My Story of Cervical Cancer, hope it helps someone.

I'm Chel,41 year old femaie and hope my story can help someone going through the same thing, Here's my story:

In early summer 2011 I started having some right side back pain, I had visited my family doctor and some test were done and it was decided it was a bladder / kidney infection. I was given antibiotics and sent on ny way. My periods in August 2011 started getting weird, they were very heavy and would last a long time or short and I'd have 2 a mnth somtimes. I also started passing huge clots. I talked to friends and my mom about it and it seemed normal, like maybe I was starting the change.

I was dating someone and hadn't been with anyone in 7 years sexually and the first time I slept with my boyfriend I bled durring and after, I again just thought it was because I hadn't been with anyone in a long time. But it happened everytime and my periods got heavier and the clots got huge, during this time I still had the right side back pain. Finally I decided I better do a little bit more and find out whats going on.

My family doctor sent me to a gyno. He did a pap smear and several other blood tests in December 2011. He also ordered a transvaginal ultrasound. My papsmear came back abnormal and doctor ordered a coloposcopy, the transvaginal ultrasound showed a cyst on a ovary but he wasn't concerned about it, he said its the type that come and go, and I knew from history I had them when I was in my teens. The doctor told me the pathologist said just from the papsmear he was sure it was cancer and it if wasn't it was the worst case he had seen, I had the Colposcopy Jan 9, 2012. On 1/13/12 I was told I had Invasive Squamous Cell Carcinoma. The biospy they took was all cancer, I remember bleeding so bad they werent sure they could get it stopped, they used this mustard coffee ground substance for my cervix, it stopped the bleeding, but was painful the next few days.

The gyno sent me to an Oncologist, she is wonderful. I saw her at the end of January 2012. She's always been so positive that we can treat this. At this point I was told it was 2B. She sent me to get a PetScan. Early Feb 2012. The scan showed a little bit more advanced and now I was told it was 3b. Tumor was on my ureter to my right kidney, why I had been having the back pain. I also had 2 very small lymph nodes that showed some signs of cancer, one more than the other. She immediatly said we have to save your kidney, I had to have stent put in to open up the ureter. The immediatly stopped my back pain.

My oncologist ordered 6 rounds of Chemo, 28 rounds of external radiation and 5 internal radiations. I have just finished my last treatment April 24th of internal. Now I'm waiting for everything to settle and I'll see the oncologist and radiologist at the end of May. I didnt loose my hair with the chemo, the chemo I got is something that helps the radiation, it's not the strong kind. It made me sick, I lost my taste buds, but found a few things I could eat, like peanut butter and jelly and eggs and toast. External radiation was fairly easy the first few weeks, then with that and the chemo I became very tired. Then the internal radiation started, my radiologist puts you under general, just like surgery, they radiation takes 20 mins but he said it's so uncomfortable for women that its easier to be put under. This part of the treatment I think is the hardest and the worst. I'm a big baby and a worry wart and I'm still not sure how I made it thought but I did. My faith in God and family and friends have helped so much. I could not have made it as I did without my mom, she's been there every step. After my treatment Tuesday 4/24 while I was in recovery, they told my mom that they couldn't see the tumor anymore. My mom texted and called everyone she knew while I was in recovery, me, I'm still in shock and I'm hoping that my scans I'll get in the coming weeks show that the cancer is gone.

i know i've fogotten details and I hope this helps someone, please feel free to ask me questions and If I can can be of help let me know, this journey is tuff and scary and the one thing I want to share is to help others, I was scared going into this and realized there wasn't alot of "people" that I knew that went through this to help me. I'm still recovering, still very tired, but everyday I get better.
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Comments

  • ccfighter
    ccfighter Member Posts: 476
    Thank you for
    Thank you for sharing.

    Smplychel,
    What a battle. Your story is truly inspiring and I pray that the disease is gone and gone forever. I too am fighting the cervical cancer and it is so nice to be able to communicate with others who have been through this. Thank you. Best wishes.
  • spotmany
    spotmany Member Posts: 2
    Meet Other Amazing Cervical Cancer Survivors
    You have shared a very heroic story. I know you will inspire many others and still more will be there to inspire you every step of the way into your survivorship. I believe it is important to stay focused on survivors. If they can do it, so can you!

