"September is Uterine Awareness Month...if you are able to read this, then you know somebody who is currently fighting Stage 4 of this disease. This disease is very curable if found early, but there are no real tests to find the disease unless you speak honestly to your OB/GYN about any female problems you are having.
In my case, I had a pap smear and full pelvic exam done last October and passed it with flying colors. I was having problems with strong bleeding and was given a pill to control the hormones. By January, I was so anemic I needed weekly iron infusions, and when I went to a follow up visit with my OB/GYN in February, I was bleeding so strongly in the office that they had no choice but to do an ultrasound and schedule me for a D&C. Even after the D&C, the doctor said all is well since I am cleaned out now..it was a week later that the tests came back...Uterine Cancer.
The head of the OB/GYN office, who gave me the test results, asked me why his doctor even did an ultrasound and D&C on me because at my age, abnormal bleeding is treated with hormones, but also said that thinking outside the box in this case was the perfect thing to do. He also told me that uterine cancer is the cancer to have if you have cancer (two weeks later I learned that my kind is definitely not the kind you want to have)
Five days after my diagnosis, I met Dr. DePasquale, whose first question was "Why do you have this cancer? You don't have the age or the body for it" Both of which are usually a compliment (He meant I was too young and not big enough lol)..but once he checked my uterine, he asked if somebody was with me..to get my mother and to talk. The talk was one of the hardest things I went thru because Dr. D did not give me a good long-term outlook based on the size of my Uterine (which six months earlier during a pelvic exam was called being a normal size).
I had surgery the week later and during the surgery, Dr. D came out to see my mother to tell her the cancer was all over the pelvis and he had to cut me open to make sure nothing spread to the abdomen. I will be forever grateful to the women and men who had come to the hospital to be with Mum during my surgery. Not sure she would have made it without your support. When he came out after the surgery, the news was better...he was able to remove all cancer cells he saw (and based on reports he took his time checking out my pelvis and abdomen to make sure nothing is overlooked)
A week later we received the pathology reports..and the news was mixed. Nothing was in the bladder and bowels, but two "small" lymph nodes were affected. And the cancer was puzzling to the doctors because it is a very rare and aggressive form for which no real clinical research exits. We went with the "normal" treatment plan of chemo and radiation..and started with Chemo four weeks after my total hysterectomy. Time is of essence and Dr. D. said I was young enough to stand it.
Today, I am two weeks away from my last Chemo session...and the outlook seems to be better than we dared to hope in March. Due to an infection six weeks after the surgery, Dr. D ordered a full abdomen and GI track ct scan which came back clear (I told him he took the opportunity to do a full scan which is not normal for uterine cancer..and the doctor who barely smiles...just smiled at me). My CA 125 levels are as low as they probably will ever be (it's one of the blood tests to determine how successful treatment is)..and Dr. D who told me in March my outlook is bleak, told me in August that he thinks there is not much cancer if any cancer left in my blood.
I have decided to tell my story because uterine cancer does kill..but is detectable..if you as the patient make sure your doctor takes your concerns seriously and does some tests..even if he/she has to think outside the box. It occurs to "young" women pre-menopause as well...not just post-menopause. It's scary to be told you don't have much hope...but that's when it is so comforting when the first thing you "hear" during your prayer is "I am the ultimate healer...don't looks at statistics".
The last six months have been a rollercoaster and this journey is not over because we are still fighting..and recurrence is a very distinct possibility...but in all of this I am very thankful for gaining this closer walk with the Lord (the ultimate healer), my friends, people telling me their own cancer stories and showing me cancer is not a death sentence, my family (be it thru our blood or the blood of Christ) and doctors, who have a picture of Christ leading the surgeon's hand during surgery, hanging in their office. BTW..the above is no particular order (after giving my first thanks to Christ)..I am equally thankful for all of you.
Again, September is uterine cancer awareness month...why not schedule a pelvic exam for this month to make sure you will not be part of that statistic? And if you are...feel free to reach out to me...I will pray, cry, talk or do whatever you need me to do with you :) "