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LindaD10553
Posts: 3
Joined: Jul 2009

I am new to the forum, and have mostly just read others post about their treatments and how they cope with the various forms of cancer they have.

I am amazed at the courage, strength and hope shared here. I have found that the worst part of having cancer is not knowing if you will ever be completely free of it. Every little ache and pain you have afterwards worries you, and can actually make you sick from the stress. It's hard to be positive every day when filled with fear and exhaustion.

In 2005 I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer and had a complete hysterectomy. I didn't have to have any radiation or chemo afterwards, and my regular 3 month pap smears for the next 3 years always came back clear.

Then in January 2009 I started having intense abdominal pain, and thought it was the small hernia I had had for many years causing it. An ultrasound seemed to support this, and even a CT scan before surgery was inconclusive. I went into surgery thinking it was a hernia repair, and the doctor found a golf ball size tumor on the inside of the abdominal wall that turned out to be malignant. He said he had never seen a tumor in that area because it was closed off from the rest of my body and organs. Honestly he was baffled by it.

When he received the pathology report on it, and compared it to my endometrial cancer, they both had the same pathological makeup. To this day he cannot explain how cancer cells from the endometrial cancer got there. I was fortunate in that the follow up PET scans showed no further cancer cells anywhere else. I underwent 5 weeks of radiation therapy, which ended in early May, and awaiting a follow up PET scan in August.

I had some recent stomach pain and had an ultrasound which came back fine, but as I noted above, every little pain you have scares you to death.

I knew in my heart before surgery this time that it was something besides a hernia, so when they told me afterward it was cancer, I didn't freak out and wasn't really surprised. But I did feel in my heart that the doctor got it all out, and was at peace with it at that time. I have tried to hold on to that positive feeling I had then, but it gets difficult when I am exhausted, scared and frustrated that I cannot do the things I used to do.

I am blessed in so many ways, that I didn't have to do chemo, that all tests and blood work have been normal, and that I have a wonderful supportive family and friends.

But at times, in the dark late at night, it's like a giant weight on my chest and I feel like I can't breathe. I hate feeling sorry for myself, when so many are so much worse off than me. I am in awe at the bravery I saw every day from the men and women I have met battling this evil. I wish I could be stronger, and most of all, I wish I could live one moment without the C word intruding upon my thoughts.

I am sorry if I rambled on....it feels good to put it on paper (so to speak). Thank you for listening and God Bless each of you in your path to wellness.

Linda

funbeadgirl
Posts: 158
Joined: Jan 2009

Dear Linda,
I was touched by your posting and your very candid expressions.I am very sorry for what you have had to endure in your journey with cancer. I remember at one time this past winter wondering 'when will I stop thinking about cancer every morning when I wake up and every night before going to sleep'? I really thought 'it' was permanently inscribed on my brain.
I am almost 4 months past my last radiation treatment, and I have to say I don't think about it like that anymore, but ,yes I do think about it. Mostly because it really never ends, as you said every pain takes you back to the thought that something might be wrong. You are wise to listen to your body and have things checked out.When I had my PET/CT scan , it showed no residual cancer in my pelvis, but did pick up a 'hot spot' on my thyroid. So now I had to see another doctor, get a biopsy, wait for results. Well, they came back inconclusive, so I will now have surgery on Aug. 26th to remove half of my thyroid. I feel frustrated because I just want to be done with it all, but I have come to realize that it never really is done. We cancer people are special in that we can continue to function in life even though we must face things that others never will and do it with courage, strength and grace...3 qualities that can get you through even the darkest of moments, which we all have, no matter how positive we are.
I guess I just wanted to reply to you, and validate your feelings, you are o.k. sister, hang in there and fight every day for who you are...a person with much to give, you are not just a person with cancer.Cancer is what you have or had...not WHO you are.
May you have peace and happiness.

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