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Annie’s statement

I am 57 years of age and since 24 September I have known ... I finally know what my body has been trying to tell me for several months. Relief at knowing but fear of the future.

An unfortunate set of circumstances and my lack of urgency in obtaining a second opinion delayed the diagnosis.

I attributed major breakthrough bleeding to the peri-menopause but other bleeding then occurred.

I made an appointment to see my gynaecologist in February. A smear followed echography and pelvic doppler did not detect any anomaly.

I waited, my head in the sand ... Me, someone who was never sick, I had had 'flu (A or other, I don't know) in June which laid me low for three weeks, and a urinary infection which took me to A&E in August.

Weary of feeling like I was 80 years old, I made an appointment with another gynaecologist in early September, and that's went things started to move fast: smear, colposcopy, biopsy, MRI and 3 new doctors in my address book.

I am in the best possible hands, I am told. I believe it and repeat it to those around me, to reassure myself and those who love me. Telling my children that I had cancer was the most distressing moment. I don’t want them to worry about me while I am not worried ... not in front of them.

This cancer, which is at a fairly advanced stage, must have already been there in February. Why wasn’t it found? Why didn’t I ask for a second opinion immediately? I am angry but I can’t go back in time. Since 24 September, I have been living day by day, I wait for the results of examinations, I wait for the next appointment, I wait for the start of treatment ... and I am afraid.

Annie

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