    I met two amazing cervical cancer survivors this weekend. Both were diagnosed while in their 30's. Today they are thriving while giving back to our community of survivorship.

    check out my blog post:(you might need to copy & paste in your browser): http://spotmany.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/cervical-cancer-survivors/

    Are you as impressed by Tina and Alyssa as I am?
  • Mel68
    Mel68 Member Posts: 6
    Your history?
    Hi there and sorry you are going through this. I was wondering about your history. Have you had abnormal paps in the past? Have you had any prior cervical problems or treatments? Where you having regular paps? I keep reading that cervical cancer takes many years to develop, passing through the various CIN stages, but this sounds like it appeared out of the blue.
    I wish you all the best for your recovery.
  • SmplyChel
    SmplyChel Member Posts: 9
    Mel68 said:

    Your history?
    Hi there and sorry you are going through this. I was wondering about your history. Have you had abnormal paps in the past? Have you had any prior cervical problems or treatments? Where you having regular paps? I keep reading that cervical cancer takes many years to develop, passing through the various CIN stages, but this sounds like it appeared out of the blue.
    I wish you all the best for your recovery.

    My history...
    Unfortunately I did not have regular pap smears. I'm sure had I had them yearly it would have been caught in an earlier stage. That's something I've dealt with mentally, and I'm sure will struggle with. I've heard and read so many stories where women went yearly and it just showed up. My best friend in 2009 went every year for her papsmear. In 2009 she started irregular bleeding, she went to the gyno and had stage 2B. Just 8 months after her yearly. My doctors have told me not to focus on not having went for my regular checkups, but to focus on I'm here now and it can be cured. I do feel like my story could help that one woman. I was afraid of everything, that's why I never went. My fear outweighed the risk.
    Now what can I be afraid of....? Cancer has to be the worst disease ever and the treatments are something I would never wish on anyone..,.My smit sleeve is being removed by my oncologist Monday the 7th. I pray she also sees the tumor is gone as the radiologist did.

    I'm thankful I'm here, my daughter's prom is this weekend. She in a play and doing a skit for SADD, I'm so thankful God has given me these days.
  • ccfighter
    ccfighter Member Posts: 476
    SmplyChel said:

    My history...
    Unfortunately I did not have regular pap smears. I'm sure had I had them yearly it would have been caught in an earlier stage. That's something I've dealt with mentally, and I'm sure will struggle with. I've heard and read so many stories where women went yearly and it just showed up. My best friend in 2009 went every year for her papsmear. In 2009 she started irregular bleeding, she went to the gyno and had stage 2B. Just 8 months after her yearly. My doctors have told me not to focus on not having went for my regular checkups, but to focus on I'm here now and it can be cured. I do feel like my story could help that one woman. I was afraid of everything, that's why I never went. My fear outweighed the risk.
    Now what can I be afraid of....? Cancer has to be the worst disease ever and the treatments are something I would never wish on anyone..,.My smit sleeve is being removed by my oncologist Monday the 7th. I pray she also sees the tumor is gone as the radiologist did.

    I'm thankful I'm here, my daughter's prom is this weekend. She in a play and doing a skit for SADD, I'm so thankful God has given me these days.

    I am unfortunately one of
    I am unfortunately one of those rare cases where I had all my yearly paps and was still diagnosed at stage 2 A only weeks after a normal pap. I have an adenocarcinoma subtype called adenosquamous and these apparently have a harder time showing up on paps. I have three beautiful children, had an ob/gyn who I had been with for years. Even when the abnormal bleeding started, the paps still showed normal. Went on a lot longer than it should have. Almost through treatments now. One more chemo to go.
  • SmplyChel
    SmplyChel Member Posts: 9
    ccfighter said:

    I am unfortunately one of
    I am unfortunately one of those rare cases where I had all my yearly paps and was still diagnosed at stage 2 A only weeks after a normal pap. I have an adenocarcinoma subtype called adenosquamous and these apparently have a harder time showing up on paps. I have three beautiful children, had an ob/gyn who I had been with for years. Even when the abnormal bleeding started, the paps still showed normal. Went on a lot longer than it should have. Almost through treatments now. One more chemo to go.

    Ccfighter
    Keep fighting. You'll be in my prayers.
  • Mel68
    Mel68 Member Posts: 6
    SmplyChel said:

    My history...
    Unfortunately I did not have regular pap smears. I'm sure had I had them yearly it would have been caught in an earlier stage. That's something I've dealt with mentally, and I'm sure will struggle with. I've heard and read so many stories where women went yearly and it just showed up. My best friend in 2009 went every year for her papsmear. In 2009 she started irregular bleeding, she went to the gyno and had stage 2B. Just 8 months after her yearly. My doctors have told me not to focus on not having went for my regular checkups, but to focus on I'm here now and it can be cured. I do feel like my story could help that one woman. I was afraid of everything, that's why I never went. My fear outweighed the risk.
    Now what can I be afraid of....? Cancer has to be the worst disease ever and the treatments are something I would never wish on anyone..,.My smit sleeve is being removed by my oncologist Monday the 7th. I pray she also sees the tumor is gone as the radiologist did.

