Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Apparently age brings bravery I never knew I had ...


So what on earth has been going on?
I have heard this countless times over the last 7 weeks.
There has been a lot happening in the May house.

 
Time for an update to give you a little insight as to why I have been off work and where my future is going....

Before you read on, please know that I am putting this out there for a couple of reasons ...
I have gone from working and teaching 15 classes a month to nothing and I'm getting lots of emails and messages asking when I'm coming back….
and I'm having a lot of people contact me concerned about what is going on ....
I'm not after sympathy, pity or help but only support and understanding  .... that's all....

Grab yourself a cuppa and have a read ...... 
Early July I noticed some changes in my cycle that prompted me to go to see my GP.
My GP, Joanne did a few tests and sent me to have an Ultrasound as she thought something wasn't right either. 
The ultrasound showed a cyst around my left ovary and I was sent to see my Gyno, Dr Lane. 
During this time - about 10 days between GP & Dr Lane - my pain and discomfort had increased intensively and it was now that I had to drop a few classes. The discomfort had got too much.
 
At that appointment, Dr Lane discovered that I had an Ovarian Cyst - potentially an endometrioma - and it had to come out immediately.
Surgery was planned for 24 hours after seeing Dr Lane - a laparoscopy (It is an operation where a tiny telescope is inserted through a small incision in your naval to see the abdominal cavity and pelvis. More small incisions are necessary so that other instruments can be used to perform the procedure. The incisions are closed with a single stitch or closure tape.)
Trev took me into Ashford Hospital on the Saturday for surgery.  {Saturday 20/7/13}
Everything went well ... I had my left Ovary & Fallopian Tube removed as well as the cyst ... but Dr Lane told us after the surgery that it wasn't at all what he was expecting and that it was a Mucinous CystAdenoma.
It was over 10cm and 500grams in total and was sent off to pathology.
I spent 3 days in hospital then home to recover.

A couple of days later {Friday 26/7/13} we went back to see Dr Lane to have my stitches removed and to have check up - that day just went from great to awful in a space of 5 mins.
The pathology from the surgery had come back and it wasn't good ...
High Grade Cancer cells had been found in the cyst.
Our world just stopped.
I think I spent the rest of the appointment in a daze ... waiting for Dr Laneto say "but it's all going to be OK" or "just kidding" .... but he never did. 

I had Ovarian Cancer. 
That day I was then sent off for more blood tests and CT scans ....

On the following Wednesday {31/7/13}, we met with Dr Miller, a
GynaecologicalOncologist at North Adelaide Oncology.
He was amazing. Put our minds at ease straight away and confirmed there was no more Cancer found with the last scan results and the first surgery had possibly got it.... but .... I needed to have further surgery to make sure

As we had already booked a trip to Melbourne {9-14th August}, a Radical Abdominal Hysterectomy & Appendectomy was scheduled for the 15th of August - exactly 6 weeks from my first GP appointment.
((for information on what the procedure entails ..
look here}}

I had everything removed. Didn't tickle - let me clear that up.
I spent two days in ICU then a further 3 days in hospital.
I currently have an incision that goes from above my belly button straight down to my pubic bone.It's gonna be an awesome scar :)

The pathology came back clear from the surgery but last Thursday (29/7/13} we met with the team at North Adelaide Oncology to discuss the next step.

My next step is Chemotherapy.
I start on September 20th—18 weeks worth of treatment is ahead of us.

I am strong.

I have an amazing group of people surrounding me and holding me up with their love and energy … The love of my life Trevor, my beautiful Happydaks - Jessica, Tatum & Woody, Lee & Brad, Joanne, Wendy & Mark, Louise and of course my family… without them … we would be lost.
My wonderful boss, friend and mentor Jane, all the beautiful girls at Seriously Scrapbooking that have been covering my shifts, my regulars …. Thank you.
I’ll be easing back into work soon ...once I’ve started treatment but not sure how I’ll go. It's a case of wait and see.

