Survivors

Survivors
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  • Suzanne
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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • July 7,

    My name is Suzanne and I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer when I was pregnant - and almost died before I got a chance to hold my newborn baby girl. The nightmare began when doctors discovered a tumor the size of a tennis ball blocking little Aaron^s arrival. They immediately delivered Aaron by C-Sect - but I haemorrhaged. My bed sheets were soaked in blood and doctors couldn’t get the bleeding to stop. As my life slipped away, docs warned my partner, to expect the worst as he stood helpless with our baby in his arms. He was left praying for a miracle - and fortunately for us, those prayers were answered. "My instincts told me all was not well. There is Cancer in my Dad^s side of the family and that’s what kept nagging away in my mind" But what choices did I have? Treatment at that time would have damaged my baby. I didn^t want to face that, so I just retreated into myself and kept my fears secret. After months of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and a last chance 24 hour bombardment of radiation directly onto the tumor, I was eventually in remission. I had sailed through a trouble free pregnancy with my first daughter, Jordan whom was diagnosed with Asbergers Syndrome when she was 6. But I have to admit, the minute I fell pregnant with Aaron, I felt very ill. I was sick all the time, I was in pain, I couldn’t eat, and nothing could convince me that this was a normal pregnancy. When I was expecting Jordan, my partner and I backpacked to India just in time before settling down with children. I felt so well throughout the pregnancy, mind you I was always relatively fit and healthy having just spent almost 7 years as a Military Policewoman in Her Majesty^s Services. This time I thought, well no 2 pregnancies are the same. I remember my partner and I agreeing that there would be no more babies for us. I was dragging myself through the pregnancy. I couldn^t wait for it to be over. Every now and then I^d start bleeding and end up in hospital. But I think because of the position of the tumour, it simply didn^t show up. When I was 8 months pregnant, I was back at hospital for the umpteenth time after bleeding. I^ve got a rare blood group ^O^ negative, so whenever I would take a bleed I^d have injections to stop the baby^s blood being poisoned. This time the doctor said she was concerned because I^d been in so often, that she^d like to examine me further. Nothing was showing on scans so she examined internally. The pain was unbearable. Then she told me there was a growth the size of a mans fist in my cervix. I had a biopsy and had to stay in hospital for the results. That night was awful. I lay awake wondering what was going to happen to us. Next day they told me. I had Cancer, and because of the tumour, I wouldn^t be able to deliver my baby normally, I was in shock. I was rushed into theatre for an emergency c-sect. The baby was perfect I was so relieved. But when I was in the recovery ward, my partner noticed that my bed was suddenly saturated in blood. The room was suddenly filled with nurses, but by then I was slipping in and out of consciousness. I vaguely remember nurses wrapping me up in silver foil. They were wrapping themselves around me too, trying to raise my body temp. I was rushed back into theatre, and, after about 2 - 3 hours, the doctor came out and told my partner he was sorry but he couldn^t stop the bleeding. He asked my partner to sign a form permitting them to give me a hysterectomy. My partner said, "My partner is dying in there - just do what you have to do to save her" I spent a while in hospital while my partner looked after the girls. When I eventually did go home I was really worried about all the time I been apart from my girls, I hadn^t had a proper chance to bond with my newborn. A bed was made up for me in the living room and I began my chemo and radiation treatment the following week, just after New Year. Sadly despite an intensive course of 20 treatments the tumor was still there. I couldn^t believe it, after all that the cancer was still there. During this time my partner was giving me intensive Healing through Crystals, (Kes is a fully qualified Holistic Crystal healer) and this helped immensely, his Sister Al would visit me (she is a qualified Reflexologist) and heal my body through healing to my feet and a friend from Cancer Care came along weekly and gave me some hands on healing, all in which played a big part in my recovery, that I am positive of. I was then offered a 24 hour intensive course where they would bombard me with radiation non stop using long metal rods directly onto the tumor. It was ghastly. I couldn^t move for 24 hours but in the end, the tumor had shrunk. To be honest I think it was the nurses and doctors who kept me sane. When the tumor shrunk, I was still ill, but very very happy. But along with the tumor, other organs had also shrunk and I needed more surgeries to repair the damage. I had ignored the little voice in my head which told me I had Cancer. Like many people, I didn^t wantto hear that because I knew that any treatment would seriously damage or kill my unborn baby. Toda though, I have 2 beautiful girls and a future. My daughter Aaron celebrated her 4th birthday at Christmas which was an amazing experience for us all. I^ve since had to cope with more operations, skin grafts, scars, reconstructive surgery, however am now enjoying life hospital free, and with my family by my side. A good friend of ours had a wife who died of cancer over 4 years ago, whilst sitting in hospital waiting to die, her husband told her about my successful battle, and from that day on for the remainder of her short life, she found the strength, hope and courage to fight it to the bitter end!

  • 09-03 -2005
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