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my fear

rednaxela1
Posts: 1
Joined: Mar 2009

I had a total hysterectomy and my cervic was also removed. I'm almost 74 so other than wishing I didn't have to have any kind of surgery I didn't care about the removal of all that stuff. I certainly don't need it anymore. The gynecologic oncologist told me that the cancer was contained inside the uterus and there was no need for further treatment. Prior to the surgery he told me he was going to also remove a lymph node and have it examined just to make sure it hadn't spread. After the surgery he told me he did not do that because he felt it wasn't necessary. That worries me. I do wish he had done it. Can I be sure that it isn't some where else and will pop up again the same way it did in my uterus? Can I be sure that I don't still have cancer some where? If he had done the lymph node I assume I would have had some treatment if something was found and I wouldn't end up with stage 2 or 3 or more some where in my body at some point. I have a sister in law that had a masectomy. She also had chemo and radiation yet she tells me that she has the same fear that I do. That it's still in her body and will come back again with a vengence. How do we lose this fear?

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

Was your surgery done by a gynecologist or a gynecologic oncologist? If it was a gynecologic oncologist, you can feel pretty good about how they handled your cancer treatment. Can you ask your oncologist for a copy of your surgery pathology? We can help you interpret what it says if you come back here to this message board. 90% of uterine cancers are less aggressive types where you have very little worry about recurrance and your survival rate is very very high. Chances are, you DON'T have the more aggressive and rare UPSC that some of us have that post here. If you can get your pathology report (and they need to give it to you if you ask) and can tell us what it says, we can help you understand what type of cancer cell you are dealing with. I can't believe if they suspected a more aggressive cancer cell type that they wouldn't have removed a BUNCH of lymph nodes. (I had 25 lymph nodes removed during my hysterectomy for diagnostic purposes). Once you have a realistic picture of your cancer type, you should be able to take some comfort if it is not a recurrent variety.

None of us wants to live in fear, waiting for the 'other shoe to drop'. If it is within your nature, cancer is truly one of those 'too big' things that you want to put in God's hands. Many people seek counseling to help them move past this understandable fear, and others use medications to quell their anxiety. There's no shame in that.

daisy366's picture
daisy366
Posts: 1493
Joined: Mar 2009

I think Linda has some good advice about getting the reports and finding out specifically what kind of CA you have.

Mary Ann

justada's picture
justada
Posts: 6
Joined: Mar 2009

Thanks for the information. I'm new to the boards. I wasn't told what type of cancer they found in my uterus. I wasn't aware that that information could be made available to me. That has been the only fearful thing about my journey. I never thought about the possibility of there being another 'shoe' to drop. I had 20 lymph nodes removed with my surgery, and they said everything was normal. I'm almost 4 years out, so maybe I'm just being paranoid.
For me, my local support group has been a BIG help in dealing with the 'fear factor'.
Thanks for your wisdom, Linda, you are a blessing.

tbsjewels's picture
tbsjewels
Posts: 7
Joined: Jul 2008

I know what you mean about the fear of recurrence. I was diagnosed with endemetrial cancer in Oct. 2002. They caught it very early, no lymph nodes involved or blood. I did no further treatment after my hysterectomy and exploratory laparotomy 7 wks. later. At the time of my hysterectomy they did not know I had cancer, the pathology report found it. I never gave it another thought and went on with my life. In Aug. 2007, five years later, the other shoe dropped, I had a recurrence. I was totally shocked, never suspecting that was why I was feeling unwell. This time I underwent Chemo, no radiation. It is over a year now since my last chemo treatment and I am pretty much racked with anxiety. Unlike Linda and most of the other ladies discussing here, I have never gotten a pathology report, staging or any other information about my cancer. Not because I can't but because I haven't wanted that information. My oncologist hasn't given me any information that I haven't asked for even though I'm sure he would. I've thought alot about asking him now at this point, thinking since I've been in remission this long that maybe the facts would be easier to deal with but I'm just not sure if it would really eleveate my anxiety or make it worse. I've seen a counselor at my treatment center, Siteman Cancer Center in St. Louis, MO. She told me my feelings were pretty normal and are always worse after a recurrence. She also recommended medication. I'm considering it but the juries still out. I see my oncologist on April 8 so I'm working up a list of questions in case I decide to go that route. I also attend the support group and it helps just to be around others. I read this discussion board alot and feel sometimes like I'm eavesdropping in everyone's life but find that it really draws me in. I would like to hear from others who are post treatment and how they are coping with the fear. I wish everyone on this journey well. Thanks for listening. Terry

cookie1948
Posts: 79
Joined: Feb 2009

Hello,
In response to "rednaxela1", i wonder if it was the less aggressive uterine cancer as Linda mentioned. My mom at 85 a week ago had a total hysterectomy and they tested several lymph nodes but we won't get the results till i take her back on march 25th to have staples out. She was told she has serous carcinoma uterine cancer, the aggressive type, but no chemo has been mentioned as yet. I am sure we will find all of that info out this week. Mom and I are nervous., but for her age she is doing very very well. She is a strong and determined woman, i am hoping those lymph nodes tested are negative. If not, then what Linda? You are so well informed and know so much. You always give such great info. Also, Linda, why do some drs don't take all of the lymph nodes out like you had? Is it just too much surgery for my mom's age, as she was "under" a long time and is a little more confused since anesthetic administered. I really think it affects older people . (the anesthetic) Her gyn/oncologist said if she didn't do well under anesthesia he would not test lymph nodes at all, but at least he did a few. Praying for the best.
Thanks to all of you,
Cookie aka Linda

lindaprocopio's picture
lindaprocopio
Posts: 2022
Joined: Oct 2008

I didn't have ALL my lymph nodes removed, just 25. There can be over 100 in your body and they're found all over in different spots (under the arms, in the neck). I think my surgeon took 25 because that was how many he came across when he opend me up like a sandwich to see what else might be going on, as he was doing my hysterectomy. He already knew that I had UPSC from my earlier pre-hysterectomy D&C pathology, so he was going to remove as many lymph nodes as he could during my surgery. He only found microscopic traces of the cancer in ONE of the 25 lymph nodes he cut out, so imagine how I could easily have been diagnosed as Stage 1 or Stage 2 had he taken only 20 lymph nodes and left in the one that I had with the cancer in it. That is how so many people get diagnosed as Stage 1 or 2 when they should have been diagnosed at Stage 3, because not enough lymph nodes were taken to really make an accurate diagnosis. So unless your mother was strong enough to have the more invasive surgery to remove a LOT of lymph nodes, I think she's as well off having none removed than just 1. With UPSC, regardless of Stage 1, 2, 3, or 4, I'd want some type of additional treatment (chemo, radiation) after surgery.

deanna14
Posts: 734
Joined: Oct 2008

My doctor told me that with the UPSC, even if it had been only inside the uterus that he would have recommended to same treatment. Meaning he would have still said chemo and radiation.

sindiswa
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2009

Haai Rednaxela

You know us in South Africa we do not readily available accessto hospital and doctors's treatments but God surely makes a plan for us. There a number of people in our Community who have been helped by a certain unprocessed herbal mixture. After trying it all, you may give it a try . my email is mgwilisindiswa@hotmail.com

regards

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