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Old 08-31-2008, 05:39 PM   #1
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Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi everyone,
I had had UTI's in the past. I had my IUD removed 3 weeks ago as it was felt that it may be contributing to the UTI's due to the fact that I had it in for an extra 5 years (10 years in total). Anyway, my last episode of urinary frequency started 8 weeks ago. I was initially given Keflex, then Alprim. The symptoms subsided a bit and actually stopped completely for about a week. They are back and I am at a complete loss as to what I should do. I have no other symptoms. I had a mid stream urine culture done which was negative for infection and blood. My family are all medical (2 older brothers are doctors), so I do tend to fear the worst. This is my 4th episode of urinary urgency in 2 years. The first 3 cleared up with antibiotics. This episode has not responded to several weeks of antibiotics. I have heard that urinary urgency/frequency can be a symptom of ovarian cancer. BTW, I had a clean Pap smear when my IUD was removed. What do others think?
Regards,
Linda

 
Old 09-04-2008, 04:39 AM   #2
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shetland kiwi HB User
Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi there,

You seem to be in such a quandry, sometimes it's hard to know if we are thinking too much, or ignoring what's there! Anti B's are obviously not working for you. I'd suggest you go back to your doc to see if there are any other tests (I know I had a blood test with mine) or ask for an ultra sound hopefully that may help sort out the problem or allay your fears.

Good Luck
Maxine

 
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:47 PM   #3
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi Maxine,
What was your eventual diagnosis? Because my older brothers are both doctors, I tend to go for the worst case scenario. I realise that this could be dozens of minor things, but ovarian cancer is so deadly that it really scares me. I have an appointment with an elderly doctor this afternoon. My mother was his receptionist for 20 years and he really knows his stuff. I have a pituitary adenoma (non life threatening tumour of the pituitary gland) and he was the one that diagnosed it 15 years ago, so I trust him. In the back of my mind, I know there is a 99% chance that this is nothing, but it's that 1% that bothers me.

Regards,
Linda

 
Old 09-05-2008, 05:19 AM   #4
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi Linda,

Truly hope you are in the 99%, unfortunatley I was not. It's so sneaky!! I thought I was just having a really painful period, but no ... 1 hysterectomy later stage 3b ovarian cancer confirmed. Started chemo 1 week ago yesterday, it was daffodil day here in New Zealand that day - which raises funds for cancer, I'm taking it as a good omen and being as positive as I can, although the enormity of it all overwhelms me at times - but hey someone has to be in that smaller percentage that makes it, why not me!!!

It really is a horrid cancer though, we have screening and tests for others, I so wish they could come up with something for this. Hopefully in time for my daughters.

Hope all goes well with your appointment. Let me know.

Take care
Maxine

 
Old 09-05-2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi Maxine,
I had an appointment yesterday. One of my suspicions was confirmed - I have a mild prolapse of the uterus which makes me susceptible to infections and also to urinary problems. The doctor did a manual exam of both ovaries (and boy did that hurt!!!) and is confident that they are OK. I spoke to my brothers about manual exams and how much you can actually feel. They confirmed that a manual exam is able to pick up problems in most cases. I am having a pelvic ultrasound on Tuesday. He suspects bladder stones due to the fact that I do not get the urge to urinate overnight or when I am lying down. Any of the more serious problems would cause urinary urgency all the time. Gravity has something to do with the problem and that is why he feels it is bladder stones or the mild prolapse. Most women with mild prolapse have no symptoms, but I am one of the unlucky ones.

I wish you all the very best with your health. Do you mind me asking how old you are and how long they think you have had the ovarian cancer prior to diagnosis?
Regards,
Linda

 
Old 09-06-2008, 09:22 PM   #6
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi there,

How is it over the ditch? weather's being very fickle here, so a great time to be tucked up inside with a cuppa talking to you!

Ouch!!! your poor old ovaries! brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it!! Will you have surgery for the prolapse or will they be able to use a pessary? given that you are susceptible to infections & urinary problems I assume they will do something for you. Hopefully if the ultrasound does show bladder stones, they will be able to break them up so it is more comfortable to pass them. All the best for Tuesday.