    I'm thankful I'm here, my daughter's prom is this weekend. She in a play and doing a skit for SADD, I'm so thankful God has given me these days.

    I relate to the fear ....
    The reason I asked about your history is that I've just had my first pap in four years, and am about to be biopsied for possible VIN/vulval cancer on Friday. Still awaiting the results of the pap and HPV test. Needless to say, I am freaking out and cursing myself for not dealing with this sooner.
  • ccfighter
    ccfighter Member Posts: 476
    Mel68 said:

    I relate to the fear ....
    The reason I asked about your history is that I've just had my first pap in four years, and am about to be biopsied for possible VIN/vulval cancer on Friday. Still awaiting the results of the pap and HPV test. Needless to say, I am freaking out and cursing myself for not dealing with this sooner.

    Mel68,
    Don't kick yourself

    Mel68,
    Don't kick yourself too hard. The new recommendation for women who have had several years of normal paps is to only have them done every three years. I don't agree with the recommendation, but im sure the insurance companies will. Sometimes these things happen despite the screening tests. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
  • Mel68
    Mel68 Member Posts: 6
    ccfighter said:

    Mel68,
    Don't kick yourself

    Mel68,
    Don't kick yourself too hard. The new recommendation for women who have had several years of normal paps is to only have them done every three years. I don't agree with the recommendation, but im sure the insurance companies will. Sometimes these things happen despite the screening tests. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

    Will do. I'm 44 and have
    Will do. I'm 44 and have never had an abnormal pap, so I guess I got a little complacent ...
  • jonesdeb112352
    jonesdeb112352 Member Posts: 3
    Cervical Cancer Treatment
    Chel:
    Glad to hear you are done with your treatments and doing well. I went through the same type of treatments. I was diagnosed in Sept. 2011 with Stage 2B and it has changed my life forever. I am so phobic of anything medical, thank goodness for the chemo port, I don't know if I would have made it without that! I finished treatments in November of 2011 and had a PetScan in February. My numbers are way down and my doctor is optimistic. I had a discharge and some spotting until about a month ago which always worried me but from what they tell me it was normal. I tolerated the treatments fairly well. I was sick to my stomach alot and found foods that I could eat, but not many. I am suffering some side affects. The radiation has affected my muscles and nerves especially in my left groin and leg area. I'm doing physcial therapy and it seems to be helping. I've done lots of reading about the side effects and am hoping that I will recover. I spend alot of time worrying about the future. I am 59 years old and will fight like hell to beat this. I have lots of things to accomplish yet and even though I have dark days and pity parties try to stay as optimistic as possible. I returned to work not quite 3 months after the treatments ended. I have days when I wish I could retire, but know that work keeps me busy and my mind off from the disease. I have a good cancer care team, my doctor is good, but his staff is even better with support and good will. I hope to hear from you, I think we have lots in common.

    Regards,
    Deb
  • jonesdeb112352
    jonesdeb112352 Member Posts: 3
    Cervical Cancer Treatment
    Chel:
    Glad to hear you are done with your treatments and doing well. I went through the same type of treatments. I was diagnosed in Sept. 2011 with Stage 2B and it has changed my life forever. I am so phobic of anything medical, thank goodness for the chemo port, I don't know if I would have made it without that! I finished treatments in November of 2011 and had a PetScan in February. My numbers are way down and my doctor is optimistic. I had a discharge and some spotting until about a month ago which always worried me but from what they tell me it was normal. I tolerated the treatments fairly well. I was sick to my stomach alot and found foods that I could eat, but not many. I am suffering some side affects. The radiation has affected my muscles and nerves especially in my left groin and leg area. I'm doing physcial therapy and it seems to be helping. I've done lots of reading about the side effects and am hoping that I will recover. I spend alot of time worrying about the future. I am 59 years old and will fight like hell to beat this. I have lots of things to accomplish yet and even though I have dark days and pity parties try to stay as optimistic as possible. I returned to work not quite 3 months after the treatments ended. I have days when I wish I could retire, but know that work keeps me busy and my mind off from the disease. I have a good cancer care team, my doctor is good, but his staff is even better with support and good will. I hope to hear from you, I think we have lots in common.

