CSN Login
Members Online: 5

You are here

How soon is soon?

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

3 months ago I experienced heavy uterine bleeding.  It lasted for 2 weeks.  There was a gap of 3 weeks, then I experienced it again for 2 more weeks.  There was a gap of 3 weeks, during which I made an appt with an ob gyn.  I wasn't able to see her for a few weeks, and by the time I did, I'd had a 3rd bout of 2 weeks of bleeding.  She put me on her list for a D&C and biopsy the next week, so by the time I'd had the D&C and biopsy it was about 3 months from the time my first bleed had started.  I don't have the results as yet, but she said that I had an area at the back of my uterus that was 'fluffy', and her gut feeling was that it was cancer, tho she wouldn't know for sure until my results were back.  I've had no other symptoms apart from the bleeding.  I had a colonoscopy (for gastroparesis) about 5 months ago and it was clear at that time.

So my question is this:

I see on almost every website about endometrial cancer that early detection is key.  Have I dragged the chain on this, or does this categorize as being 'prompt' in seeking help?  It's 3 months since I started with bleeding symptoms, and I've had my tests and am now waiting for results.  is this slow?  Fast?  Normal?  Should I be concerned I didn't high tail it to my dr's office on day 1?

All opinions are welcome.

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 217
Joined: Jan 2019

There are lots of answers to your question.  One of the things we have all discovered on this discussion page is that we are all different.  And there are no firm answers to most questions about each case compared to another.   You can read my story on my blog.  I was early stage after 4 months from first symptoms.  Others had no symptoms at all.  Don't try and second guess your actions.  You are pretty prompt according to your story.   Good luck on your biopsy

TeddyandBears_Mom's picture
TeddyandBears_Mom
Posts: 1549
Joined: Jun 2015

That is actually pretty quick. I was diagnosed with upsc (grade 3 aggressive) the beginning of May and didn't have surgery until mid-July. My point being that addressing your issues within 3 months is good. Welcome to the board and please come back and let us know how you are doing. We are here for you!

Love and Hugs,

Cindi

MAbound
Posts: 868
Joined: Jun 2016

This cancer has so many variables that impact it, that it really makes no sense to look back at what you could have, would have, or should have done. There is no screening test for uterine cancer like there is for breast or cervical cancer, so just don't beat yourself up about acting quicker.

This cancer is generally not a fast grower. We've all had to deal with waiting for diagnosis, referral appointments, and ultimately treatment. That's been the hardest part for everyone who's come here before you. You've found us now, so we'll be here to help you learn about, understand and cope with whatever comes from this point forward. We've got you. 

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

You are all so kind - thank you so much.  The thing that's overwhelming me is that it seems as tho nobody ever walks away, fully healed.  Everything I read is recurrence, recurrence, complication - on and on.  I'm just feeling overwhelmed that my whole life from now will be cancer.  if I'm wording that offensively, my sincerest apologies.  It's just what I'm wondering at this point in time.

MAbound
Posts: 868
Joined: Jun 2016

You have to keep in mind that the people who post here are primarily those who need support. Some of us stay to pass on what was done for us, but many only check in occasionally or go on with their lives. It kind of skews what you read as being all doom and gloom, but there are plenty of success stories here even with advanced or aggressive forms of this cancer.

The truth is that the science has changed and is still dramatically changing in just recent years. Even with a stage 3a, grade 3 cancer I may actually be cured. It's just sometimes hard to believe it, but it helps as more time passes.

You are in a fragile phase right now with a lot of uncertainty, so it's going to be hard not to be anxious or depressed, especially when well meaning family and friends are going to want to share their 1st and 2nd hand war stories with you. Try to remember that their experiences may be outdated as is much of the information that you are going to read on the internet is. Each persons circumstances are so unique that what happened to others is not necessarily what awaits you. 

Your life is going to change a bit if you get a positive diagnosis. Getting from suspicion, to diagnosis, and then through treatment can consume the better part of a year of you life. You'll definitely have a new normal, but that won't necessarily be a bad thing. I think a lot of us feel like having cancer has actually had some positive impact on us as hard as that may be for you to imagine right now. It's not an easy journey when it's all in front of you, but you won't be making it alone.

EZLiving66's picture
EZLiving66
Posts: 1356
Joined: Oct 2015

I totally second MABound!! I've posted it several times on this site that you have to take it with a grain of salt. The women who have an easy time and are cured with surgery, aren't on here anymore and they're in the VAST majority. The ones who tend to stay are ones having problems or have the more aggressive forms of uterine cancer. 

How many women have come here for advice at the start of their journey, find all they need is surgery and scheduled checkups and we don't hear from them anymore?  LOTS!! And that's ok! We're all happy for them!

