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My Story: Cervical Cancer- jenny1119's Story

From the GYN Cancer Articles List

My Story about Cervical CancerLate 1997, I have an abnormal pap. The doctor I went to was going to freeze the abnormal cells off my cervix, but then saw that the pathology report showed severe dysplasia, so he decided a cone biopsy was in order.

He explained that if he froze the cells, they couldn't be sure it was all gone, and any remaining cells would be covered up with scar tissue from the freezing. This would be dangerous, because the doctors would not be able to see any cells left behind and they would be able to multiply undetected.

So I went in the hospital the following week for a cone biopsy. They put me under and took a good size chunk of my cervix out. They did not have clear margins, which means there could be remaining cells. Let me explain that the doctor I was going to had several doctors in the practice. I saw two of them. One told me that I did not have cancer, but that he suggested a hysterectomy because of the unclear margins.

He went so far as to schedule a hysterectomy without my OK, and told me "you can just cancel the appointment if you decide not to go through with it." VERY unprofessional, in my opinion. After that visit I went back a few days later because of excessive bleeding from the cone.

I saw another doctor, and he told me that I definitely DID have cancer. I was beside myself, and fed up with these doctors, so I went to a Women's Cancer Center with a great reputation.

They took the conservative approach because I was trying to avoid a hysterecomy. I went every 3 months for cervical biopsies. OUCH! They told me it shouldn't hurt, but it did. I dreaded those visits. I was all clear for a year and a half, and decided to go to a doctor closer to my house, since I figured I was out of the woods.

Wouldn't you know my very first pap was abnormal! I freaked and ran back to the cancer center. They did a colposcopy to look at my cervix, and said all looked fine, they didn't even do a biopsy.

I was soooo relieved. We re-did the pap 3 months later and again it was abnormal, so I let my regular Gyn do the colposcopy, and he did a biopsy too. The biopsy showed minor dysplasia. But they didn't get a good sample of the area inside my cervical canal, and he was worried about that.

He sent me to a Gyn-Onc and this guy did a GOOD scraping of my canal. It showed carcinoma in situ!

I was floored!

If I had waited much longer it could have become invasive! So I opted, finally, for the hysterectomy. WOW!

Surgery Day
Sept 18, 2000

I arrived at the hospital at 11am for a 1pm surgery. I was SO nervous. I still wasn't sure if I was doing the right thing! Plus I kept hearing about how your sex life changes without a cervix and uterus.

They took me to a room and gave me a lovely dress that shows the world my behind. I also put on some warm socks that they supplied and the nurse installed the IV. She also put the leg pads on that inflate to keep you from getting clots. That was actually comforting. Then they wheeled me down to the operating room, and I said goodbye to my husband--was I ever sad.

The anesthesiologist gave me happy medicine, and I suddenly wasn't sad anymore. They wheeled me in the operating area, and the last thing I remember was the nurse putting my arms on the boards straight out like a crucifix and I told her I felt like I was going to be nailed to the cross; she giggled. I woke up and was in a LOT of pain. I couldn't breathe well either. They kept asking how my pain was and injecting more morphine into my IV, but it took a LONG time for them to get my pain under control. I don't think this is the norm, because most women here say they wake up with little or no pain.

After about 2 hours, I was comfortable and they wheeled me into my room. I was VERY groggy from the morphine, and I slept a lot. The next morning I told them to take me off the morphine pump because it was making me feel ill. They said I couldn't have Percocet until I ate something, and left the morphine pump on in case I needed it.

I refused to use it, and I couldn't eat, so I went the whole day without pain meds, and you know what? I was OK! A little uncomfortable, but nothing more. Then that night, a nurse came in and asked if I wanted Tylenol. I said sure, she came back, and I took it. About 5 minutes later she said I should be able to sleep a little better now that I had taken percocet. I said, "WHAT???? You said Tylenol!! I didn't want percocet until I was able to eat."

I was SO mad. She apologized up and down and said if I got nauseated she would give me something to stop it. But I was fine; I didn't get sick. The next day, I decided I was going home. I told the nurse to put it in my chart that I want to go home and tell the doctor the same. I was a little uppity! I did not yet have a bowel movement (BM), and I kept telling the nurse that I didn't eat anything--how was I supposed to have a BM?!

But the doctor came in and said I could go even though the nurses weren't happy about it. I was sick of them at that time and didn't really care what they thought. The ride home was fine—didn't hurt much. I was SO happy to be home. And my appetite came back!

I had some constipation, but that eventually went away too. I am now 3 weeks post-op and feeling great!

10-10-2000 - 02:20 PM


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