A young woman was rejected by two doctors after a heartbreaking cervical cancer diagnosis.
Maddy Brown, from Townsville, Queensland, didn’t think much about the abnormal symptoms of pain and bleeding in her pelvic area.
But after a few days of the same unbearable pain, the 22-year-old went to her doctor for some answers.
“This first doctor who more or less sent me out the door and sent me for an STD check without listening to me,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
Maddy Brown (photo) from Townsville, Queensland, did not think much about the abnormal symptoms of pain and bleeding in her pelvis area
An 8 cm tumor was found in Mrs. Brown’s cervix and pushed against her bladder
Mrs. Brown was recently tested and went to another doctor, but was told again that her pain was probably caused by a sexually transmitted disease.
Frustrated, she spoke to her mother, who was a registered nurse, and suggested that she visit her regular doctor.
Angry and overwhelmed by being brushed aside the first two times, Brown finally underwent a smear.
“I was very confused as to why the last two doctors were not as quickly concerned as this doctor,” she said.
What is cervical cancer?
- Cervical cancer begins when abnormal cells in the mucous membrane of the cervix grow out of control.
- Usually starts in the area of the cervix
- It can spread to tissues around the cervix, such as the vagina, or to other parts of the body such as the lymph nodes, lungs, or liver.
- About 850 women in Australia are diagnosed with cervical cancer every year.
- Cervical cancer is usually diagnosed in women over 30, but it can occur at any age.
- About one in 195 women develops cervical cancer before the age of 75
Source: Cancer Council Australia
The doctor suggested she go to a specialist.
“It looked like an ectropion, where your cells can grow on the outside of your cervix due to changes in birth control pill hormones, and so on,” Mrs. Brown said.
A week later, on November 16, 2019, Ms. Brown received the horrible news that she had cancer.
“I was told that my pathology returned as adenocarcinoma [cancer]. In that fraction of a second I was just speechless. I had no idea what to think or say, “she said.
“I didn’t know what I was thinking anymore. The fact that I had discovered this weeks earlier to get over it or the fact that I had just been told that I had cancer.
“It was frightening. I feel like I have seen everything flash before my eyes. ”
On November 25, Mrs. Brown was hired for surgery, where she was told they would remove the tumor.
Once inside, the doctor realized that it would be much more complicated and would not complete the operation until further consultation.
Two centimeters of the tumor was taken from above and below for a biopsy, but Mrs. Brown lost a lot of blood.
“She would take it out originally, but when she went in, it was a whole lot bigger than what she thought, so in the end she took a biopsy from above and below,” Mrs. Brown explained.
Mrs. Brown (center) and her brother-in-law Lachlan (right) launched a GoFundMe page to support her fight against cervical cancer
Due to a complication during the operation, Brown lost a lot of blood and had to be packed
The next day the doctor told them “how bad it really was,” and Mrs. Brown’s family jumped up to make sure she felt at ease.
“The only thing I really remember was that she came in to tell us how bad it really was and the following,” she said.
- vaginal bleeding between periods
- menstrual bleeding that is longer or heavier than normal
- bleeding after sexual intercourse
- pain during sexual intercourse
- unusual vaginal discharge
- vaginal bleeding after the menopause
- excessive fatigue
- leg pain or swelling
- lower back pain
Source: Cancer Council Australia
“I know my mother and sister were working on organizing my PET and MRI scan and my brother-in-law Lachlan just jumped straight into bed to hold me because I had just lost it.”
Lachlan launched one GoFundMe page to alleviate Mrs. Brown’s worries because she was out of work for six weeks and had three months left for her.
Mrs. Brown was given 24 hours to decide whether she wanted to keep her eggs or not.
“It was the most frightening decision I had to make in such a short time,” she told Daily Mail Australia.
“In the end, I chose to do what needed to be done and not to worry about fertility, because I knew that if I didn’t do all the work, I couldn’t handle it mentally.”
A doctor performed a biopsy on January 22, removing more from Brown’s cervix and her 20 pelvic lymph nodes.
A week after “probably the worst recovery I’ve experienced,” Brown was told that the cancer had disappeared.
“It was incredible and I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
“It was a perfect timing for me, because that weekend I flew to Mackay for my sister’s engagement.”
After she had finally returned to Townsville, where she spent time repairing in Brisbane, Mrs. Brown received a call from her specialist.
“He decided to send me to a radiation oncologist here in Townsville, where it was decided that I would undergo chemotherapy, radiation therapy and brachytherapy.
“Although the pathology was clear from the lymph nodes taken, there are still nodes where only one cell is needed to go to one of those cells, so we would have missed it.
“My heart was broken. I thought I cursed myself and celebrated too early.
“I felt that I would never get a final decision, because I was always told one thing and then it was changed with me.
“But I didn’t even think about it, because I told my very first specialist that I wanted to get it done, because if it comes back in the future, I know we did everything we could do the first time, instead of me wondered why they wouldn’t listen to me. ”
Mrs. Brown’s friend Heidi (left), who is a registered nurse, stayed in the hospital and helped her friend change, showering while she continued to recover
The 22-year-old on Monday starts planning her five-week treatment, radiation and chemotherapy
The 22-year-old on Monday starts planning her five-week treatment with radiation and chemotherapy – 25 sessions with radiation and five with chemotherapy. She will then undergo three brachytherapy sessions.
Unfortunately Mrs. Brown did not have enough time to save her fertility and her ovaries will be radiated with treatment.
“It has been the most hectic roller coaster ever. No words really explain what it’s been like, “she said.
“It was horrible and terrifying. The amount of emotions you are filled with should just not exist.
‘And it only shows that regardless of your age, you are the one who knows your body best, so no one has to take no as an answer.
“My first specialist here in Townsville openly admits that I saved my own life by not answering because mine was so aggressive and grew so fast.
“I would not have made it until 25. I am just trying to keep doing my best with my great support in my life and get every opportunity to bring consciousness out.”