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New to board-10 year uterine cancer survivor

AmericanGal
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2010

Hi everyone, I just found this board and thought I'd share my story. I wish a board like this had been around way back when I had my treatments.

I was diagnosed in November 1999 with uterine cancer (age 42). This was after more than 5 years (yes years!) of spotting between periods, heavy bleeding with clots and pelvic pain. I was convinced it was just pre-menopause symptoms and sought medical treatment much later than I should have--particularly since my mother had also experienced uterine cancer a few years earlier. Always see a doctor promptly when you have symptoms.

I was staged during my surgery. My cancer was FIGO Grade 1 Stage 2B Adenocarcinoma. I had a radical hysterectomy with removal of both ovaries and some lymph nodes (don't know how many). I then had the 28x external beam radiation treatment and 3 days in the hospital with a radioactive implant.

My cancer had spread well into the cervix and 50% into the lining of the uterus. There was a nodule on the outside of the uterus itself (non-cancerous but I think likely pre-cancer). The cancer had not spread to the ovaries, fallopian tubes, lymph nodes or anywhere else. The wash they took at the time of surgery was negative.

Chemotherapy was not part of my treatment plan although my radiation oncologist said it was an option if I wanted it. I decided to stick with the standard therapy--surgery then radiation. The only doctors I saw were my gynecologist who did the surgery and a radiation oncologist. I never had any CA 125 testing done (don't know if it was even available then).

10 years out I am healthy and fine. I make sure I get a colonoscopy every 5 years and my yearly mamogram/pap smear. I do have linger side effects from my treatment. I have a small bowel obstruction that flares up from time to time--typical complication of abdominal surgery. I have some adheasions from the radiation treatment that cause a small amount of intestinal discomfort and occasional irritable bowel. My bladder sometimes has slight irritation but nothing major. Because of the lymph node removal I get some mild swelling of both my legs and patchy discoloration on my skin there--unsightly but not a huge issue.

I don't know if I can ever be called "cured" but I wanted to tell my story to let all of you know that there are many long term survivors out there. We just never post to websites like this since it's been while since our treatment. It's not like you ever forget you had cancer--you just tend to get back into the routine of things and not seek out information anymore once you pass that 5 year post cancer mark.

When I had my treatment I took things one day at a time. I used my sick days from work which helped me cope with the fatigue from the radiation treatments. But once my treatments were over I went back to work full-time and it really helped to get back into a normal routine again.

I know many on this board are newly diagnosed. I found that learning as much as possible about my cancer helped me cope. It would have also helped me to have the support of others. I'm glad to see that groups like this are now easily found on the internet.

Anyway, I just thought I'd share my story, what I went through, and what I experience these years post-treatment. I hope it can help someone out there...

GracieGold's picture
GracieGold
Posts: 23
Joined: Jun 2010

Thank you for sharing your story. It is wonderful to hear of the success of your treatments and how you have moved on with your life. Best wishes for your continued good health!

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

Thanks for posting your success story. We love to read success stories. May you continue to enjoy life. In peace and caring.

thank you
Posts: 77
Joined: Jun 2009

Thank you so much for sharing your story

Chrysoula

llight
Posts: 99
Joined: Feb 2010

Thanks so much for sharing your story. It does give me hope and inspiration. And it makes sense why anyone would just want to get on with their lives after dealing with all one goes through fighting the fight. Your story is a gift! Thank you, again!

susafina
Posts: 134
Joined: May 2010

Thanks for sharing your story with us. It gives people like me real hope that we can have for ever remi ssions! I wish you continued health and success!!
SUE

Cecile Louise's picture
Cecile Louise
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2009

Thank you for posting your story; it is so uplifting to hear from a long-term survivor! Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own journey I don't remember that there are many who have beat the odds. Thank you for reminding me that we are all "a statistic of one".

Love,
Cecile

jazzy1's picture
jazzy1
Posts: 1385
Joined: Mar 2010

So very uplifting and happy you brifely stopped in to post. We need to hear lots of these stories as this cancer can be very much a downer. Happy thoughts~

Jan

P.S. Cecile...love that animal whatever it is. Love your creativity, as I need to get on the band wagon as the beach picture from me is getting old...stay tuned~

Ro10's picture
Ro10
Posts: 1579
Joined: Jan 2009

You bird definitely brought a big smile to my face when I saw it this morning. Thanks for the chuckle. Hope you are doing well. In peace and caring.

Cecile Louise's picture
Cecile Louise
Posts: 135
Joined: Dec 2009

I love the emu, too! It looks like me, peering in at all of you, my Sister-Warriors!

Again, thanks to you, AmericanGal, for caring enough to share your words of hope!

Love,
Cecile

nempark
Posts: 683
Joined: Apr 2010

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. Continued good health to you. Wow. I just love it. keep in touch. June

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