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Used the "C" word... Used the "C" word...

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Unread 06-09-2003, 09:27 PM
Used the "C" word...

Hi, Ladies...
Had my pre-op appt today. Went very very well (found out no bowel prep for me... thank goodness!)
Anyway, my dr told me about my diagnosis 4 weeks ago when the LEEP results came back, but was talking "precancer" vs "cancer". Today his comments surrounded "getting the cancer out". Yikes. I know that ACIS can be viewed either way, but to hear him say it was scary... He said there was a small chance that it could've spread and we may need to look into radiation after the path is done... Did anyone come out of their surgeries with a more severe diagnosis than what was thought going in?

Thanks for letting me vent a bit. I just redid my nails, so I better find something to do other than bite them... I don't know... click my pen over and over? LOL.

Take care all.
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Unread 06-09-2003, 09:47 PM


I had DCIS / ductal carcinoma in situ (a breast cancer). I knew what it was prior to lumpectomy. Though I didn't need chemo, I did get full course of 33 radiation treatments. Needed to be sure that all cancer cells were blasted.

If your doctor is recommending radiation, it may be just a safeguard. Your diagnosis could be no worse than before surgery, but just to be sure every last single cell is gone -- radiation.

Good luck.

Mary D.
Unread 06-09-2003, 09:47 PM
Used the "C" word...

Hi, Beth and thanks for your post.

In my case, everything happened so quickly. I went to my Dr. on 4/4 and was in the OR on 4/17. A number of tests were done but I didn't "present like the typical cancer." So, I knew going into surgery that there was a possibility that they would find something cancerous. Of course, both my gyn and gyn/onc stressed that they wouldn't know for sure until they did the surgery. It sounds like your doctor is being very responsible in giving you the whole spectrum of possibilities. It is very scary to be on the receiving end of that discussion. Just know that we're all here for you no matter what.
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Unread 06-09-2003, 10:51 PM
Used the "C" word...

Maureenie put it very well: It does sound like your doctor is discussing the full realm of possibilities. I diagnosed myself and was already fairly sure of what I had before I met with the gynecological oncologist. I asked him point blank if they suspected Stage 3C ovarian cancer, and he said yes. I had ascites, which made figuring all this out easier.

No doctor can be totally sure of what they'll find until they do surgery. You're very young (and I thought I was young at 37) so I hope that it's something that's easily treated and non-invasive. We'll be holding good thoughts for you!

Clicking a pen is great fun. I also enjoy playing with forks at restaurants -- kind of tapping on the prong side of the fork so it bounces up and down. People don't seem to understand the joy of this little habit, though.

You are very lucky that you don't have to go through bowel prep. I hope everything goes well with your surgery. :-)
Unread 06-10-2003, 09:06 AM
Used the "C" word...

Keep us updated, Beth, you'll be in our thoughts. It is good that you have a doctor who is very honest with you and wants to let you know all of the possibilties and not try to sugar coat everything. Youth is definately on your side and hopefully this will not be a big concern.
Yeah to no bowel prep. I actually thought that was worse that my tah. Yuch.
Unread 06-10-2003, 09:28 AM
That "C" word is scary

I went in thinking that I had OVCA come out of surgery no cancer. Get home on sunday and monday morning doc calls and says that there is cancer just not in ovaries I had cervical adenocarcinoma.

I am sure that your doctor just wanted to make sure that all the bases were covered, so to speak.

I will be praying for you that everything will go well and that you will have a speedy recovery.

Take care and God Bless
Unread 06-10-2003, 10:36 AM
Used the "C" word...

Hi Beth,

I wanted to respond to your post with my personal experience.

First of all, it's great your doctor is being careful about everything and is communicating with you regarding possible outcomes. My first gynelogical oncologist was not good at communicating the details of my cancer and thus I spent an entire three weeks depressed and miserable about my condition (until I learned more about the cancer from another doctor...I didn't know the first physician was privy to the information I needed).

Secondly, prior to surgery, I was diagnosed with stage adenocarcinoma IB1, grade 1 with no suspected vascualar invasion. However, the final pathology staged my cancer at grade 2 with vascular invasion (clear lymph nodes). Because of this, I'm now going through radiation and chemo.

It's dissapointing to go through all of these treatments, but I'd rather get this out of the way the first time. Additionally, my survival rate is 90 plus percent with the combined treatments opposed to 70 percent with surgery alone. So for me, it's a no brainer despite the menopause brought on by radiation.

Also, I believe that the cancer isn't ever "restaged" after surgery. However, the other variables can change (i.e., lymph nodes, vascular invasion, grade, etc.).

Either way, you're lucky to have found this cancer at an early stage. I definitely feel for you, as I'm also relatively young (30 years, unmarried, no children). All things considered, I think myself as lucky, and I'm sure you're going to do just fine while dealing with this.

I know it's very scary, but you'll get through it. If I can do it (and I'm a very, very big wimp) anyone can get through this.

Take Care,
Unread 06-10-2003, 10:37 AM
Sounds like a Good Thorough Dr.

As the others say, he's covering all bases. I went into my surgery knowing I had an "elevated" CA125 and complex cysts so I knew there was a possibility but the gyn surgeon said he didn't think too high a risk as I wasn't over 60. Then staged 3C. I have a healthy skepticism about doctors now and question, question, question everything.

Good luck! May there be no spread and no further treatment needed! Ellen
Unread 06-10-2003, 11:31 AM
Used the "C" word...

Hi Beth,

My dr always used the term "pre-cancer". When I saw him at a post-op visit and my path report noted "CIS" he told me that I was lucky because even though it was still a "pre-cancer" it was right on the line. He retired recently and squeezed me in for a last visit. He gave me a list of dr's but told me I should see the one that was a gyn/onc because the onc had agreed to take on all his "cancer" patients. .....first time he ever referred to my dx as a cancer. Of course the chance was there that they could have found something invasive when they went in. My dr just chose not to bring that up prior to my surgery.

I always recommend that the ladies see a Gyn/Oncologist when there is a cancer/pre-cancer dx. Is your dr one?

Unread 06-10-2003, 11:49 AM
Used the "C" word...

Hi Beth..

My experience was also similiar to Maureens. My surgeon told me that they really could not be 100% sure until the surgery. He said that many times he may think something is not cancerous and it is and other times he may think that it is not and it is . Soo... in order to be sure and safe, he waits.
However, i kinda knew deep down that it was going to be cancerous and that was the first question I asked when I woke up. Actually, looking at my husbands face, I knew.

But on the bright side, the chemo and all is doable and we are all here to tell about it.

At a Cancer Survivor Party that I went to last weekend, they stressed that we are all survivors from the minute we are diagnosed.

Be well..

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