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Cervical Cancer Cervical Cancer

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Unread 07-15-2008, 06:18 AM
Cervical Cancer

I am 5 years post op, last week I went to the Drs. She thought she found something funny and did a biopsy 4 days later she called me to tell me it was cancer. Let me just tell you my mind has been in a world wind. It was sunday when she called , by Monday morning I was having a pet scan, tues and upper MRI, Wednesday a lower MRI, Thursday blood lab.I have basicly walked around my house this past week in shock, complete disbelief and actually sick to my stomach. Over and over I keep asking whey did they even leave my cervix it seems so silly I even asked that right after my operation. ( I had and emergency hysto. so options were not decided or talked about prior. Yesterday I met with a gyn oncologist from Dana Farber Cancer institute she told me the cancer was contained and that I will be getting 5 weeks of radiation everyday, and then 3 rounds of chemo, Im just shocked this is actually happening to me!!! Anyways, she did my internal exam, looked over the MRI and the PET and came back in the room and said Jean are you 100 percent sure you had your ovaries removed?? I was like WHAT!! Of course Im sure, 100 percent sure I was on HRT for 5 months and was told the only thing they could leave was my cervix, she said she was calling down to medical archives , contacting my gyn and contacting the dr that did the operation because she really feels she " found " my ovary , IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE! The cancer scares the hell out of me, this makes it worse and now I will once again sit and wait to find out if I have an ovary that a DR " forgot".
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Unread 07-15-2008, 06:30 AM
Cervical Cancer

You are certainly going through a terrible time. I hope you get your answers soon, and I hope it helps to know that I will be praying for you.
Unread 07-15-2008, 06:35 AM
Cervical Cancer

Thank you Gerry, and yes this is probably the worst time in my life right now! Im so scared of the chemo and radiation, so scare of the word " cancer" and I have researched the web and cant find anyone who has had a hysto. and then cervical cancer, Im scared!
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Unread 07-15-2008, 06:35 AM
Cervical Cancer

Hello there, jeanm1963. My goodness, you have a scare going. First I want to say that some of the women here have been through similar circumstances, and I hope they come along really soon to talk with you. In the meantime, I wanted to say it sounds like you really have a caring and up-to-the-minute doctor now, and that is so very important. It sounds as if she is examining all areas of your former surgery. How comforting it must be to have such good care at this important stage.

There are different causes for the different kinds of cancer we get in our reproductive system. My guess is that they did not take your cervix because they had no cause to believe you were at risk of having infection from the high risk HPVs that cause cervical cancer. What was your surgery for? Cervical cancer is caused by one's contact with HPVs, and one's inability to fight off the viruses. HPV = human papilloma virus, really about 100 viruses that are all lumped under the umbrella term, HPV. Somewhere between 6 to 8 of these HPV strains cause cervical cancer.

Ask your doctor about seeing your pathology report and ask her'/him to go over it with you. It would be useful for you to know about the staging of cervical cancer, so you can understand why they are recommending radiation above the other treatment options that those of us with cervical dysplasia have experienced.

The fact that you kept your cervix was not the cause of your having this conditon now. That is, if they had taken your cervix, and if your immune system was such that HPV could not be fought off, then the HPVs would cause cancerous tissues to form in the vagina. Even this is not the end of the world.

Please know many of us face this disease, and while there is no cure for HPV attacks for those of us who have it, there are many meliorative procedures, including radiation, that make our lives possible.

Take heart, dear sister. Believe it or not, you are one of the lucky ones. It seems they caught your problems sufficientl early that they think this treatment option will mitigate your current diagnosis. That is good news. Cancer head is the pits. We live with it, and it eats away at us at times like this. Please -- try to go out for a walk, talk with people, recapture the small acts of your life. And please feel free to email me privately if you'd like to talk more or just want someone to listen.

