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CT Results/Decisions to Make CT Results/Decisions to Make

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Unread 05-12-2004, 08:36 AM
CT Results/Decisions to Make

Ah Sisters....I come to you this morning full of questions.

A brief recap: Stage IIIC, Grade 3 tiny tumor found in uterus Oct 2003. No wall involvement. Contained. One pelvic lymph node out of 10 showed cancer cells.
Had radical hysterectomy. 28 whole abdominal radiation treatments Nov through Jan. 5.
I have now completed four chemos of adriamycin and cisplatin,full doseages.

I underwent my first CT scan last Thursday. It shows thickening of bowel wall in various places. It is my understanding this could be cancer, or it is very common for previously radiated bowels to appear this way?

It also showed small amount of fluid in pelvic abdomen area. This could be cancer (ascites)? or can be caused by other things? What other things?

I do have a daily problem with swelling right over and above my pubic bone. It happens after I've been on my feet for awhile. Could this be the fluid?

I know, i know...ask my doctor...and I will. But it's going to be days before that happens. Just wondered if anyone else has had these things show up.

Now. Original plan was for six chemos. Doctor is deciding now whether or not to quit. My last chemo, #4, just about killed me. Honestly. I had two days there that I could actually feel myself leaving. And I am just now beginning to build up somewhat, two weeks later. Weight has plummeted, again...was 94 now 98.

I am really afraid of chemo #5. I don't know if I will survive it. Anyone ever have that little voice inside, or feeling?

The neuropathy is in full force in my feet. They say that is the sign of toxicity concerning these two drugs. What does that mean? I do know that if I get another dose, and it gets worse...I will be looking at wheelchairs.

The original plan of my treatment was to include chemo as a "precautionary treatment against possible recurrence in the future".
Where do you draw the line as to what a precautionary treatment can do to you?

As you can see, I have alot of decisions to make over the next few days.

Any input would really be appreciated

Thinking of you all always,
Nancy J.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 09:11 AM
CT Results/Decisions to Make

Hi Nancy,

I am truly sorry you are having such a hard time. I am no Doc or any kind of expert. But I do think there are other explanations than cancer for some of your CT findings.

About the bowel, (ok not a Doc here) I do think there can be long-term inflamation after radiation. I know I have had all kinds of long-term problems since radiation due to inflamation. I think it could also be scar tissue. So, I would not worry until the Doc does a biopsy or something.

About the fluid, I have a seroma just above and to the right of my pubic bone. It is a fluid-filled pouch from the surgery. They took lymph nodes out of my right groin. I also have lymphedema which is fluid in my groin and abdomen. Again, (still not a Doc) I think there are other explanations. So try (I know it is hard) not to worry too much until you see your Doc.

Since I did not have chemo, I am clueless on that subject. What does your Doc say? Do you trust him?

I know at one point during radiation, I was so sick I did not think I would make it. Even the radiation techs would not give me my treatment until I saw the Doc. The Doc had me keep going. He told me to just hang tough. I am glad I listened to him. But that being said - chemo is a whole other situation. Only you and your Doc can make the decision.

I pray that this nightmare is over for you soon.

Unread 05-12-2004, 10:11 AM
CT Results/Decisions to Make

Sharon, thank you so much. I am going to research seroma and lymphedema of groin on the Net now. Try to get some more information about it. It sure sounds exactly like what I have.

I will try to keep a good outlook

Bottom line is: if it is cancer, and having already done the radiation and four high dose chemos.....uh, it's not working.
If it isn't cancer, then why continue?

Scary decision.

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Unread 05-12-2004, 10:18 AM

I wish I could be more helpful to you. Certainly it is possible to have lymphedema once nodes are gone; you could well have that. As to the chemo, could you get a second opinion? Explain how you felt, how your Dr. feels and be sure to let the second Dr. know about the CT scan. Here's a chemo story for you. I have a friend with leukemia. Tumors went into the bones. They had to hospitalize her for the chemo, it was so hard on her. During one series in the hospital, she went into cardiac arrest twice. Things looked their worst and I was prepared for bad news. This was a few months ago. She is doing well. She moved to another state, bought a house, and I got to send housewarming flowers to her.
You don't know. She made a difficult choice with her doctor. I don't know I'd have had the courage. We all have to sit down with our doctors--and ourselves--and decide what to do. I have faith that what you and your doctor ultimately decide will be right for you. Ellen
Unread 05-12-2004, 10:38 AM
CT Results/Decisions to Make


Perhaps a consult with another oncologist is a good idea. Is your cancer endometrial or a sarcoma? Some docs recomend hormone therapy for some types of uterine cancers (tamoxifen). These can be pretty well tolerated. The mother of a friend of mine has been stable on tamoxifen and provera for a uterine sarcome that had metastisized to her lung - and she's been stable for about 15 years!

Unread 05-12-2004, 12:45 PM
CT Results/Decisions to Make


Please tell your doctor all your fears and concerns, including your concern about future chemos. They can adjust the dosages if chemo 'wipes' one out too much. Mine were adjusted downward at times. But, I can remember one time when I went in for chemo, and thought that it just might finish me off - but this was an irrational fear of mine, as the dosages are carefully determined, based on at least one's weight. But, I do know that fear, so you are not alone there.

And, chemo tends to - or at least it did to me - make it very difficult to gain weight. But, after you finish, you will be able to put on some much needed pounds. I was down in the 90's at some point and know how painful it is to be that thin. (After my last chemo in March, have gained 10 more pounds).

I have forgotten, but is your doctor a gyn/onc? Why is your doctor deciding whether or not to continue with chemo? The dosages can be adjusted. Maybe you do need a second opinion.

Hang in there, Nancy. Maybe the neuropathy will get a bit more intense, but it will diminish in time. You must remember this.

All the best, and a big
Unread 05-12-2004, 06:03 PM
CT Results/Decisions to Make


I can't add much to the good advice you have already gotten. Has your Dr suggested a PET scan to give more info on what the CT scan showed. Thickening in the bowel wall can be caused from adhesions from surgery. I am praying for you.
Unread 05-12-2004, 06:15 PM
CT Results/Decisions to Make

s Nancy

I have no advice for you. But it sounds like you have gotten some excellent ideas. Particulary Debbie and PET scan thought.
Just wanted to say I am thinking of you as you go through this time of indecision.

Unread 05-13-2004, 01:53 AM
CT Results/Decisions to Make

Dear Nancy,

I'm so sorry you're having to go through all this. I wonder if you have added a B Complex vitamin to your day. I think a number of us mentioned this to you, as it will really wipe out neuropathy. If you bought one B vitamin and it's not working, get a better vitamin. The kinds you get in supermarkets aren't very good. You can also steam green beans and eat them; Jochan recommended this to me, and it also helped.

As others have said, adjusting chemo dosages downward is common. Mine had to be adjusted because I had literally no white count left. As it was, I had to take Neupogen shots for two months to get through my last two cycles of chemo.

As for how many treatments you should have, there is a standard that is recommended for your stage and type of cancer. As you said, they recommend 6 treatments. But if the treatment itself will endanger your health beyond repair, it may not be worth it. This is something that you should discuss with your doctor. He or she should have some suggestions as to how you might be able to get through the final 2 treatments without suffering so much weight loss and pain.

The recommended treatment for mine was 6 ("the standard"), but my doctors wanted to do 8. As it was, they could only get through 6. Thus, I am doing low-dose chemo -- as an extra precaution.

Please keep us posted. We're all thinking about you! Please hang in there! s!

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