Oct 22, 2011 - 1:01 am
March 1, 2011 I was diagnosed with Stage IIIC vulvar cancer. This was quite a shock to all, as this is not a common cancer for someone my age. March 15, with God guiding the hands of the surgeons, I had a partial vulvectomy to remove the tumor and bilateral pelvic lymph nodes. The final pathology did show 4 out of 12 nodes on the right were positive, so radiation & chemo were necessary. 30 radiation treatment and 7 chemo treatments. Over all, the chemo was easy, no side effects and no set backs with low blood counts. Radiation, was another story. In the beginning, it was not so bad, but by week 3 my skin was starting to show signs of the very common, but very painful radiation burns. Men's boxer shorts became the norm if I had to go out anywhere, and a baggy nightgown at home to let air get to the area to help it heal. During this time, I had problems with a seroma (fluid collection) in my right groin where the lymph nodes were removed. Several times, the seroma needed to be drained and even got infected. To this day, I still have occasion pain around that area, but that is common and will probably have some degree of discomfort there for the rest of my life as my body tries to figure out what to do with the fluid it collects in that area.
Today, I am six months out from the surgery and my PET scan last week remains CANCER FREE!!!
If there is anyone out there that I can help to get through this, or answer any questions, please feel free to contact me. I am very open to questions about my cancer and want to "pay it forward" for all the people that helped me. If there is one person I can reach and make a difference in their life, that is my goal.