Mum-of-five was bleeding ‘black blood like tar’ before she was handed a devastating diagnosis

By Staff 8 Min Read

Carrie Henderson has vowed to fight ‘with every breath in my lungs’ after symptoms she initially thought were post-natal depression led to her being diagnosed with cervical cancer

A mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer after bleeding “black blood like tar” in a set of health issues she originally thought was post-natal depression.

Carrie Henderson noticed a disturbing set of symptoms and was seeing her doctor over ear infections. Alarm bells started ringing however when her ailments spread to tiredness and an excruciating pain in her pelvis area. Having recently given birth to her youngest, the mum-of-five’s fatigue and low mood left her initially wondering whether she was suffering from post-natal depression. But after spotting the thick, black-coloured blood, she decided to flag it.

Carrie, 40, from Alexandria, West Dunbartonshire, said: “I wasn’t well and didn’t understand what was going on. I was at the doctors all the time. The bleeding wasn’t normal, it was very thick and clots were coming away. I bled really heavily and it was very traumatic.”

“I knew something wasn’t right so I went to my GP. She asked me when I had my last smear test.” She added: “Before I had my son in 2021, I had a miscarriage and thought that they did my smear test so I said I did, but they had no record of it. She said she was going to do one and on inspection, she told me that there were changes to my cervix.”

Carrie, whose pain was “unbearable”, was admitted to hospital for a biopsy where she was told that she had stage three cervical cancer on September 19, in 2022, Glasgow Live reports. She was 38 years old at the time and thought she was “going to die”. She added: “I remember feeling so numb. I looked at my mum and thought this can’t be real. I remember my mum breaking down.

“It was so surreal when they told me and the first thing I thought about was my children.” Doctors started her on chemotherapy, radiation and brachytherapy treatment and she was given the all-clear last May. Tragically, her three month scan results showed that the cancer had returned and metastasized into her left lymph node.

Carrie was given 12 to 18 months to live and is being cared for by her partner Kevin Kelly and children aged 24, 22, 21, 10 and three. She said: “I became terminal and was told there’s no cure. They told me I had 12 to 18 months to live, this was eight months ago. I’m absolutely devastated for my kids, my parents and the entire family. I am gutted as it has changed my life so much. I have to rely on my partner who is my carer, my kids are my carers. I can’t lift my three-year-old son up and hug him.”

“I’m so weak and it’s impacted my family so much. Life will never be the same again, ever. The last lot of treatment has caused lymphoedema caused by radiation. If I fall or bump my leg, it swells up like a balloon and bruises badly. I have long term side effects from treatment last year. It’s been nine weeks since I’ve had no treatment and I’m still really tired.” A recent scan has showed Carrie’s condition is currently “stable”, and the mum has vowed to fight as hard as she can for her children.

She is now urging to get their smear tests done which could potentially be life-saving. “I need to keep fighting for my kids,” she said. “I share my story on TikTok and am meeting other ladies going through the same story. Don’t take any chances, if you have any doubt go get it checked. Always go for every single smear because it will save lives. This is preventable and nobody needs to be sat in my situation if they go for smears. They are so important and I want people to be aware of the HPV virus as well and go get that checked.

“I want to thank every single person that has supported myself and my family including the community in Alexandria and the whole of Priesthill and Pollok – my childhood home where I was born and raised. Most of my friends and family are still there and I know they are all behind me too and I want them all to know I will not give up. I’ll keep fighting for as long as there’s breath in my lungs.”

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