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Old 02-21-2004, 11:38 PM   #1
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Arrow So I have cancer, now what???

I had an abnormal pap 7 years ago. The biopsy came back inconclusive. The Dr. told me to come back in 6 months. I did the mature thing. I came back in 7 years. I now have so much guilt. The Doctors like to tell me every time I have an appointment that this should have been taken care of a long time ago. Note to self: Don't put off health concerns

I had a pap in December. It came back bad. They called me 2 days before Christmas and totally freaked me out. Dr. told me we needed to do more tests.

I had a biopsy in January. That is so much fun! I am sure my yells made all of the people in the waiting room feel real comfortable! The cramping afterwards was bad. Dr. told me we needed to do more tests.

I had a LEEP on February 2nd. Luckily, I was put under for that one. I was expecting even more cramping. I must say, the biopsy I had had in January was worse. I bled for about 11 days but all in all it was not that bad at all. It took 2 weeks to hear from the Dr. I figured it must be fine. No news is good news right? No. The Dr. called me on Tuesday and told me that the test came back positive for cancer. And guess what... More tests!

I am scheduled for a cononization (not sure of the spelling) on the 24th of this month. It is only 3 weeks since I have had the LEEP. I am sort of freaked out. She says I may have excessive bleeding from this procedure because it is so soon after the last one. They need to do this one because the boundaries of the cancer were not clear. They don't know if I will need a full or partial hysterectomy, or whether or not I will need radiation.

I know this is all my fault. So not only am I dealing with the fear of what is to come, but I am also trying to cope with a lot of guilt.

Is there anyone here that could help? The fear of the unknown is the worst.

 
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Old 02-22-2004, 06:27 AM   #2
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miseryweeps HB User
Re: So I have cancer, now what???

First things first. This is NOT your fault. Your next step is to come to terms that this is what life has thrown you, and decide how to procede. Make sure you are comfortable with your doctor and understand ALL of the treatmentoptions. I'm sorry I can't help more, as I have not yet been diagnosed with cancer. I feel it coming, though. I had an abnormal pap about 2 years ago and have yet to go back for a follow up. I found out a few months ago that my sister had ovarian cancer when she was around my age now. Full histerectomy at age 21, and our mom had hers done at age 20. I wish you good luck with your treatment. Remember to stay positive.

 
Old 02-22-2004, 07:28 AM   #3
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Re: So I have cancer, now what???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyz-mom
I had an abnormal pap 7 years ago. The biopsy came back inconclusive. The Dr. told me to come back in 6 months. I did the mature thing. I came back in 7 years. I now have so much guilt. The Doctors like to tell me every time I have an appointment that this should have been taken care of a long time ago. Note to self: Don't put off health concerns

I had a pap in December. It came back bad. They called me 2 days before Christmas and totally freaked me out. Dr. told me we needed to do more tests.

I had a biopsy in January. That is so much fun! I am sure my yells made all of the people in the waiting room feel real comfortable! The cramping afterwards was bad. Dr. told me we needed to do more tests.

I had a LEEP on February 2nd. Luckily, I was put under for that one. I was expecting even more cramping. I must say, the biopsy I had had in January was worse. I bled for about 11 days but all in all it was not that bad at all. It took 2 weeks to hear from the Dr. I figured it must be fine. No news is good news right? No. The Dr. called me on Tuesday and told me that the test came back positive for cancer. And guess what... More tests!

I am scheduled for a cononization (not sure of the spelling) on the 24th of this month. It is only 3 weeks since I have had the LEEP. I am sort of freaked out. She says I may have excessive bleeding from this procedure because it is so soon after the last one. They need to do this one because the boundaries of the cancer were not clear. They don't know if I will need a full or partial hysterectomy, or whether or not I will need radiation.

I know this is all my fault. So not only am I dealing with the fear of what is to come, but I am also trying to cope with a lot of guilt.

