Patient Stories – Molar Pregnancies

Kirsty’s Story – Partial Mole

I knew from the second I looked at the screen that something was very wrong. It was May, 2006, I was three months pregnant and this was my 12 week scan.

“I’m sorry,” said the woman gently, “There is no heartbeat.” Me and my husband had planned this baby and were both delighted when I fell pregnant the first month of trying – no small feat at the age of 37.

I had some bleeding in early pregnancy and two previous scans had shown a ‘normal’ foetus. When I began to feel less nauseous in the run up to my 12 week scan I thought it was because I was entering the fourth month. The fact that I now know that baby could never have survived does not make the loss any easier.

The days that followed were among the worst of my life.

I went to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital to have an ERPC, was treated with as little care as I have ever received and was given a garbled explanation from the consultant about what had happened. He mentioned Molar Pregnancy, said it was a form of cancer but that it was removed and there was nothing to worry about.

I had already suffered two previous miscarriages so when the consultant said he was referring me to a specialist clinic I assumed it was to investigate that.

I was knocked sideways when the first letter arrived from Charing Cross Hospital’s medical oncology department – and very frightened. I spent several ill-advised days researching Molar Pregnancies on the internet and getting into a panic about worse case scenarios. Unfortunately this website was not up and running a year ago so I ended up reading research papers, magazine articles and scant explanations on medical sites. The net result was complete confusion and fear.

I lived like that for four months – terrified that I would need more treatment that would eat away at my chance of ever having children and devastated every time another friend announced their pregnancy. Then I was fortunate enough to attend an Open Day at Charing Cross where I got the chance to meet other couples who had experienced Molar Pregnancies and talk to the experts.

It was only then I learnt the true (and extremely low) risk of needing any further treatment and managed to put my Molar Pregnancy in perspective. I was very lucky. I had a Partial Mole, my hCG levels had fallen very quickly and stayed low. After six months we could try again.

Against the odds, and my age, I fell pregnant again the first month of trying. I panicked throughout the pregnancy and was literally sick with fear on the days of my scans. But my pregnancy was without any complications and my beautiful and healthy boy was born this May. In a year I have gone from total despair to complete joy.

I still feel grief for what I consider to be a lost child.

And I still feel anger about how I was treated in the days that followed that dreadful scan.

If it had not been for the staff at Charing Cross I would never really have understood what happened to me and appreciate my relative good fortune.

As a journalist I believe it is impossible for anyone to make sense of a terrible situation without a true understanding of what has happened. And that is why this website is so valuable.


Caroline’s Story

It is with pleasure that I write my “story” for this website given that it has such a happy ending. I hope that it will give others who are or have been through similar experiences hope.

I am a New Zealander and in 1999 I moved to London to do my “OE” (overseas experience). I intended to stay one or two years but ended up living and working (as a corporate lawyer) in London for seven years until mid 2006. In February 2004, my now husband Marty (who is also a NZer) and I flew home to New Zealand to get married and straight away we tried to start our family. A few months later I was thrilled to discover I was pregnant. All went well (other than some terrible morning sickness) and we went along to our 12 week scan very excited that we were going to see our baby. Not only was there no foetus but the sonographer looked very concerned, she called her supervisor in and they told me it looked like I had a molar pregnancy, something I (like most people) had never heard of. When they explained further what it was we were devastated not only to have lost the pregnancy but also to try to get our heads around this awful “thing” I had inside me. I had a d&c the next day and regular bloods to measure my hCG. However, after 6 weeks of bloods my histology finally came back and I was told that there was no evidence of molar change and that I had not in fact had a molar pregnancy but a blighted ovum (a relatively common form of miscarriage). I felt like I had been on a rollercoaster of emotions – I was shocked at this news but also relieved.