Love,

Eldri

MAbound
Posts: 868
Joined: Jun 2016

Just passing the wisdom you shared along. I was so lucky that you, Moekay, and countless others were here for me when it was my turn to travel through the dark tunnel. As NoTime recently said "We all collectively get us down the road together." If ever we need a motto for this group, I'm nominating that one!

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

MABound and EZLiving66 - thank you so much for your kind, calm, encouraging words.  What I *don't* need right now is everyone I know being soooo sympathetic!  Sometimes I feel like I'm half a step away from choosing the hymns for my funeral and I don't even have my biopsy results yet!!  In my heart, I feel quite optimistic, tho scared.  But I'm trying to encourage and buoy up everyone else who loves me and is worrying about me, and it's so difficult, because I actually have no idea what to think or what will happen.

Anyway, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a good result from my biopsy, and in the meantime, your calm, non-sensational comments are incredibly soothing.  So thank you.  :)  Your experiences are worth their weight in gold to me.

Forherself's picture
Forherself
Posts: 217
Joined: Jan 2019

Biopsy results are benign.  Your chance is great that it will be benign.   

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

I swear, I want to use that as my signature by-line!

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2019

I started sppotting beginning December. I waited because I had to renew my insurance and beginning January I went first to my primary physician. Maybe a mistake. But she sent me for ultrasounds and I had a thick lining of the uterus. Then I went to gynecologist and they attempted a biopsy. It was January and they waited three weeks to tell me they didn’t have enough tissue. Long story short, I had the D&C March 21. Diagnosed March 27 with adenocarcinoma type 3. I had the hysterectomy April 15. It hadn’t spread. I was lucky. Stage 1A, type 3, I’m getting three brachytherapy treatments because it was so aggressive.  

I think your timing is pretty fast. My gynecologist said three to four months might mean they would catch it on time. Of course you never know. I hope you get your results fast. I got mine in 6 days when they found out it was cancer. I was supposed to get them 2 weeks later. 

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2019

I started sppotting beginning December. I waited because I had to renew my insurance and beginning January I went first to my primary physician. Maybe a mistake. But she sent me for ultrasounds and I had a thick lining of the uterus. Then I went to gynecologist and they attempted a biopsy. It was January and they waited three weeks to tell me they didn’t have enough tissue. Long story short, I had the D&C March 21. Diagnosed March 27 with adenocarcinoma type 3. I had the hysterectomy April 15. It hadn’t spread. I was lucky. Stage 1A, type 3, I’m getting three brachytherapy treatments because it was so aggressive.  

I think your timing is pretty fast. My gynecologist said three to four months might mean they would catch it on time. Of course you never know. I hope you get your results fast. I got mine in 6 days when they found out it was cancer. I was supposed to get them 2 weeks later. 

MoeKay
Posts: 213
Joined: Feb 2004

Although I never had heavy bleeding, I had intermittent spotting for approximately 7 months before I had my uterine biopsy and was diagnosed with endometrial cancer.  For a long time thereafter, I berated myself for not seeking medical attention sooner, but I thought I was just exhibiting symptoms of menopause (as did the gynecologist who later diagnosed me).  Looking backwards, however, was a tremendous waste of time and energy, so I would advise, to the extent possible, that you just move forward one day at a time.  After a few years, I stopped beating myself up about the delay.  In early August of this year it will be 20 years since I finished treatment. 

Hang in there, and best of luck and health!

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

20 years is awesome!  Congraulations to you on such a good result!  Here's to 20 more.  :)

zsazsa1
Posts: 338
Joined: Oct 2018

This is not that long a delay.  You still probably caught it early on, will probably be fine.  You don't even know yet if it's cancer.  Try to keep busy, distract yourself with things you like to do.

This forum is self-selected for people who have more advanced, more aggressive uterine cancers because we're the ones looking for help and support, rather than just having hysterectomies and going on with our lives.  So don't worry that you're situation is dismal - it's probably not.  And feel free to come back here for support if you need it.

Kathy G.'s picture
Kathy G.
Posts: 209
Joined: Dec 2012

Hi Whitby & welcome to the best support group of women for cancer!

You have already received many good replies from the pros. I would just like to add I am one of the blessed VAST MAJORITY who was diagnosed with stage 1/grade 1a back in 2012. I only required surgery & recommended follow up appointments for 5 years.

 

I have had no reoccurence.

 

I had a history of multiple UTIs with spotting for years. I had heavy bleeding the last few years before menopause. I started spotting after my mother's death in 2009 about a year into menopause. I attributed it to my UTIs because the spotting was light, and only occurred when I had one.

 

Fast forward to 2012. I passed a HUGE puddle of blood. Something told me this was a problem. Was seen by my regular gyn who did a biopsy and called me within the week to confirm it was cancer.

 

The oncologist I saw assured me it was the garden variety, easy to treat kind of cancer BEFORE surgery...which I found out later was unusual because they need to perform surgery to determine the grade. But thankfully he was right!

