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Thankful to be ALIVE and keep FIGHTING

Anne0803's picture
Anne0803
Posts: 15
Joined: Nov 2017

Living a positive life is for free!  

I’ve lost a lot of friends with different form of cancer.  They died young 30-45 years of age.  I feel bad because they don’t deserve to die at an early age.  Now that I’m one of the people that belongs in C group.  I want to tell my late friends that I now understand how they felt or feel.  Trying to survive, trying to live.

One thing though, I know “DEATH” doesn’t choose time, age or circumstances.  It will come by surprise.  I know we are all going to die… eventually.

I am just grateful that God has given me a second chance… a second life.  I am hopeful that you feel the same way too as you read my post below. 

My journey with Endometrial or Uterine Cancer started last year October 2016 at 41 years old.

I was diagnosed with Grade 3 FIGO stage (pT3a N1 and IIIC1) – Endometroid Carcinoma

MY SYMPTOMS:

I noticed the changes in my menstrual cycle probably 2 years ago or so. The symptoms were prolonged and heavy bleeding for 3 weeks I only had 1 week off to rest and my menstruation or bleeding starts again. Light hot flashing at night or even during day time, and my period will start and end with watery, pinkish discharge.... none of which made me think anything was wrong. Though I recall too that I always experience menstrual cramp or dysmenorrhea.  I never consulted a doctor, I thought it was just normal to have cramps. I also feel bloated and gassy most of the time and back pain too.  I feel tired all the time, just woke up and after few hours I always feel that I need to sleep again.  When I bleed, it's like peeing, I need to change my pads almost every 5 or 10 mins, a lot of blood clots too. I started to feel sick to after I eat and throw up.

April 2016 – I had my annual check-up and I mentioned to my doctor that I have unusual bleeding.  She recommended that I need to get a “Transvaginal Ultrasound” which I delayed until October (yes, I know my bad).

September 2016 – My bleeding worsens, I had great tolerance on pain but it’s time to be checked.

October 05 2016 – I had Transvaginal Ultrasound

October 06 2016 – I had a call from my provider and I was advised to see a Gynecologist A.S.A.P.  The nurse said that they saw abnormalities from the Ultrasound.

October 11 2016 -  I had Gynecology visit and took a biopsy sample.  Gynecologist told my she doesn’t like what she see from the sample taken.

October 14 2016 – I received a call and was told that I have Endometrial Cancer – Grade 3 (it means my cancer is very aggressive) and again I was advised to see an Oncologist A.S.A.P.

October 21 2016 – I met my Oncologist and he explains everything I need to know and after the visit I had CT Scan (to check if the cancer has not metastasize).  After 2 hours I received a call from my Oncologist and told me the good news that the result was negative, and I can proceed to my surgery.

October 28 2016 -  I had “Hysterectomy – Bilateral Salpingo-oophorectomy” by Laparoscopic Surgery.  I stayed overnight and was discharged the next day.

RECOVERY was great.  I was given all meds for pain - I avoided taking Hydrocodone regularly instead I take Tylenol in between because Hydrocodone makes you Constipated and after the surgery you don’t want to get terrible constipation.  (NOTE: I took Magnesium Citrate a day before the surgery to clean my gut.  A friend of mine who had Hysterectomy told me it is better to have a clean gut before surgery) and it really helps.   Also, I was given a stool softener, Senna-Lax and Osmotic Laxative which never worked for me, I took Prune juice and I did the great for me.  As we all know it is very important to pass “GAS” and “Poop” after the surgery.  Sorry it’s TMI but I have to share it =).  It also help that you drink a lot of water, yes I’m an advocate of hydrating yourself.

I am so thankful my recovery went well…within 2 weeks I don’t need any pain meds anymore.

November 05, 2016 -  the dreaded news that everyone don’t want to hear….. the cancer stage.

I was diagnosed with Grade 3 FIGO stage (pT3a N1 and IIIC1) – Endometroid Carcinoma

After recovering from the surgery, I went through genetic testing which determined if I have Lynch Syndrome – a mutation in a gene that causes colon, ovarian, and endometrial cancer. Praise God it came out “Negative”.

