8 years ago today I was admitted as an emergency to hospital over on the mainland. I had been very unwell for several months but was too scared to go see a doctor. In the end, the doctor came to me as I was close to dying and my hubby called them out.
Sitting in the corridor of the hospital A&E dept. on a Bank Holiday Monday I was cold and alone. I had never been in hospital before and knew that they would be keeping me in for some time.
After about 8 hours I was finally seen by someone and after routine tests, blood pressure etc. I was taken up to the ward.
The following morning after a sleepless night, I was told that I was severely anaemic and had I left it another 24 hours I would have died because of lack of oxygen getting to my brain.
In the end, I was kept in hospital for 2 weeks. I was on IV diuretics for several days and had 6 blood transfusions.
I had ballooned up due to water retention - it seems that being that anaemic alters your body chemistry and you retain fluid to make up for the lack of oxygen rich blood. In the 2 weeks I was in hospital I lost 45kg in weight and by a week after coming out of hospital I had lost a total of 61kg in all. My GP called it a full body trauma!!
The reason for the severe anaemia was over 35 years of extremely heavy bleeding. My periods had never been "normal" ever since they started at 10 1/2 years of age. I would bleed for weeks at a time and then stop. The weeks eventually became months.
I put up with it all because I was scared that if I went to the doctors they would tell me there was something seriously wrong - like cancer!
Six months later, whilst being investigated for fibroids (which I was told was the cause of the heavy bleeding) I was diagnosed with womb cancer - and the rest, as they say, is history!
Knowing what I know now, and believe me I am amazed at how much I have learnt about this issue, I am amazed that no one in the hospital ever considered the fact that I might have cancer. I didn't know it at the time, but unusual or unexplained bleeding is the most common symptoms of womb cancer. No one, the Consultant, the various ward doctors etc. ever mentioned it. I was having blood taken (ironic since they were pumping it into me as fast as they could and it felt like they were taking out just as much for various tests!!!) and they were testing me for underactive thyroid, overactive thyroid, diabetes, heart issues, kidney issues, liver issues - everything gave back ok. I asked them to test my hormone levels on several occasions but they didn't deem it important enough to do!!
Had they done so, I am convinced that the cancer would have been picked up but they didn't.
So, 8 years on here I am. I no longer have cancer (I think, I've never actually been given the all clear - but that's another story!!)
I am living with the long term side effects of the treatment I had - hysterectomy, chemotherapy and external radiotherapy.
My quality of life is virtually zero and I often sit and think maybe I should have not bothered calling out the doctor all those years ago.