    Regards,
    Deb
  • katiekatjacob
    katiekatjacob Member Posts: 8
    spotmany said:

    Meet Other Amazing Cervical Cancer Survivors
    You have shared a very heroic story. I know you will inspire many others and still more will be there to inspire you every step of the way into your survivorship. I believe it is important to stay focused on survivors. If they can do it, so can you!

    I met two amazing cervical cancer survivors this weekend. Both were diagnosed while in their 30's. Today they are thriving while giving back to our community of survivorship.

    check out my blog post:(you might need to copy & paste in your browser): http://spotmany.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/cervical-cancer-survivors/

    Are you as impressed by Tina and Alyssa as I am?

    Truly impressed!
    Wow. What a pair of impressive women! The silver lining to any cancer story has to be the stories of strength we hear about from patients and survivors. That's why I'm honored to be a member of the cancer community. I wish you all similar strength and hope!
  • SmplyChel
    SmplyChel Member Posts: 9

    Cervical Cancer Treatment
    Chel:
    Glad to hear you are done with your treatments and doing well. I went through the same type of treatments. I was diagnosed in Sept. 2011 with Stage 2B and it has changed my life forever. I am so phobic of anything medical, thank goodness for the chemo port, I don't know if I would have made it without that! I finished treatments in November of 2011 and had a PetScan in February. My numbers are way down and my doctor is optimistic. I had a discharge and some spotting until about a month ago which always worried me but from what they tell me it was normal. I tolerated the treatments fairly well. I was sick to my stomach alot and found foods that I could eat, but not many. I am suffering some side affects. The radiation has affected my muscles and nerves especially in my left groin and leg area. I'm doing physcial therapy and it seems to be helping. I've done lots of reading about the side effects and am hoping that I will recover. I spend alot of time worrying about the future. I am 59 years old and will fight like hell to beat this. I have lots of things to accomplish yet and even though I have dark days and pity parties try to stay as optimistic as possible. I returned to work not quite 3 months after the treatments ended. I have days when I wish I could retire, but know that work keeps me busy and my mind off from the disease. I have a good cancer care team, my doctor is good, but his staff is even better with support and good will. I hope to hear from you, I think we have lots in common.

    Regards,
    Deb

    Jonesdeb
    deb, it does sound like we have a lot in common. I still don't have the strength I use too. My last treatment was April 24th. But I'm doing a lot more. My doctor said my tumor was 98% gone when she looked a couple weeks ago. She said that we would wait 8 weeks before a new PetScan. I go back to work June 1st. I just hope everything is gone, I worry about the lymphnodes (2) that showed small signs of Cancer too. You keep fighting, I do everyday!
  • ronmybaby
    ronmybaby Member Posts: 20
    ON the radiation...
    I am going to start up chemo and radiation end of this month or next month. I see my Dr. on the 26th with my first visit since my hystrectomy/tumor in the cervix was take all out. It doesn't sound like you had a hystrectomy but I did. So I am very scared about not having anything female in there to help "protect" me my organs like bladder/rectum from the internal radiation. Didn't it burn? I know from my female gyro doc. she said I will have both external/and internal radiation probably swapping it off to give my interal area rest. But the external radiation I read online does cause damage to the organs because the internal is very direct and exact not like the external is. I am so worried I will cause myself MORE problems than I have. I worry alot too. :)

    I do have my husband to help me. But no one else. He will have to go off and work jobs away from me for afew weeks at a time....I will use a cab to go to and from the clinc. Your lucky to have your mom there to help you. I'm 55 yrs old. Never had kids.

    Any good words will help me. thanks so much.
    Kitty from GA.
  • ccfighter
    ccfighter Member Posts: 476
    ronmybaby said:

    ON the radiation...
    I am going to start up chemo and radiation end of this month or next month. I see my Dr. on the 26th with my first visit since my hystrectomy/tumor in the cervix was take all out. It doesn't sound like you had a hystrectomy but I did. So I am very scared about not having anything female in there to help "protect" me my organs like bladder/rectum from the internal radiation. Didn't it burn? I know from my female gyro doc. she said I will have both external/and internal radiation probably swapping it off to give my interal area rest. But the external radiation I read online does cause damage to the organs because the internal is very direct and exact not like the external is. I am so worried I will cause myself MORE problems than I have. I worry alot too. :)

    I do have my husband to help me. But no one else. He will have to go off and work jobs away from me for afew weeks at a time....I will use a cab to go to and from the clinc. Your lucky to have your mom there to help you. I'm 55 yrs old. Never had kids.

