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overcoming loss of cervical cancer

theladyn
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2010

i was diagnosed with cervical cancer one year ago, but am still having a hard time of overcoming the loss from having a hysterectomy at age 28.

I had my paps every year, always clean, until last year. It was just abnormal cells, but then when they did the colposcopy, they found some pre-cancerous cells. It was adenocarcinoma, so my gynecologist talked to a cancer specialist about it, because she concerned about the type of cells and the fact that they are more aggressive. The dysplasia was only on the outside of my cervix, but the cancer specialist recommended I have a cone biopsy because of the type of cell it is.

When they did the cone biopsy, they found that I had a 3mm tumor. I had clean margins on the cone biopsy, but the cells had reached the basement membrane, so it was determined I should have a radical hysterectomy. The doctor told me I could probably wait about a year or so, if I wanted to have a baby, but I elected to have the hysterectomy right away. I was not ready to have a baby. My boyfriend and I are not financially stable yet, and it would have seemed like a rushed decision. After my hysterectomy, the pathologies all came back clean. I did not have to have any chemo or radiation.

Now a year later, I feel very happy and thankful to be here, to be healthy. But, I still feel this sense of loss. I feel this pressing weight of death. It feels hard to imagine live in a year even. I can think about the next couple months, but much beyond that seems too hard to imagine. It just is hard to imagining living for a long time. I know I can adopt kids or have kids via surrogacy, but because my finances aren't great right now, all that is hard to imagine... It is just hard to see a great purpose point to life. I feel like I'm this being who is really grateful to be alive, but who feels lost. I feel like I don't have a point. Lots of people love me and I keep chugging through each day. I guess I wish I could just shake these sad feelings. I want to feel excited about everything. I try to keep as busy as possible as I find that helps me to feel more "alive" so to speak.

Has anyone else felt this way? I feel like I should feel happier because I have overcome cancer and made it one year, but I don't. I thought maybe a forum like this would help me find support and other people who understand what I'm talking about. At 29, most of my friends don't really get it.

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

Your understanding of loss is normal. You've gone through a lot in the past year. Your writings sound as if you've hit a wall in your healing process and seeking expert advice at this time might be a good thing. Your young...vibrant...with many options to help you get past this void your feeling.
Life is not always going to be exciting. We all have good days and bad days...just being alive to experience them is what makes them worth getting up every day.
Please seek out a professional to get you through this rough time...the rest will fall into place.
((HUGS))

theladyn
Posts: 2
Joined: Oct 2010

i think you are right that i have definitely hit a wall. at first it is the physical recovery. then it is a bit of mental recovery. now, I feel a lot "Ok, now what?" Because things are better but not quite.

I have been looking into my options for therapy...but I would still like to have some people who have been through similar to talk to. Do you know of any sites/organizations?

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

I wish I did. I know you could really benefit from meeting others in your situation. The mental recovery can take much longer than anticipated. Everyone looks at you physically and thinks "she's doing great" when, in reality, your really not. I do hope you can find a site that will benefit you. Have you tried posting to the young survivors board? I think it's towards the bottom of the main board page.
BIG ((HUGS))
Hang in there...help is out there somewhere.

Toast
Posts: 33
Joined: May 2010

I understand what you are saying and the emotional issues. I was talking to my internist yesterday (she is a much better listener than my oncologist) and she knew of a therapist that specializes in helping people with medical related issues. I plan to give her a call because the burden is just too heavy and I can't seem to find my way out of it on my own. I hope you are able to get some relief and get back your happy. Here's to hoping we both (as well as all our sisters here) heal in every way.

Seeking Answers
Posts: 2
Joined: Nov 2010

The ladyn, I understand. I have not yet had the hysterectomy but my doc tells me I am going to have to have one. I feel as though my womanhood is being taken from me and I wonder how much time I have until I need to have mine done. I have sooo many unanswered questions.

Here is my story: In December of 2009, I was told by my nurse's doctor over the phone that carcinoma cells were present in my recent pap and that I needed to come in for surgery. I went in on Jan 8 and had a cone performed. I was diagnosed as having adenocarcinoma in situ. I never saw my docotor except right before I went into the operating room and he told me based on pathology that I would eventually need a hystercomy possible in the next 10 years. At this time, I am 30 years old, not married no kids but dream and long every day for them. I got a call from the doc's nurse about 3 days after surgery telling me that it was adenocarinoma in situ and that I needed to come back in June for another pap. In June, the doc took about 20 mins with me to tell me that my cells are deep in the cervix and are hard to detect which is why in the june 2009 I had an alarming bad pap but the colposcomy showed nothing 2 weeks later in July. So he tells me that is why he didn't find it until now. So here I am a year later sitting in his office. He tells me we will monitor every 3 months with pap. That pap came back good. At that same visit he tells me I will in fact need a hystercomy at some point when I no longer want kids or already have them. I asked him how long and he says he does not know, maybe 2 year window to have kids. Yesterday I went back in and had a colposcomy and he saw one spot he wanted to take out and test. I feel as though I have lots of unanswered questions with a doc who barely has time for me. He gave me his card and told me to e-mail him my questions. I would really like to know where exactly the source of the cancer is, can it spread into other nodes. What I read here and on the internet say this is the type that can spread. I have other medical things that have been happening and I wonder if they are related. I tried to ask that yesterday and he brushed it off. My glands in my throat are swollen always when I get sick. I have lots of issues passing stools. I am concerned that perhaps the whole picture is not getting looked at. If you were me, what would you do? OR Am I just making a big deal out of something that is really nothing? Should I just brush this aside until it gets to a point where I have to deal with it or will it just go away? I would like some answers. Help!

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

I would definitely seek a second opinion. Myself, I am downright urked at my docs and went looking for a second opinion. This facility contacted my insurance company and was told that until the cancer becomes active again...they will not pay for me to be seen by them. So, I made an appt. with my gyn to just sit and talk and try to get some answers. Will I get them??? He's just a ob-gyn, not and oncology ob-gyn. Wish me luck!
I hope you find the answers your looking for.

Toast
Posts: 33
Joined: May 2010

I am considering going elsewhere too. When I asked the oncology nurse if she would call me with the biopsy results, she told me to call her because "she just has so many things to do she can't call everyone." I was too stunned to reply.

beckyracn's picture
beckyracn
Posts: 323
Joined: May 2009

What is it with docs offices not calling us with results? The only way I found out the results of my recent MRI was to call them and ask them to mail me a copy. And to date, the doc has not called to discuss the results. Didn't even request a follow up appt. to discuss them with me. And I don't trust the radiologists results, because one scan I have all my insides, the next I don't, the next I don't have ovaries, etc. Who's body are they looking at? If I didn't know better, I'd be inclined to think I was a magician and could make body part appear and disappear at whim!

KellyDMB
Posts: 5
Joined: Dec 2010

Ha! Me too, sometimes I have ovaries, and sometimes I don't, my doctor at Penn just laughed saying it was a mistake, A mistake?!

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