you through what is likely to be a challenging time xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Charly - for this and for your tweets of support too. It means such a lot xx

      Delete
  12. So very sorry to read this Elizabeth. Sending much love to you and your family. Focus on the fact that this has been caught early. But it is horrible news none the less. Thinking of you and your Mum xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank yo Helen. Yes now I'm emerging slowly from the shock I am trying to focus on the positive xx

      Delete
  13. My mum was diagnosed with cancer in 2010. No family history. Completely out of the blue. Hers was breast cancer and it was a really complex form of it.

    She had surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, it was horrible.

    But she's ok now.

    She went for a check up and asked the radiologist when she would know she was cured and he said "when you die of old age"

    I hope all is well, just stay as strong as you can but cry if you need to. She's your mum and it's hard to have to be the parent in these situations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing that Kylie. Sounds like a very stressful and difficult time, but I'm so pleased she is doing so well. It is hard, and I'm struggling to find the 'right' words to say to her. I suspect there are no such words. xx

      Delete
  14. Oh no lovely I'm so so sorry but please keep faith, please keep writing and know we are all here for you and thinking of your mother as she takes those next steps. Sending lots of love Hannah xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hannah - it means such a lot to know people are there. xxx

      Delete
  15. So sorry to read this. I will be thinking of you and keeping my fingers crossed for your mum and hoping it has been caught soon enough.
    So many of my friends seem to have family members who are fighting cancer at the moment and, as you say, it affects the whole family. So pleased that, despite the awful pain you must be feeling, you've shared that valuable advice. I have never heard about that before, but I'm aware now and so are so many other people. You might just save another life.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah. I do so hope that this prompts people to just keep an eye on things. It makes something good of the situation if that makes sense? xx

      Delete
  16. So sorry to hear this, it must have been a great shock to you. We always imagine that it won't be us, that it will be 'just nothing' and this time it isn't. Thank you for sharing this with everyone, it's so important to be aware isn't it? It sounds as though your mum went very early on so has every chance of fighting this horrible cancer. Stay strong and vent when you need to - blogging is just great for that x x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Suzanne, you're completely right. I must admit to not allowing myself to even consider the possibility of it being anything other than 'just nothing' for the 4 weeks it took to diagnose. Then an hour before her appointment with the results of the biopsy, something told me to look it up, to read what it could be. So I typed in the symptoms and it was flooded with 'cancer' results. As soon as I read this, I think I knew. I think maybe it was someone up there trying to prepare me. xx

      Delete
  17. I am really, really sorry to hear of your news. What a shock for your mum, you and the rest of your family. I hope you know that you have the blogging community's support, and keep writing... write and write and write - your words will give you support too. Thinking of you and your mum. X.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, thank you. That support means such an awful lot. Somehow it's been easier to share with you all than with friends in 'real life'. xx

      Delete
  18. I'm so sorry but I think it's also commendable how you've taken this as an opportunity to highlight the symptoms to help others. We have a family member also in the battleground and it's tough to watch their ride but it's amazing the advances now in the medical world to help fight it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I do so hope your family member is doing OK? It is so hard to watch, helplessly. I needed to raise awareness because I needed to make something good of such shattering news. So thank you for acknowledging that too xx

      Delete
  19. D - I am so sorry - am heart sick for you hun. Have sent you a message on PM FB but we are always here to support you if ever you need it. Will be thinking about you and family loads xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks sweetie. Your messages have really helped me, more than you know xxx

      Delete
  20. Oh no! I am so sorry to hear this! You are right, it is an insidious evil that seems to seep into everyone's lives and take over: treatments, worry, waiting for news, sneaking, spreading. It is to me the very embodiment of evil. We are still battling through this with my husband's mother. I will be praying for your mum, that it has been caught early enough for her to be completely clear of this. Lots and lots of love and hugs. xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I so hope your father in law is OK, and battles it away. Sending much love to you too. Your thoughts, prayers and love mean such a lot xx

      Delete
  21. Sweetheart, I am so very sorry to hear this. I really can empathise as my Mum has been through breast cancer and had a mastectomy two years ago. She is still fighting. Thank goodness your Mum went to the Doctors when she did, so many people just leave it and leave it. I wish all the very best to you and your Mum and I hope all turns out positively. Sending you all the love, light and positive thoughts in the world. Am thinking of you. Thank you for sharing with PoCoLo xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Vic. I'm so sorry to hear about your mum. I hope she is getting on OK and that she manages to kick it. Sending you much love too. xxx

      Delete
  22. I can only echo the words of support before me. I am so very sorry your family have been touched by it too. My Mum got the all clear in December after finishing her Chemo. She is now dealing with Lymphodaema and an unrelated broken arm. She will be ok as will your Mum. Make sure you have support my lovely. Someone you can talk to without holding back.
    I'm here anytime, as we all are. Our fabulous blogging community!
    Huge love, hugs, tea and cake xxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kat xx I'm so pleased your mum is clear. You must feel so relieved, although I know that the path is still ongoing. Sending you lots of love and thank you for the cake xxx

      Delete
  23. I am so, so sorry my lovely friend. I can only echo everything that has already been said - and you know where to find me if you need anything. All my thoughts are with you - sending you a huge virtual hug and hand to hold xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sara. Your thoughts and hugs have helped so much xx

      Delete
  24. so very sorry to read this, it's always a shock, write your feelings down, it always helps me to get it out on paper xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - somehow they haven't really flowed, but I think that that was the shock. Feel as though I'm starting to peep out from that now and slowly emerge. xxx

      Delete
  25. So sorry to hear about your mum sending huge hugs xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you - hugs gratefully accepted :) xx

      Delete
  26. Oh god, I'm so sorry to hear that. Thinking of you x

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh you poor thing and your poor Mum....how awful. And I can say, I know how you feel. About 10 years ago, my Mum was also diagnosed with womb cancer. Exactly the same symptoms as yours. She's just left us on a train back to Wales - been in the clear for a few years now. I'm not sure whether it helps to hear this, but womb cancer is one with a better outcome than others, and I'm sending you all the best wishes I can muster that your Mum is lucky, like mine was. xxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Nell, your story has helped me, such a lot. Your mum sounds like a very strong woman. We just want to get the operation out of the way now and see where we end up after that. Thank you again xxx

      Delete
  28. Oh my, I'm so sorry to read this. Much love to your mum and family.

    This has reminded me that I am overdue my smear test, I'm ringing the GP now, health is something that I foolishly take for granted x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Annie x I'm glad that it reminded you of your appointment, makes me feel like something positive has come from this news xx

      Delete