Dec 05, 2009 - 4:58 pm
My name is Josie. I am new to this board and looking for answers.
At 58...59 next week...I am mom/stepmom to 5 grown children...2 are mine and 3 are my also widowed husband's kids. Between us, we have 4 grandchildren...my 15 year old grand daughter; his 2 1/2 year old grand daughter; and his 4 year old and 6 month old grandsons.
On Nov. 17, just one month after diagnosis, I had a radical hysterectomy, including pelvic lymph nodes and peritoneal wash, and am at home recuperating from surgery. Being menopausal, it was an easy choice. I saw no reason to hang on to reproductive organs that no longer work anyway.
My surgical follow-up gyn/onc visit was for staple removal and pathology results. Surgery went well, little to no bleeding, but had a severe allergic reaction to pain meds and now have aligator skin due to the frickin' rash. Ugh.
Path report: All biopsies were negative; but one area of concern is that the cancer had moved more than 1/2 way through the uterine wall. How much more than 1/2 I was too stoopid to ask. There is no evidence that it breached the muscle, but it is an area of concern for recurrence of the cancer. Again, I didn't think to ask what the typical odds are.
Doc has given me the option of choosing to have "preventative" radiation of my remaining pelvic area. He told me the old thinking used to be that a choice wasn't really given and that women were pretty much pushed into doing it. These days, he says, modern thinking is not so regimented. Gotta appreciate that.
Don't know what type or how much. He said I should do some research and talk to women who opted to have it as well as those who did not. I go back on Dec. 14 for pelvic exam and to further discuss radiation options.
After some reading here, I realize there's a LOT I don't know about my particular cancer even though I THOUGHT I had asked plenty of questions. I'm developing a long list of new questions to which I need my onc. to answer before making my choice...what type, stage, how far past 1/2, etc; what kind of radiation is he thinking and how long; what are the pap smears every 3 months going to tell him; how will they know if it's come back. And probably more as I continue my reading.
Other than find info on what types of radiation are available and possible side effects, I'm having challenges finding the kind of info I really want.
ie: For the type of uterine cancer I had, what are the chances of recurrence in the pelvic cavity?
How do you deal with the side effects and what are typically the chances of having them?
Where exactly is the treatment going to be pointed...wide...narrow...how do they know where it needs to go and how many treatments are needed to gain the most likelihood it won't come back?
After my initial euphoria that it was all gone, I suddenly feel like a time bomb.