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Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help! Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

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  #1  
Unread 11-15-2000, 11:00 PM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

Hello! I finally received my final pathology report today at my post-op appt. with oncologist/gyn. The news was not what I expected. At the time of my surgery on 10-11-00, I was diagnosed with Stage 1B invasive cervical cancer. After a thorough review by the pathologists, they have now rediagnosed me with Stage 2B invasive cervical cancer -- I will now need radiation AND chemotherapy via a chemo drug called Platinol. My specialist is getting things scheduled right away so I can start after 6 weeks post-op. I am so scared. I was expecting the radiation, but not the chemo. I will have 5 weeks (5 days per week) of both treatments. More will be explained by the radiation oncologist and chemo specialist, but I am just devastated. I have so many questions go through my head "could there be more cancer somewhere else in my body?" "Could it be spreading each day somewhere new?" And - I am so scared of the chemotherapy drug...how brave young children are that have to withstand these treatments for luekemia, etc., but I am such a WIMP when it comes to needles and nausea. I would appreciate any support from anyone who has had experience with this. My DH was with me at the appt. and was in as much shock as I was - we have 2 children ages 8 and 20. I'm hoping I will be around to see my 8 year old grow up. It's so scary. My recovery from the radical hysterectomy on 10-11 is going well, though - just have to get my strength up to handle what I'll face after Thanksgiving. Like breast cancer, we need to get the word out about cervical and other gynecological cancers. Even with prevention, we need to be strong advocates for making sure accurate paps are taken and results are read with 100% accuracy. My case was totally neglected by my original gyn - if the gyn dept had done what they should have over 10 months ago - maybe I wouldn't be facing what I now have to face in a couple weeks. I am very thankful for this forum that gives us an opportunity to vent, ask for support and reach out to others. I pray for each and everyone of you to experience positive and healthy recovery from your surgeries and that your futures will be cancer-free.


[Edited by sardavsmom on 11-16-2000]
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  #2  
Unread 11-15-2000, 11:17 PM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

Patti:

All I can say is: boy, can I relate! When I was first diagnosed with endometrial cancer (and boy, what a shock THAT was), my oncologist told me that most likely the hysterectomy alone would take care of it (and THAT was bad enough - I never got around to having children). He was going on the basis of stats that show that 70+% of such cancer is caught at Stage I. Then, the day after surgery he and two grim-faced residents came to tell me it was worse than he expected - at least IIA, possibly IIb or worse. Then a couple of weeks later, the path report showed it spread to a lymph node - IIIc, requiring 4.5 weeks of radiation. Yeah, this stuff IS scary! I didn't have to do chemo, but the radiation was pretty unpleasant -and the bottom line is, you do what you have to do, and eventually it's over, and you move on to recovery. The whole summer is starting to seem like a distant nightmare that hopefully will not be repeated. And in spite of my anger, and my fears, the experiece has... well, it sounds hokey, but it has made me a nicer person! (Now YOU sound like you're already as nice as possibe - but I could be kind of a bi***). I've decided that cancer can have positive, life-changing effects! When I went to a support group right after my surgery, some of the women there were saying things like this and I wanted to smack them - but it turns out they were right!

So hang in there - you'll get through it all.
  #3  
Unread 11-16-2000, 05:42 AM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

I really beleive that everything has a lesson to be learned from it. Sometimes the lessons are very hard to see though. Terry, I am glad to hear that you have benefited as a person from your experience! Patti, I can only imagine how devastated you are, but please know that I will keep you in my prayers. I am sure that this whole experience will make you a very strong woman!! God Bless you both!!
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  #4  
Unread 11-16-2000, 12:21 PM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

sounds like you have had some tough news come your way. I know the idea of radiation and chemo must be really hard to deal with, but keep in mind that you are going to blast the cancer right out of your body. I do not need radiation, but I am undergoing chemo every 3 weeks, taxol and Carbo platin, 6 hours each time. It is not easy, but I try to remember that with each dose I am killing off those cancer cells, so remember that when you are feeling icky, the drugs are working. Ask lots of questions. Ask for help when you need it. Concentrate on getting well, nothing elase matters right now. i will keep you in my prayers.

Take care,

Kendal

OVCA stage IIIC TAH/BSO 10/13/00
  #5  
Unread 11-30-2000, 10:08 PM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

I understand how you feel. My medical situation is similar to yours. I was diagnosed with complex hyperplasia with atypia. When they went in Oct 12, 2000 to remove the uterus they found bad stuff - the big C. They removed my uterus, tubes, both ovaries and cervix. (TAH/BSO)

I have been diagnosed with a Stage IIb Endometrial Cancer.
Before this final diagnosis they said I had a Stage II or a Stage III. Boy - researching the numbers really got me upset. Sometimes a little information is too much information. I really needed to understand my own situation. What I understand is a Stage II cancer is very surviable. I am very positive about the future.

