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Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY! Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY!

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Unread 11-17-2003, 12:42 AM
Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY!

Wow Rhonda and Jane! I look up to you ladies. These are the survival stories I love reading about. I know it's not going to be an easy road to recovery.

I think the thought of radiation and or chemo is really scary for me. I normally work 10 hours a day then come home to a hectic house where me and my husband are raising our 7 yo and 18 month old. I know this has already put a different outlook on my life, and I've only just begun.
I'm in the Air Force, and all of my supervisors/commanders are being SO supportive. I'm very fortunate. I really feel for those that have bad/no insurance. That's one thing that I don't have to stress about, fortunately. I am being treated in a civilian hospital though.

Jane, how long did you have to go through radiation and chemo? How long did it affect you, and when were you feeling better from the effects?
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Unread 11-17-2003, 12:45 AM
Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY!

OH, and as far as what type of cervical cancer I have? I really don't know. I know that sounds horrible, but I'm still in the learning phases of what all this means. The only thing that I know is that I was told I had stage 1BII cervical cancer, though my GYN made it sound like it could be a 2A. The only reason I think that is because the measurements (not sure if it's called the lesion or what) was 5mm. From what I understand, that's borderline 2A. Please fill me in on what that means. That would be a question I would love to pose to my ONC GYN if I don't know the answer.

Thank you again!
Unread 11-17-2003, 01:19 AM

Hi again. I am guessing that your doctor isn't certain if the cancer is completely contained in the cervix? Is that right? A stage 1B2 means that the cancer, the tumor, is contained in the cervix but is large, over 4cm. A 2A means that it has spread beyond the cervix . This site explains the different stages of cerival cancer:

My tumor was 1B2, squamous cell, the most common kind of cervical cancer. I had never had a negative pap and two thin prep paps in 2002, both were fine.I had NO risk factors and have been with only one man for 25 years. Go figure. My gyn was as shocked as I was!

I had chemo (cisplatin) every week for 6 weeks. At the same time I had radiation, everyday for 5 weeks. Then I had 3 days of internal radiation in the hospital. I finished everything on July 3rd. I went on vacation August 1st, and had a great time but I did relax a lot too.

I didn't realize until Mid August that my old energy level was back. The loss of energy was so gradual that I hadn't noticed it much. The return was the same way.

Most women do work through this treatment although I can't imagine working 10 hour days AND taking care of 2 little kids. You may have to cut back on some of that work for a few weeks!

The whole thing is doable, not great, but doable. I never got sick, thanks to all the good drugs, especially Zofran. But I did take a couple (and I mean 2) naps during those 6 weeks. I am lucky in that I am older, my kids are teens, and I don't work. My dh and friends were great. I went out to dinner, often! Lunches too! I did everything I always did, meetings, chores, etc.

I am sure this all seems unreal and overwhelming. When you see the gyn/onc you will know a lot more. My gyn/onc told me everything, at the first appointment. Prior to that time, everyone thought I had a fibroid, but he knew right away what it was and he outlined the whole treatment plan. He did a biopsy and that confirmed everything he had said. When you see your onc, he'll be able to tell you if you will have a hysterectomy or if you will have the treatment plan that I had. I would have preferred the hysterectomy because I just wanted it OUT, but the size and location prevented that. But either my treatment, or surgery, seems to be the standard for our stage of cervical cancer.

Whichever treatment you have, you'll get through it and be fine in a just a couple of months.

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Unread 11-17-2003, 01:28 AM

One last reply. I'm on the east coast and it is very, very, late, but I am concerned about you because I know JUST how you feel because I was right where you are, back in April. I tried to send you an email but wasn't able to do that. So I guess I'll just have to wait for you to send me one!

Since I know what's like, and how overwhelming this all is, I'd like to help you if I can. It's my 'social worker' personality!
Unread 11-17-2003, 01:41 AM
Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY!

AAAWWWW, thank you.

I just sent you an email. I know you're 3 hours ahead of me and are probably exhausted. I will write you back tomorrow hon!!

Thank you ladies ONCE AGAIN for all the support!
Unread 11-17-2003, 08:56 AM
Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY!


