My name is Tracey, I'm 33 years old and a week ago I was told I have cervical cancer. I unfortunately have both forms of it rather than just one and it looks like it has gone into my lymphovascular system (I think thats the right terminology). I saw my GP today who, with out being an oncologist or a gynocologist, couldn't really tell me to much info as to exactly what was going to happen, but was really good in answering any questions she could. She is refering me to the Royal Womens Hospital in Melbourne as I am in Geelong and we have no gyno oncologists down here.
She said that I will be needing a hystorecomy and most likely they will take my ovaries too which means menopause at 33. Also that probably my lymph nodes will have to go and that radiation is more than likely and that chemo might be a possibility if the cancer has spread further that the cervical region.
It's really hard not knowing exactly whats going on and I'm really eager too get to the oncologist so that I can actually have some concrete answers as to what my treatment will be, what stage cancer I have, whether its spread, how bad it is, etc. There are so many unanswered questions at the moment and getting the diagnosis is one thing but I just want to know what I'm up against so I can get on with it all I guess.
Anyway if you've read all of this post and you see anything in here that is similar to what your going through or been through or you just have some general words of wisdom or support then please respond in some way. This is all really overwhelming and while I have a great support network in my family and friends I think I would actually like to talk to someone who has or is experiencing similar things.
Youve come to the right place as far as support goes, the people on here are lovely! Sorry to hear of your diagnosis, I dont have Cervical Cancer, mine is Head and Neck and I start radio next week, (not looking forward to that one).
Its alot of information to take on board when your diagnosed, I felt like I was being bounced from one Dept to the next, and everytime I had a procedure etc it led to another complication and Im just about over it! The loss of peace of mind gets me too, but stay positive, the mind is a powerful thing, I wish you well and good luck, you beat that sucker!
Thanks Leesa, much appreciate you taking the time to respond. Cervical cancer is not a real common one so I knew I would probably struggle to find many people going through the exact same thing but thought it was worth a try anyway. Radiation is likely for me too so please let me know how it goes, I know we are dealing with opposite ends of the body but any insight you or others can offer would be much appreciated.
Good luck with your radiation, I hope it goes ok for you and is as painless as it can be.
I actually had a phone call from the royal womans hospital this morning and I have an MRI in the morning and then have my first consultation with the oncologist first thing Monday morning. So I guess it's all really begining now and I just dont really know how to feel about it all at the moment, just focussing on the practical at the moment, not really ready to deal with the emotional yet.
How did you (or others if reading this) get through those first couple of weeks?
Yep they dont muck around I can tell you! I was out of hospital only a couple of days and bang the phone rang for the dentist appointment (my two back molars and I parted company for the radio) then within a couple of days after that it was bang again with the oncologist appointment. I felt like I was in the car constantly!
You can only feel how you are at any given time, I know I had ups and downs the first couple of weeks, I cried, I got angry, frustrated then determined. I know I felt very alone until I found this site, as family and friends support you but unfortunately its your fight, but everyone on here has been touched by cancer one form or another so they can really relate to what your going through. They feel your pain.
I just stay positive, ask any questions I feel I need to know no matter how stupid they sound and my sense of humour keeps me going.
Good luck with the MRI, I hope it all goes well for you and thanks for your words of support also. My daughter has just gotten a letter back from Pap Smear Lab saying there is abnormality and want her to come in for further investigations. Is that how your cancer was discovered? She is not quite 18, so hopefully it will not be anything dastardly.
Take care and let me know how you get on
Hi again, yeah it is amazing how quickly it all goes, its good because the waiting around thing is a killer but at the same time it makes it hard to sort of take anything in because it is all sort of go, go ,go. Would definately rather that than sitting around waiting, wondering and worrying though!
I do have a great support around me too, family and friends but your right, their support is all well and good but they cant possibly understand what this is like because it isnt happening to them and you really dont know how you would react until you are in this situation.
I also worry about overwhelming and over burdoning my friends and family. I have a had a few crying fits and stuff but I feel like I am holding off on dealing with the emotional side of all of this because I dont want to burdon them as much as I dont think I am ready to deal with the emotion yet if that makes sense, it's all about the facts and being practical for me so far.