So that’s where we are at … I have won this battle and everything from here on in is just preventative… just part of the process

But ...what I have learnt from the last 7 weeks is
….I have more people that care about me that I realise and I am very thankful for that
….Listen to your body … only you know what feels right ... DONT ignore the signs
….Nothing is more important that your health … YOU ONLY HAVE ONE CHANCE

Over the last 18 months, thanks to my amazing personal trainer, I have become fit and healthy and know my body inside and out. I am incredibly thankful to him at this stage in my recovery I can tell you! Contact Stefan at Goodlife Marion - tell him Nat sent you  (I can message you his number) xxx

So thankyou to everyone who has sent me flowers {there has been a lot}, sent cards and messages, cooked me meals and offered their help ... it has been wonderful.

Apparently age brings bravery I never knew I had ...

xxx
Natalie 

36 comments:

  1. Wow! What a roller coaster. All the best with the rest of the journey. You have shared lots of sound advice. Thankyou. x

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  2. Nat,

    Thank you for sharing your story. It has made me more determined to get my doctor to listen to me, I have a nagging worry about something and when I mention it, the Doc doesn't actually seem to hear or just ignores what I'm saying. I've been taking that as nothing to worry about. Not any more. Thank you!

    Speedy recovery to you.

    Cheers,
    Kasey

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  3. Nat, sending you love..... and healing vibes your way ...xxx

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  4. Oh Nat, I just had to leave a comment. I am so sorry to read about all that you have been through and still yet to face. What you have written brings back so many memories of what my mum faced 10 years ago but instead hers was uterine cancer. Such a horrible disease and i just want to wish you all the very best and yes you are strong, you can get through this. Thinking of you xo

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  5. WOW, That has sent shivers up my whole spine, so glad you found out early enough so you had the chance to beat this rotten disease, glad you are fit and healthy, these are great things to have on your side ATM......I have no words to fix things but just to let you know you are in my thoughts, good luck with your treatment, dont let it knock you down xx

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  6. Nat, thanks for sharing your story and I'm sending positive thoughts your way, let everyone take care of you when you need it and keep staying positive.

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  7. I'm thinking of you and your family during this period..sending you healing loving energy your way scrap sista xx

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  8. and it seems strength and bravery is something you have so very much of.
    Also lots of love and support from those around you but also those of us on periphery.
    wishing you all the best Natalie.
    keeping on fighting chick.. you have a lot of people cheering you on.
    xx

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  9. Good on you for listening to your body and doing something about it. It's so easy for us busy women to ignore what's going on and I imagine many women would have left this a lot longer until it was much worse.
    I'm happy to hear that despite the major surgery you're recovering well and the future is positive.
    You know you've got a thousand people who will continue to support you and encourage you through any tough times. I'd certainly count myself as one of them.
    All my best wishes and prayers.
    xx
    Natalie

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  10. You my dear are an inspiration! I am thinking of you and will pray everything goes well with chemo and recovery is quick. (Big Hug)

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  11. This is an incredible story Nat and, even though its the terrible C word, this is still inspirational and your strength is amazing. I love your positive outlook. Hang in there. xx

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  12. I can only send you the best wishes and big caring Hugs...Please stay strong and fully recover...xoxox

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  13. I admire you for your strenght! You are a wonderful person!! I am sure that everything will go well!!!! A big hug from Greece!!!!!xx

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  14. So glad you have lots of support. Not a nice road to travel but you ARE strong and loved and will be even more so at the conclusion.
    Sending cyber hugs.
    xx

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  15. My goodness, you have been through a lot- and a lot more to come yet. So sorry to hear of your news- stay strong, I'll be praying for you. Best wishes to you for a quick recovery!

    xErin

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  16. Ah bugger! I was too chicken to ask you what the story was, figuring you'd share when and if you chose. Thanks for the update, and I'm so sorry you've had all this dumped on you, your world must be spinning. Keep being the strong, gutsy and determined woman I know you are, and also know that we're thinking of you up here in Sydney. My Nan was diagnosed with ovarian cancer back in the 1980's - she was a tough cookie like you, and survived despite all the odds being against her. With your determination along with the incredible improvements in treatments since then, I'm confident you'll kick it's sorry little arse! Keep hitting back with the biggest guns they've got, one chance, no regrets. Sending gentle hugs and strength, xx michelle & andrew

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  17. Thanks for sharing your story Natalie. You sure are a strong woman. All the best for your treatment and the road ahead. xx

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  18. I'm sending positive thoughts and hugs your way! Stay strong!

