2 for 1 - Endometrial cancer and a uterine sarcoma
I was 40 years old when I was diagnosed with late stage endometrial cancer and a uterine sarcoma. Instead of going to the Gyn like I should've I shared with my friends who are also between 40-50, two were experiencing my same symptoms, so i thought...no big deal. Over the course of one year, my occasional spotting became regular and heavier, when I started to experience a lot of pain and clots I finally made an appointment with the Gyn. Oh, how I hate going to the Gyn! Feet up in stirrups and that little paper gown is covering NOTHING! There is nothing worse than strangers all up in your business! Well, I actually found that there is something definately worse than one Gyn and one nurse being in your business. When you get diagnosed with uterine cancer, now EVERYONE is up there! By the time I went to the Gyn, I was bleeding heavily every day and had monsterous cramps. The Gyn examined me, asked me if any other Dr's had every mentioned a vaginal polyp to me. She immediately did a uterine biopsy and then sent me for ultrasounds abdominal and trans-vaginal. We scheduled a D&C. I came back in, thinking I was going to discuss a uterine ablation to stop the bleeding but instead was told that I had grade 3 cancer and that she was referring me to an Gyn - Oncologist immediately. I couldn't believe it - I wasn't upset - just kind of numb. I do remember joking to family and co-workers that I was only mad about one thing - I didn't have unexplained weightloss! Damn it, I want my unexplained weightloss! A week later I met the Gyn-Onc. My Gyne said she didn't know him personally, but he had a reputation as one of the best and that's what I needed. The doctor examined me and explained the severity of my disease and that he couldn't be sure how far it spread until surgery - when he would be able to "stage" the disease. I was learning all kinds of new terms! On October 15, 2010 - two weeks before my 41st birthday - I had a radical hysterectomy. He took out everything. Unfortunately, all my reproductive organs, abdominal and para-aortic lymph nodes, and a vaginal tumor were cancerous. I had endometrial cancer stage 3cII grade 3, and a uterine sarcoma that had spread to the vaginal wall. He was going to hit the cancer quick and hard with everything he had. Shortly after surgery, I started 5 weeks of daily pelvic radiation with an adjuvant (another new word) dose of weekly chemo. I then had 6 rounds of Carbo/Taxol chemo and 3 internal radiation treatments. Yes, I've had all the side effects. My last chemo was May 12, 2011! Everything is clear so far. I'm grateful to my medical team, my wonderful spouse and family/friends, God, and in a weird way I'm thankful to the cancer because I've learned so much about appreciating life.