Sharon Gould

I started getting pains and swelling in my stomach in May 2011. I went back and forth to the local surgeon for a few weeks as the pain was getting worse. The doctor I saw at the beginning diagnosed me with constipation which was then moved onto fibroids. I was then referred by another physician for a CT scan the following week.

The doctor informed me that it was not what he had anticipated and that the mass could not be identified accurately as he could not see from the scan where the mass started and ended. At this point he referred me to a consult at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

After doing her own investigation and looking at my notes, the consultant said she was 95% sure it wasn’t cancer as I had had a clear smear test earlier in the year and she wasn’t worried but decided that a full hysterectomy would be the best option for me. While they completed the operation they would do a wash and biopsy to be on the safe side.

As I am a self-employed singer I had to take a break from work as I was told after having the operation that I had to take at least 8 weeks to recover.

I had the operation on October 11, 2011 and all seemed to go well. I waited three weeks on the results of the biopsy. I was then called in by the consultant to give me my results. We (my partner and I) were taken into the consultants room and were informed that it was not good news, that it was in fact cancer. She then went on to explain that it was clear cell cancer, and it was one of the worst types which was very hard to detect. She explained that they could not tell by looking at the mass at the operation stage that it was diseased and needed further biopsy to confirm the disease. She explained that the type of cancer I had doesn’t always react well to chemotherapy but that was the treatment that they recommended for me to take. To say that we were left in pieces was an understatement as we really didn’t know what kind of future I had to face, if any at all.

I was then referred to the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where they told me that I had been so lucky as I was diagnosed at Stage 2c and was not as bad as first thought. The doctor explained how they planned to go about curing the disease rather than containing it. I can’t tell you enough how relieved I was to hear this news. It gave us hope and strength that we needed to face what was coming next.

I started my chemotherapy two weeks later, six weeks after my hysterectomy. I am now at my final treatment and waiting for my scan and final appointment with the consultant to find out the result. So far things are looking good. My emotions have been up and down but I do believe that keeping everything as normal as possible, having a positive attitude and help of my family and friends have been what has helped me through this terrible and very emotional time.