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  19. Oh Nat, Thank You for sharing your story xx Sending much strength your way as you continue with the treatment journey. You are a true warrior - so positive, so strong and so very, very brave xx

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  20. You beautiful brave girl. I know how how strong you are. You will do this. xx

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  21. Hi Thank you for sharing, I appreciate your honesty and openness.. we girls NEED to let each other what is going on sometimes just to let others know they must keep an eye on themselves and go and nag their doctors and check they are ok.. My mum had OC and I am being as vigilant as I can with blood tests and ultrasounds too.. I am glad to hear you are on the mend and with the treatment should never hear those words again.. I pray you will do as well as possible with the chemo too.. as you say you are healthy and strong, so hopefully it wont knock you around too much.. My MIL had uterine cancer last year and had the chemo and lost her hair but she did so well just by being open and sharing with her family how she was going.. I hope you find the strength and love coming to you via your blog and we will be here willing you all the very best for the months ahead.. thanks again, you are inspirational already, take care.. love lizzy

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  22. WOW! Thank you for sharing. I wish you nothing but a speedy recovery, the strength to over come this & your health back xox

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  23. Wishing you lots of strength for the coming months,you are very blessed to have such a great support. they will take care of you during chemo. take care and rest up xx

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  24. Sending you my biggest love!!! xx

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  25. Wow Nat, what a journey....all the best for the rest of it....lots of hugs and strength to you and your family. Keep ya chin up girl! xxoo

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  26. Best wishes to you. You are amazingly strong. Our thoughts and prayers are with you!!!

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  27. Hi Nat, sending you all my best wishes . Gosh what a time you're having. Stay strong and take time to relax and recover from the chemo. Hugs from Gael xxx

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  28. Wow Nat, you are having a rough trot. I am sure your fitness and general good health will carry you through the less than pleasant patches that might lay ahead. Sending healing thoughts and hugs your way. Hope to see you out and about soon. Cheers Julie

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  29. So sorry to hear about your scary, anxious journey. I have been thinking of you often wondering how you were, hence why I came on your blog. You are an inspirational lady, stay strong I will keep in touch through Janes shop. All my love to you and your family. Kylie Beauchamp xx

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  30. Nat my beautiful gal, you are strong and healthy, nothing of this is a piece of cake but you will make it. Of that I am sure. Love is the best healer in the world, and you can climb any mountain knowing you are being loved by so many. Sending you lots and lots of loving thoughts from across the globe. xoxox

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  31. I did wonder what was happening....keep going... Guess that's all you can do....it's great news the chemo is just precautionary, too....we're in NZ ATM...not much Internet time, but had to add to the comments:):):)

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  32. Hi Nat! Sending you all my best wishes for your recovery. You are an inspiration, your positive nature and your strength are amazing. My best wishes to Trevor and Jessica too as they go through this journey with you. Take care! Kerry Murrell

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  33. Sending lots of love and hugs xxxooo

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  34. thanks for sharing your story Nat, it takes courage and strength , but it also means you are letting go and flowing with life ... good on you my friend. such a roller coaster is cancer treatment , but love wins every time ... our Mark went through it at 14 years of age and love won and now Baden is going through it also and love will again win ... love heals all things even cancer ... you are loved more than you know .. take care xoxoxoxo

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  35. Nat I'm so sorry to read all this. I had no idea. I have been kinda off the airwaves myself these last 2 months with dental problems gone wrong. I'm so sorry you have to go through this, really feel for you and your family xoxoxo

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Thanks so much for leaving me a comment! xxx