Is there anyone here that could help? The fear of the unknown is the worst.
Please do not let the medical profession place a guilt trip on you. This is a way of taking power over your life. This is also a way that they have of making you feel to blame for anything else that might go wrong later on so that you will not question their advise. IT is a cover your legal behind tactic that they used. The reverse would also be used had you bugged them every three months for a check up, they would have accused you of causing the cancer by "wishing it on yourself"
While it is true that some people contribute to their own disease by being careless or actually ingesting bad chemicals on purpose, most cases of gynecological cancer is a "wait and see" operation. They can not treat what they can not see and if they do they let themselves in for legal charges of fraud. You have not done anything wrong. Every one is responsible for their own health. You may regret the decision you made at this time, but, you also may have saved yourself seven years of needless worry as well. I have heard of reports where gynecologists have kept their patients in constant state of panic over an abnormal pap, when it was the procedure that was fault in gathering the pap, or the patient was dealing with malnutrition factors, or the pap was taken at the wrong time of the month etc,
Above all, make sure you get a second or third opinion before agreeing to any radical procedures that you may or may not need. Do not settle for anything out of feeling guilty. Take care and let us know how this turns out.

 
Old 02-23-2004, 04:09 PM   #4
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Boyz-mom HB User
Re: So I have cancer, now what???

It finally hit me today. I have been sort of numb. I have been scared, but under control. Today I fell apart. This is the worst.

Tomorrow I am having the cononization. Please pray for me. I don't remember if I mentioned this but I am VERY scared of needles. I also have the worst veins. They roll and collapse when they try to put an IV in. Last time they had to stick me twice with that needle. I swear it is the size of a knitting needle! I can only be brave for one poke. After that I fall apart!

 
Old 02-24-2004, 04:22 PM   #5
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secretblue HB User
Re: So I have cancer, now what???

i'm sorry boyz-mom, i wish you luck on your cononization tomorrow, or i thought it was suppose to be today the 24th? let us know how it goes? i have a question for you, did the doctor tell you anything about what your cause from that abnormal paps 7 years ago? is it from HPV? and since the biospy 7 years ago, have you get another pap smear for a normal paps? i'm asking because, i am dealing with abnormal paps myself, and wondering to myself what if i don't do the biospy...i just don't want to deal with biospy again...feels like someone's pulling my cervix out from my vigina...but i wish you luck!

 
Old 02-25-2004, 10:26 AM   #6
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Re: So I have cancer, now what???

I had the cononization yesterday. All went well. They only poked me one time with the IV!!!! Yayy!!! They tried something new on me (at least it was new to me) they were fiddling with my veins for about 10 minutes trying to find one that didn't roll when they pressed it. My nurse gave up and had someone else come look at me. She came with blankets from the warmer and wrapped my hands. After about 10 minutes she came back and started the IV up right away. Of course my husband had just left just a moment before to go to the bathroom. (What a dog!) When he came back and saw the IV in my arm he was impressed. He said "I don't see any tears and the nurse has not been knocked out, it must have gone well."

I don't have much pain. The codeine is working just fine. It does make me all itchy all over though.

As for your question secretblue, I didn't ever go back to the Dr. They did a biopsy 7 years ago and told me to come back in 6 month and I didn't. The next time I went was this past December. It came back so severe that they told me right from the beginning that it was probably cancer and they were right. Had I gone back in 6 months like they wanted, they probably would have done a LEEP and all would be well today. But by putting it off now I have had 2 in office biopsies (which I think are the worst! If they could only numb it first it would be so much better!) A LEEP, a cononization, and am soon to have a hysterectomy with possibly radiation.

My advice to anyone reading this is to not put it off. It is not fun to have someone poking, prodding, stretching, pinching, or scraping your privets. Not to mention the humiliation of having your legs spread and someone you hardly know looking where no one should look. (I wouldn't even let my Husband look at me like that!) But by taking care of it sooner you have to have much less done.

My Dr. has not mentioned HPV to me. I am sure that it is from reading up on it, but she has not mentioned it being that to me.

I should know the results and what and when the next step will be in less then a week. I will let you know.

 
Old 02-27-2004, 11:41 PM   #7
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Re: So I have cancer, now what???

I heard from the Dr. today. Good news. The cancer has not spread. They don't have to do radiation. I will be having a complete hysterectomy on March 31st. Not so excited about that though. Anyone have any hysterectomy experience? I don't know anything. I will have the pre-op appointment on March 16th. Should I take hormones or not? I just turned 35.

