CSN Login
Members Online: 5

You are here

Appointment to Discuss Pathology Report & Questions I should ask.

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Hi wonderful warrior ladies. I have my appointment with my oncologist this Thursday the 9th. Can you please provide me with questions I should ask. I had the radical robotic hysterectomy three weeks ago. I know he said that regardless if it spread or not, due to the type of cancer I have, chemo will be started four weeks from surgery. That means NEXT week. Yikes.

I will definitely ask the type, grade, and stage and how many lymph nodes were extracted and which ones (if any) showed up positive. Other than that, I'm not sure what else to ask.

Thank you, in advance for assisting me. I couldn't feel more blessed to have found you. Even though I don't get on here daily, I am bragging about all of you to my friends. I talk about all of you, as if we have been friends forever. Again, I know it is because of you guys offering me hope that I have been doing so well. When I first received the diagnosis, I thought it was a death sentence. But, meeting all of you, I know that I have a good chance of beating this.

Love, hugs, and healing to all.

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 913
Joined: Feb 2016

And a copy of the surgery report. As a matter of fact, you want copies of everything. Not only for your interest but should you seek a second opinion. Ask what type of cells the were, Endometrioid, sarcoma, clear cell.  How far through the uterus did the tumor penetrate?  I would seek a second opinion on the pathology. Pathology is pretty subjective. My cancer center made it pretty easy. They took care of sending the slides down to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore. I did ask them to send the block but they refused and unlike Cathy, I have no pathology relatives to pull strings. The report came to the Sam conclusions as Fox Chase.  I'm being treated at Fox Chase in Philadelphia for Stage IIIc, Grade 3 Endometrioid cancer. 

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Thank you, CheeseQueen57. I wrote down all the questions and will take them with me tomorrow. I think this is the first time speaking with you. Such a pleasure to meet you.  I appreciate your time and for sharing your wisdom. Hugs and blessings of success in treatment.

janaes
Posts: 799
Joined: May 2016

Gosh Charissa I dont know that I can answer your question.  I did have lots of questions and about my cancer and I asked what the side effects were and why the doctor wanted to do the treatments he suggested.  I ended up asking if they could have meeting with a bunch of doctors to discuss my cancer and I am so glad that, I think it was about 7 doctors, were involved in the dessision on what to do.  Any ways if you start chemo next week we might be starting close to the same time.  One of the nurses is supposed to call me today to set up my first chemo appointment. I could start next week. I hope all goes well for you. 

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

It looks like we are on this journey together. What a blessing to have someone at the same point as myself. I will private message you, when I get my appointment. Keep me updated on how yours turns out. Keep a positive outlook, don't let the cancer dominate your thoughts or define you, be BIGGER then it, enjoy each and every day. We got this!!!!

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Hi Charissa, because I had already accessed my pathology report from my hospital's online portal, I had already done a lot of research on my diagnosis (uterine MMMT, stage 1b, grade 3) before going into that first follow-up appointment. I knew for sure that I was going to get a second opinion. I asked my gyn-onc's opinion about it and he was perfectly fine with it although he warned me that it could come back with a different diagnosis (he was right). I also asked him about the recent studies indicating progression-free survival and overall survival for my diagnosis. He warned me away from retrospective studies since so much has changed in the last few years.   

I was particularly interested in finding out about my treatment plan, specifically, what chemo meds would be used and why, how many chemo treatments over what period of time, whether a port was advisable for the chemo treatments, what type of radiation and why, how many radiation treatments and over what period of time, and the expected benefits and side effects of both types of treatments.

I recommend taking a tape recorder or some sort of recording device with you. I did and found it incredibly helpful to listen to it afterwards since both my husband and I missed a lot of what the gyn-onc had said. 

I hope this information helps. Good luck to you on Thursday and please let us know how it goes. Kim

 

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Wow, thank you, Kim. Great questions. My list is growing. Hope he has enough time to answer them all. Lol! I will definitely start a new post or add to this one, once I get my results. Praying for a favorable outcome. I had symptoms for 15 weeks, prior to surgery. So, the cancer was in there and angry for a long time. Plus, my OBGyn thought it was a polyp and made it that much more angry when she attempted to remove it and was unsuccessful. I had the worse cramps and hemorrhaging for the next week and half until my hysterectomy. I'm hoping by her doing the surgery and not getting it all, it didn't cause it to spread rapidly. I'll know everything tomorrow. Thank you, again, for all your time, love, and support. This is the BEST group ever!