You'll need to do the appropriate treatments, once you're confident that the right things are being done and then you need to work on getting yourself and your support system in the right frame of mind. A positive outlook goes along way for what you can do for yourself.

As for my case there are no signs of cancer in my my recent tests but my oncologist has started me on an 8 week course of radiation (5 weeks external/3 weeks internal). I just started these this week. I don't look forward to the side effects but I'll find a way to deal with them.
My Dr says I do not need Chemo. I noticed in the replies from your posting that others have had similar situations but varying treatment. It's important to understand what your particular situation is as treatment can differ by person even when they have the same stage of cancer.
Just make sure you ask questions & bring along someone with you who can ask the questions in case you are too shook up to do so. I ALWAYS write down my questions in advance. If the doctor won't answer them then that doctor is no longer the one I go to. I had a doctor in the early stages of my disease who pushed me off and hence the disease advanced to where it was finally found this year. I won't let that happen again. Ask you're doctor straight out what they think the prognosis is. You may be surprised at what they tell you and if it's not positive news at least you know what you and yours will have to deal with. I think not knowing is the worst.

I just found this website this week and this should be a great source for finding out information. Hang in there.
[Edited by June Ali on 12-01-2000]
  #6  
Unread 11-30-2000, 11:18 PM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

Thank you all for your replies and support! My routine begins on Monday, Dec. 4th....4-5 hours of cisplatin (chemo drug) once a week for 5 weeks and radiation 5 days a week for 5 weeks. They will make a decision once these treatments are completed to see if more chemo is needed and if I will also need internal radiation. It has been somewhat overwhelming and exhausting going from one thing to the next. I am now past 6 weeks post-op from the radical hysterectomy and ready to face the next hurdles to this battle against the cancer cells invading my system. Some advice that I am finally following is to accept the help of friends and familly - and do so gracefully! I always have a hard time accepting help - I am usually the one wanting to help - I am a classic caretaker (only girl in a family with 6 brothers). So, that has been one of the difficult things for me is to let people help. If you struggle with this same issue, try to let people in to help -- no matter how big or small a task, it helps them feel like they are doing something to aid your struggle. This is important because friends and family can feel at such a loss, too. They wish they could take the cancer away, but know that's beyond their control, but helping with a ride, a meal, etc., - this they can do and in turn then feel they are positively contributing to your treatment/wellness plan. I appreciate your prayers and support as I begin my first treatments Monday, and will keep all who face similar battles against this and other devastating diseases in my thoughts and prayers. Best wishes to you all over the holiday season!
  #7  
Unread 12-01-2000, 05:54 AM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

I am sure that Monday will be difficult for you, but close your eyes and remember that we are all here for you! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. You can get through this, and with the help of the ladies here who are experiencing the same thing, I am sure that it will be so much easier on you! Please take care and continue to let others help. You do need any help that you can get so that you can take care of yourself and rest. God Bless!
  #8  
Unread 12-01-2000, 08:49 PM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

Chemo isn't as bad as it used to be. They add an anti-nausea
medication to the mix so the side effects are lessened. The
radiation is tiring and you get sick of going every day, but then its over and you have the satisfaction of knowing you've done everything possible to slay the dragon. The best advice I can give you is for you to find a support group-there's some great ones online, and plan on spending the next few months resting and healing. Its a good time to read all those research books!
  #9  
Unread 12-04-2000, 07:05 AM
similar results

Hi Patti...I have had a similar expirience. I thought that the radical hyst would have completely taken care of the cervical cancer. The path report shows that although the pelvic nodes are clear the tumor was larger than my doc thought so he has suggested 5 weeks of raditation with the middle two weeks of chemo. I don't know which drug as of yet. I am making my calls today...You may email me if you want at [email protected] I have 3 boys 23, 21 and 17.
Jo
  #10  
Unread 12-04-2000, 09:51 PM
Final Pathology Report -- Tough News - Help!

Just a quick message to thank you all again for your replies to my post! Today was Day 1 of External Radiation and Chemotherapy (Cisplatin). I am feeling a little washed out and just a bit of nausea. I received two nausea medications @the time of chemo; and came home with a generic of compazine as well. Found out I have a urinary tract infection - so that is being treated, too. Chemo nurse was great - so supportive and funny! You need to try and keep a sense of humor through all of this. I was told today that both my gyn/surgerical oncologist and the radiaton oncologist concur that I will also need internal radiation after this 5 weeks series is completed. I will worry about that then! I finally figured out the graphics - thanks to Cyd for e-mailing me with directons!! Now I just need to know how to condense space with all the fun graphics I pick out! Jo - thanks for the offer to e-mail you; same goes for me. My e-mail is either [email protected] or [email protected]
Thanks again everyone and continued healing to you all!
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