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Rare and aggressive cancer.  Surgery 8/12/08 Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

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Unread 08-09-2008, 09:04 PM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

Ok I am back and ready to talk. I was diagnosed with serous papillary carcinoma of the uterus on July 29. I really had no symptoms except for a little spotting. I attributed that to training for a 10K RACE I ran in June. I am only 61 and I am in good health. I had no risk factors for this kind of cancer. They even sent my path report to Yale and they said it was an "interesting case , to keep them posted."

I am having a laparoscopic hysterectomy by a gyn/ oncologist. He said he has seen lots of cases like mine because I am in the DC area and he gets referrals from all over the East coast. He told me that I will need 6 rounds of chemo every three weeks. First, I want to get over the surgery before I think of that.

When I first posted here, I was so scared. My fingers were shaking as I typed. Then I just withdrew into a spare bedroom. Well the pity party is over. To those of you who responded to my previous posts, I am very grateful. I have gotten lots of support from my friends, coworkers, and from you. Now I realize that most of you have been right where I am. Please help me. I wish I could add some wisdom here but I can't. This is all new to me and I feel like a big semi just hit me while I was looking the other way. How do you deal with such a diagnosis? I am totally jealous of those people who have stage one stuff or something like fibroids. I never thought I would have to see an oncologist. My husband is sad. He now goes to Mass every day instead of just on Sunday.

I guess what I am trying to say is - I want my life back.

Thanks to all here. I think this is gonna be my secondhome for a while.

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Unread 08-09-2008, 09:12 PM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

I am so sorry you are going through this. I think I dealt with it in the beginning the same way as you. I completely withdrew and crawled into a shell and was totally withdrawn from the world around me. I am a single mom with 2 special needs children so I had to pull myself back into reality for their sake. I wasted 2 months of my life instead of living it. But now that treatment is over I am so very thankful for each and everyday and I know that I am blessed to be here.

Getting this diagnosis does feel like getting hit by a mac truck, that is true. I had a decision to make, fall deeper into despair and desparation, or pick myself up and take on the fight of my life. I chose to fight, and you will too. This site was a gift and I found support and hope by coming here and seeing so many survivors, getting advice from them and reading their stories. It is an inspiration to keep hope alive. You will get through this, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.
Unread 08-09-2008, 09:24 PM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

dear trickie...what kind of rare cancer do they think you have? i just want to let you know that all your feelings are normal and most importantly, you will get your life back. i did, even with an advanced stage and grade of ovca. last summer was spent either going thru chemo, recovering from chemo and in between, getting out walking and hiking, but always taking good care of my health and being cautious with what i ate and trying to stay away from crowds, although i did enjoy some live theatre and even went to the toronto film festival last september. this summer i've been completely healthy and fit and now i'm spending time taking my dad and my f.i.l. to hospital for dx tests and spending all last night overnight with my dad in e.r. no one would ever suspect i was ill last year.

wishing you all the best for a most successful surgery and recovery. the rest is doable and if you have any questions you don't get answered by the medical team, then come here and ask away and vent to your heart's content. take care now.
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Unread 08-09-2008, 09:32 PM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

Trickie, I'm glad you have come back and that you are coming out of the shock you must have been in when you were diagnosed! You are making progress!

How did your diagnose your cancer if you had no symptoms? My cancer was diagnosed without any symptoms, too. Just curious.

Take care of yourself!
Unread 08-09-2008, 10:41 PM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

The kind of cancer is in my post in the first sentence. I hate writing it. It was diagnosed by a D and C. Even my gyn was surprised. She only found a polyp and said everything else looked normal. Then the first path report came out and it said "carcinoma adenoma." However, they then did more tests on my cells and gave it another name. I am scared.