Virgil90012's picture
Virgil90012
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 2015

Hello Charissa,

I don't post often because I don't usually have additional comments since the wonderful ladies on the Board have said it all.  In addition, my diagnosis was Stage 1A, Grade 2 in October 2014 and I didn't need (knock on wood) any additional treatment other than surgery (removal of all ladies' parts, omentum, 27 lymph nodes, and peritoneal wash).  So I have don't have much to share about chemo or radiation.  With regards to questions to ask, along with what the other ladies have mentioned, I found the questions on the American Cancer Society website helpful when determining what questions to ask my gyne-oncologist.   The link is the following: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/endometrialcancer/detailedguide/endometrial-uterine-cancer-talking-with-doctor  Hopefully this helps you and good luck with your appointment.  I hope it brings you some good news. 

Cathy

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Thank you, Cathy. That will help immensely. I am feeling good now with three weeks behind me since surgery. Life is getting busier by the minute, raising two teenage girls and it being summer vacation. I am finding less and less time to study, read, and educate myself further. I sincerely appreciate you chiming in. Your link will be very helpful. So nice for you to remain on here to support us and let us know there is hope. Blessings with hugs.

janaes
Posts: 799
Joined: May 2016

Thank you Charissa for your encouraging words.  I was thinking about you last night and hoping you were doing okay as you were preparing for your appointment today. Feel free to message me any time.  lots of love,

                                                                                               Janae

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

Good luck w/ todays appointment..  you are in my prayers...  

Having to break away from studying the therapy and fixating on cancer cells and chemotherapy and the whole cancer world.. the break from this to tend your growing daughters and embracing the excitement of life will be great therapy for you. Enjoy these young women totally..  they are watching you closely and learning how to deal with life crisis in the future.  Your grace and positive attitude is exactly what you all need and you are doing a tremendous job, I am truly impressed.  I know it will turn out well for you.  YAY team!

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Hi Ladies, I had my appointment yesterday. I can't be more thrilled. It is amazing and simply a miracle, what was presented to me. Mind you, I had symptoms for almost four months; with my doctor sending me on vacation thinking all my hemorrhaging was due to a persistent polyp.  Surgery to remove the polyp and the hysterectomy took place six weeks after my vacation. Up until my appointment yesterday, I didn't know what type I had only what grade - 3.

My oncologist started out with, "Well this is a most reassuring pathology report. In fact, it's a miracle. There was no evidence of cancer in the cervix, right or left ovary, right or left fallopian tube, left or right parametrium, the omentum or the 21 lymph nodes extracted. The tumor only invaded .3 mm of your 13 mm myometrial wall. The tumor size was 5.5 cm. The histologic type is Endometrioid Adenocarcinoma, NOS; FIGO Grade 3; pathologic staging pT1a, NO. I feel confident we got it all and am only recommending 3-5 low doses of brachytherapy for preventative measures. We will continue monitoring you closely, with having a CT scan done every 12 weeks for the next two years."

We were assured, prior to the report coming back, due to my symptoms, the length of time I had symptoms, and the grade of cancer that I would have to do chemotherapy NO MATTER the outcome of the pathology report. So, to say the least, my hubby, daughters, family, friends and I are very pleased and feel comfortable with his treatment plan. In the meantime, I am working with a holistic doctor who will prescribe alternative treatments to kill/keep cancer at bay, along with following a cancer prevention diet through a dietician. I am remaining hopeful with the brachytherapy and the alternative meds and diet, I can beat this.

Thank you, everyone, for your love support, and for being here for me. I'm sure I will have more questions, once I start the radiation. In the meantime, I'm going to celebrate the staging, my treatment, and concentrate on healing from the hysterectomy. I feel like I can breathe a little. You guys are the most AMAZING women and I feel truly blessed to have found you. I hope to give back to the newcomers, what you all have given to me - encouragement, wisdom, love, and support.

Big hugs to each of you. May you truly be blessed for your commitment to walking alongside this journey together.

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1635
Joined: Jun 2015

Charissa, Soooo happy for you!  congrats on your outcome. The brachytherapy was the easiest part of this entire journey for me.

There is a thread that was started shortly after the Ladies going through chemo thread documenting the radiation journey for several of us. You may want to take a look at it to give yourself some insight before you get your brachy.  I think it is titles Let's talk about radiation.

I'll double check that and edit this information if I have it wrong.

Time for you to celebrate!

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Thank you, Cindi. I am still trying to process it all. It feels so surreal. We had honestly set ourselves up for the worse, based off what little we were told and how both the OBGyn and oncologist rushed things in the 7 days after the initial lab results came in. We were never given any news of hope other then the oncologist PROMISED to take the very best care of me. He was suspecting the worse, considering my grade, my symptoms, and length of time I had the symptoms.

It was quite interesting yesterday, as he kept looking at the report, then going into the computer to make sure he wasn't missing anything and comparing this to that - almost, like he was in disbelief. We are definitely celebrating as a family. I am hoping to be able to continue home schooling my daughters through high school and watching them graduate, go off to college, and hopefully one day they both marry and give us grandbabies.

