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A vulval cancer story

Grandparents and children sharing tips and stories

From Mrs Julie Nadin

I am 50 (woooohoooooo) this year. I complained to my doctor about my little finger that I thought might be broken.

While I was there I asked my doctor to check some blisters on my vulva I had noticed about 3 and a half years before. I thought that because I was on the change that it was all part of the process. She sent me to a specialist who was planning to do a small operation but decided to take biopsies instead.

In October last year (2007) I went to visit the specialist for what I thought would be a little chat and a tube of cream! but to my horror, I was told I had Vulva Cancer. I had never heard of it before and I was in total shock. How would I tell my family. How would I tell my daughter who had told me about friend of hers whose mother was going through cancer at the time. I was frightened to tell them.

I waited until after the Xmas and New Year celebrations and then went to London with my husband to see the specialist, who was very supportive and told me I would need an operation.

When I came home I told my family who were really shocked at first and we cried a lot, it is the C word that frightens everyone when they first hear it, but then we sat and I told them what I would be having done and we got our heads around the situation.

My first operation was at the end of January and my third and last operation was at the end of March. I didn't have to have chemo or radiotherapy but need to be monitored now on a regular basis but I am so grateful for everything. I am now in the survivor mode and mentally it is a day to day experience. Why am I the lucky one.

I am grateful for every day that I can say I am a survivor and it has changed my whole attitude about what and who are important in my life.

My advice would be if something doesn't feel or seem normal (even if you think you are fine) have yourself checked as things that you have never heard of become very very real.

Here's to celebrating my 50th Birthday in style!

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Updated: 28 September 2009