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Hello, I’ve just registered to join this forum. Over the last few years I’ve read many of the posts and felt the empathy and support that comes through from all the contributors. I’ve finally made the move to write my own message. Firstly, I should say that I feel I am very lucky, a survivor - so far at least! I was diagnosed way back in 2001. The staging before my Wertheims hysterectomy operation was Stage Ib1. However the analysis afterwards showed that lots of lymph nodes were affected and also my womb. I had chemotherapy and radiotherapy without any real problems although I did start to feel quite sick towards the end of the radiotherapy treatment cycle. I bounced back quickly - I was only 41 when I had the operation. Eight years later, in 2009 I had a recurrence - cancerous para aortic nodes. The only indication of this was incredible back pain, by this time I had of course been signed off as clear of cancer. The surgeons operated and I had another cycle of chemo and radiotherapy.
Since that time I have been healthy, stayed very active and basically got on with life. I don’t see the consultant any more having long ago agreed with him that I should contact the team at the hospital if I felt ill again. I have, however, in the last 8 years or so, begin to have lots of bowel problems, ‘urgency’ (very urgent !), severe diarrhoea, bloating and extremely painful stomach ache which doesn’t seem to be triggered by anything in particular except perhaps oily or spicy food. When I had my operations over 10 years ago nobody mentioned the possible long term side effects of radiotherapy and I suspect that that is what is causing my problems. I got hold of the really helpful Macmillan booklet about it and although I’ve tried to draw my GP’s attention to it and asked about bile acid malabsorption, etc. she seems to think this isn’t the cause as my symptoms are what she calls ‘episodic’ rather than regular. I’ve read that some women posting on the forum have actually been referred to post radiotherapy specialists and even had a confirmed diagnosis that their problems are caused by late effects of their radiotherapy treatment. - My question therefore is - were your symptoms an every day problem or did they hit you randomly ? I’ve had a gastroscopy which showed a completely healthy stomach ! and am waiting to have a gall bladder scan but somehow I don’t think that it will provide any answers. I’d really welcome your views if you’ve had similar experiences.