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cervical cancer cervical cancer

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Unread 06-19-2004, 09:12 PM
cervical cancer

hello ladies,I am Melissa.I was just told the results of my cone biopsy.I have invasive cervical cancer.My family doc was so casual about having a hysterectomy"you're done having kids,right?"I walked outta there in shock.I was under the impression that it would be day surgery...no big deal.I have since then educated myself somewhat and have a list of questions for my gyno appt. on tuesday.One of my questions to you is did anyone bleed alot after a cone biopsy? I bled so much I passed huge clots and passed out.I am still bleeding and the biopsy was done 16 days ago.Is this normal?My next question...if I have a vaginal hyst instead of an abdominal will I recover faster,when will I know if they are taking out anything more than my uterus and cervix(like lymph nodes) and what are lymph nodes anywayWill I really be in the hospital for5 days!?Any stories about recovery would be appreciated.I feel so uninformed right now.My hubby acted like this is no big deal.My mom cried,and I'm somewhere in the middle.I don't want to make a big deal,but on the other hand I can't believe that I have CANCER.I am however so glad to find this board.Thank you...Melissa
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Unread 06-19-2004, 10:20 PM
cervical cancer

Hi Melissa.

Unfortunately, I don't have answers to most of your questions, but wanted to offer my support. I know that you're very scared. Your DH's reaction, (acting like it's "no big deal"), is probably a defense mechanism for himself and an effort to downplay it for your benefit. As a nurse and patient, I know that doctors can be nonchalant when they deliver news and sometimes don't speak or act in a very empathetic manner. Now that you've had a few days to recover from the shock of what you were told, it might benefit you to make another appt with your doctor just to get answers to all your questions. It may be helpful to take DH and/or your mom with you. That way, they can ask questions and learn more about how to provide the help and support you need.

To answer your question about vaginal vs. abdominal hysts, the internal work is pretty much the same, but there tends to be a shorter recovery time for the vaginal hyst. I am not entirely sure if the doc will do a vaginal hyst if cancer has been discovered. Perhaps someone else will respond with an answer on that.

I wish you the best and encourage you to visit both the pre-op and post-op boards before surgery. I found both immensely helpful before my surgery, (lots of support and "psyching up" on the pre-op side and lots of info about what to expect on post-op).

Take care.
Unread 06-20-2004, 12:25 AM
cervical cancer

If you have cervical cancer you need to see an gynological oncologist. Ask your doctor for a recommendation and call for an appointment. A gyn/onc should do your surgery. He's the expert on pelvic cancers. He will know what lymph glands to remove, what to look for when he opens you up, etc.

I had cervical cancer but my cancer was to big for surgery so I had radiation and chemotherapy. It wasn't a walk in the park, but it wasn't awful either. I did everything that I always do, and I did not lose my hair.

If you can have surgery you won't have a vaginal hysterectomy. The gyn/onc needs to be able to look around and take samples of lymph nodes for biopsy.
Women with cervical cancer usually have a radical hysterectomy.

Ask your husband how he would feel if he had cancer in his testicles. Would the surgery to remove it be 'no big deal'. I think not. Most likely your husband is in denial. He doesn't know how to deal with you having cancer so he simply doesn't deal with it, just pretends it isn't happening. You might tell him that it isn't helpful. I found that my husband and kids wanted to help, but they were generally clueless. If I could tell them exactly what I was feeling and exactly what would be helpful, they were happy to comply.

I know this is a scary time, but it is doable. It really is. In a couple of months you'll be cancer free. Keep your eyes, and thoughts, on the prize.

Keep asking us questions, we'll do our best to answer.

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Unread 06-20-2004, 06:49 AM
cervical cancer

H Melissa: First of all, I am sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I also had a cone biopsy prior to my hysterectomy. I don't think it's normal to bleed that much, especially 16 days after the procedure, so you may want to give your doctor a call about that.

Janie is right, if you have invasive cervical cancer, you should consult with a gyn/oncologist. They are the experts in this field.

This is a great place to get a lot of information and support, so I'm glad you found this board. Best wishes to you!

Big Hugs,
Unread 06-20-2004, 06:59 AM
cervical cancer


I am so sorry to hear that you have cancer, but Please, Please, Please, seek out a gyn/onc to do your surgery! You have cancer and should have a cancer specialist do your surgery.

I was diagnosed with cervical cancer in Nov of 2003 and within 3 weeks I had a radical hysterectomy and pelvic and para arotic lymph nodes dissection, along with having my ovaries removed, (my choice to have ovaries removed). Everything happened so fast. I spent 6 days in the hospital and needed every day, and really took it easy for the next 5 weeks. I came home with a catheter for 2 more weeks, and that wasn't that bad. I didn't have to keep getting up to go to the bathroom, making it easier to get some rest. Once you pass gas for the first time things get much better. It was no walk in the park, but very doable with lots of help post-op at home. I still can't lift over 25 pounds without feeling it the next day.

At my first post-op appt I found out I had vascular invasions, limited to the cervix, and very close margins, and would need to undergo radiation treatments, both internal and external. My lymph nodes were all negative for cancer, so I didn't need chemo. I was so glad that I had a gyn/onc do my surgery.

