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Cervical Cancer

Sonyhey
Posts: 1
Joined: Oct 2013

Hello I am 32 years old and have been diagnosed with cervical cancer stage 1b1. The doctors initially advised me that I would be able to have a hysterectomy but when they went in they noticed that the cancer had spread to my lymph node and Fallopian tube I. They removed both. So they advisewoke that they wouldn't be able to do the hysterectomy and I would have to start 5 weeks of chemo and radiation. Chemo is once a week and radiation is 5 days a week. I also will have to have 4 sections of internal radiation. I am on week 2 of chemo and radiation and I feel sick to my stomach all the time and also have lost 10 pounds in 2 and half weeks. My weight is down to 115lbs. Week one I struggled with struggled with eating. Week 2 my eating has gotten a little better. They said my white blood cells have dropped and if they drop to 10 the doctors will be highly concerned. I am already starting to hate this and it's just the beginning. I also have constipation and diarrhea all the time. My hair is starting to thin out a little and the nausea is every single day. 

NoTimeForCancer's picture
NoTimeForCancer
Posts: 1861
Joined: Mar 2013

Sonyhey, while everyone reacts differently to treatment, I think the women here will help you.  It sounds like they are hitting you pretty hard and the things you are saying sound like side effects many of us here have experienced.  Let's break it down.

Anti-nausea drugs - see what the doctors can do to help you out there.  There are pretty good drugs so hopefully that can minimize that. If you can keep food down, try littler meals throughout the day and protein will help with your counts.  Low counts will delay treatments and / or could cause a 'booster' shot to help your numbers.

I had had NO IDEA that chemo constipates until the chemo nurse told me.  I should have bought stock in Miralax!  I heard one woman say "Miralax is a miracle" which was about right.  Of course radiation can cause diarhea - some days you just can't win, and I took probiotics to help keep my intestines happy. 

If possible, see if there is a dietician who specializes in helping cancer patients to talk with.  It wasn't covered in my insurance but it wasn't that much and so worth it. 

I know the othere women on this board are going to chime in with help. 

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

Welcome to the site.  Sorry you have to be here though.  I think chemo and radiation at the same time would be tough.   Sory you are having trouble eating.  Eating small frequent meals should keep you from losing weight.  They mat give you Neulasta or Neupogen shots for your low white blood cell counts.   I hope the rest of your treatments are easier for you.  In peace and caring.  

niv646
Posts: 1
Joined: Aug 2017

Hello everyone, 

I just was informed last Wednesday my biopsy results. I will be going for my Pet Scan this Wednesday to stage it and see if it has spread anywhere else. Quite nervous about that. This Friday I will begin my radiation and the following week will be adding chemo to the equation. The mass is currently too large to remove, therefore hopefully will shrink with the treatment. It is very comforting to see other people that have been succesful throughout their journey and also those who are currently starting theirs. Thank you all for taking the time to post your thoughts. 

I am not sure what to expect with the chemoradiation that is soon to begin. 

I am an emergency room registered nurse, who has seen quite a bit in my time. Now it is my turn and I am extremely nervous for the unknown, but very positive and determined not to become a statistic. I will be 44 years old this month, have a wonderful husband who is my best friend, and two beautiful children. Alexia who is 10 and Audie who will be 12 Sept 9th. They are my reason to continue. 

Now I have added you all to my circle of postivity. Please continue to be part of the journeys. 

Warmest regards,

Nivia

pinky104
Posts: 374
Joined: Feb 2013

Welcome to the site.  I also worked in an Emergency Dept., although as a coder and not a nurse.  I know from experience how much you must have handled in your job. The stress from that alone could probably cause you to have cancer.  I read an article once that said working on the night shift seems to be responsible for some women's breast cancers.  I haven't read about it causing any other cancers, but I have to wonder about whether it can. The article said that the body needs a period of darkness to rest, and being exposed to light all night long, then going home and trying to sleep in the daylight causes the problem. 

Ask your doctor for an anti-nausea drug such as Emend which you should take in the days prior to chemo.  I've never had nausea or vomiting with taking that.  It can be expensive.  I manged to get mine approved to be done through my port this time.  Last time, I had a different insurance and was able to afford the pills. That was sevem years ago, and the drugs must have sky-rocketed in price.

We seem to be getting more women who are getting cancer at younger ages.  Hopefully, your age will be a plus in your ability to fight this thing off.  You have the advantage of understanding a lot of the procedures you'll be going through.  I was told that with my experience, I would be a great candidate for a clinical trial, but when my GYN/Onc. looked for one seven years ago, there were none being done for stage IV patients. 

I wish you luck in your journey. Everyone is different in how they handle chemo.  My first experience with Carboplatin and Taxol was relatively easy.  My only side effects were shortness of breath halfway through, for which I had a transfusion, total hair loss, and peripheral neuropathy.  Now I'm going thru chemo again for a repccurrence, having Gemzar and Carboplatin, and it's not as easy. I've had a lot more problems with my bloodwork (low hemoglobin, low WBC's, and low platelets) and have had to postpone a couple of my chemos and I had to have two units of blood recently.  Last time, I developed an allergic reaction to Carboplatin after having had it 11 times over the years.  I never expected that.  I hope everything goes smoothly for you.  Do you know what drugs you'll be getting for chemo?  

 

 

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1267
Joined: Jun 2015

Welcome Nivia,

Glad you found us and so sorry you needed to. There are two threads that may help you understand a bit more about chemo and radiation and the effects they may (or may not) have on you. 'Ladies going through Chemo'  and  'Let's talk about radiation'... I hope you have time to read them. I think you will find encouragement, some humor and loads of information there.