No I don't mind your asking my age etc. I'm 47 (sad but true) and they think it was about 3 months. So it's not only sneaky but a fast little mover and shaker too! Frustrating tho' because if I fell into any of the "risk factor" catergories mabey I would have been looking out for earlier symptoms.

We hear heaps about breast and cervical cancer, we have adds on TV to motivate people to get checked for them, you guys have pink ribbon day too don't you? But other gynecological cancers .... silence. Today when looking something on the net I discovered that it is silver ribbon month (gynecological cancer awareness month) in NZ. I've never heard of it! Frustrating.

Again all the best for Tuesday I will be thinking of and praying for you. Let me know how you go.

Maxine

 
Old 09-07-2008, 08:18 PM   #7
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

The weather here has been all over the place. The drought does seem to have broken though! We are on severe water restrictions over the entire country and you have to experience it to believe it!

Once I had the prolapse confirmed (and it is considered mild), I started to do Kegel exercises. I am a bit shocked that I have a prolapse as I have one child and am 42 years of age. I was suspicious as I could feel my cervix easily when trying to feel for the string of my IUD. It felt like it was about 2.5 inches within the vagina. Urinary frequency is a common symptom of this, but I doubt I will need any pessaries or surgery as I do not have any discomfort during sex and I really do not have any symptoms other than the urinary frequency. I guess I am now more susceptible to infections, so I will have to be careful. My doctor confirmed the prolapse when he was squeezing the life out of my ovaries! He made me lie on the left side first and draw one knee into my chest. I then had to breath in sharply and he felt the ovary for any irregularities. He then did the other side. This doctor is nearly 80 years old and is the most amazing, experienced man. He has a very young attitude. He was very confident that I am OK in regard to the ovaries. He wanted the pelvic exam done anyway as he believes in doing a thorough check and also to rule out other possibilities.

I guess they don't routinely check for ovarian cancer because it is considered very rare. Yes we do have pink ribbon day along with many supermarket items being packaged in pink to raise awareness and money. The more common cancer here is prostate cancer in men!

What is your prognosis? You sound very upbeat and that is always a good thing when dealing with life's curve balls. I bet you got a shock when they told you what it was! What were your symptoms? What did you expect it to be?

Regards,
Linda

 
Old 09-09-2008, 05:57 AM   #8
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi hi,

I have to say I have never experienced a drought, they get them in the south island but not up here in Auckland. The footage from the news looks really devistating though.

I'm really pleased to hear that your doctor feels confident that your ovaries are ok after your exam. You will have had your ultrasound today, hope all went well.

I really didn't think of cancer, until I saw the report from the ultrasound saying there was a possibility that it was that or a pre malignancy.

When I was on the table the woman kept on going back to the same spots over and over, then with the internal probe it really hurt in the same areas. She pointed out several spots on my screen which were black, but she said they were cysts and the black was fluid, she never mentioned anything else so I didn't think of anything else I had had a cyst when I was around 22 and that was painful so .... I thought that was what it was. Then when she said she would just let the radiologist have a look as they always do, I was expecting her to come back and say, ok get dressed and we'll bring the film to you in the waiting room... but no, back came the radiologist and did the internal all over again, it was then that I thought something is not quite right here, but cancer never crossed my mind at that stage, I don't really know what I thought it was other than cysts that were not quite right.
After surgery (even though I knew from the report, the fact that the surgeon was a pre malignancy and cancer specialist), it was still, believe it or not a shock. I don't know, mabey I was in denial that it really could be?

At the time pain was my only symptom and as I said earlier I thought it was just a really painful period, I'm so pleased that I went that week to my doctor to let her know that another one of my medications which she had increased was working well, otherwise it would have been at least a month before I would have been seeing her again and who knows how much more it would have grown or spread. In hindsight I had had a bit of bloating, but never thought much of it, I had been dieting (a very sensible one I must say, no processed food only real food, fresh veges, fruit and wholegrains) I thought my increase in water was to blame.