    Any good words will help me. thanks so much.
    Kitty from GA.

    It's not so bad. I had a
    It's not so bad. I had a radical hysterectomy, chemo, chemo/ radiation, internal radiation, more chemo. Everything still works. No lasting side effects on bladder or bowel. Life is good. You'll do fine. Take care.
  • ronmybaby
    ronmybaby Member Posts: 20
    ccfighter said:

    It's not so bad. I had a
    It's not so bad. I had a radical hysterectomy, chemo, chemo/ radiation, internal radiation, more chemo. Everything still works. No lasting side effects on bladder or bowel. Life is good. You'll do fine. Take care.

    question
    I had the radical hysterectomy 15 days ago. How long was it from yours till you actually started up on the chemo/radiation? Did the doctor wait very long before he started it up? Doctor took part of the vagina with the rest of it in the hysterectomy (along with a cancerous tumor).
  • ccfighter
    ccfighter Member Posts: 476
    ronmybaby said:

    question
    I had the radical hysterectomy 15 days ago. How long was it from yours till you actually started up on the chemo/radiation? Did the doctor wait very long before he started it up? Doctor took part of the vagina with the rest of it in the hysterectomy (along with a cancerous tumor).

    I started chemo about 2 1/2
    I started chemo about 2 1/2 -3 weeks after my hysterectomy. I started chemo/radiation about 3 months after surgery. They need to wait until you are healed before they can start radiation. Usually 8-12 weeks after surgery.
  • sue42
    sue42 Member Posts: 1
    ccfighter said:

    I started chemo about 2 1/2
    I started chemo about 2 1/2 -3 weeks after my hysterectomy. I started chemo/radiation about 3 months after surgery. They need to wait until you are healed before they can start radiation. Usually 8-12 weeks after surgery.

    Confused

    Hello All,

    I wish much success for those who are fighters and survivors of these cancers.
    What I'm confused about is this: people dying from cervical cancers. From reading,
    I've gathered that if you can just get a hysterectomy, then you'll be on your way to
    being cured. So is it perhaps the stage that the cancer is found? So a stage 4 diagnosis
    can not be helped even with a hysterectomy, chemo, and radiation?

    Thanks, I hate to sound ignorant. Through my research on the internet, I read that
    there are many survivors of this type of cancer; so there is HOPE! I just knew it was
    a for sure death sentence, until I started researching.

    Keep up the fight! I'm waiting for results of a recent pap smear. I have a history of
    abnormal paps, and I'm worried. But I don't have any symptoms of cervical cancer except
    an annoying pain in my pelvis. I believe with my faith I will get through anything.
  • weezjr
    weezjr Member Posts: 3
    I also was stage IIB cervical cancer survivor
    I had stage IIB cc that was not found on a pap smear. I had adenocarcinoma that was almost 19 years ago. Since it was a glandular process, they said thats why it was not found on a pap.

    I had hysterectomy and radiation. If you are interested in further reading, you can read my whole story of signs and symptoms of cancer plus other cancer survivor stories and information on cervical cancer such as symptoms, treatment options, coping, etc.

    feel free to read more at aboutcervicalcancer.com
  • Noggin
    Noggin Member Posts: 4
    Denisa's story
    Thank-you for posting your story, my wife Denisa has gone through some of the same things as you and the other women on this board. Her story starts like this.

    Pap showed some abnormal cells so she was told they needed to do a LEEP. Leep was done and we were told that all was fine and nothing to worry about. Some spotting was noticed by her and off we went back to doc, colo was done 2 months after LEEP and was told that now we need to get biopsy done. OBGYN Onc came in during biopsy and said it was cancer and we could not wait for results from biopsy to start PET scans.

    PET scan showed Stage IIb with lymph nodes up to kidneys positive for cancer.

    Six rounds of chemo with cysplatin, six weeks of external radiation and six treatments of internal radiation. Just completed treatments on DEC 2nd 2012. CT scan and visual exam showed no sign of cancer remaining. Her radiation Onc told her about a study in Australia where they give 2 more rounds of chemo after all treatments have been completed. Her OBGYN Onc was not aware of study and looked into it and gave her the option if she wanted to do the 2 more treatments, it is with a different chemo drug than the cysplatin. We are going to do it to give the best chance possible to beat this thing.

    I admire all of you ladies that are fighting this and will pray for each and every one of you. Thank-you again for posting your stories. I will update this when we get our first post treatment scan