I knew Don from @plussizetofunsize through her nappy cake purchase from NappieCakes.com.au I started following her and I realised that her determination on losing weight is so inspiring. I invited her to guest blog for me about determination and the 'Why' behind her Instagram. When I first received her writing, I was in tears. I had no idea the hardship she went through to get to where she is now...
Here is her story...
Life as a mum is hectic. We often put ourselves on the back burner while we raise our family and get established in life.
Mid 2017 I decided it was time to put my health as a priority, my weight had been gaining slowly over the last ten years. I had been diagnosed with a few health problems and it became necessary to take action.
I decided on getting the gastric sleeve surgery and started the ball rolling and I was so excited! I was doing everything I needed to make sure it was as drama free for my kids and husband as possible.
I had my Pap smear done, 6 months before my gastric sleeve surgery.
48 hours later I had a call that it was abnormal and to come in for follow up. I was referred to a gynecologist for more testing. My children were 12,14,14 & 16. I’m a busy mum!
My gynecologist told me my cells came back as CIN111 which is a high-grade pre-cancer, so I needed a procedure called an LLETZ to remove these cells and I’d be able to get on with my life and my prep for my gastric sleeve.
When I had the procedure, I didn’t even take my husband to my appointment or even tell my kids and it was fine, I was awake in the chair and I had zero pain. I wasn’t freaking out about my future or health, I was good.
Two weeks later I had to call for my results. They transferred my call to the head nurse, ‘Donna, the doctor has requested you come in for your results. You need to be here tomorrow at 10 am. I fell apart! I was driving whilst on the car Bluetooth for this conversation and I had to pull over to park. I called my husband right away and I was screaming. I knew it was bad.
The next day I was sat down and the doctor said ‘I’m sorry, unfortunately it’s cancer.’ I don’t know what she said next but I remember leaving with two forms for scans I had to have immediately to see how bad this was. We found out a week and a half later that it was stage 1b1 invasive squamous cell carcinoma.
Telling my children I had cancer and I had to start radiation/ chemotherapy the day after my 34th birthday was the hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Hearing your children cry themselves to sleep because they don’t want their mum to die is an image I’ll never forget. The nightmares I had of my husband finding me dead still occur.
After 8 weeks in total of 25 x external radiation, 5 x chemotherapy and 3 x brachytherapy. My weight climbed to 168.5 kg.
One month later I had my gastric sleeve surgery, 30th October 2018 and 6 months later I’m cancer free and down almost 40kg.
If I leave any impact in my life to anyone, it will be to don’t put yourself on the back burner. We matter now. We need our smears now. We need to be healthy now. Don’t think that you will do the smear when the kids are older or when we have more time. My Cervical cancer had nothing to do with my weight, but I do wish I was healthier before I was diagnosed.
It was truly a hard time I’m still trying to heal from. I’m 34 and in full blown menopause and I’m learning about my body all over again. I have chronic pain daily in my pelvis and bowel. My vaginal canal has stenosis and I have to use dilators every second day to keep the access to my cervix for future smears. Every second day for the next 40 years. That’s my reality.
Nevertheless, I am happy. I am healthy. I have survived.
Click here for more information about pap smear… Don’t leave it too late.
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