With the launch of NETBALLHer, which aims to create positive change by supporting women of all life stages to continue to play and be involved in netball, Mo from Wiltshire shares her story.
Last July whilst at an all-day netball meeting, Mo had a random bleed. She didn’t really think much of it but a friend did and encouraged Mo to contact her GP surgery as soon as possible. She was offered a telephone appointment later that day, but Mo being Mo, asked if the GP could call her on Thursday as she had two Walking Netball sessions to deliver!
The next day, Mo’s GP referred her to the gynae rapid assessment unit at Great Western Hospital because a post-menopausal bleed can be a sign of cancer of the lining of the womb. Within 6 working days Mo had ultrasound scans and a hysteroscopy (camera in the womb). A month later, a large polyp was removed and sent off for analysis.
In early September an oncology nurse at GWH called and said “We’d like to see you tomorrow and you can bring someone with you if you like” giving Mo an indication of what news to expect, news that was then confirmed by the Consultant - she had aggressive Grade 3, endometrial cancer.
Mo’s care was transferred to Churchill Hospital, Oxford where, in October she had keyhole surgery to remove her womb, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes and some pelvic lymph nodes, followed 8 weeks later by a short course of brachytherapy (internal radiotherapy). In November at her post-op review, the Consultant told her that the cancer was localised in the womb and the lymph nodes were clear! He said that she had made such a good recovery because she was fit but also because the cancer had been caught early.
The scariest part of Mo’s story is that she didn’t feel ill at all. It’s frightening to think that if she hadn’t contacted her GP immediately after that random bleed, if the GP hadn’t been so responsive and if she hadn’t received such fantastic treatment from the NHS the cancer would have spread around her body via the lymphatic system.
Mo’s message to you is simple, if you know someone who’s had a post-menopausal bleed, having not had a period for over a year, please tell them to get checked, especially if they’re over 55 and even more so if they haven’t had children.
Inspired by Mo’s story Wiltshire Netball is organising a Women’s Health & Wellbeing Netball Festival at Dorcan, Swindon on 21st May to help raise awareness of women’s cancers, the menopause, and mental health, and raise much needed funds for Prospect Hospice, Macmillan Support and the Great Western Hospital Brighter Futures CT Scanner Appeal. It will be a multi-generational event with netball being played on the outdoor courts and Walking Netball and Bee Netball in the Dome.
For more information on the menopause, check out the NETBALLHer website.