Saturday, 14 November 2009

My Cancer Journey-The Day That Changed My Life

On the 24th November 2006 I was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.

I remember been at work working in my local pharmacy and getting a phone call from the hospital asking if I would be able to go in as soon as possible. My manager was fantastic and sent me off straight away.

I knew I needed a hysterectomy very soon as I’d been having so many problems and was still on my period and had been for 3 weeks at this time! So this appointment I was about to go to was to give me a date for my operation and tell me what to expect.

I climbed in my car and drove the 30 miles/46.6km to the hospital, singing along to the radio, feeling happy that I finally wasn’t going to have to go through the stomach pains I’d been having for the last 2 years and the never ending periods too!!

I parked up and walked through to the hospital, still smiling.

As I entered the hospital I was directed to the department I needed and was greeted with a nurse asking if I’d come alone.. I told her I had as I’d come straight from work, I still had my uniform on and looked like a nurse to be honest.
The nurse then asked if it was ok if she came in to see the Consultant with me, I never thought anything of it as there were often nurses or doctors in training at my hospital and they often sat in on any consultations I had.
As I walked into the consultants room she asked me how I was and asked me to take a seat.
I was then told the awful news.

A week before I had gone to the hospital to see this Consultant I had gone to have a camera inserted, so she could see exactly what was happening up there. When I woke up she informed me that I had a uterus the size of a 20 week old foetus and that I was “riddled” with fibroids and that a hysterectomy was definitely going to happen.

While I was under general anaesthetic my Consultant had decided to do a biopsy, and results were back.
“What would be the worse thing we could have found Tracey”
I said Cancer
She then said “I am so sorry Tracey, you have Ovarian Cancer”

That was it!!
I cried and cried and couldn’t stop.. Why me? I’ve never smoked a cigarette… I’ve never been a big drinker… I eat plenty of fresh fruit & Vegetables.. My head was in a turmoil.

The consultant was lovely as was the nurse who had come in with me.
They got me a cup of tea and then I remember nothing… I remember been told I would be going to see an Oncologist who would explain everything and that I would be starting treatment just into the New Year.

The nurse asked me if there was anyone who could come and get me but there wasn’t. she said I had to put the radio on as I drove home, to take my mind off the shock.. SHOCK!! She wasn’t joking on that one! She said to sing at the top of my voice as I drove along.

As I got into my car I had stopped crying, I was trying to concentrate on how to drive my car. I put the radio on and as I got into my journey The Scissor Sisters came on the radio singing “I don’t feel like dancing” My favourite song of the time, strange as i love dancing.
I was driving over The Humber Bridge as it came on, the River Humber underneath me, all it needed was for me to lose control and I could be in that freezing cold water and drown, it crossed my mind to do just that.

This song saved my life

But as the song played, I turned it up to full power and sang and sang and cried and cried.. I really don’t remember driving the rest of the way back to work.

As I parked in our private car park, I wiped away my tears and tried to make myself respectable. This is happy smiling Tracey here, she can’t be seen to be crying.

I opened the door to the Pharmacy and walked straight into the back office as one of my colleagues asked how it had gone and if I’d got a date for my hysterectomy. The tears came and I wailed, and I mean wailed!! I’ve never cried like this in my life, I couldn’t breath.
Eventually I blurted out that I had cancer… By this time, my other 2 colleagues and the Pharmacist were all in the office ( good job we weren’t busy at that point) 5 of us all crying can’t have been a good sight in a pharmacy!!

That was it really, I was lucky enough to have plenty of friends around me but boy that was one hell of a day.

Do you know something too, as i added this song to this post and listened to it.. I cried... i adore this song, it makes me want to sing and dance but because the memory of that day is at the front of my mind just now,, its kind of hit me.


  1. oh bugger. I read this and cried too. I was remembering my 'fun day' of the dx and I am SO glad that's behind me. And it's great that soon you will celebrate your 3rd year in remission. Yay you survivor you - blubbering or not ;o)

    I am so lucky to have met you - and intend celebrating our 45th year of surviving this crappy disease together at the hairdressers where we can have a matching teal rinse ;o)

    big hug mate, you're fab!

  2. And you're still here to tell the tale! :)

  3. To all of us who are survivors of gynae cancer- hurray and congrats. It really is a journey and not an easy one. Here's to surviving!

  4. That must have been so terrible Tracey. Luckily your friends were there to help you.

    It's a fab song. It's so chirpy.

    Cheers to you and l'optimiste! Wishing you many years of good health.

  5. I love that song and have it on my i-pod. I will think of you now whenever I hear it. On a more positive note, I'm so glad you are hear to tell that tale, but it will be a day you will never ever forget.

    Gill in Canada

  6. Thanks for sharing your story ...

  7. Tracey, thank you for sharing with us this part of your life. I too had similar probs and was told at one point that further investigations would be necessary as it was suspected that I had ovarian cancer. Happily, this did not turn out to be true but it was a very worrying time for me. Eventually I had my fibroids removed, 23 of them. They said they couldn't remove them all as I had bled too much during the operation but thank God they were out.

    . . .

    Tracey, I so respect the honesty and vulnerability you have shared with us in this post and although it is a terrible thing to have happened to you I for one am so inspired by the Tracey I have come to know on-line . . and after all of that you actually went back to work!!!!! Have a blessed Sunday Trace!!

  8. I remember the day my husband was diagnosed with cancer but at least we were together at the time. I wsa more worried he wouldnt take the medication given the side effects. Let's hope 2010 is agreat year for you Tracey.

  9. very brave of you to share that day with us. I remember my day too I was told I had cancer. and I remember the following weekend, the crying, telling family and friends, the crying, the hopelessness.

    but we are now both here!! yeah us!!

  10. Hope you're okay. Havn't heard from you in a while. Hugsxxxx

  11. Oh crap, Tracey! You made me cry! I hope you're doing well now!

  12. Thank you Tracey for sharing. It brought back thoughts of my own diagnosis. It was such a sad and scary time.

  13. Wow, this post brought me to tears. I too was alone when I got my diagnosis of cancer. Funny though I don't really remember the drive home I do remember hearing a Nickleback song on the radio - If today was your last day and the entire way home I was left pondering what would happen if I died.