Uterine Cancer Survivor
I was diagnosed with Stage 1c, Grade 3 Endometrial Cancer in May, 2010. Every doctor I have had in my life has made me feel rushed, and made me feel like my questions or concerns were silly... the reason I didn’t go! After moving I was required to have a physical for my new job. Not knowing the area, I opened the phone book and found a family doctor. When I went for my appointment I fell in love with my Doctor. She was SO amazing . She sat with me, did the physical, chatted about life, asked if I had any questions and made me feel like she really cared about me as a person.
In October of 2009, I began noticing increased abnormalities with my cycle. Since the age of 12 when my cycles started, they have NEVER been regular so I really didn’t think very much of it. However, when they began regulating and coming each month, very heavily, I discussed this with my doctor. She felt that it was a good sign that my body was regulating itself and that the heavy flow was most likely due to the fact that I had skipped periods often and frequently and that my body was getting rid of the excess in lining. Makes sense right? She also suggested that we do an exam, however because I was having my period at the time we opted to wait. I honestly didn’t think about it any further until May of 2010. In May, my mother began to notice that I was ALWAYS tired and brought it to my attention. I was also eating ICE like mad! I went in to see my doctor after I realized that I had had my period 3 times in the month of May. I knew then that I something wasn’t right. She took some blood tests and again we discussed the irregular bleeding. She recommended I go in to see a GYN. I went in to see the GYN who did an ultrasound.
The Ultrasound results showed that the lining of my uterus was about 3x thicker than it should be. The Doctor immediately recommended a D&C and Hysteroscopy. There was no reason for my lining to be so thick and he needed more information to figure it all out. A week later I went in for the surgery. It had only been 3 weeks since my first complaint and things were moving SO fast but I wasn’t nervous! I had the D&C and Hysteroscopy on a Thursday and the results came back by my follow-up visit the next Tuesday. As I sat in his office with my mom, he told me the news, that I had endometrial cancer. He was so patient and comforting as he sat there talking with my mom and I for over an hour. He hugged me several times and just kept saying "We are going to take care of you!" His assistant came in the room and they already had me scheduled for a CT scan the next day, and a meeting with the Oncologist for the next week. Of course I cried when I got the diagnosis, but then a great peace washed over me and I knew I was going to be ok!
I went in to see the Oncologist who let me know that the cancer was a Grade 3, the most aggressive type. He recommended a total abdominal hysterectomy. Being a single female, who LOVES kids and has dreamed her whole life of being a mother, this was disheartening. I asked about the possibility of freezing my eggs and he recommended "the BEST" reproductive specialist in the area who has a big interest in working with cancer patients. My hysterectomy was scheduled for August 20, 2010 so we had a little time! I went through once cycle of IVF treatments to stimulate my ovaries and then had my eggs harvested and frozen. A few weeks after that procedure I had my Hysterectomy.
At my follow-up visit, I was told that my cancer had been contained within the uterus and that it had not spread. They did recommend that I receive radiation treatments to reduce the risk of regrowth, but I am CANCER FREE!!!! My life has been a WHIRLWIND since the diagnosis and it is just now starting to sink in.
I heard about Fran’s story and found my way here! I hope that through this movement there will be as much awareness about the gynecological cancers as there is for Breast Cancer. Support and awareness is greatly needed for these cancers! Thank you Fran!