Good wishes to you.
Unread 07-15-2008, 07:58 AM
Cervical Cancer

I had my hyster due to massive fibroids my uterus fell backwards and I had septic blood, it was an emergency I went into the ER with cramps and the next day had surgery, 3 blood transfusions and was actually in the hospital for 14 days with so many complications its to much to get into....
I hope there is someone out here that has had cervical cancer after a hyster, yesterday the gyn oncologist said there would be some sort of complications because I already had my uterus removed which is normal procedure for cervical cancer and its difficult to just remove the cervix???? That doesnt make much sense to me but I guess I will find out!! She did tell me my cancer if very " contained" and she could see it during my internal exam. I guess Im just scared, not well informed, and driving my self mad , I think I have been walking in circles just thinking about my upcoming future! Today I am waiting for an appointment with a regular oncologist, and the radiologist I guess they will schedule appts for me to meet with them next. I do have a question also, for those of you who did receive radiation, what really were the side effects, how did you feel , were you able to work? I am divorced with a 25-20-12 year old daughters the older two are not home but my little one is what you would call " high maintainence LOL , she is in cheerleading which is 4 days a week!
Unread 07-15-2008, 08:57 AM
Cervical Cancer

Hi, again. Try to learn as much as you can about HPV, and you'll be in a better position to study your options (if options are presented to you). I can't understand, for instance, why they say that they cannot remove your cervix, post-hyst. I also wonder why they might not consider what is called a LEEP or else a cold cone section. If you do some research on cervical cancer on the web, you are likely to learn what these are.

Several women have had radiation. Perhaps start a new thread asking in the subject line something like "your experience with vaginal area radiation." One who often comes on and who seems pretty knowledgeable uses the name Vega.

Another thing you might do to learn more is to search this website. Use the drop down menu up under "search" (see the purple line at the top of this page, find search as the sixth item in from the left, drop it down, and enter a search term). Your search terms might be "cervical cancer" "radiation" -- both together. And finally, you might take the names of the hostesses of this forum and search the archives for their posting. Those who are hostesses of the site's forum pages have experience with the topic they are hostesses for. Knowledge is power, as you seem to know. You can find out information by searching for others' earlier posts, since those who have faced what you are facing right now don't seem to be online.

Best wishes to you, now and in future.
Unread 07-15-2008, 09:27 AM
Cervical Cancer

Hi JeanM! I am so sad to hear of your cancer diagnosis. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer (Ia1), but had not yet had my hyst. I had that almost 4 weeks ago and the doctor removed my uterus and cervix.

Write down your questions. You might make two copies of the questions: one for you, one for the doctor. I started a Word document and just kept adding to my list, then I'd organize them so the questioned flowed in a logical order.

When I was diagnosed I was really confused and walked around in that fog for several weeks (a month? I don't remember). I know that the more information I had, the more solid/present/conscious I felt. I still had my roller coaster of emotions, but I didn't feel I was in a dream/nightmare.

You are in my thoughts and prayers!
Unread 07-15-2008, 11:22 AM
Cervical Cancer

I just wanted to say that they can remove your cervix post-hysterectomy because mine was removed as a precaution after pathology found two cancerous cells in one of my fibroids. The surgery was done by a gyn/oncologist.
Unread 07-15-2008, 12:01 PM
Cervical Cancer

Removal of the cervix is called a "trachelectomy". Some women have a trachelectomy for cervical cancer treatment--they remove the cervix, but leave the uterus for future fertility. However, if a woman has already had a hysterectomy but left her cervix in, then it's still called a trachelectomy when they remove the cervix.

Removing the cervix is still considered a major surgery with a recovery period varying from 3-6 weeks. There may be extenuating circumstances in your case due to the nature of your emergent hysterectomy, which may be the reason your gyn/onc is not recommending the trachelectomy. Make sure to ask.

Also, we have had some members whose gyn/onc's did not recommend hysterectomy but thought chemo/radiation was preferable for their cervical cancer situation. So there could be any number of reasons why you are receiving the recommendations you are receiving. Please don't hesitate to request another opinion with a gyn/onc in a different practice. There are lots of medical interventions and lots of opinions. Make sure you are comfortable with the recommendations you are receiving!

Good luck! Please let us know how things are going!

Unread 07-20-2008, 07:39 PM
Cervical Cancer

Hi Jeanine,
I had a TAH on 12/5/08 at my check up on 12/18/08 my GYN/ONC told me they found cervical cancer. I had 5 Chemo treatments and 25 daily radiation treatments (external) and 4 weekly internal radiation treatments. My chemo was cisplatin and I did not get sick or lose my hair. I was on 8 weeks medical leave from work so I was only working at the end of my treatments. I was not allowed to work on the day of my chemo so I worked a 4 day week. Had some minor side effects like constipation, diarreha and fatique. I was able to work but stopped all my other activities and just rested in the evening and went to bed early.

Hope everything goes well for you.

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