My name is Julie Burgess and I am 46, the wife of Alexander and mother of four children: Clair, Colin, Daniel and Abigail. I also have four grandchildren: Lia , Ella, Cameron and Leo.
I was diagnosed with cervical cancer on Christmas Eve 2007.
In February 2008 I had a radical hysterectomy; 27 lymph nodes were removed in addition to my ovaries. At the time I was told that I had stage 1b cancer, but further investigations proved it to actually be stage 2b and my cancer had started to spread .
In June 2008 I subsequently had a further 6 weeks of daily treatment of chemotherapy, radiotherapy AND then finally Brachytherapy About 3 months later I was told my cancer had been caught but it was unpredictable.
I was told I was HPV positive 18 and had non differenciated villoglandular adenocarcinoma of the cervix. 3 monthly checks from that point in time and half way through my treatment I developed right faced Bell's palsy. That was horrible in itself! I woke up one morning trying to drink cup of tea and it went everywhere.
Then all of a sudden I could not speak, my mouth had dropped and then my eye closed. After going through such a fight I thought I would see a light at the end of a tunnel, but sadly not the case as yet.
3 months later I had sudden swelling in my left ankle, I starting putting on a lot of weight and could not understand why. I was refered to Professor Mortimer at St George's Hospital. He told me I had lymphoedema. Since my diagnosis in 2008, it then got worse. both legs swelled and my groin is always swollen, my genitals are swollen and my tummy is swollen. I went back again and they told me I definitely had serious lymphedema.
In the last year I have never been able to control it, compression garments have not worked, or only temporarly as I also have grumbling cellulitis, I have had 8 attacks in the last year. I started to get very unwell and received antibiotic intravenously again and had to stop treatment. This happened numerous times and I was then admitted to St George's Hospital by Professor Mortimer in March 2011 for 6 weeks of intravenous therapy and also Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) and compression bandaging.
After 4 weeks I was so happy I nearly cried as I could see me legs and feet and ankles again! Sadly on my release home this didnt last and cellulitis kicked in. I am now on trials of different medication to find the cause of cellulitis. And sicne being at home the nhs and the pct (primary care trust) have not contacted me since or had a district nurse come out and my legs has just got big and bigger and bigger and my gp is not happy but still not a word form hospital or anyone .