A Cancer with severe vaginal bleeding She wants to give a positive message to other women before she undergoes gruesome treatment to remove a large vascular tumor on her cervix, which looks like “someone popped a balloon”. Cervical cancer screening “It’s not a death sentence.”
Joan Painter, from Northampton, was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer at the age of 38 after noticing an unusual vaginal discharge. Having unusual, heavy bleeding Many months.
The mother-of-two, founder and managing director of Natural Green Cemetery and a humane burial rite, said the bleeding was so severe that at times, “someone had popped or overturned a balloon.” Tap”
The now 43-year-old says she wasn’t worried and was told repeatedly by doctors at first that she had cervical ectropion – when cells from the uterine canal grow into the tip of the cervix – but Joanne knew she needed to know her symptoms. Not to be ignored.
After being pushed for a diagnosis, in February 2018, Joanne received the news that she had cervical cancer and said she was “dumbfounded” – but now that she’s a survivor, looking back on the past five years, Joanne wants to raise awareness of the importance of early times. Detection and “remains positive”.
“You know your body better than anyone else and if something isn’t right, don’t be put off by a doctor or a doctor or whoever says, ‘Oh it’s good’…go ahead and get tested and get the vaccine. You can, and don’t answer,” said Joan.
“Obviously, the sooner you get tested, the better your chances of getting caught.”
Cervical cancer is cancer of any part of the cervix – the opening between the vagina and uterus – and according to the charity Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust, it currently kills two women every day in England.
Cervical screening, known as a smear test, is a test to check the health of the cervix and help prevent cancer, but in Joan’s case, her previous smear test was negative before she was diagnosed.
At age 38, after noticing unusual discharge that was “too watery,” Joan contacted her doctor to make an appointment.
The doctor “wasn’t worried at all,” she said, but a few days later, she started bleeding from the vagina, which got progressively worse.
Joanne initially likened the bleeding to a “light period” and was initially diagnosed with cervical ectropion, but then realized that there were times when she started bleeding through her sanitary pads and sometimes spending up to an hour in the bathroom. “This isn’t right.”
It was so bad that when she went to the theater with friends, she said, “She felt this ‘pop’ and her legs were bleeding.”
On another occasion, she bled for “almost a 24-hour flight” and “came to the plane seat” while on a trip to Australia.
Joanne said: “There was really a lot of bleeding where he was seen. I could sit on the toilet for 20 minutes at a time and someone would just pop a bladder or turn on the faucet, and it would just, drip, drip, drip.
“That’s when I started thinking, ‘Oh, this doesn’t seem right,’ and I was really, really tired at that point.
“I had a four-year-old and a seven-year-old, I was working full time, so I put my energy into it… (but) obviously, I was losing a lot of blood, so I had to go back to my doctor again.
Joanne was referred to a gynecologist at Northampton General Hospital, but her husband Neil, 48, a builder, took her to hospital earlier after she bled again through her clothes while out for dinner.
Doctors initially dismissed her symptoms again, but after spending the night to stop the bleeding, Joan was told the next morning by a consultant gynaecologist: “I’m so sorry, this doesn’t look good.
She was diagnosed with cervical cancer, underwent a biopsy, and after various scans and MRIs, it was discovered that she had a 6-centimeter vascular tumor on her cervix that required treatment rather than surgery.
“I was in complete and utter disbelief, to be honest… I remember sitting there, just completely speechless,” Joanne said.
“I’m not particularly angry, I just think, is this really happening?
“Then within half an hour a Macmillan nurse appeared under my bed and introduced herself and I think that’s when it sunk in – oh my God, I actually have a Macmillan nurse sitting on the edge of my bed. This is not good news.
Joanne said the news was harder to hear because she lost her father to cancer nine years ago, but despite her fears, she knows she has to stay positive.
“I was sitting there thinking, ‘My dad died of cancer, now they tell me I have cancer, and I have a four-year-old and a seven-year-old, and I’m going through this because I can’t be there for my kids,'” Joanne explained.
“Very quickly, this intense need to survive came over me.”
Joan believes her positive attitude was key to helping her get through her treatment, which involved six weeks of chemotherapy followed by three weeks of brachytherapy – a form of internal radiation therapy – which Joan says left her “black and burnt” inside.
The mother-of-two says she hasn’t lost her hair from the type of chemotherapy she’s had, but sometimes it feels “terrible”.
She said she suffered from severe fatigue, chronic diarrhea and felt “a little hungry like she’d had 20 shots of tequila,” and that although she was “scared” at times, she knew she had to overcome the challenges she faced. In front, especially for her children.
“You can’t focus on it, you have to move on now,” Joanne said.
“You never want[your kids]to see you angry and you never want them to think you’re weak, so you just steal…
“I never felt like I needed counseling, I didn’t want anyone to feel sorry for me. I never wanted it to be interpreted as ‘Joe with cancer’, so I was like, just get on with it, get over it, it wasn’t that bad.
Three months after her treatment, Joan returned to hospital for a check-up and was told the “amazing” news that the tumor had disappeared.
Although Joan says it “took a long time to recover” and described the side effects of her menopause-like treatments as a “train wreck,” she says having a good support network, exercising, and “being kind to yourself during recovery.”
Joanne is also a “true believer in the law of attraction and channeling the universe” and says that writing down affirmations has helped a lot.
“These things take time, so people need to know that they’re probably not going to go back and feel 100% and life will go back to normal,” she said.
“I think a little bit of life adjustment and accepting the new you; this is the ‘new me’ now, and I’m different than I was before, but it’s not a bad thing, it’s just a little bit different.”
Joanne has regular screenings every few months and although she has had “a few shocks over the years”, she wants to encourage other women who have been diagnosed with cervical cancer to “try not to go down this tunnel of fear”. It’s a death sentence,” he added. “You have everything to live for.”
Cervical Cancer Prevention Week runs from 23-29 January and Jo Cervical Cancer Trust is running its biggest campaign to date: #WeCanStopCervicalCancer to make the day cervical cancer history a thing of the past.
You can find out more by visiting. The website is here..