We waited a month and then started trying again. In May 2005, I suffered from a miscarriage and had a d&c as a result – this time I didn’t even know I was pregnant, I had had no morning sickness and had even had a period (albeit a very light one). The consultant who performed the d&c knew about the previous suspected molar pregnancy but said he had not seen anything abnormal in performing this d&c. Due to being in hospital I missed my plane home to NZ to my sister’s wedding but managed to get one a few days later and got there in time (although not feeling the best)! Upon returning to the UK, the consultant said he wanted to see me. He sat me down and asked me if I knew what a molar pregnancy was! We were horrified. He told me that this time I had had a complete molar pregnancy and that it was conclusive from the histology. This time I asked to go and see someone at Charing Cross Hospital (CXH) and we went there that day and met with Dr Savage to discuss what a molar pregnancy was and how they would monitor me.

The hardest thing to cope with at this stage was not what was happening to me then but that we would have to wait 6 months or a year to try again. I felt beside myself. At this stage I was almost 34 years old and of course all my friends were producing like mad! I felt so angry and cheated that this was happening to us, we were good people – what had we done to deserve this when bearing children seemed to come so easily to everyone else?

I had regular bloods to test my level of hCG. At first my hCG level dropped but then it started to rise. I was rung one Friday by the wonderful ladies at the CXH clinic and told that my results were out of the range they expected (they didn’t say in what direction) and they wanted to redo them. We have a very long wait over the weekend for the results but when my husband rang on Monday morning he was told my hCG had increased significantly and that I needed to come back in to CXH for a second blood test. I guess this news still didn’t sink in as I went into the hospital on my own (my husband was working down in Canterbury) only to be told by Dr Savage that if they confirmed my hCG had increased he would need to admit me to commence a course of methotrextate. I was devastated. My wonderful friend Lis raced to the hospital and so was there with me when Dr Savage delivered the news that my levels had indeed increased and I would be admitted the next day. Although at first I took the news quite calmly (probably in shock), I then started shaking and got very upset (as did Marty when I rang to tell him). The horrid thing is in a very strange way you feel like you are letting people down in that you were not able to fight this thing – just one of the many irrational thoughts you have over the next few weeks and months.

I had to go home and make various calls to my boss, my family and friends. I was admitted to CXH the next day (mid July 2005) to start my first course of methotrexate. I remember the feeling of it all being somewhat surreal, on the first morning I woke at 5am and lay in bed thinking, I came to London for a carefree OE and here I am in hospital starting a form of chemo treatment for a tumour in my womb – this isn’t how it’s meant to be. It was so hard being so far from my family but I had the most amazing support from Marty and my friends and work colleagues in London. Whilst I was in hospital my father and my dear friend Lou also made plans to come over to stay with me.

At first all I could think about was not wanting to do anything to reduce my chances of conceiving – to me this seemed so much more important than my own health. But once the hospital started the tests to rate the tumour (the lung x-ray etc) I remember feeling so scared for myself and for a while the worry about being able to bear children was put to the back of my mind. Up until this stage, every time we had received news it had been bad and it was hard to accept that things would get better.

The treatment and staff at CXH were truly amazing. That Dr Savage and the nurses had the time to sit and talk to you (even if they were giving you the same reassurance over and over again) and answer all the questions you had was invaluable. I felt so pleased that I was in London and thus able to be treated at CXH and so confident in the treatment I was getting.

The other amazing part of my time at CXH was that Dr Savage and his team introduced me to another woman who was admitted the same day as me. It was amazing to have her to talk to and to feel like you weren’t the only one going through this. We have since formed what I am sure will be a life long friendship. We both spent a long time pouring through the album they have at CXH of woman who have had treatment and gone on to have children. This is such a valuable tool to give you hope although you still at this stage find it hard to believe it will finally happen for you.

The treatment itself was probably not as bad as I had expected. I felt tired and had trouble with my eyes (stinging especially in sunlight) and did get mouth ulcers but on the whole it wasn’t nearly as bad as I had expected.

