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Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Children? Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Children?

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Unread 10-18-2002, 05:51 PM
Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Children?

I am 31 and have been diagnosed with cervix cancer. I had a LEEP done and they think they got it all but with HPV, especially an aggressive strain, it could come back. Doctors have told me that there is no 100% sure test because the cancer was in my gland. I also have fibromyalgia which means if I want to have children I will probably go through many more complications than most and have sat on the fence regarding children. I guess I am feeling very guilty considering a hysterectomy (cancer also runs in my family and killed my brother) over bringing a child into the world. My health is so bad that I am on disability and can hardly take care of myself. If I get a hysterectomy then I close the door on having children which frightens me. From what I have heard, the majority of women who get cervix cancer are older than me so doctors are more confident about hysterectomies.

I guess the truth is I am scared of dying of cancer. I have a lot of factors working against my health and don't think I could be able to take care of a child, regardless of the cancer. Should I prepare myself for regret? Is there anyone else out there in a similar situation? Where do I find the strength and courage to say it's OK to take care of myself first?
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Unread 10-18-2002, 07:18 PM
Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Children?

s Autumn

Welcome to Cancer Concerns. My own situation is quite different than yours. I was 49, had two children, and was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
But I did want to pop in and say there is absolutely nothing wrong with your desire to take care of yourself first. That's how it should be. Never feel quilty about that. It sounds to me like you are being quite realistic and unselfish by admitting that your health is not the greatest and therefore you might choose never to have kids.
It might be a good idea to see a gyn oncologist (if you're not already) to get a second opinion on a plan of treatment.
I am sure some younger women will be along to share their thoughts with you as well.
I hope you keep in touch. Best wishes.

Unread 10-18-2002, 08:20 PM
Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Children?

Hi Autumn,

Many 's to you!

I completely understand how you're feeling although I was a bit older than you are when I had my surgery (38). I also do not have any children and did want one prior.

However, when I was told that it was a very good chance that I had cancer, all thoughts of children went flying out the window. I lost my mother, father and aunt, all to cancer and I wasn't going to chance it. BUT, there weren't any other options for me in regards to treatment, surgery and the pathology/staging had to come first. I haven't for one minute regretted my decision in the slightest, for me, it was a very easy decision.

The most important thing is that YOU are comfortable with this decision and unfortunately this is a decision that only you can make. Its not a bad thing to put yourself first, not at all! After all, if you don't take care of yourself, you can not take care of others.

You might consider getting another opinion and/or consulting a Gyn Oncologist if you haven't already. This is their specialty and they might be able to shed some additional light on options that are available.

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have and please keep us posted on how things go for you.


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Unread 10-19-2002, 06:11 AM
Cancer, Fibromyalgia, Children?


There is nothing wrong with wanting to take care of yourself first, and many women in the the cancer forum have struggled over the issue of a hyst vs. fertility preservation surgery. There is no right and wrong answer here, only an answer that you and, if you chose - a husband or significant other.

I do suggest a consult with a gyn onc - if anyone has seen young women with your type of cancer, it would be them. You may also chose to go to a gyn-onc service at a major medical center where the experience of several gyn-oncs is "pooled" so to speak. They can also discuss the risks and benefits of more conservative surgery and tell you very specifically how you would be monitored. There are some women floating around these boards who had conservative treatment for early stage cervical cancer, quickly had a child, and then opted for a hyst - all the while being VERY carefully monitored. Other women were not ready for children or found the risk too much and opted for a hyst sooner.

I would also suggest that you make an appointment with a doctor who specializes in high risk pregnancies so you have a realistic idea of what a pregnancy would be like for you.

You can also think through adoption alternatives. While there is still a child to take care of, your body would not be subjected to the strain of a pregnancy. Looking at these options now might give you some peace, even if you chose to delay, or never chose to adopt.

Some women here have also found counseling from a psychologist or medical social worker to be invaluable in thinking through these decisions. I'm sure your gyn onc will have seen your situation before and can recomend some resources.

Unread 10-19-2002, 05:01 PM

Hi Autumn,

I am also 31 and had glandular cervical cancer---adenocarcinoma. I can completely understand your thought process. Wanting to take care of yourself is good, though, and certainly nothing to beat yourself up about! I know it is easier said than done, though, having AGONIZED over my own treatment choices.

My doctor gave me a choice between a trachelectomy--removal of the cervix only, and a chance to have children in the future, or a hysterectomy. I have always been on the fence on the kids issue but I chose to have the trachelectomy for a number of reasons. I mention this alternative b/c I noticed that you are in Canada, where some of the world's best experts in trachelectomy are located (Ontario). I am not encouraging you to have this surgery over hysterectomy, just wanted to let you know that it is an option.

You have a health issue to deal with here and only you can make the best decision for yourself. You should NEVER feel guilty about the course of action that you choose. Just my two cents,


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