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Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

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  #1  
Unread 08-05-2008, 02:08 PM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

I'm new here, and I just got a diagnosis of uterine cancer this morning. This all started with bleeding from fibroids. I'd had fibroids for years, but I suddenly started having heavier bleeding, and ended up in the hospital with anemia. As part of my follow-up, my gyneconologist did a uterine biopsy, and it came back positive.

Although I only talked briefly to my gyn this morning, she said that I would probably need to have a hysterectomy (something we'd discussed as an option for the fibroids anyway), but the specifics and further treatment would depend on what they found. Based on my ultrasound, she said it didn't look like it had spread, but of course, there's no way to know for sure yet. I have an appointment with a specialist (gynecological oncologist, I think) on Friday.

At the moment, I've been worrying more about non-medical issues - I'm was laid off last month (although I still have insurance, thankfully), and I don't have any family to help me out with this. I just moved here not long ago, so all my friends live far away. I'm sure worrying about this stuff doesn't really help, but it's hard not to!

Karen
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  #2  
Unread 08-05-2008, 02:33 PM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

Hi Karen,

I'm sorry to hear your news, but Hyster Sisters welcomes you to this support group where you can share your fears and questions.

It's so important that you have an appointment with a gynecological oncologist--they are the experts. And yes, they won't know the extent until after the surgery and pathology report. Wishing you the best of news in that regard.

It's one of the hardest things to not worry. But the ladies here will encourage you and remind you to take deep breaths and take one step at a time.

Let us know how it goes with your appointments. We are here to listen and support you in your journey.
  #3  
Unread 08-05-2008, 05:14 PM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

Dear Karen,

I'm so sorry that you're confronting this diagnosis, and I can easily imagine that these non-medical issues make it harder and scarier. It's really hard to keep worry from spiraling out of control, I know. I try (but don't always succeed) not to get ahead of myself with anticipation and anxiety about things I don't know yet. And Liz is right: people here will help enormously, and it's great that you found your way to this site. I'm glad that you were able to schedule an appointment with a gyn/oncologist so quickly, and will be hoping for the best for you.
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  #4  
Unread 08-05-2008, 06:38 PM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

Karen,
A cancer dx is very scary and I am so glad you found us. I know you will find the ladies here most helpful and supportive. It is important that you will be seeing gyn/onc as they are the cancer experts. I hope your upcoming appointment goes well and you develop good rapport with this doctor.
Certainly being fairly new in an area with what that entails can make you feel more anxious. There are others who have basically cared for themselves alone following this surgery and I know they will come along to offer advice such as preparing meals in advance; etc. As you are in a major city, I suspect you probably can get home delivery of groceries, etc. Also, perhaps if your doctors know you will be alone at home, they might be able to extend your hospital stay a bit longer. You might be surprised that even fairly new friends would want to help out if you ask them.
Pls know that there is someone here just about 24/7 so don't hesitate to drop in anytime. Pls keep us updated.
s
  #5  
Unread 08-05-2008, 08:43 PM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

Karen,

Wow, you are a strong woman to be able to post about your diagnosis so quickly. There are lots of hystersisters here with lots of experience to share.

It turned out that I was able to see my gyn oncologist the same week I received my diagnosis, and it was a relief not to have to wait any longer and to have a course of treatment proposed so quickly. I hope things go well for you at your Friday appointment.

When I had my surgery, I was truly amazed at how many people brought food. Even though you are new in the area, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at how helpful people can be, although they may not yet know you well.

The hospital where I had my surgery had a social worker on staff to help with health-related issues. You might want to check into that possibility after your course of treatment is settled.

As far as the expense, believe me that can be worked out. My DH and I have been through several major health issues with him and I have always found the doctors and the hospital to be very willing to work with us.

I hope it helps to know you are in my prayers. It was a great comfort to me to know that I had people praying for me.
  #6  
Unread 08-05-2008, 09:18 PM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

Hi Karen! I'm so sorry to hear about your diagnosis but you've come to a very good place to vent, ask questions and get all of the support possible on-line!

You are really off to a good start by seeing a gynecologic oncologist. When I was diagnosed, I didn't know that this was necessary and my gynecologist did the hysterectomy without an oncologist. This required another surgery a couple of months later and a delay in radiation and chemotherapy. Although I was found to have stage 3b cancer, I have come through it well and I'm cancer free after a year and a half!!

I hope there is someone you can rely on somewhat - you'd be surprised the people I didn't even consider would be there for me and they were. Very kind neighbors and not so close friends really came through!! (I have to say some of my close relatives did not - very enlightening).

I found it really helpful to write down my questions as they popped into my head and then took them to my dr. visit. I took someone with me to record the answers and as an extra set of ears as I didn't do very well remembering what happened in those visits - brain just went numb. If you have no one to go with you, just note the answers to your questions to refer to later. My doctor was very patient when we recorded her answers and they really helped me later on.

Good luck to you and please keep us posted on how you're doing!! We'll be rooting for you!

Vicky
  #7  
Unread 08-06-2008, 12:17 AM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

There's lots that you can do to prepare in advance. You will not be driving right away after surgery, so you might want to stock up on non-perishable and frozen foods, toilet paper, and other needs. Also, before you go to the hospital, you should put anything that you will need when you return home within easy reach, so you don't have to bend down or reach up to get things. I put canned goods and bottled drinks on my kitchen counter. I forgot to take my shampoo bottle off the shower floor and had to ask a friend to hand it for me during my first shower at home.

I did not purchase an "easy reacher " (see Hystersisters store) until several weeks after my operation and wish that I had done so before surgery. I would have avoided some not very pleasant bending and squatting to pick things off the floor (like the toothbrush I kept dropping), had I had an "easy reacher" or "grabber" sooner.

If you haven't done so already, read the Pre-Op Checkpoints, especially the one on "Prepare Your Recovery Room." An excellent suggestion there for those who won't have help getting in and out of bed is to put a sturdy kitchen chair by your bed and use it like a bed rail. I actually found using the chair easier than having someone help me out of bed. Definitely have a phone by the bed.

Someone above made a good suggestion to let your doctors know if no one will be staying with you when you are discharged from the hospital. They may be able to extend your hospital stay a bit. Although you could use a taxi cab, it would be helpful if you could arrange for a reliable person to drive you to the hospital the day of surgery and drive you back home.

I think that you will be pleasantly surprised by the number of people who will empathize with you and volunteer to help you out once they know your situation.
  #8  
Unread 08-06-2008, 02:34 AM
Newly Diagnosed with Uterine Cancer

Everyone has given you great advice so I will just send along hugs and well wishes... You can get thru this, it just takes planning and perserverance...and like they said... don't be afraid to ask for what you need...including a slightly longer hospital stay if need be. Please let us know what the gyn/onc. has to say.
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