Heartbreak Decision: Children or My Life; REAL LIVES When Joelle Hill, 36 and from Shirley, Began Suffering with Extreme Fatigue She Thought It Was All Part of Being a New Mum. but She Was Eventually Diagnosed with Cancer - and Left Facing a Heartbreaking Decision

Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England), May 22, 2011 | Go to article overview

Heartbreak Decision: Children or My Life; REAL LIVES When Joelle Hill, 36 and from Shirley, Began Suffering with Extreme Fatigue She Thought It Was All Part of Being a New Mum. but She Was Eventually Diagnosed with Cancer - and Left Facing a Heartbreaking Decision


WHEN I started to lose weight a year after my son Douglas was born I thought "Great, I'm losing my baby pounds!" But then a friend said she thought I ought to go to the doctor as I was also suffering from extreme fatigue.

I'd just put it down to having a young child.

Then I started to struggle as Douglas became more mobile. I couldn't keep up with him.

The doctor checked me over and sent me for blood tests but nothing untoward came back, so I decided it was time to just get on with it.

But then I started to have more women's issues - including a bloated tummy and generally feeling uncomfortable.

Then one day when I was picking up Douglas he accidentally kicked me in the groin and it was really painful.

Within two weeks, my abdomen swelled up and I looked five months pregnant. I knew at that point there was something wrong.

The doctor referred me for CAT scans and a CA125 blood test, which came back as elevated.

It was thought I had an ovarian cyst. But when the doctors removed it and sent it to be checked over, it turned out to be cancerous.

It was such a shock and terribly upsetting.

At that time there wasn't much information and awareness about ovarian cancer. I did the worst possible thing and looked it up on the internet, which didn't paint a very reassuring picture. I was aware women my age could get cysts but I didn't realise they could get ovarian cancer.

I wasn't really aware of ovarian cancer at all.

There's more awareness now with different charities, such as the Eve Appeal, who support women who are diagnosed.

The doctors suggested the best thing for me to do was to have a full hysterectomy to see if it had spread.

Douglas had been six weeks premature and had arrived weighing just 3lbs. He was in neo-natal for a long time.

Having been through that, it wasn't a given that we were going to try for a second child.

So for my husband Robin and I it was an easy decision to have the hysterectomy.

We knew we had to act quickly and think about the child we had got, rather than any potential future children.

I also had six cycles of chemotherapy and lost all my hair and my eyelashes.

It was gruelling and each time, it got a bit worse.

But age was on my side and I was quite robust.

We had quite a belt-and-braces approach, knowing we had to fight 'the beast'.

It was hard looking after a toddler at the same time.

Robin and my mother-in-law were fantastic.

In some ways, I think Douglas helped me not to wallow in self-pity. He gave me a focus, a reason to get up and not be completely absorbed by cancer.

Children are physically demanding at that age but I wasn't capable of picking him up.

We tried to explain to him that mummy had a poorly tummy and that I would be losing my hair. We were fairly open with him without wanting to scare him.

Very early on, we went to get a wig and we introduced him to mummy's new hair rather than the shock of suddenly seeing me without hair.

He was OK with that. We also met other women going through treatment and I think he got quite used to seeing women without hair.

He still remembers it now and we talk about it when he asks why he hasn't got any brothers and sisters.

Harsher I think the impact of having a hysterectomy affects you further down the line when your friends are going onto have second babies and you're the one talking about menopause and HRT.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Heartbreak Decision: Children or My Life; REAL LIVES When Joelle Hill, 36 and from Shirley, Began Suffering with Extreme Fatigue She Thought It Was All Part of Being a New Mum. but She Was Eventually Diagnosed with Cancer - and Left Facing a Heartbreaking Decision
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.