Becca's story: women's health needs to be taken more seriously
Updated: Sep 13, 2021
Gynaecological cancer awareness. Becca was diagnosed with gestational trophoblastic disease (GTD) at 30 years old, after having a molar pregnancy in March 2021.
I knew something wasn’t right with my pregnancy when I started having heavy red bleeding without pain around 6 weeks.
I had several ultrasounds to evaluate the bleeding. The pregnancy tissue looked cystic and abnormal. At 8 weeks, I was diagnosed with a miscarriage, and had a D&C surgery. At this time, my HCG, the pregnancy hormone, was 200,000, an abnormally high level.
My pathology came back as a complete molar pregnancy. Ironically, HCG is also the tumor marker for GTD monitoring, and I would have this measured every week until it got to negative.
Two weeks after my initial surgery, my bleeding hadn’t stopped and escalated into hemorrhaging. I was filling up a pad in under an hour and passing hand-sized blood clots.
I lost so much blood in a few hours that I passed out in the ER waiting room. I had another D&C to stop the bleeding. A few days later, I found out my HCG levels were rising despite two surgeries. I was diagnosed with GTD, and I was referred to a gyn oncologist the next day.
My tumor was very stubborn and I went through several chemotherapy drugs, another D&C to remove tumor tissue, and finally found success with EMACO, a protocol that involves five different chemos. My HCG levels hit negative after three months of chemotherapy.
I’m in awe of what my body could handle after all the treatment and surgeries, and have a new sense of pride and appreciation for my strength.
At the same time, I’m so scared that this could happen again. It has changed my feelings around pregnancy from excitement and joy to anxiety and fear.
Women’s health needs to be taken more seriously in general. Gyn cancers can involve abnormal bleeding, and many women are not taken seriously for these concerns.
I waited for an hour in the ER with vaginal hemorrhaging before I passed out. I’ve also seen women receive improper treatment or advice because their doctor wasn’t familiar with the condition. Things are not okay and need to change!
Thank you Becca for sharing your story and insights. You can reach out to her on Instagram @chickensbeforetheegg We look forward to seeing you all in the Girls Rocking Cancer on Facebook or Instagram.
Becca and Mel