Please come back and let us know how you are doing. Ask us ANYTHING! Someone will most likely have an answer.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1185
Joined: Jun 2012

We'll stick with you as you face this and help all we can. 

MAbound
Posts: 448
Joined: Jun 2016

Welcome to the board, but so sorry to hear what's going with you. I was just wondering how this all evolved for you and if you're being cared for by a gyn oncologist?

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 786
Joined: Jan 2016

Nivia, I have a friend who was also diagnosed with cervical cancer (in the Summer of 2015). The treatments were tough but she is still here and lives a "normal" life doing things that she loves with the people she loves. There is no reason to think that your story will be any different. Try to stay hopeful. Sending you peace and strength, Kim

Mccarthy22
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2017

On June 22, 2017 my wife was diagnosed with stage 2b cervical cancer. She is over halfway through treatment plan, and has been struggling since finding out. She does'nt want to go to treatment and says she can't do it over and over! Now this woman has been the most positive person I've ever known, and since being diagnosed it seems like all she can focus on is all the negatives of this process. I am doing everything I can to keep her comfortable and continuosly reminding her of any small wins we get. She has 7 exterior radiation treatments 1 chemo and 3 internal bracky treatments left. Can anyone give me some things to try to get her motivted with finishing treatment? She seems depressed, extremely tired all the time.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1267
Joined: Jun 2015

Mr. Mccarthy22,

First of all I want to welcome you to the board. I'm glad you found us and we will be here for both of you throughout this process and beyond.

Depression is not uncommon with a cancer diagnosis and certainly during treatments. Fatigue is very normal as well. For me, it was the hardest part of treatments. There were some days that I could barely walk to the bathroom. I'm not sure what will help keep her motivated, but offer this - before cancer, what did she wake up for every day? Do you have kids or pets or something else that she provides support for? If not, can you plan something for her to look forward to when she is well again? She needs to have some forward thinking activity to give her the will to live. Things do get better!

You may want to consider getting her into therapy. Check with her cancer center. Most of them have professional people to talk to.

I'm so sorry your wife is having such a hard time. Please come back and ask us anything. And, let us know how she is doing.

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Mccarthy22
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2017

Cindi, thank you so much for responding to me. This is probably the hardest thing we have had to endure in our 20 some odd years together. From the very begining of Dr appts up until today it's been hard to wrapped our brains around anything that is happening. I salute you for your strength through everything!, because I can barley handle it and I'm not the one having the treatment! I am trying my hardest to focus on any positives and call them little wins adding up to the ultimate goal of cancer free. We may have turned a corner after last nights exterior treatment, she only has 5 left and that seemed to make her happy and I'm sure I saw fire in her eyes knowing she is so close! Thank you again

 

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 786
Joined: Jan 2016

McCarthy22, is your wife open to becoming active with this (or any other) support group? I found that being part of a group of people who were experiencing similar things as me was extremely helpful. Before that, fear and desperation were my main feelings. Not every post will be positive, of course, but it is helpful to know that you are not alone when going through such a devastating experience. Please let her know that we are here for her (and you). Kim

Nellasing
Posts: 528
Joined: Oct 2016

I'm so sorry to hear your wife is struggling.  You have both being going through so much and between the waiting to get going, the endless appointments, the treatments that leave you feeling so awful etc. you can just get depressed and feeling like it will never end and even if it does that it will just come back again.  All that said, I second what Cindi and Kim have already suggested.  This group has been SO helpful- even if she just reads about people who are surviving and thriving- she doesn't have to comment unless she wants to. 

I also found a therapist who has been extremely helpful in talking through what is going on. 

I will be one year from my last chemo Sept. 21st and it hasn't been easy but I learned early on to focus on the day I am living in and really live it!  Too much speculating makes me nuts and as one of our dear ladies pointed out we could walk out the door and get hit by a truck.... no one knows how long they have so making each day count is where it's at.  I also started doing what it sounds like you are doing- "reminding her of wins" I look for and count each blessing I can think of- my hubby and I go for a 2 mile walk with our doggies each day and I look at the colors, I take note of people who smile and say hi, I smell the air, I acknowledge that I am walking on my own 2 legs with more strength each day etc. etc.  It helps me.  I also have my faith in God and I know that He has a plan for my life and nothing and no one can change that plan.  Ultimately, if He is ready for me then I am ready and thankful I've had this time to come to that realization.

All the best to you and our "sister" - please let her know we send her our best and please know you are both welcome anytime.  (((HUGS)))

MAbound
Posts: 448
Joined: Jun 2016

Your wife's depression may be something you want to alert her doctor to, especially if it's going to interfere with her treatment. Her body has been under constant assault for weeks/months now between all of the testing, surgery if she had it, chemo and radiation. It's small wonder that between possible changes in female hormones and a constant flood of stress hormones she may be suffering from a clinical depression that no amount of reasoning, support, or encouragement can reach. She has good reason to grieve the changes in her health and life and be at the end of her rope as regards treatment, but like when someone experiences postpartum depression, professional intervention may be needed to help her cope. Good luck to you and bless you for all that you've been doing to get her through this. It's never easy for our loved ones to get us through treatment!

Mccarthy22
Posts: 4
Joined: Aug 2017

Thank you all so very much for sharing your thoughts and experiences. We had a decent weekend, she was asleep most of it byt when she was up she was very coherent and seemed more focused on getting through the rest of treatment. I did tell her I found this board. She was happy I think more for me then herself, but I'm going to keep reminding her that you all have a better idea of what she's going throiugh than I. We have talked to a couple different Doctor's about her depression and they have extended their thoughts.

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