In the last of our personal stories and to close our Cancer and Pregnancy Awareness Week 2015 we share Christina’s story:
I didn’t find out I was pregnant till I was 5 month gone. I was my normal weight, no sickness and normalish periods and it wasn’t until the heartburn kicked in alarm bells started ringing. I did a test and it was positive. I booked in with my doctor and he asked when my last period was which was November. I presumed I must have been in early pregnancy. I waited 3 weeks to see the midwife but by this time my belly had begun to grow quite rapidly.
She examined me and said she thought I was about 20 weeks and presumed the bleeding must have been spotting.
A scan 2 weeks later confirmed I was actually 27 weeks. It was quite embarrassing as I had to explain to work and family friends how I hadn’t noticed.
I had regular scans due to my first son weighing 5lb 11oz at full term and everything came back good and I planned to work until the end of term as I felt all was well. At around 8 months I started to bleed one morning. I rang the midwife and they asked if I had just been intimate at which I informed them no. There was no pain, although I had been a little tired recently but at 8 months I presumed it was normal. She advised me, if it continued, to come in but if it stopped then this sometimes happens. It stopped for a couple of days but then started again a bit heavier. They advised me now to come in.
I attended hospital and was devastated when I had to stay in for 48 hours as they thought I may be going into premature labour. My cervix was still closed but it was hard to see much due to the bleeding. They gave steroid injections in case of delivery and I rested at which the bleeding settled. Once it settled the doctor came to examine me at which she felt a polyp on my cervix. She advised me these are quite common but can occasionally be cancerous. I was discharged home on bed rest and arranged a gynaecology appointment the following week.
I attended the appointment at which on intervention I began to bleed quite severely. He was quite concerned and wanted a second opinion. But didn’t want to biopsy without me being on hand for a surgical team.
I went back to the hospital but stopped bleeding again and therefore returned home for a couple of days until a second appointment.
I was 35 weeks on the second gynaecology appointment and started bleeding quite bad. As soon as he examined me he said he would like me to go in for a c section that morning and take a biopsy right afterwards as he thought I had cervical cancer.
Two hours later I gave birth to a beautiful health baby boy. The biopsy was taken and took two days for the results but in the mean time they arranged an MRI scan to see if it was cancer then had it spread.
I got the MRI scan back first and was a relief to know nothing had spread, therefore cushioned the blow to be told it was cervical cancer.
I was told it was a rare form and there wasn’t a lot of research on it but it was only stage 1b and so treatment would be started as soon as possible.
I returned home and felt lucky that things were found when they were. I have always had problems with my periods and not sure if things would have been found without my beautiful little boy.
A week later I returned to hospital with excessive bleeding and had to have a blood transfusion which was the result of an infection which panicked me as I felt it may delay my treatment. However thanks to the fantastic care by all the doctors and nurses at Preston and Chorley hospital they had me back on track.
I am now on my second cycle of chemo enjoying motherhood and have been quite well really. The support out there has been fantastic from all agencies and I feel positive for the future. X