 
Old 02-28-2004, 05:53 AM   #8
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Re: So I have cancer, now what???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyz-mom
I heard from the Dr. today. Good news. The cancer has not spread. They don't have to do radiation. I will be having a complete hysterectomy on March 31st. Not so excited about that though. Anyone have any hysterectomy experience? I don't know anything. I will have the pre-op appointment on March 16th. Should I take hormones or not? I just turned 35.
Ask the doctor to have a hormone patch placed on you while you are in the recovery room if they are going to remove your ovaries. If they are going to leave your ovaries in, then you will not need hormones until menopause. I personally am in menopause and never took hormones. If I get a hot flash I find a way to cool off. If I get night sweats, I change the sheets and go back to sleep. I am more afraid of the hormones than I am any menopause discomforts, but if you are having surgical menopause you do not want to go through that in 20 seconds. I have had ten years for my body to adjust to lessening hormones.

 
Old 03-01-2004, 04:15 AM   #9
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liz109 HB User
Re: So I have cancer, now what???

First off--GREAT BIG hugs to you!

Also, let me tell you----your cancer could have gone un noticed ALL THESE years, so don't beat yourself up. I have gone every year religiously, and had never had a problem. VOILA--cervical cancer 1B2 after many of the procedures you've talked about.

I had my radical hysterectomy this past November. SHEW! Glad that one is over. Everyone has their own experiences. I'll say mine was inbetween.

Best of luck to you!
__________________
Liz
________
Stage 1BII cervical cancer
Diagnosed 11/14/03
Radical Hysterectom 11/25/03

 
Old 03-12-2004, 01:36 PM   #10
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Josie115 HB User
Re: So I have cancer, now what???

Please do yourself a HUGE favor. Go to the nearest gyn/oncologist and don't look back. The gyn/oncologist is the most trained expert on gyn cancers. If the word is even considered a possibility, go and make sure you have a gyn/oncologist. I would actually not have the cone with your gyn but get scheduled for it with an oncologist. They can understand margins and save you another or addtional procedure. Also, request the pathologists report for anything you have had done in the past. Get copies of your records and take them with you. Usually, you have some time to make sure you have the right doctor and the right dx and second opinions if you need them. Don't just go with the flow because you are momentarily stunned. I know it happens, been there. Good luck.. keep us posted.

Last edited by moderator2; 03-12-2004 at 02:39 PM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Healthboards.com Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

 
Old 03-12-2004, 01:50 PM   #11
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Re: So I have cancer, now what???

I am 4 weeks post-op from a TAH. Yours is coming up quick. Do you have more questions? You need to talk to your doc about the type or procedure you are having and about your ovaries. Obviously, the cervix is going, but if your ovaries are healthy, you will probably want to keep them. They may go into shock from the surgery and you may want to take hormones for a little while, but they should wake up after a few weeks or a few months.

Big hugs to you!
Nicole
__________________
Total abdominal hysterectomy at age 26 due to abnormal bleeding. Kept ovaries.

Last edited by moderator2; 03-12-2004 at 02:38 PM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Healthboards.com Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

 
Old 03-12-2004, 10:38 PM   #12
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Re: So I have cancer, now what???

I have my pre-op on Monday at 9:00. I am super lame about asking the right questions. After each appointment people ask me things and I am like "I don't know, I don't know, I don't know" I am sure my friends are wondering if I was even there! LOL. My Husband is comming with me. I am sure he is going to ask all sorts of interesting questions. Because you know, it's all about him... (lol, long story...no lovin' since January...) If there are some questions that I should ask please let me know! Any help is most appreciated!

 
Old 03-13-2004, 07:36 AM   #13
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Re: So I have cancer, now what???

Here are some of the questions I asked:

What kind of procedure do you plan to perform?
(If vaginal, how is it done? If abdominal, how do I care for the incision?)
Will I need to do any kind of prep for the procedure (ie bowel prep or
betadine douche)?
Will I be shaved/trimmed?
How long should the procedure take?
Will there be pathology reports of everything removed?
How long for the reports to be back?
How long will I be in the hospital?
Will the two hour drive home be a concern?
What kind of pain management will I have in the hospital and at home?
How long will the recovery take?
What kind of restrictions will I have during recovery?
What do you recommend for gas and constipation?
What do you recommend for swelling?
When can I drive?

Also, if you have any quirks or conditions, you will want to discuss them with the hospital and the nurses. I am hypoglycemic and had a big problem with the clear liquid diet. I am also pretty blind and had trouble with them taking my glasses away too soon.