I continued the methotrexate treatment for four months (having several rounds after my hCG returned to normal at the beginning of September 2005). I didn’t work during this time and CXH arranged for me to have private nurses come to my home to administer my injections (funded by my private health insurance).

During this time I was fairly emotional (and very tired) but just tried to take one day or one round of treatment at a time. One of the hardest things to cope with was that we had to then wait another year until we could try again (ie until mid Oct 2006). Being in my mid thirties with all our friends well into having their families I found this particularly hard to cope with.

I found it strange returning to work. As soon as I had been back it was like I had never left but at the same time this huge thing had happened to me which I didn’t want to ignore. I also longed to be at home in NZ closer to my family. We therefore made the decision to return to NZ.

The year from when I finished my treatment until we could start trying to conceive again dragged by, but making this decision to move back to NZ, going on a trip through Europe and then the moving back to NZ and starting a new job back here broke the year up.

I still struggled though, perhaps more so as the year went on with the frustration of not being able to try again, the worry that I would never had a child and the anger and bitterness I felt (and felt guilty at having) at everyone else conceiving. By now there were friends whom I was pregnant with back in 2004 who were having their second child.

My hCG level stayed at normal through the whole year post treatment (other than one hiccup in October 2006 when it seems I probably had a very early miscarriage). It took several months for us to get pregnant once we started trying, however, in January of 2007 I discovered I was pregnant. Rather than being thrilled I felt shocked and scared. It was such a scary (and long) few weeks until I was around 5 1/2 weeks and they could detect a heart beat. I will never forget that moment – Marty and I both burst into tears – shear relief! Then of course there was the worry in the first 12 weeks of miscarrying. However, having got through that stage my confidence slowly grew. In September 2007 I gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Benjamin. Amazingly, when Ben was just 6 months old I got pregnant again and in December 2008, just before Christmas, I gave birth to a baby girl, Annabel. We are so thrilled with our two gorgeous children and feel so very lucky at last.

I wanted to share my story to give others hope that despite everything and all you go through it can turn out alright.


Emily’s Story

It is now nearly a year since I finished my 3 month course of Methotrexate, which started at Charing Cross Hospital on 1st November 2007, so I thought I would send a brief note of my ‘story’ for you to put on your support website for others who have been diagnosed with a molar pregnancy.

In July 2007, I discovered that I was pregnant. Although this had not been planned, my partner and I were delighted. We were both very keen to become parents but at only 27 years old, and at the start of my career, I was a little worried. This was made worse by the dull stomach ache that I experienced for a few days after discovering I was pregnant. I made an appointment to see my GP a few days later, by which time the stomach ache had become so bad it was preventing me from sleeping. She suggested that I had an ultra-sound to check that all was ok. I was due to go on holiday a few days later, and so paid to go to a private clinic to ensure that I was scanned as soon as possible. The scan confirmed my worst fear- I had miscarried. The most unhelpful and unsympathetic Doctor you could imagine told me that I was still young and not to worry about it and to go and enjoy my holiday.

During my week-long holiday, I could barely eat as I felt nauseous constantly. I had some very slight bleeding but other than this, experienced none of the obvious signs of a miscarriage. However, seven weeks later, still suffering from severe nausea and lack of appetite, as well as uncontrollable mood swings and flu-like symptoms, I returned to see my GP. She immediately referred me to the local gynaecology unit where, after several blood tests and scans, I was told that I appeared to have had a molar pregnancy and that I would need to have a minor operation (a D & C) to remove the tissue. I was told that the condition was quite rare and that a biopsy would be sent for testing at the nearest specialist unit, Charing Cross, to check that there was nothing more sinister to worry about!

After a few days I was well enough to return to work and although I felt emotionally drained, physically I felt much better. My appetite started to pick up and gradually the nausea lessened. Then, 2 months later, I started to feel odd- something wasn’t quite right. Sure enough, two days later, I received a call from Delia Short at Charing Cross who confirmed that my HCG levels had started to rise again. She had provisionally arranged for me to be admitted to Charing Cross Hospital 6 days later. A further blood test revealed that my HCG levels were still rising and on 1st November 2007, I was admitted to Charing Cross for a course of Methotrexate (Chemotherapy).