 

There is a lady on here by the name of Suzanne who also had an early diagnosis. She was more active on here when I joined. I prayed I had her kind of cancer...early...and I did!

 

I pray that you will receive good news, but if you do that you are in the vast majority. If not, you will receive awesome support here from the survivors and heroes.

 

Kathy

Soup52's picture
Soup52
Posts: 902
Joined: Jan 2016

Hi! I’m with MA bound and Eldri. We are all different. I had symptoms in July 2015 and didn’t havediagnosis until August and surgery October. I had a high grade cancer and all the treatments, but so far so good. I know you are scared as we all were, but there is much to hope for ! Keep us posted we are all here for you!

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

Today seems to be a 'heart in my throat' kind of day.  Like everyone, I'm sure, I just want to get a diagnosis.  It bothers me that the ob gyn was actually able to SEE 'fluffiness' (her word, and I'm sticking with it!), tho I've also read that Type 2 is more likely to be smooth.  So maybe it's a good thing - I have no idea.

I completely see what you all mean, in that there are so many permeatations with this - all i really can do is wait.  I have a very medically conservative ob gyn, but - my word! - she sounded grim when she told me it was her opinion that I most likely had cancer.  

Ugh.  I'd love to go and throw up with the nerves of all this!

Primavera's picture
Primavera
Posts: 75
Joined: Mar 2019

How could she see "fluffiness"? Did you have ultrasounds? You say your D&C is next week.

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

Hi Primavera  :)

No - my D&C, biopsy, pap smear and Mirena insertion were last Thursday.  No polyps.  One large fibroid (old) which is calcifying.  And, apparently, some fluffiness at the back of the uterus....

MAbound
Posts: 868
Joined: Jun 2016

If your results are positive or your symptoms persist, conservative ob gyn or not, the next step is to see a gyn oncologist. They are an ob gyn's specialist when it come to cancer and you should be referred to one. 

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

Yes.  I'm in Boston, so we are awash with brilliant medical types here.  As *soon* as I get my results, I'll be contacting a gyn. onc. I tried contacting one who is supposed to be very, very good, but without biopsy results, I couldn't make an appt.

ConnieSW's picture
ConnieSW
Posts: 1456
Joined: Jun 2012

you have been given is spot on. I just want to give you a dose of hope. It's been 7+ years since I was diagnosed with a grade 3 early cancer. Total treatment from diagnosis to completion took a little over 7 months. I have been without evidence of disease since. There are quite a few of us here who can say the same. Just hang tight till you know more. 

Jairoldi's picture
Jairoldi
Posts: 214
Joined: May 2017

Just piping up to say that I agree with everything the ladies have posted to help and encourage you. Most of us probably thought we, or our docs waited too long.  In January of 2017 I mentioned to a co-worker that I thought I might have cancer. I then made an appt to see my GP which wasn't until mid February. She wanted me to come back in 2 months for maybe a biopsy. April 18th biopsy was done. Fast forward to surgery May 1. 7 months of treatment and all is well with me 2 years later.

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

Jairoldi - can I ask what made you think you might have cancer back in 2017?  Did you have symptoms at that point?  Or was it a gut feeling?

Jairoldi's picture
Jairoldi
Posts: 214
Joined: May 2017

The first reason was there was no good reason for me to be spotting after going through menopause several years early. Second, my mother had a hysterectomy though I don't know why, and I had complained about a year earlier, to my GP, that sex was painful. 

So I thought I could have cancer.  I just added it all up and then did some internet searching that further confirmed my thoughts.

annie4145
Posts: 98
Joined: Jul 2018

Different kind of cancer, but it is common in many types of cancer to second guess ourselves as to whether we could have gotten it diagnosed earlier. My cancer was dectected (stage 3) after a colonscopy at age 51. I  had some bleeding, but delayed getting the colonscopy for about four months.  I should have known better, but hindsight is always 20-20, and all you can do is be kind to yourself (very few people expect to get cancer) and to be an advocate for your friends and relatives when they are having health issues to remind them to get checked early.    Best of wishes that all your tests turn out OK.

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

Big, frustrated sigh here.  Dr called me - I assume with the results - this afternoon, and I had taken that one hour for a much needed nap.  She called me 3 times, and I missed every call.  

Massively frustrated.

Dafad123
Posts: 20
Joined: Apr 2019

Oh no I hope you got back to your doctor.I have my appointment tomorrow for my results and it will be two weeks(been a long two weeks.)been on edge every time phone rings .

whitby2773
Posts: 27
Joined: Jun 2019

Dafad123 - I wish you all the luck in the world.  No, I couldn't reach my ob gyn, and tomorrow is her surgical day at the hospital, so I don't know if I'll hear from her before Friday.  Please come back and let us know your results - I'll be following this and hoping for great news.

Subscribe to Comments for "How soon is soon?"