Scots mum who thought she had 'baby blues' told she has terminal cervical cancer

Carrie Henderson
Carrie Henderson -Credit:Carrie Henderson / SWNS

A mum who thought she was tired because of "baby blues" was devastated to discover she actually had terminal cervical cancer.

Carrie Henderson, 40, noticed that something was wrong when she was "more tired" than usual after the birth of her fifth baby.

And when she began having what she thought were very heavy periods, she put it down to her contraceptive implant 'running out'. Tests later revealed she actually has cervical cancer which has now been declared terminal.

The mum-of-five from Glasgow is now doing all she can to live long enough to see her children through school. She wrongly believed after giving birth to her last child, now three, she'd had a smear test - and is pushing all women to check they are up to date.

Carrie said: "I was more tired than usual. I thought it might just be the baby blues but we went on a caravan holiday and I realised I was struggling to walk.

"It was like shooting pains from my groin down my leg and my legs were feeling very heavy. I went back and forth to the doctor at least 10 times with urine infections and ear infections.

Carrie Henderson pictured throughout her cancer diagnosis
Carrie Henderson pictured throughout her cancer diagnosis -Credit:Carrie Henderson / SWNS

"Then the bleeding started. I had no energy and was barely leaving my bed. I've been told that I have high levels of HPV cells, which turn into cancer. I want to tell people to go for smear tests."

She added if she was speaking to her younger self she would say: "I would tell myself to go to the doctor and ask if my smear tests are up to date to check that everything is ok."

Carrie noticed something was wrong when she was "more tired" than usual after the birth of her last child in 2021.

"I went to the bathroom and realised there was loads of blood in the toilet," she added.

"I thought my implant was running out so I might be starting a period again as that stopped me having my cycle when that was put in. I went to see my doctor and she thought it might be the implant. I was constantly bleeding - but it wasn't like period bleeding."

Carrie, whose eldest child is 24, said she couldn't work out what was wrong as she believed she had been given a smear test after the birth of her son.

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"I went back to the doctor and she told me that there was no record of any smear test being done, so it ended up that I didn't have a smear test. It would have been normal to have an STI check so the doctor thought I had mixed that up with the smear test."

After an emergency biopsy, Carrie was diagnosed with Stage 3 cervical cancer on 19 October 2022 and went into remission on May 2 2023.

In October 2023, she was told that her cancer was terminal and doctors were treating her to prolong her life.

"I was devastated," she said.

"I was thinking if I'd had that smear test would things be different for me and my family. I just felt like I was shutting down, and like I wouldn't accept it. I don't think I ever will accept my diagnosis."

Carrie said she's raising awareness about the importance of smear tests for girls, and has 4,000 followers on TikTok.

"I'm putting this out there for my children," she said.

Carrie Henderson
Carrie Henderson -Credit:Carrie Henderson / SWNS

"I'm doing this for them and everybody out there. My aim is to make as many memories with my children as possible."

She said that her cancer diagnosis has given her a fresh perspective on life and added: "I don't sweat the small things anymore. I'm just so grateful for every day that I wake up with my children."

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