The staff at Charing Cross were all brilliant but Dr. Savage was fabulous. He took time explaining the condition and answered all of my questions without making me feel like I was worrying unnecessarily. His team of staff were also really good, doing all they could to reassure me. Without the care and dedication of the team, the experience would have been much worse. In fact, the treatment itself was nowhere near as bad as I had imagined and although I felt tired, I was fortunate not to have suffered from some of the common side effects of the treatment. The worst thing for me was being stuck on ward for Cancer Patients, all at least three generations older than me! I felt like a fraud and seeing people around me all the time who were very unwell did not really do much to boost my mood! However, I managed to get through the week and returned home to continue with my treatment.

For the first few months, my life revolved around having blood tests, sending urine samples and having chemotherapy injections which was a bit tedious but well worth it. The treatment worked and 11 months later, I am still well. My partner and I are going to try again for a baby as soon as possible and are both feeling really positive that this time, everything will be fine! Wish us luck!!!!


Helen’s Story

As I sit and type this I am in the extremely lucky position to be 6 months pregnant. I am not saying this for any other reason other than to inspire hope and belief that there is light at the end of the tunnel, and things, no matter how bleak they look, can get better – I’m proof of that. I am writing my story for two reasons, the first so that other women and their partners and family’s can gain knowledge and hope; secondly so that I can face my demons.

My story begins in June 2006 when I found out I was pregnant. This was to be our second child; our first was 15 months old at the time. It was a joyous time. My first pregnancy had been so straightforward, without any scares and resulted in the natural birth of our beautiful daughter, for which I couldn’t be more thankful.

However, 8 weeks into the pregnancy and I started to bleed. At the scan they told me the pregnancy was ‘going nowhere’ and I should go home and wait for nature to take its course (to have a miscarriage). This happened a couple of days later and was pretty awful.

A few days later, I took myself to see my GP as I was still feeling very pregnant, my sense of smell was extremely heightened and I was nauseous added to which and most disturbing was that I had started passing large, heavy, bloody clots, the like of which I had never experienced before. The Dr felt my abdomen and her immediate fears were that I had either an ectopic pregnancy or a molar pregnancy – this was the first time I had heard of that latter. I was sent to my local hospital immediately and booked in for a D&C. It was explained to me that they were going to check for a Molar Pregnancy. I had to ask what this meant and I was told that I needn’t worry, it was very rare and if it was positive, I would have to participate in lots of tests with Charing Cross Hospital in London.

They were happy with the procedure and I went home after just 24 hours. I went back to see my consultant who told me that the D&C had come back negative for Molar Pregnancy – to which he appeared very relieved (and I still had no idea why, as I had no real idea what it was!) And I went home, ready to start living my life again, putting all this behind me.

I was in London a few days later (it is August 2006 now) and my sister’s birthday. I went shopping with my husband, and haemorrhaged. We rushed to Kings College Hospital A&E where after examination, I was sent home, having been told that I was probably just having a heavy period as can be the case after a miscarriage.

We took the 2-hour train ride home, got our daughter into bed and once again, there seemed to be no stopping the heavy blood flow. I left my husband with our daughter and got a cab to our local A&E where I was admitted to a gyne ward.

It was here that my journey took its most frightening course. The bleeding had got so heavy that I was losing consciousness. By the time my husband arrived, I was attached to all sorts of tubes and masks and they were about to take me down to theatre for another emergency D&C.

I was in theatre for some time; the problem was that they couldn’t stop the bleeding. The reason for this, they finally discovered was that I had tumour inside my vagina that was bleeding profusely, but which was covered up every time a speculum was used to examine me.

They removed the tumour and sent me back up to the ward to recover. By this point I had lost half my body’s blood and was extremely weak and confused. Over then next 24 hours I was given blood transfusions and was unable to get out of bed.