Oh, and you will need to find out about your ovaries and about HRT. You will probably want the hormone replacement if you don't keep your ovaries, but you will have to weigh your risks for certain cancers and diseases with your doctor. Hormones really do a lot for us and being in menopause so young can be a big health risk.
__________________
Total abdominal hysterectomy at age 26 due to abnormal bleeding. Kept ovaries.

 
Old 03-27-2004, 08:09 PM   #14
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cbesner HB User
Exclamation Re: So I have cancer, now what???

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyz-mom
I heard from the Dr. today. Good news. The cancer has not spread. They don't have to do radiation. I will be having a complete hysterectomy on March 31st. Not so excited about that though. Anyone have any hysterectomy experience? I don't know anything. I will have the pre-op appointment on March 16th. Should I take hormones or not? I just turned 35.
I had a hysterectomy when I was 24, they took my uterus and left my ovaries. It wasn't so bad and the reason they took my uterus out was because I was hemorraghing, not cancer. I went through menopause without hormones. Are they going to take your ovaries? Do you know and did they discuss this with you? The reason I am saying this is, a very close friend of mine had her uterus removed and they left her ovaries and a year afterward cancer was found in her ovaries. If they are going to do a normal hysterectomy, that is one that opens your tummy up rather than going through the vagina they will look at everything and see how your ovaries are. I recommend you have that type of surgery. The vaginal hysterectomy doesn't allow for a peek at your ovariers. You want them to peek at your ovaries, especially when they have found cancer in your uterus.

 
Old 03-29-2004, 08:03 AM   #15
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autigrgrad HB User
Cool Re: So I have cancer, now what???

Hi Boyz-mom. I was diagnosed with cervical cancer on Feb 6 and had a radical hysterectomy on Feb 23. I am also 35 with 1 child. I have always had regular pap spears every year. I had one Jan 31 and started bleeding. I was told that I had a friable cervix so he did a biopsy. 6 days later I received the bad news. I met with 2 gyn-oncologists immediately. I had the cone biopsy done 3 days prior to the radical hysterectomy to see if the cancer had invaded the cervix. It had indeed invaded the cervix. I had my cervix, uterus, 1" of my vagina, part of my tubes and plenty of lymph nodes removed. Since I am still young, I have both ovaries. I have a horizontal incision right in my bikini line 8" in length. I had to have a subrapubic catheter for 3 weeks. This went straight into my pubic area not through my legs. This was a pain in the butt but I didn't have to rush to the bathroom. I am only 5'2" and weighed 115 at the time of surgery. I have gained a couple of pounds, up to 120, and have developed an overhang of skin right above my incision. Clothes are still tight and I do have what they call the swelly belly. My waist can get as big as 1 1/2" larger at night. I will tell you to take the pain meds if you need them. I still take 1 pain pill before going to bed. This helps me with the pain all night. If I need something during the day, I take 3-4 Aleve. Constipation was and still is a problem for me. Start taking stool softeners or a laxative as soon as you can. The codeine in the pain meds make you constipated and trust me it is not pleasant. Milk of Magnesia really works for me. After not urinating for 3 weeks on my own, I still don't feel the full sensation and the need to go. I make sure I go every 2 hours or so. Sometimes I feel like I have been hit in the stomach. I have been walking, still very slowly. I was in very good shape before surgery and still get tired very easily. You will need to make sure you rest a lot. I went to the grocery store last week(with my mom) and used one of those motorized carts. I hunch over when I walk. I am guessing it is from the pulling in my abdomen. I am starting to get some more strength in my back so I am standing up straighter when I walk. My mom just left yesterday. Between my mom and my sister, I had 4 weeks of help. It sure was nice not have to cook. Today is 5 weeks for me and I am getting stronger everyday. Good luck to you on Wednesday. I stayed in the hospital for 3 nights.

Noelle
diagnosed with cervical cancer 2/6/04
radical hysterectomy with lymph node removal 2/23/04
Getting stronger and stronger everyday

Last edited by moderator2; 03-29-2004 at 08:35 AM. Reason: Please carefully read, know and follow the Healthboards.com Policies and Guidelines. Click on FAQ at the top left of this page. Thank you!

 
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