Dec 30, 2012 - 2:16 pm
Teal greetings to all,
I hope I have finally found a way to share my "story". Had an annual GYN exam in August, 2011 with no suspicious findings including a clear PAP. The only comment was that there was a large fibroid (uterine) and a small fibroid on the left ovary. On a motorcycle trip I noticed that I had abdominal swelling that came and went - no other symptoms or pain. As someone who was overweight to begin with, I figured it was just more of the same shifting around. In March I went to a family "do" in England and noticed I was uncomfortable sitting on the flight (again thought nothing of it as it went down). Just before returning to the US, I looked at myself in a mirror and I looked like I was ready to deliver twins. Upon returning home I made an appointment with my Internist who initially diagnosed a hernia but insisted on a CT scan (without contrast - too hard on my kidneys). That night I got "the call". We had an office conference the next day along with all kinds of blood work and a referral to a Gynecological Oncologist in Charlotte NC. He saw me Thursday and my surgery was Friday March 30th. Total hysterectomy including omentum. Post surgery, he conferred with my sister and boyfriend saying he got as much as possible but there were still microscopic cells and lymph node involvement but chemo would take care of it.
I had to wait for all the healing to complete before the Oncologist (different doctor) started my chemo - Taxol and Carboplatin - 6 rounds. That started in May. I knew all the potential side effects (my hair was gone after the first round - and that hurt more than anything else). Veins collapsed and a Power Port was implanted on June 5th and round 2 went through the port. I kept a diary for a while of my side effects and knew that by the third day I would experience the flu like SX but all in all, in hindsight, it wasn't bad. No nausea. Prior to starting chemo I had over 3000 mL of fluid drawn off (ascites). RBC took a nosedive as did WBC but we carried on. After the 5th round I had two units of blood to support my failing RBC. We delayed my last chemo for a week just to allow my counts to stabilize. Hospitalized in August for PE and two more units of blood. My CA125 went from 917 post surgery to normal in very short order and everyone was elated. PET/CT scan in September was fine - showed no changes or potential problems. Three month follow up scan 8 days before Christmas showed "subtle changes" in lymph nodes. CA125 rocketed up to 314. My GYN Oncologist (surgeon) and Oncologist conferred and told me that it was back and there was no cure, only remission because I was diagnosed at a late stage (stage IVc). Personally, I don't think that cancer is ever "cured" but goes into remission, long term or longer term remissions. I'm starting Gemzar and Carboplatin this coming Friday. I say, BRING IT ON! The oncologist did acknowledge that eventually the cancer will be drug resistant but has great faith in Gemzar. Before we started the first rounds of chemo, my oncologist wanted to know if I wanted to know my survivability. He didn't sound too optimistic this last go round, but will fight for me. We're no where near getting ready to hang up the towel and predictions are just that.
There has been a lot of information on alkalinizing diet and restricting carbs. In animal medicine, cancer just loves carbs, so my thought is that eliminating as many carbs as possible is a good thing for me. Any thoughts?
I suppose I'm still just a little in shock and somewhere between shock and acceptance. Little or obscure symptoms is what shocks me most. As I wish all of you good luck on your continuing journeys, I hope to receive the same. There are so many people praying for me, it's a little embarrassing; never knew how many people I came in contact with. The downside for me right now isn't my personal fight, but my sweet dog, April, fending off stage 1 sarcoma and 18 radiation treatments. Sucks.
Thank you for listening.