The consultant came to see me the following day whilst my mother was with me. They were having problems getting the last bag of blood in to my veins and everything was rather uncomfortable.

The next few minutes I remember so clearly and think I always will. The consultant sat on the end of my bed, Mummy held my hand (we had no idea what he was going to say). He told us that the test done on the tumour found seemed to indicate choriocarcinoma. That was when my world stopped for a moment. I didn’t know what this meant, but I knew I had just been told that I had some form of cancer. He reassure me that I was going to be ok, I would be transferred the next morning to Charing Cross Hospital, specialists in the treatment and management of this disease.

When he left, I held on to Mummy and just cried – ‘I don’t want to die, my life’s just begun…’ This was my most desperate moment, not just for me, but my family. I felt for my poor mother, sitting there, holding me, her baby in her arms. I thought of our daughter and how I would cope in the same situation. It was all too much to cope with. Then I had to start making the phone calls. My husband, my father, my sister, all of whom were deeply shocked and frightened, but all were amazing.

The following morning I was transferred by ambulance to London, where my journey took on another phase – one of hope…

It was frightening being transferred by ambulance to London, but once I was there, although in totally unfamiliar surroundings, the ‘Team’ were amazing!

I was in a ward with 8 beds, 4 on each side, facing each other. The other women in there were all suffering with some form of cancer. This was frightening, but as time went on, it became inspiring.

Within a short time of arriving, the Mole Team had gathered around my bed, pulled the curtains around me and were explaining what was going on. I remember the reassurance they offered, their optimism and assurance that they would cure me of this disease and that I would be able to go home to my family.

The treatment I received was Methotrexate, intra muscular injections (basically, a jab every other day in my bottom!) combined with taking a pill the following day. This continued on a week on – week off basis for 3 months. My progress had been good, my hCG was dropping well, but the treatment had its side effects, and I do believe that in most people, it is not the case. However, I developed one side effect, which was a kind of copycat pleurisy – very uncomfortable and debilitating. I also felt pretty lousy following the jab, but soon recovered and loved my weeks off!!

In November I was told I needed to move on to the higher dose chemo, Actinomycin D, which is given intravenously, alongside a saline drip. Although the side effects were not as severe, (I felt tired and not myself) it felt more like chemotherapy than the Methotrexate.

This treatment continued throughout Christmas, but we were all given the very best New Years present, when I called Charing Cross and was told that my hCG had reached normal (4 and below) in late December and I would have to just have 6 weeks more chemo before I was assessed and hopefully given the all clear.

This was another moment I will not forget: I had come out of the day centre at our local hospital, having had a dose of chemo and was walking across the park on my way home. I wasn’t making such frequent calls to the Mole office, as I knew they’d keep me updated if anything was going wrong. When I was told I was ‘normal’, it was an incredible feeling – mainly because I knew I could impart this news to my family and friends and really take away their worries and pain. My relief came later and was a more sedate affair.

I went to Charing Cross on 19th March 2007 where I was told that I was all clear, I would be monitored regularly, with test gradually moving further apart over the years, and told to go and enjoy my life! There was obviously more said in this consultation, but the important part I have shared with you and I have taken heed!

It has taken me a while to write this, and I am now about 4 weeks away from my due date, and am really excited about the birth of our baby. It’s taken quite some journey to get here and still I find myself occasionally thinking it feels like it happened to someone else. There were times during treatment that I seriously discussed with my husband the possibility that I would not take the risk of another pregnancy – well, time has healed these fears. I still worry, who wouldn’t?

Charing Cross will recommence monitoring me 6 weeks after the birth of our second child to make sure my hCG returns to normal after delivery (this is something I am trying not to think about now, as there is nothing I can do about it) and I also know that I am being monitored by the best team, without whom, well, I cannot bear to think…

It was not easy, and some of it was really unpleasant, but, and it is a BIG BUT, I’m here, and I’m happy, and the mind has such an amazing way of blocking out the horrid memories and keeping hold of the positive ones.