December 20, 2016 – I started my 1st Chemotherapy treatment. The unimaginable pain started on the 3rd day after treatment.  It was the most painful experience I ever had.  My whole body is in pain, joints were aching.  It lasted for 2 days.  During those days I couldn’t eat.  I tried my best to at least eat a piece of toast with butter, made some smoothies with chocolate drink (I mixed different berries or fruits).  Probably after 6 or 7th day, I’m back to normal appetite.  Oh boy I am soooo hungry.  I wake up in the middle of the night and eat!!!! My hair starts to fall on 2nd week.  I read that it’s better to get rid of hair or entirely shave it. And I DID!  Never regret it.  I wear bald, NO WIG!  Yes I am proud to be bald . (NOTE: I drink prune juice too before and after treatment because chemo drugs make you constipated too). I hardly took my nausea pills.  I am very thankful that I don’t have any other side effects.

1st treatment – body pain and joint aching 100%

2nd treatment - body pain and joint aching 75%

3rd treatment - body pain and joint aching 40%

4th treatment - body pain and joint aching – NONE 

My treatment was every 3 weeks. My blood platelets started to go down on my 3rd treatment.  My 4th treatment was delayed for a week so as my 5th and 6th.

My last treatment ended up on April 2017.  My doctor asks me if I want blood transfusion because my blood platelets was so low.  I said I still feel fine and If I needed it I will tell him.

I recovered well with my Chemotherapy treatment.  I never limit my diet.  I eat anything I wanted to give my body enough strength to go through the treatment.  BTW my hair never stops growing throughout the treatment, but I need to shave it every day otherwise it will fall off then grow again.  So, I decided to start growing my hair on June 2017.

 

June 2017 – I had 28 rounds of Radiation treatment.  Side effect was diarrhea.

3 weeks after the last treatment, I’m back to my normal like with minimal side effects like my joints are weak and occasional diarrhea (it depends what I eat -  so I avoided foods that triggers diarrhea).

September 2017 – My CT Scan and CA125(blood test) came out clean. Glory to God!

I feel fantastic as I write my experience today (November 28, 2017).  My journey was never easy but my positive attitude and faith in God is the reason I’m alive. 

If you are diagnosed of any cancer.  Don’t panic or be afraid.  Surround yourself with great friends and family.  Educated yourself through the internet, not to make you feel worst but read some uplifting stories. 

Life is great.  Everything happens for a reason.  There’s always great purpose.

Lesson Learned:  I don’t like going to the doctor.  But of course, after I was diagnosed, I advocate for endometrial cancer awareness and genetic testing by sharing my story at my Facebook page.  I am thankful to help some of my friends and given them enough courage to go to the doctor.  I also shared a video I got from YouTube about Endometrial Cancer.  The doctor said IF you notice some changes in your menstrual cycle, don’t wait too long to have it check.

 

 

evolo58
Posts: 293
Joined: Dec 2017

Because of my experience, two of my closest friends and relatives who were concerned about symptoms went to a gyno for testing. If I saved two of my friends from my Stage 4 diagonsis, that would be great! Because my mother also had UC (Stage 1 adenocarcinoma),, my daughter now knows to be far, far more aware of her health history. I kind of wish my doctors did NOT tell me to not worry about the hereditary factor. That was wrong on their part. I wish I was more proactive when I bled extremely heavily right before menopause. The gyno dismissed it as not a problem, and the biopsy came out fine. But I should have paid more attention to it. Maybe this shows the switch in attitude and treatment in the last seven years. 

One thing about cancer sounds so corny, but it's true ... I truly, truly realize how many people really care about me. The uplifting feeling is amazing! The uplifting feeling here is amazing as well. Hearing from other UPSC and other rare cancer survivors of Stage 4B, as well as ovarian and pertioneal survivors at that level (since there seems to be a connection) who hit those five years is awesome. 

Every day is a treat. I don't usually do mega-important things, but I have become aware of details I never noticed before. How I took these days for granted! 

Tell people you love them. Often. Appreciate that stolen bit of chocolate. Be thankful. That is what I'm learning.

Hope you get nothing but good news, Anne08083.

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