Well, I am only 26 and was diagnosed at the beginning of this year - 1b like you. I know that you are overwhelmed and scared. I guess the first thing that went through my head when I was diagnosed was - "I am going to die". That is TOTALLY not true. The biggest thing I learned was that many, many people get cancer, get treated, and get on with their lives. This too shall pass.

I am sure that you have read about the different types of cervical cancer - squamous and adneocarcinoma. Your first step is to find out what type you have. Let us know when you talk to your doctor. I had the adneo kind but a rare form of it. It's called villoglandular and occurs more in YOUNG women like us. It has an excellent prognosis. I got this explaination after my surgery because that is when they take a close look at the cancer.

A majority (like 90+%) of women Cervical Cancer have HPV. It is a virus. We just have a particular strand of it that can cause cancer. Believe it or not, this made me feel better. I wanted a cause for the cancer, there it was.

I was treated with a hysterectomy only. No ovaries removed. My recovery was fine. I have never had any type of surgery so the best way to describe it to you was like I had the flu. I had no pain at all, just felt a little weak. My doc told me that he would tell me if I needed radiation after the surgery. I did not need it.

Please feel free to ask me any questions at all.
Unread 11-17-2003, 12:20 PM

Liz, welcome to Cancer Concerns. We're very lucky to have this site and the wonderful women who come with it.
I know very little about cervical cancer but wanting to wish you well, and of course, you can get through this.
I'm 36 and was diagnosed at age 35 with ovarian. Who would have thought about a hysterectomy? Life does throw alot of curve balls and we have to make the best. I was trying to get pregnant when surprise-ovarian cancer. I have a four year old. I too, was diagnosed early.
Best wishes, and welcome. Good for you and your researching. It's the best way to make informed decisions for yourself.
Unread 11-17-2003, 12:49 PM
Liz, email

I didn't get your email. I don't know what happened. Try again or let me know where to write to you.

As another poster said, this too shall pass, but you got to get through this rough period, and you will.

Unread 11-17-2003, 05:11 PM
Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY!

My journey with cervical cancer began 2 years and 1 day ago when I was 35. I wanted more children and was devastated that I could not have more and scared that I would not be around for the ones that I have. They were 3 and 6 at the time.

I had stage 1a and had a total hysterectomy. I did not need further treatment and am happy to say that I am fine. I know that stage 1B requires a radical and sometimes radiation.

From my experience I have some advice. Always use a gyn oncologist and always get a second opinion. I would also have your pathology read at Johns Hopkins. Based on my initial pathology which reported clear margins, I would not have had a hysterectomy and would have caught the cancer later. My doctor recommende that I send the pathology to Johns Hopkins which showed that the margins were not clear. JH was correct.

Good luck! Welcome to hystersisters!
Unread 11-18-2003, 05:30 PM
Newbie Here-Just diagnosed TODAY!

Welcome to our little computer assisted family. I had the TAH BSO which means they took my uterus, tubes, ovaries, cervix out and 18 pelvic lymph nodes. I had endometrial cancer stage 1a. quite a shock since I did not have any of the risk factors on the list. I was 50 when they found it. I am 4 months post op and doing pretty well except for a very tight muscle inside one thigh and some tight areas in my right pelvis but I am going to physical therapy and working through those areas.

I did what you did when I found out I had cancer. I read for hours each day, including almost everything on this site. I found the American Cancer Society homepage and the Women's Cancer Network site to be the most helpful.

I still have some cancer-head which I understand to mean getting caught in the overwhelmed by all that happened to me this year with this cancer. I am thinking that one reason that I am still processing the emotional side of the surgery is because I immersed myself so much in my research that I did not allow myself time to feel and cope with my emotions--especially the sadness and grief about it. I would encourage you to take some time to feel the feelings that go along with having cancer.

My doc thinks that I may be surgically cured, but I know from the books that I have a 75-100% chance of being alive in 5 years. I hope we are all in the 100%.

I am interested in what herbs you are thinking about taking because I was taking Black Cohosh for menopausal symptoms before the surgery and at my last check-up my doc said it is still and estrogen, just a plant estrogen and if it were her she would not take it if I can bear the hotflashes. I am taking an anti-depressent instead for the mood problems and just wearing layers for the hotflash times that I can whip off in a flash.

Good luck, Alana

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