My family & friends were amazing – very strong and it is very hard for those around us, they have to look at their loved ones going though this. In many ways, your life is not your own for a while, it’s all about getting better, treatment regimes…

I was very careful about what I ate, LOTS of fresh fruit and veg, fresh fish (I don’t eat meat, wheat or dairy anyway) Good clean, simple food, and plenty of it! I was very tired and for once in my life, I learned to listen to my body and when I was tired, I rested. Your body is going through a lot, so you need to give it the chance to heal.

It is important to stay positive which is hard all of the time, we are human after all! Emotionally this is such a tough one to cope with. We all started out wanting to bring a new life into the world, never imagining something like this could happen. I guess one way to look at it is that we are special, I kind of special all of us could do without, but it happened, and it contributes to making us who we are today.


Lin’s Story

Having already had a very emotional miscarriage resulting in an ERPC on Christmas Eve 2007, I was overjoyed but apprehensive when I found out I was pregnant in June 2008. I called the local hospitals to ask if they would do an early re-assurance scan but as I’d only had one miscarriage, they said I was to wait until the 12 week scan. Aged 43, I knew my chances of another miscarriage were high but I felt sure (and still do) that I would have another baby.

In the end, my Husband, Mike, and I drove to Reading (3 hours away) for a private scan when I was around 10 weeks. Although my pregnancy symptoms were a lot stronger this time, I still felt concerned but tried to convince myself that I was bound to feel like that. However they could not detect a heartbeat, or any signs of a baby. An internal scan showed what they thought may be two empty egg sacks. They were very sympathetic and suggested I contact my local hospital who would be able to check their results.

After a scan at the Sussex County, it was confirmed that I had miscarried again and would need an ERPC.

I felt strangely positive following the ERPC. I cried for a while, but rationalised that I’d gotten over the last miscarriage and fallen pregnant again and that is what would happen this time.

I bled a lot for a few weeks and then it finally stopped. My partner and I decided to play squash one weekend, which was great, as I felt back to normal and even beat him (although not easily!).

I woke up the next morning around 3am thinking I’d wet myself. I got up and ran to the bathroom where large lumps fell out of me, about three of them the size of chicken breasts and a lot of blood followed. My first thought was that my insides must had fallen out (well, it was 3am!).

My very shocked husband phoned the hospital who asked me to come in. Although still bleeding heavily, most the blood had leaked out overnight and was on the mattress or the bathroom floor. Their conclusion was that the ERPC may not have removed everything and that the remnants had caused bleeding and that the large lumps were clots that had built up inside me until playing squash had dislodged them.

I went to the hospital the next day (Friday) for a scan, still thinking that the ERPC had not removed everything. When I got there, Fran (lovely lady at Sussex County) couldn’t find my notes. I had the scan, which showed ‘lumps’ still inside and I was booked in for another ERPC on the Monday.

I’d only just arrived home when Fran called me to say she’d found my notes. They were on the Gynaecologists desk as the results from the ERPC showed I’d had a Molar pregnancy. Fran asked if I could come back ASAP because they needed to take a blood sample but that I was not to worry and it would be best not to look up Molar Pregnancy on the internet (which of course I did!).

Luckily Mike was home by then and we drove to the hospital where Mr Kelly (gynaecologist) explained what a Molar pregnancy was and that they needed to test my blood to see what treatment, if any was required. Mike and I waited for the results and tried to take in all we’d learnt.

When we were called back in, I was told that my HCG level was 13,500 and it should be less than 4. There was some discussion between Mr Kelly and Delia (Advisory Service Manager / Co-ordinator) at Charing Cross to find out if I needed to go to hospital there and then but thankfully it was decided that I could stay home that weekend and go to Charing Cross Hospital (which I now know to be in Hammersmith, not Charing Cross) for some more tests on Monday. I was given Delia’s number and she was very helpful and explained where to go to once I arrived, what I needed to bring, as I may need to stay at the hospital for a week and other useful advice such as no heavy lifting, running or exercise classes.

