tranquility's Journey with Cervical Cancer

Survivor: Cervical Cancer

Patient Info: Finished active treatment less than 5 years ago, Diagnosed: over 6 years ago, Female, Age: 56, Stage IIIB

  1. 1
    over 5 years ago
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    Diagnosed

    Oh No

    For quite some time I and my family doc thought the problems I was having for the better part of 2 years was menopausal in nature, just SUPER BAD symptoms. Massive bleeding(gushes at times). Severe abdominal pain. Frequent urination and incontinence. Sleepy and weak. All these symptoms progressively got worse. My family physician couldn't figure it out so he referred me to a gynecologist. That doc put no real effort in finding any answers and sent me back to my family physician. I was beyond wildly angry. But instead of pursuing another doc I suffered in silence for several more months until the bleeding got so bad that I was forced to return to my family physician so that I could be referred to another gynecologist. That doc upon examination almost instantly knew it was cancer before any testing had even been done. He was humble enough to refer me to a women's cancer center that specializes in severe gynecological issues and gynecological cancer. I was fortunate enough to be seen in less than 2 weeks. I had an exam & pap smear which led to the official diagnosis of cervical cancer. I was then referred to a very fine cancer center not far from my home where I had a CT/PET(?) scan. That determined stage IIIB cancer. I had 1 very large cervical tumor and 1 lymph node just outside the cervix with cancer. So my shoot me now menopause was replaced by OH NO. I've got CANCER!!

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  2. 2
    over 5 years ago
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    Decision Point

    Almost immediately after my diagnosis I just made a decision to do whatever was needed go get back to good health. Other than a very rare twinge of OH NO I've got CANCER, I didn't even consider death or think about it. There was no question, I was going to live. If God chose to take me I was not going out wallowing in self pity. I was going to live the best way that I knew how, and try my best to get through all of this with the most grace and honor that I knew how.

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  3. 3
    over 5 years ago
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    Procedure or Surgery

    The only actual surgery that I had was to remove 1 lymph node that was questionable on my scan. The doc ended up removing 3 lymph nodes that were all determined benign. My recovery time from the surgery was minimal.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Agree
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  4. 4
    over 5 years ago
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    Radiation and chemotherapy together

    Radiation

    The only real symptom that I had for the combined treatments was severe fatigue and brain fog. I was already somewhat depleted from all the blood loss, and the treatments just enhanced the fatigue.

    Painless Experience: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Disagree
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  5. 5
    over 5 years ago
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    internal implant device(unsure of term)

    Procedure or Surgery

    After the chemo and external radiation treatments I was placed in the hospital for internal radiation. The device was inserted in surgery in the morning. Then the radioactive rods were placed inside of that in the afternoon; then packed very tightly with gauze packed into some iodine type solution. I wasn't interested in what the fluid was. It oozed out the entire time that I was hospitalized. I have always kept myself very clean, and oozing was NOT going over well. The device kept shifting resulting in it digging into me because it was wedged partly between inside of me and the mattress resulting in much discomfort and pain. I was in the hospital for 4 days flat on my back, literally. I was in an isolated room during my visit. Because I was on my back my only 2 activities were tv, eating and sleeping. But we don't want to leave out one of the most "pleasant" activities! I had a catheter for urine. But for bowel movement they would give me something to prevent that but would also keep me from constipated in fear that a blockage would result. Well, one day my body just couldn't take that any more. I won't go into the pleasant details. Let's just say the nurses earned their money that day. I wasn't in excruciating pain, but the experience was so UNCOMFORTABLE that I actually said that I would rather die than to go through that again. I truly meant that at the time that I said it. I also had the complication of fibromyalgia. I specifically spoke to the doc about a steady med for that during my entire stay or I would barely be able to function when I was able to move from that position. That wasn't done. I also was to be given a morphine shot before the doc came to take the device out. The doc and I were so incensed by the total disregard for my needs, that I was told he really screamed at them once he left my room. The doc and I both agreed that the procedure would only take literally minute or two to remove everything, so we just decided to proceed without meds just to get it over with. A nurse held my hand and I screamed and held my breath through the entire procedure. The one true angel of my stay was this wonderful gentle nurse that freshened me up the best that she was able once. Then when all was over she gently took me to the shower and lovingly helped me wash then dress. I so needed that gentleness after a horrifying experience.

    Went as Expected: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Recovery: Strongly Agree
    Minimal Side Effects: Neutral/NA
    Minimal Impact to Daily Life: Strongly Disagree
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  6. 6
    over 5 years ago
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    Other Care

    My care with my family doc, second gynecologist, women's oncologist, radiation and chemo docs, and all the personnel at the women's cancer clinic and the wonderful cancer clinic near my home was just wonderful! My lymph node surgery experience went smoothly, but I was only there for day surgery. My stay at the hospital for the internal radiation was NOT pleasant. For the exception of 1 nurse and the doc during my stay, I just wanted to curse out and slap everyone involved. I am very easy going, very understanding, but this was beyond wrong! Considering the specifics of the treatment I don't feel that I received the respect or care that I deserved or needed. Besides the medical personnel my family and friends helped take care of me and drive me to my appointments when I couldn't drive myself. I found out just how kind people could be. I must stress again that the cancer center near my home(Harold Alfond Cancer Center) in Augusta, Maine was WONDERFUL! If you had to be there they wanted to make it as easy and as pleasant as possible in every aspect of your visits.

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  7. 7
    over 5 years ago
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    Celebration

    It has been 1 year since my official diagnosis. So far I am cancer free. That is reason for celebration. But I think actually more important than surviving is I refused to stop living. I refused to just exist. I was going to live on my terms no matter if that meant 1 year or 50 years. There isn't a day that goes by that I am not grateful to God for sparing me. I'm so grateful for cuddles from my dog. Jokes from my grandchildren. Oh yes, never thought I'd say it, but I'm so grateful for the first time in a few years to be able to clean and manage my own home with little help any more. Things like that are HUGE when you haven't been able to that for so long. Celebrate all those types of things. And above all, you better keep your sense of humor or you will NOT fare well.

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  8. 8
    over 5 years ago
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    Celebration

    This person has yet to add any details about this experience.

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