Unread 08-09-2008, 10:55 PM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

sorry trickie, i do see the name in the first line of your post. funny enough that's exactly the same kind of cancer i have, except mine was ovarian cancer and yours is of the uterus. the other difference is that i have the prefix "adeno" in front of mine (see my signature)...don't know if there's a difference. my gyn/onc told me that the type of cancer i have is the most common kind of ovarian cancer. maybe it's more rare if it's of the uterus. anyways, take heart, as you can see i am just fine and you will be too. take care.
Unread 08-10-2008, 02:29 AM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

I'm glad to know that your gynecological oncologist is experienced in treating the type of cancer you have and is considered so good that he gets referrals from all over the East coast. It sounds like you are in good hands.

You are in good health, saw the doctor about the spotting rather than ignoring it, have supportive family and friends, are able to and want to talk about it, and will be receiving treatment that should destroy the cancer. You will be able to fight it, one step at a time, with the help of doctors and family.

Concentrate on preparing for the hospital stay and preparing your home so that your recuperation from the hysterectomy will go smoothly. I'm sure that you'll get lots of good advice and insights about the radiation and chemo treatments from hystersisters who have had or are having them.

Having had the stamina, grit, and discipline to prepare for and run the 10K probably means that you will handle all that comes well.

TAH/BSO April 28, 2008, Endometrial Cancer (endometrioid
adenocarcinoma), Stage I-b, FIGO Grade 1,2 (15 lymph nodes removed)
NFT, checkups every 3 months (first year)
Unread 08-10-2008, 06:43 AM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

I did PM you after your initial post, but did not hear back from you. I too was diagnosed, just about one year ago, with a very rare and aggressive form of uterine cancer. I can appreciate what you are going thru right now. Please try not to think about the 'what-if's' and just concentrate on one thing at a time. Your surgery is coming up in a few days and you need to prepare yourself mentally for that, and then when it is over, rest, rest, rest. Once you have gotten thru that part, then you can worry about what comes next. I started radiation just three weeks after my surgery, and got thru it with relatively few problems. Had a short break then started chemo, and at this point in time I am NED (no evidence of disease). My cancer is known to recur, so I am well aware of that but I don't let it rule my life.

Contrary to what you may have heard, there is life after cancer. Maybe not life as we once knew it, but LIFE!

Good luck with the upcoming surgery and please come back and post when you can. It will most likely be a while before your path report is back with staging, and that is what will be used to determine followup treatment.
Unread 08-10-2008, 07:16 AM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

Hello again. The feeling of surprise that this is our life, the feeling of grief -- both feelings are palpable. You wake up in the morning, and in the first first still-sleepy flush of the new day, you say to yourself, what a great day! and then you remember what happened. Then you wonder when the nightmare is going to be over. I withdrew a bit with my cancer diagnosis, almost like I was watching the world around me, and my own engagement with the world, outside my own body, just sort of listening but not acting. I did not end up having the cancers they did surgery for (only pathology reports clarify things in cases like mine). But I still went through all these feelings, feelings of disbelief, then quietude, then awe that this was MY life.

Two years later, I'm back to waking up in the morning feeling the beauty and excitement of the new day, all over again. In fact, the excitement is more intense, because I know what I've been through, and I'm alive.

Life is worth the struggle, and worth the living. I think I mentioned in your earlier post a book that helped me. In case you didn't get the title then, it's called On Grief and Grieving, by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross and David Kessler. If you could possibly read it with your husband, at the same time, it might provide you moments when you can talk about the way you are feeling by talking about the book, too.

My favorite quotation from it, this one about our social relations in the world, is:

“The illusion of infinite time clouds our understanding of the preciousness of one another.”

I have the highest hopes for you, and I wish you peace, and good life.
Unread 08-10-2008, 07:25 AM
Rare and aggressive cancer. Surgery 8/12/08

to you, Trickie, and back!

I am so glad you have given yourself time to grieve & cry and time to face your diagnosis. You are ready to take on the world now, girlfriend! You are scared, naturally. But you have the fire and the fight in you now. And that's what's going to get you through. Have faith in your doctors, and in your own body to fight this. Stay strong, stay active, and never stop believing that YOU CAN BEAT THIS. Because I know you can

in there, friend. Make this your second home...Lord knows it's how I dealt with everything when I was diagnosed and going through surgical recovery and chemo. You are wrapped in love here.

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