Marianne's Journey with Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer

Survivor: Endometrial (Uterine) Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: about 5 years ago, Female, Age: 69, Stage I

  1. 1
    • Marianne
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine)...
    over 4 years ago
    Marianne's Avatar

    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    After having symptoms of what I thought was a UTI, I noticed a small amount of blood. I thought it was from the UTI. When it became clear that it was coming from my vagina, I made an appointment with my primary care physician, who immediately made an appointment with my gynecologist. The gynecologist did an intrauterine ultrasound and saw what looked like a polyp. He opted to schedule a D&C instead of in-office removal of the polyp. He said he didn't expect it to be anything more than a polyp, but he wanted to be sure conservative because of my age (I'm 64). I was scheduled to return to his office two weeks after the D&C to go over the results. He called me in a week later (my Mom was with me, as my husband was taking a class that he coudn't miss), and told me I had cancer. Papillary serous carcinoma. It really surprised him, and he was pretty upset (he's a great guy, and a fantastic doctor). He explained to me what it was, and made the first available appointment with the gyn oncologist. I did not have an "Oh, No" feeling. I just thought it was interesting... Just something to get through the best way possible.

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  2. 2
    • Marianne
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Surgery

    Procedure or Surgery

    The surgery-- complete hysterectomy, removal of uterus, ovaries & tubes, cervix & I think a couple of lymph nodes-- I call it a "Hysterectomy Deluxe." I remember when I was coming out of the anesthesia, the nurse asked me some questions, including whether I understood what kind of surgery I just had. That was my answer: Hysterectomy Deluxe. The same question wasked a few more times during my stay in the hospital. Same answer. Might as well have a laugh. All went as expected, no post-surgery infection or complications. I did take the full 6 weeks or so to recover, but I didn't push it. Pathology showed that the cancer was contained, but because of the nature of the type of cancer, four cycles of chemotherapy were advised to make sure there were no rogue cells lurking.

    Went as Expected: Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Neutral/NA
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  3. 3
    • Marianne
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine)...
    over 4 years ago
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    Chemotherapy

    Drug or Chemo Therapy

    Taxol & Carboplatin (sp?). Four cycles, 3 weeks apart. Needed Neulasta because of low white cell counts. Had Neulasta after cycle #2,3, &4.

    Easy to Do: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Side Effects: Disagree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  4. 4
    • Marianne
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine)...
    over 4 years ago
    Marianne's Avatar

    Severe rash, muscle & joint pain, low white cell count, hair loss

    Side Effects

    The first side effect I experienced, starting in the evening of the second day after the first treatment, was muscle & joint pain, which lasted three or four days. I used oxycodone sparingly, mostly at night so I could sleep. Otherwise, Tylenol. The worst side effect, which began around day four, was a rash-- hot, intense itch. Nothing topical touched it. Finally the doctor's office prescribed a steroid pack which consisted of a large dose on the first day and tapered down, over 6 days. I forget what it's called. As the steroid was doing its work, witch hazel seemed to be the best topical remedy, then cornstarch/baking soda mix on top of that. For the next treatments, I took the steroids in advance, starting the day after the infusion, so I didn't develop the rash again. It worked. For low white blood cell count, I received Neulasta after the 2nd, 3rd & 4th treatments. They told me to expect some bone pain, but to tell the truth, I couldn't distinguish between the pain I was already experiencing in my muscles & joints, so it really didn't make much of a difference. At first the thought of losing my hair really bothered me. At 64, I maybe had a half dozen gray hairs. My hair was dark brunette, thick, and very curly. I loved my hair. It was my best feature. It began to fall out a couple of weeks after the first treatment. At first my head was quite sensitive to touch, but after awhile it settled down. when a few stragglers remained, I had the rest of the hair shaved off. I had already bought a very cute, spiky, sassy wig, so I was ready. Plus, I developed a collection of head coverings that were lots of fun. I dressed them up with jewelry, pins, glittery buttons, flowers. I figure that if you're going to go through a hard time, you might as well make the best of whatever you've got. Every day, my neighbors, my friends & my parents looked forward to seeing what I would wear on my head. It became quite fun. I got a second wig, a little more subdued than the first, and I had a good time with scarves & headbands. On the plus side, regarding hair loss, I didn't have to pluck chin hairs for a couple of months.

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  5. 5
    • Marianne
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine)...
    over 4 years ago
    Marianne's Avatar

    Remission

    Celebration

    2nd CT scan 2 wks ago, dr. follow-up last week. No sign of cancer, CA125 even lower than last time. No more scans. Just follow-ups every 3 months. I feel strong, and have lots of energy. I don't seem to have any lasting residual effects of chemotherapy. I'm pretty much back to normal. Yay.

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  6. 6
    • Marianne
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine)...
    almost 4 years ago
    Marianne's Avatar

    Hair is back

    Celebration

    Hair update: my hair is not only back, but (thankfully) as dark & curly as ever. (Chin hairs are back, too, but I'm still not complaining). Eyebrows are great, eyelashes not so much. The first crop fell out & new crop is about the same as they were pre-chemo. Still not complaining :) I tell about my hair not to brag but to encourage. Chemo is the pits, but life really can get back to normal.

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  7. 7
    • Marianne
    • Experience with Endometrial (Uterine)...
    over 4 years ago
    Marianne's Avatar

    Finished treatment, 1st CT scan looked good, hair is growing very fast, eyebrows & eyelashes are back, better than ever.

    Celebration

    First CT scan post-chemo did not show any cancer cells. Two lymph nodes were slightly swollen, but the doctor said that could be normal residual post-surgery swelling. Second CT scan coming up in one week. My hair started growing back a few weeks after the last treatment, and is growing in fast and thick. I don't think it will be as dark, but it looks like it will at least be wavy, if not curly. My eyebrows, which had completely disappeared, are back as nice as ever. I've even had to tweeze them a little. The icing on the cake is that my eyelashes, which had started to diminish a few years ago and completely fell out while on chemo, have returned better than before. I do have to pluck chin hairs, but I'm not complaining.

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