On Monday 15th September 2008, I arrived at Charing Cross at 11am, where more blood was taken. Then I met Dr Savage (Consultant) and Linda Dayal (Clinical Nurse Specialist) who were both amazingly reassuring and knowledgeable. My hCG levels had risen to 15,600 over the weekend, so I would be starting a course of Methotrexate that day and would need to stay in the hospital for a week. I was sent for a scan and some X-rays to make sure that nothing had spread to other organs, something I hadn’t even considered, then given a bed, an injection and some dinner.

I indulged in some self pity, ‘why me’, ‘why, when we so wanted a baby did this have to happen’, ‘How come so many people that don’t want babies, or don’t live healthy lifestyles etc manage to get pregnant’…. I was even more upset because I knew it could take months for my treatment to end and that we’d then need to wait a year before we could try for a baby again. I was nearly 44 at the time and felt I was running out of time.

However there was little time to feel sorry for myself. Being on a Cancer ward is a humbling experience and seeing other people cope with major cancer and some of the much stronger treatments, soon made me realise how lucky I was, because I knew I was going to be getting better. I met some fabulously brave ladies while I was in there. During the week it seemed that everyone connected with the hospital wanted some of my blood. They’d arrive with a smile and then produce the kit! I’m very blasé about blood tests now!

My treatment consisted of a Methotrexate injection, followed the next day by a folinic acid tablet (very important!). It worked in 2 week cycles with 4 lots of injections and tablets one week then a week off, with blood tests both weeks. The treatment shrinks the mole, which in turn pulls away from the blood supply (your womb) and causes you to bleed quite heavily, this is why they like you to stay in hospital and not move around too much to begin with. Not easy for someone that is used to being on the go all the time. After a few days I was allowed to pop out locally, although that did increase the bleeding. I was also allowed to pop to the coffee shop downstairs towards the end of my week and my friends snuck my to the Italian restaurant across the road (sorry!) to get a cappuccino and ice cream.

When I came out of hospital with my ‘kit’ and details of what had to happen when, I thought I’d never get to grips with it, however it became very ‘normal’, very quickly, much helped by Karina and Sabrina who are Advisors at the Charing Cross Hospital and answered all my questions. I was helped so much by my employers as I have a private health insurance through them which meant the nurses were able to visit me at home, then at work and once at Centre Parcs, to administer the injections and take the blood tests and also because they were completely understanding.

I had a textbook recovery. My levels fell dramatically at first then seemed to drop annoyingly slowly towards the end, every week I’d call the Advisory Service and Karina or Sabrina would give me the latest hCG reading from my last blood test. By the end of January my levels had fallen and stabilised for long enough to no longer need the injections and tablets and on Friday the 13th March 2009, I was signed off by Dr Savage with his best wishes for the future and a request that I would write up my story for this site.

The blood tests continued until July, then after that and now (although with decreasing frequency over the years), I’ll just do the urine tests.

I cannot thank Dr Savage, Linda Dayall, Delia, Karina, Sabrina, the fabulous nurses and staff at Charing Cross, Fran and Mr Kelly enough. Their support, knowledge and humour helped me to cope with what was initially a very sad and scary experience.

It has taken me a long time to write this, mostly because I just didn’t think anyone would really want to read it but then I found myself looking up other people’s stories and Dr Savage’s request was nagging at me.

Another reason for the delay is that I’d really wanted to write a ‘and now I’m pregnant!’ story but as of yet (with age being a major factor now) I have not had a successful pregnancy. I still have complete faith that I will though and I’ll add that news to this testimonial when it happens.

Good luck to anyone reading this. I’m sure you’ll be reading it because you’re in a similar position. Be strong, keep your faith and know that you are in good hands with the Charing Cross team.

Lin x