On the other hand, I feel extremely sensitive to others on here that haven't received such favorable news. It breaks my heart. Regardless, we are all in this together. There is a bond with this group, like no other outside of it. No one truly understands what it is like to receive that phone call and confirmation, until they have lived through it. Life is forever changed, but hopefully all for the good in helping us to see the daily blessings, reprioritize what is important, and how fragile life really is.

Feeling blessed all the way around.

Donswife48
Posts: 326
Joined: Nov 2015

Wonderful prognosis from your doctor.  You should certainly feel happy with finally receiving your treatment plans.  And also good news, you get to keep your hair, although you might be a little jealous of my 3/4 inch hair - certainly cool in this summer heat and humidity!  Hugs Nancy

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Nancy, you are soooooo stinkin cute!!! Not having hormones and now no female parts is equalling hot flashes. I am kind of envious of your cool, short hair. ;)  Hugs, back atcha.

Virgil90012's picture
Virgil90012
Posts: 34
Joined: Feb 2015

Congratulations on such wonderful news. It has been my experience that oncologists don't mince words.  They tell you the truth whether it is good or bad.  So your doctor's comments are extremely positive.  I am very happy for your news and to NED for your future.

Cathy

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Cathy, I agree with you. There was no light-heartedness in his office for our initial appointment, nor any promising news after the surgery.  So, it caught us COMPLETELY off guard when he read us the findings. Again, I'm still in shock and trying to process it all. But, also rejoicing. It is hard to go from one mind-set to another mindset instantly - ESPECIALLY with this type of diagnosis. Feeling blessed and trying to rest in His peace.

CheeseQueen57's picture
CheeseQueen57
Posts: 913
Joined: Feb 2016

So Happy for you!

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Thank you, CheeseQueen57. I almost feel quilty or bad in announcing my findings, especially when I see how much each of you have endured. I remember, before the findings, watching happy families out shopping, laughing, and looking like they didn't have a care in the world. Then, I would quickly remember my diagnosis and for a second felt envious of the other people. We are in this together no matter what our stage or treatment. I am here for the long-haul. You ladies are simply amazing.

Kvdyson's picture
Kvdyson
Posts: 789
Joined: Jan 2016

Charissa, what a wonderful result - congratulations to you!!! Truly a miracle!

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Thank you, Kim, for recognizing the miracle. I actually had a woman come up to me at church today and ask if possibly my oncologist or OBGyn initially received the wrong lab results. I kindly replied, "You know, for a minute, I thought the same thing. But, so did my oncologist as he kept going back into the computer to double check everything." I'm still trying to process it. It is so hard to go from being told only gloom and doom things, being rushed all over for tests, surgery, and lab results to "This is the most reassuring pathology report...it is a miracle..." I keep thinking I'm going to awake from a dream. You guys are simply the BEST!!! Love and hugs to you, beautiful girl!

janaes
Posts: 799
Joined: May 2016

Charrisa,  I have to admit i was a bit sad that we wouldnt be doing chemo together. But I am glad you have great news.  Thanks for your sensitivity of  those who will be or have faced chemotherapy.  Lots of love. Janae

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

You know what, Janae, I too felt a little sad for a moment. I was thrilled to have had someone who was going to start at the same time as me. I'm still trying to process it all. It feels so surreal. For five weeks, I believed there were no other options. Again, I think with the grade and the lenghth of time I had the symptoms, they were anticipating the worse - and so were we, based on the type, grade and length of time I had symptoms.

I am here for you guys though. I'm not going anywhere. Will you be starting your chemo this week?

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1401
Joined: Oct 2015

Kiddo, I was so happy for you I stared to cry tears of joy.  That is wonderful news!!!!

Love,

Eldri

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Oh, sweet Eldri, I soooooo wish this was the case for all of you. My heart aches that it wasn't. You, especially, have been through so much. You gals are such an inspiration to me. I will never fear the word Cancer again! You each have empowered me in many different ways. What I learned the most is that each day is a gift. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. I kept telling my precious daughters, "Don't let the Cancer diagnosis scare you or rob us from enjoying today. Heck, I can drive out the driveway and get killed by a Mack truck tomorrow and not even go out with Cancer." No one knows our expiration date, but our Mighty Lord. You warrior women keep putting up a good fight with laughter, humor, joy, peace, and strength. You girls have this!!!

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 903
Joined: Jan 2016

Charissa, what wonderful news! I am so happy for you! Celebrate!