The radiation was doable and the symptoms are almost non-existant almost three months later.

As far as your husband being so 'no big deal' about all of this, it may be a coping factor. He has just found out his wife has cancer and can't even think about cancer, but women have hysterectomies all the time so it must be no big deal, kind of thought. Well, a radical hyst for cancer is a VERY big deal. It is a very hard surgery for anyone to go through, but it is so much better than the alternative of keeping the cancer in your body. I would have the surgery in a heartbeat all over again if it meant getting the cancer out of my body!

Unread 06-20-2004, 07:09 AM
cervical cancer

I'm with Jane here--get to a gyn/oncologist.

Did you see your path report? Did your cancer get a grade and stage? A lot of what you are facing depends on those letters and numbers. If your doctor didn't give you a copy of your path report, call tomorrow and demand one. Make sure you have it and all your relevant records in hand when you see the gyn/onc. (relevant records being cone biopsy report, path report, and bad paps you've had).

These coming weeks will be full of questions, I'm sure, but the best place to start is with as much information about your situation as you can get.

BTW, to answer your question, lymph nodes are like strainers--they capture toxins and cell waste and errant bacteria/viruses/etc that are carried to them by the lymphatic fluids. They also are a site where white blood cells are made, and a primary source for fighting infection. (That's why docs check the lymph nodes in your neck--those "swollen glands"-- when they diagnose strep, for instance) Cervical cancers are led to certain lymph nodes, and those are the ones the doctor will pull during surgery. Often he will do a frozen section immediately so that he knows how many to take. For instance, I had a lymph node dissection surgery, and after the frozen section came back clean, the doc only took 20 or so nodes. Others lose all the lymph nodes in their pelvis--they can number in the hundreds, in grape-like clusters.

I hope this answers some of your questions.
Unread 06-20-2004, 08:56 AM
cervical cancer

s and

I agree with the other girls here you need to get a gyn/onc if possible. I feel that anyone is insenstive when they come out with that question "your done having kid right" Weither you are or not doesn't matter, this is a major surgery. And yes you will be in the hospital for any where from 3 to 5 days.

I wish you the best of luck and God Bless
Unread 06-20-2004, 11:54 AM
thank you

Thank you so much for the replies.I have talked to a girl I know who had the same thing and has the same gyno.She tells me he will send me straight to an oncologist in Hamilton.It's only 45 minutes away.So now that I know this is not day surgery,and I've told mom & hubby that this is going to take time,I feel more knowledgable.What is really blowing my mind is the sympathy & sorrow I hear in my friends and family when I tell them.I know you will all understand when I say that it bothers me to make these people sad.Yet I have to tell them,I'm talking about close family.The reactions people have will never be good I guess.I have had a wee cry now and am ready to empower myself with knowledge and faith.I am ready to quietly fight and stay positive.I thank you again for the answers to my questions,sincerely Melissa
Unread 06-20-2004, 12:07 PM
cervical cancer

Hi Melissa. I have also been recently diagnosed with cervical cancer (invasive grade 1a1) on May 7th. The diagnosis came after a cone biopsy and I also had a very nonchalant doctor call me with the news. He called me on my cell phone at work and told me I had cancer. I was a wreck, crying on the phone at work while the doctor droned on and on about how this was not a big deal, blah, blah, blah. I barely remember any of the conversation. This was a Friday at noon so I went into his office on Monday, got a copy of the pathology report from him, and did lots of research on the internet while I waited to hear back from the gynecologist-oncologist. It took three weeks to get the recommendation, and it was for a hysterectomy. Now I'm just waiting for my surgery date.

As for the bleeding after the cone biopsy, I hardly had any. I think I spotted for about a week. I had the cone on a Wednesday and was back at my step aerobics class 9 days later. I'm sure everyone is different, but it is probably worth mentioning to the gynecologist on Tuesday.

Good luck with your appointment next week. Let us know how everything goes.
Unread 06-20-2004, 03:17 PM
cervical cancer

Hi Melissa,
I'm sorry to hear you're going through a hard time and I know exactly all the emotions you are feeling.when I was first diagnosed with cancer, I had a lot of pressure from my dr. and family to have a hysterectomy and "get it out".First of all, I was pregnant-so I went with a cone biopsy first, but I felt that their remarks were very callous since these weren't THEIR organs they were talking about.
Anyways, to make a long story short, I had my baby and after she was born, I had another biopsy and the dr. found more invasive cancer and he had pretty much the same comment to make-you're done having children, right?like that's the only important part of the decision!So anyways, I wanted to be safe and I had a radical hysterectomy in february. Let me know if you want any other specific questions answered.I can still remember how I felt right after my diagnosis and in the weeks leading up to my surgery(my first surgery-ever)so i'd be glad to answer anything-no matter how personal or stupid you think it may be-as would most of the women on this board I'm sure.
good luck with everything.
oh-and I hardly had any bleeding after my cone too-just lots of tissue.definitely ask about that.

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