Uterine Cancer Survivor
I've always been very active and health conscious. I exercise regularly, never eat red meat, don't smoke and try to do everything right to stay healthy, including getting an annual pap and mammogram. In May of 2006, I went for my annual pap. I received a call from my gynecologist who said my pap showed some a-typical endometrial cells - was I near my period when I had the pap? I told her yes that my period started 2 days after my pap. She assured me that it's probably nothing, but wanted to do a second pap (which came out fine) and a biopsy (just to be on the safe side). Thank goodness I had her as a gynecologist and that she did a biopsy.
A few days later I got the call - a message on my work voice mail that said to call my doctor’s office. When I called, they asked if I could come in now. I knew I was in trouble. I'll never forget sitting on the edge of the examination table when she told me that I had uterine cancer. How could it be? I didn't have any symptoms and I didn't meet one single criteria for uterine cancer. She was just as shocked as I was. She gave me a few names of surgeons and told me I needed to start seeing one right away. So I did, had a battery of tests over that next week and had my surgery.
Since I was Stage 1, surgery was enough. No chemo or radiation. The only others with uterine cancer that I've met were the 2 roommates I had in the hospital - both in stage 4. Their physicians kept telling them that their symptoms were due to menopause. Now pap tests don't usually pick up uterine cancer, so I was truly lucky that a few of those nasty cells happened to show up on my pap and a doctor who followed through. If we're going to beat cancer, early detection is imperative!
I feel a desperate need to educate the public about uterine cancer and tell them to go to the doctor - maybe it’s not just menopause. Who could I get to spread the word? Then it dawned on me - it's ME. I have to tell my story and help educate women so they are diagnosed early! So here I am alive and well today, so you can learn from me – listen to your body. It’ll save your life.