At precisely this time of year six years ago I received a phone call from my GP that knocked me sideways.
I’d always had ‘women’s problems’ and being in my early 40’s I thought that maybe I was starting to enter peri-menopause and decided to go and get it checked out. I had been bleeding constantly for about 3 months and I was sure that wasn’t right.
My GP sent me for a scan at the local hospital to find out what may be causing the problem as she agreed that this wasn’t right. Within 24 hours of the scan I was back in my GP surgery being told they’d ‘found something’ on one of my ovaries. They weren’t sure if it was benign or malignant but it was huge and they wanted to put me on a cancer fast-track.
I recall being sat in her office. The rest of what she said could have been in cling-on for all it made sense. I recall the room suddenly feeling huge and dark with me sitting alone on a chair in the spotlight similar to how they portray these scenes in films or TV programmes, when there’s a speedy retreat from the camera and a sort of ‘whooshing’ sound as all the blood seems to rush around your brain and fog your senses. Thankfully I’d taken my partner with me and over the next few days and weeks he became my complete support as I seemed to drift through the myriad of hospital appointments, tests and consultations in a constant state of shock. Yes, I would have got through it without him but it would have been much more difficult. He couldn’t have been more supportive.
Less than 2 months after that initial visit to the GP I was in surgery having a total hysterectomy – removal of my uterus, fallopian tubes, both ovaries and surrounding tissues (just to be on the safe side). Then I would have to wait a week whilst histology ran their tests to find out what this ‘thing’ was.
It transpires that I had severe endometriosis. In fact my consultant told me that it was the worst case of endometriosis that she had ever seen in all her years of surgery and she wasn’t at all surprised that I’d had multiple miscarriages through my life, she was more surprised that I actually had managed to have a child at all!
As a result of surgery I entered a medically induced menopause. It was a pretty intense six months but then it was done! I’m actually quite glad I didn’t have to go through a natural menopause, I don’t think I would have coped well at all. And whilst I continue to endure the various other side effects of menopause – thinner skin, age-spots, night sweats, hair thinning, dryness (all over!) and have had to learn to adapt and accept them, I’m grateful for them. They tell me that I AM a woman. I’m living, breathing and enjoying life. Just because I’m older, it really doesn’t make me invisible. In fact, I now have far more confidence that I’ve ever had and I have a certain joie de vivre that I last saw in my late teens/early twenties. Since that time my life has changed unrecognisably for the better.
This was the wake up call I really needed to take control of my health and wellness and whilst I had to overcome the fact that I would never have any more children, in hindsight it was a really positive time. Since then my health and wellness have never been better. I write more about this and the action I took in my book: Create YOUR Blockbuster Life: How to Step Out of the Wings Into YOUR Spotlight.
But for now I urge you to get those annoying ‘women’s problems’ checked.
And if you don’t have ‘women’s problems’ then maybe now is the time to look at what tweaks you could make to your own health and wellness so you too can start to Create YOUR Blockbuster Life.