Sorry to hear about your daughters result. My situation is quite unique apparently. I have been getting my pap smears every 2 years since I was 18 and I have never had abnormal cells. Generally when people get abnormal cells its refered to as CIN I, II or III. This simply means there is evidence of pre-cancerous cells. This is extrememly common, heaps of people have this and its usually as simple of getting them scrapped off and then maybe getting your pap smears a little more often so they can keep an eye on them. Cervical Cancer usually takes 10-15 years to develop, thats why there is not a lot of us out there because regualar pap smears usually catch the abnormal cells before the little buggers have the chance to become cancers. Thats where my case is unique. Mine grew in the 2 years since my last pap smear. But like I said this is an extremely rare thing, I am sure your daughter will be fine though, they've gotten on to it quick smart so hopefully it is just a simple thing for her.
Please do let me know how she goes though, and if she has any worries or questions I will help if I can. Thanks so much again for taking the time to respond, really appreciate your insight and kindness.
Take care Trace.
I had cancer of the uterus almost 5 years ago, had the full hysterectomy and had my lymph nodes removed too. I am just over 20 years older than you, so my situation could be a little different to yours. I had stage 2 which meant it had gone to the cervix as well as the uterus.
It is a good idea (or at least I think so) to have someone go along to your appointments with you. There is so much information that you will be given and you cannot remember every little single thing that you are told. I have also kept an online diary for myself and after each check up, update it now, but while I was going through my operation and then treatment I would update it daily.
We have groups on here as well, so of course there is a gyno cancer one. This site is also good to hear from ladies that have experienced what you are going through, it is good therapy to share your feelings and emotions. Cancer Connect is also very good if you want to talk to someone that has experienced the same as you too. Their number is 131120 option 3 in NSW.
Good luck with your journey.
Thanks so much Bev, appreciate your insight and advice. I have got my mum coming with me to all appointments because your right there is only so much I can take in and she seems to retain it all more than me.
As for writing, I am already a big believer in that as a form of theropy and one of ther first things I did after my diagnosis was to get my self a new book purely for cancer related writing, it's a great way of retaining the info, processing it and keeping track of where I am upto each day.
As for the groups on here I have applied to be a member of the gyno cancer one but haven't heard back yet, do you know how long that usually takes???
Thank you so much for responding Bev, how is your cancer journey going now? Are you all clear? Did you have radiation as part of your treatment? If so could you tell me a little about it?
Take care and I hope life is treating you well now.
I hope your journey is moving along at a pace you are able to bear. I was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer just before my 27th Birthday. I had regularly gotten Pap Smears and never had an abnormal result. My cancer was stage 1B2 when we found it. I had had irregular bleeding and some pain for a few months, but as I had gone off the pill to start a family we thought it was all related to that and would settle down. I had a radical hystorectomy, leaving my ovaries. At the time of surgery my whole cervix was overtaken by the tumor and they also removed a portion of the upper vagina. I had lymph nodes removed that were all clear and external beam radiation.
The sense of loss for me was overwhelming as I have not had any children, so it was the main focus of my emotions so I'm not sure that we're in the same place there, and your treatment may be different from mine as my lymph nodes were not involved at that time. But I do know a little about radiation therapy. I have been told that it is painful however I did not experience a great deal of pain. One thing I will let you know is that I would like to hear more about your journey as you go along it and if there are any specific questions you may have about what I went through I am more than happy to share!
I do think that taking your mum to your appointments is very helpful. No matter how old we are, having mum around when female issues come up is always a good thing!!!
Hi Miss Moo
Great to hear from someone going through similar things at a similar age. My case has a lot similar to yours. I too have had clear pap smears since 18, getting them every 2 years as recommended. I didn't have any symptoms, mine just turned up on my regular pap smear.
I'm so sorry to hear that you needed the radical hysterecomy. I don't have any children and I made the decision a couple of years ago that I didn't really want any. I can only imagined how hard it was for you being ready to start a family and then having been dealt this diagnosis and treatment.
My cancer is a stage 2b and at the moment I still have no idea what treatment they are going with but I have an appointment tomorrow so hopefully I will know then. They did tell me a couple of weeks ago that they were going to go with chemo and internal and external radiation but they wanted to run another scan first so I have no idea what they are going to have settled on by the time I talk to them tomorrow.
Did you have internal radiation or just external as part of your treatment? The external one doesnt sound to bad but the internal one does not sound all that pleasant.
How are you now Moo? Are you still undergoing treatment? How are you emotionally now?
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