Where shall I start?
After France, the day after I got home I had what I can only describe as a light period (sorry chaps, fact of life and all that). Having gone through an instant radiation induced menopause in early 2007 I was a) annoyed and later b) a bit scared. I've been on HRT now for six months and I'm supposed to have a withdrawal bleed in the first few months according to the notes but I never did so for it to start out of the blue made me panic a teeny bit. I had an oncology appointment so figured I could mention it there first.
The Lone Ranger said I should get it all checked out (meaning a smear I assume) and referred if necessary. He also said I should look into getting massage/physiotherapy for my feet since they're just getting worse. That aside, apparently I was looking really well and shouldn't consider going to work full time for some time and to take it easy. He said if it was up to him I'd have another three months off to enjoy the summer before having to work. Guess what? It's NOT up to him.
I eventually got a GP appointment for the following week, discussed it with him and he persuaded me it had taken my womb all this time to rebuild a lining to shed and it was just a "normal" withdrawl bleed - a fake period, to be expected on this sort of HRT. I mentioned that I'd also bled on the two occasions I'd had *cough* physical relations but we also talked about my painful feet, which seems to be achilles tendonitis. Google research tells me that amongst other causes, platinum based chemo is to blame in my case. I can self refer (done that) for physio but he said I should try stretching it in the meantime.
I returned to work on Wed 23rd April and have now done three days for three weeks......except this week. I had some coffee late Thursday night which probably wasn't a good idea and lay awake with stuff buzzing round my head on a caffeine high until gone 4am. NOT a good idea on a school night, I wouldn't mind if I'd been drunk but although I'd been to the pub (with a very nice man) I was driving.
Just to throw a spanner in the works, as if it's not a minor stress enough that I've still not officially had a clear scan, I've been bleeding again this week, it started as spotting and I wasn't sure of the origin (this is me we're talking about I bleed at the drop of a hat lately) but is definitely becoming more noticable but this time it started in the middle of my tablets, not after the full monthly pack.
Having booked a smear since it was due soon which GP said should reassure me on the initial bleeding, I discovered that until you get your invitation letter you can't have a smear!
Does every other woman know this? Apparently if your surgery sends a smear slide off to the lab one DAY before your letter, they send it back untested!!! I sort of lost the plot a bit and felt all the same panic and lack of control, the fear, the terrible powerless feeling that I had back in October 2006 when I was pushing for tests for bowel cancer. Government guidelines and rules and regulations coming between me and my peace of mind when I most need it. To top it off, as I sought refuge in a car park near my surgery after leaving quickly before I cried in front of everyone, some idiot sped round a roundabout and tried to push in front of me, followed me into the carpark and had a go at me for "nearly taking his front end off". It's bollocks. He was in the lane nearest the roundabout when I was already taking the exit he decided he wanted to take. He got some choice French words thrown at him and after accusing me of being aggressive I asked him how many times he'd had cancer and to go and multiply.........It's not often I let all this crap get to me but sometimes I am ashamed to say it does and I react in a way I'm not really proud of but I'm only human and it's hard. Perfect is boring anyway.
So, my GP rang me at home to "chat" about things and I told him about the new bleeding and as he's away most of next week has squeezed me in on Monday morning. I think it's 4-6 weeks for results on a smear. He said there are other HRT causes of bleeding but at least now I have my letter I can have the smear quickly.
Here's one up for discussion:
At what point in my post diagnosis life do I risk another relationship? I was hoping that returning to work I'd have some sort of NED clean sheet. (No Evidence of Disease). In it's absence I don't think it's fair to inflict my possible future upon any unsuspecting (or knowledgeable) male. Always waiting.........waiting for appointments, waiting for tests to be booked, waiting for results, waiting for treatment, waiting for reassessment...........and round and round and round again. Stop the world, I wanna get off. Just for a little while.