Metastatic Madness: How I Coped With A Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis
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I'll post another update after next week. Sincerely, Joy Annabel C Heath In August , after fainting several times from loss of blood, I was admitted to a hospital where I had a full hysterectomy done as I was found to have Endometrial adenocarcinoma. It was stage IIIa mixed papillary serous and clear cell carcinoma of the endometrium. I then had 6 weeks of radiation treatment and CA went down to A CT scan picked up 2 cm new cancer on the left side in fatty area just under my left hip bone.
Subsequently had a further operation to remove the serous and clear cell 2 cm cancer and omentum.
The oncologist gynecologist surgeon who did the operation could not find any further cancer and was quite hopeful. However, my CA after second operation was This means that the cancer is still there and all my doctors do not recommend any further treatment at this stage until it becomes visible on a CTscan. All my doctors feel that this cancer will kill me as they do not know what, if any, chemotherapy they can try as no scientific studies have been done on this form of cancer.
Can anyone suggest what I should do now? I repeat that even though my cancer is Uterine it is like Ovarian in nature and treated like Ovarian. The radiation treatment had a good effect but I can only have so much radiation without that killing me. I can have further chemotherapy but do not know which one to use. I am praying to God to help me to cure me from this dreadful disease. Annie M I was diagnosed with ovarian cancer stage 3 in November I had had about two weeks of bloating and little abdominal pain.
I had not felt "good" all year When I was diagnosed I had a CA level of ! I guess they want you to be 30 and below! From the moment I was diagnosed I had no doubt in my ever-loving mind that I would beat this thing. I kept a positive attitude all through everything--I wasn't in denial.. I had a job to do. Even the doctors and nurses said I was different from the average patient. I started my chemo of Taxol; carboplatin and Avastin on clinical trial in early December. I finished my last session of the multiple drug chemo and my count is down to four.
I will now go every three weeks for just the Avastin, for the next year. I don't mind it at all. The third and the sixth chemo sessions really kicked my butt. But I have not had horrible problems I get tired, very tired This is the first time I have visited a cancer site on line. I didn't want to read bad things on the internet I didn't want to get discouraged.
My partner is a nurse and she bore the burden of doing all the research, sorting fact from fiction; reading the stories that didn't have a good ending. It was harder on her and my family and friends than it was on me, I swear. I feel very fortunate that I am going to make it through this with only minor "glitches" along the way. I feel that having a positive attitude, doing what they tell you to do, making yourself get up and get going as much as you can do really helps.
My doctor is amazed, but I am not that shocked by how this ended up--as I said, I knew I was going to beat it I send my good thoughts and vibes to all out there who are fighting this fight. Keep a smile on your face and think good thoughts I know I am! AnnT On August 13, , my life changed forever. Now I am not a superstitious woman, but August 13 happened to be on a Friday, too.
Since early June I had been feeling a sense of heaviness in my pelvic area. Suspecting it was a urinary infection, I debated whether to go to my family doctor or my gynecologist. The gyn's nurse told me up front that they catheterized patients who come in for UTI's, so I decided to go to my family doctor who I knew would just test my urine and write me a prescription.
How I wish I had gone to the gynecologist first - it would have saved me two months of valuable time. By the way, I was catheterized in the hospital and it was no big deal - didn't hurt in the least. My family doctor prescribed medication for me and I did feel some relief. Ten days later the discomfort came back, and another medication was prescribed.
No real change this time, so I asked the woman practioner to give me a pelvic exam. She told me she couldn't feel anything, but send me for an ultrasound which confirmed an 11 cm. This didn't alarm me as I'd had a fibroid before and figured I had one again. The ultrasound report said that it could be either coming from the ovary or the uterus, so an MRI was ordered.
I had also had ovarian cysts the kind that have solid components on the ultrasound because I had bled into them which were almost gone by the next ovulation, so I wasn't particularly worried. The MRI results were back on Friday the 13th. I talked to my doctor that morning. She prefaced her report with the sentence, "It could be benign, but I want to get you in with a gyn-onc for an appointment as soon as possible. At the mention of the words "oncologist" and "ascites" my whole world changed.
I was calm over the phone, but my anxiety increased as the day progressed. By the time my family doctor called me I was a mess. I shared my fears about going through chemotherapy and end-of-life pain. A CA was immediately ordered for me. I wasn't told the results for 10 days.
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I finally heard the results one day at work - it was ! With this news I felt that my chances of the tumor not being malignant were pretty small. To this day I am amazed that I kept doing my job for three hours, without falling apart. The local gyn-onc was booked so I took matters in my own hands.
I called Hershey Medical Center, described my situation, and was seen within two days. My surgery was scheduled for 2 weeks later, on Sept 8, Although the cancer had not spread to my uterus and fallopian tubes, an area of my pelvic sidewall where the tumor had touched it contained cancerous cells. It turned out that both my ovaries were affected, not just one as the MRI and ultrasound had indicated. Being told I would need to have chemo was a major disappointment, as I hoped my cancer had been caught early enough that I could bypass this. Unfortunately, I had a grade 3 tumor which would have made further treatment necessary even at stage 1.
The first few days after my surgery were rough, but at about 3 weeks I began feeling more and more like my old self. Just when you really start feeling good, then you have to start the chemo.
Even three months ago I did not know I had cancer. I never thought I would face something like this.
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Of all the things I worried about, cancer was not one of them. I will say that God gives me the strength to handle this, everyday, as I need it. I know that I have been surrounded by prayers because for the most part, I have felt a strong infusion of peace. I pray that I can have a good life in spite of this, and that I may live long enough to see my fourteen-year-old daughter grow up. My life is blessedly happy. I'm I retired early.
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I live in a city I love. My sons have found marvelous women. My first born grandchild, Arthur, lives downstairs. I have no symptoms, not even the whisper kind. I'm scheduled for my yearly pap test. When I answer the phone, it's one of those "Is this Arlene Santoro?
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I'm almost ready to say "No thanks, take me off your telemarketing list. A second scraping needs to be done to check the upper regions of the birth canal. She'll do it in the office to save costs.