Prognosis, well.... I was told by my first oncologist that total cure is rare & I will probably get another 3-5 yrs but that having said that she has patients who are still alive after 10 and 15 years. My new oncologist is talking 2-3 years. I really don't know, somewhere between 2 & 5ish years. But mabey more?? Which feels all very up in the air. But I have no intention of letting this beat me. I tell it every day "I am going to beat you" who knows mabey I may even be in the rare few who are cured? if not I will have however many chemos necessary to keep it at bay!

Just reolized the time by golly its 1.00 YIKES I'll have to have a sleep in in the morning!

take care
Maxine

 
Old 10-29-2008, 06:22 PM   #9
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

OK, its been awhile , but so much to report! the 2nd ultrasound showed that the ovarian cyst had gone. Yeah! But then the bad news, I have a 3cm mass on my left kidney which they must have missed on the 1st ultrasound. Anyway had a CT almost immediately as the mass had irregular borders and didn't look good. Anyway, I see the specialist today, but my GP has already told me that the report accompanying the CT is certain that this is a simple cyst! It actually has smooth borders and no blood supply. I can breath again! All I really need to know now, is what do they do with cysts. My older brothers are both doctors and they think it is a matter of simply watching or maybe a biopsy. If it had been a renal cell carcinoma, it would have meant removal of part or all of my left kidney. All surrounding organs are clear or "unremarkable" as it states on the report. I have never been so happy to hear the word unremarkable in my entire life! Thank you to Shetland Kiwi who corresponded with me. I hope your journey is a smooth one!
Regards,
Linda

 
Old 11-01-2008, 04:02 PM   #10
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi Linda,

Golly it doesn't rain but it pours! isn't life like that? You breath out after one problem and life throws up another!

Thrilled to hear that the cyst in your ovary is gone! Really pleased to hear that your GP and the radiologist feel the mass in your kidney is a simple cyst. Hope all went well with the specialist and he could confirm all that they said.

I was due to have my 3rd cycle of chemo on Friday (31st) but had to have it put off as I have a urine infection, which is a pain but at least I get an extra week of feeling somewhat normal which is a rather nice bonus, so I have been using my energy to sew for my grandaughter. But back into it next Friday, and then there will only be 2 left YEAH!!!

Must away to bake for lunches for the week.
Take care.

Maxine.

 
Old 11-02-2008, 11:25 AM   #11
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi Maxine,
Sorry to hear that you have an infection. Those little buggers can make life a bit of a misery! The specialist did confirm that my massis a 3cm cyst. It will get bigger, but will not cause any problems. My initial symptom (urinary frequency), the one that started the whole merry-go-round, is still a mystery. The specialist (urologist) thinks that I am just one of those women who are sensitive to infections of the urinary tract. He has suggested some measures I can take to reduce the chance of getting an infection such as voiding straight after sex and then drinking a full glass of water. The symptom has disappeared for the time being, but it will return. Hubby and family are just relieved that I am OK. It was a terrible week after they found the mass, but things did move quickly. I hope your chemo works for you. You sound very upbeat and positive. Thank you for replying once again. I hope to catch up with you again as I intend to stick around. This site offers some amazing advice!
Regards,
Linda

 
Old 11-13-2008, 01:24 AM   #12
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi there Linda,

Great to hear from you, and pleased as you and your family are that you are ok. WAHOO!!!

I'm ok, infection cleared up and lo and behold because my chemo was put forward a week I ended up with a group of people who were new - of course. In the bed opposite was a woman who also had ovarian cancer, at the same stage as mine. Amazing the first person I have actually met with the same type of cancer, so we could compare notes and stuff. So every cloud has that silver lining, if not for the infection I would never have met her!

Sorry this short and sweet but I must actually away to bed, I found it really hard to sleep last night so am really really tired.

Hope you remain infection free, they are little sods you are quite right!!

Take care as the festive season approaches, hopefully we will be in touch before then.

Maxine

 
Old 02-08-2009, 06:13 PM   #13
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Re: Hi. Newbie with questions

Hi Shetland Kiwi,
I wanted to know how you are getting along. Not much has changed in my world. I have decided to get a pessary for my prolapse. My appointment with the gynaecologist is in 3 weeks, so will take his advice on that. Funnily enough, I have not had urinary symptoms for several weeks!
Regards,
Linda

 
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