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

You women are just WONDERFUL!!! Your genuine well wishes gives me a glimpse into each of your beautiful hearts. What a magnificent group of ladies you are. I am so blessed to have found all of you. Between you and me, I kind of celebrated last night. I'm on a strict cancer prevention diet, yet couldn't resist a Coldstone scoop of plain coffee ice cream. I asked the Dear Lord above to please bless it to my body, as I celebrated the good news. ;)

brissance's picture
brissance
Posts: 192
Joined: May 2016

I am just more than pleased..  And you get to keep that gorgeous hair.  All is right with the world.  Seriously, I couldn't be more pleased for you and your family and actually, all of us with cancer, seeing that sometimes and more often than I realized, we are getting well!  God bless.

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

You are too sweet. Isn't God good? I thought FOR SURE because that was my BIGGEST fear He was going to take my hair away.  But, He didn't. Maybe, because after I read that chemo treatment for some of you went 5-8 hours, I seriously considered ditching the cold-capping and loosing my hair. He needed to bring me to that place of realization.

I had a terrible horse accident nine years ago, where I went out for a leisurely ride and didn't return home for 3 months due to breaking both my legs right above the ankle - with my right leg being a spiral compound fracture. I literally could not bare any weight on either foot for four solid months. I lived in a wheel chair and hospital bed, geting a shower one time a week. I prayed and prayed and prayed for a miracle each time they would take x-rays. It didn't happen. I was told I would never walk without a limp or a cane. I still have nightmares that one leg is shorter than the other. Anyway, I do not walk with a limp, cane, nor is one leg shorter then the other. I did experience a miracle of healing, it just took the full 8 months - which is truly what I needed for much self-examination and to re-prioritize what was truly important on a daily basis. I used to complain about doing endless laundry, dishes, taking out the garbage, etc. After being served meals on half clean dinnerware, eating from particles sill left on my utensils, my whites turning pink, sweatoutfits and sweaters shrunk two sizes, and not being able to take the garbage out, I quickly realized how wonderful it would be to do all those things - if given the ability to walk again. To this day, I still LOVE doing laundry, dishes, and taking the garbage out - simply because I can.  So, no matter the length of time it takes to get well is needed to make us each a better person. Love and hugs to you!

BC Brady's picture
BC Brady
Posts: 70
Joined: May 2015

So uplifting to read your story today. Beyond happy for your diagnosis - and the fact that you have already done your share of suffering from your accident certainly makes that seem extra sweet. You deserve to celebrate - and I hope you dance for all of us!

xoxox, Billie

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Oh, Billie, thank you, for your kind words. Yes, I will definitely begin dancing here soon. Everyday, I'm feeling stronger and healed. I'm still restricted on lifting anything over 10 lbs., which is a reminder that I had surgery 4 weeks ago. And, my bladder still feels a little sensitive at the end of my flow. I'm hoping that sensation will eventually pass. Otherwise, I want to get this all behind me and move forward. I meet with the radiologist for a consultation of brachytherapy on Monday. Then, I have to do my colonoscopy and mammogram. All the stuff I have been ignoring for too long. My oncologist is insisting I get these done ASAP and have clearance so he can give me a clean bill of health as we move forward over the next two years of observation. Love and hugs to you!

DrienneB's picture
DrienneB
Posts: 186
Joined: Aug 2013

Rejoicing with you! Great to have good news!!

-j

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Thank you, Drienne. It was quite a surprise for me. I truly didn't know how to receive it. There was only once that I had a panic attack - after I read out-dated studies. ;) Then I found this group.  After reading much of these posts, I was at peace with whatever God had planned for me. I knew I wasn't alone and sadly what was before me was not foreign to many of these ladies. They encouarged and inspired me so much.

We had many hard conversations within the walls of our home. My daughters agreed that they would rather have notice of their momma passing vs. being taken out instantly by another means. I realize that my work here is not done, and I/we have learned so much through this trial. I also know that having this diagnosis and seeing how often it reoccurs, there is a chance I may some day have to face chemo. But, in the meantime, I'm not looking back and going to continue moving forward with much joy, gratefulness, and finding blessings in each and every new day. Love and hugs to you.

LA123's picture
LA123
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2015

I am so happy for you Charissa, God is good indeed! Many blessings and hugs.

Lucy

Charissa's picture
Charissa
Posts: 124
Joined: May 2016

Thank you, Lucy, for sharing your beautiful story with me. Blessings with hugs and love.

LA123's picture
LA123
Posts: 41
Joined: Oct 2015

We each have journeys that are in some ways similar, in others, very individual, but that I feel we need to share, i do in the hope that it encourages others that may need it. We all need encouragment from time to time.  I am including a link for anyone that may be interested in the perspective that faith brought into my experience.

http://sandandpearl.com/stories/lucy-the-miracle/

Wishing all my sisters much peace, hope, and healing in their journeys.

Lucy

 

 

 

Subscribe to Comments for "Appointment to Discuss Pathology Report & Questions I should ask."