Newly Diagnosed - Stage 2b with lymph node involvement

Hi everyone,

I've never posted on any kind of forum before but here I am. I'm 40 years old, in Australia and was last week diagnosed with Stage 2b cervical cancer that has moved into the lymph nodes in my pelvis and abdomen (but nowhere else as yet). My last pap smear in 2015 was all clear but I'm now told that must have been a mistake as I have a 7cm tumour on my cervix. Like many of you, I have had no symptoms and this has just hit out of the blue. I've spent the last week having PET, MRI and CT scans as well as a day in hospital for examination under anaesthetic.

I'm starting treatment next week, and it seems to be the standard for this type of cancer - 28 radiotherapy sessions, 6 low dose chemo sessions and then  a couple of days in hospital for brachytherapy. The doctors seem cautiously optimistic that the treatment will cure me, but have warned that due to the lymph node involvement, I'm at a much higher risk of the cancer returning somewhere else in the future. I got the impression it's a 'when' rather than an 'if' situation.

I'm not sure what to say or ask for but I guess I'd like to find out if there are any other women out there that have been through the same thing. I'm absolutely terrified. The only thing that has managed to calm me is support from my friends and family and reading the supportive and encouraging posts on this forum.


Hi. I think a lot of us on here have been through what you are going through.  My smear was clear two and a half years before my diagnosis of 4a cc.  Mine too was 7cm but had spread into my vagina and my bladder wall. I had 20 radiotherapy treatments,  4 chemo and 2 brachytherapy treatments.  I finished treatment in Feb 16 and my scans since show no evidence of disease x 

Hello cpsi

im sorry to hear about your cancer. its so overwhelming and just totally exhausting in the early day of diagnosis. this whole thing just totally sends you for a loop. We have all been where you are at.

The roller coaster has started off and as much as you wish you could get off of it you cannot. So, here you are with us. We are a lovely bunch, we know exactly how you are feeling and will be here for you. 

So, I am 40 as well, I live in Canada and I also had 2b cc. I'm am almost a year out of treatment and doing very well. The treatment is very effective and yes there are many things that can effect your prognosis but I believe that the biggest thing that will help you through this is being positive. Yes, there are days where it's so benificial to rant or be blue but overall try to believe that you will be ok. Do not let this cancer get you and steal your optimism.  Many have had large tumours or more lymphs involved then you and have done just fine and are cured. 

Treatment is not so bad, nothing like you think it will be. 

Good luck and know we are all here for you

Hi i had  a clear  smear  2 n half yrs prior  to my 3b diagnosis im waiting  for  my first  scan  after  treatment  i have  requested  a smear  audit  as it been playing  on my mind weather  my smear  was correct good  luck with ur treatment xx

Hi there

I was diagnosed the Sept last year with stage 2a2 adenocarcinoma with lymph involvement. .I had only had clear smear the April before and during this time I had a coil pit in and taken out and a few other internal investigatons and still nobody noticed anything. .I had 25 radiotherapy 5 cisplatin and 3 brachytherapy. .good news is the treatment worked for me..cervix and lymphs clear after treatment. .unfortunately for me iv got to have another round of treatment for a cell in another place but the initial treatment worked for me ..ur lucky uv got friends I found I lost a few of mine because of chin up and stay strong  :-) xx

Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement.

I saw my oncologist again today and she confirmed it's spread into the top of my vagina and into my uterus a little. It's also moved into the lymph nodes in my pelvis and into the nodes near my renal vessels (I think this might be the para aortic?? Not sure...). She said, in a bit of a grave voice, that the fact it has moved into the nodes this high in my abdomen increases the chances of it it recurring in the next few years - about a 50/50 chance. But she still thinks I have a 'good' chance of long term cure and that it is 'realistic to expect cure' in my circumstances. Seriously, the language doctors use just leaves you not knowing what to think. 

helpme, you should defintely investigate your last smear if you can. I didn't ask her to, but my doctor had my 2015 sample reexamined by another pathologist who confirmed it was in fact abnormal and had been incorrectly reported as normal. 

Lolli888, your rollercoaster description is so accurate. It's like a nightmare I can't wake up from. I have a 2.5 year old son and an 8 week old daughter (my cancer was detected at my post natal check up) and everytime I look at them, I start to think the worst and then end up in floods of tears. I have an appointment with a psychologist in two weeks and am hoping they can give me some help in coping and maintaining some positivity. I'm trying so hard to think positively, but I just don't seem to be managing it.

Thank you all again. Some days this forum is the only thing that manages to pull me out of a funk xo

Hi again,

like yourself I was diagnosed shortly after giving birth and I felt totally overwhelmed and couldn't sleep or control horrible thoughts. I got a prescription for anxiety from my family dr which helped me termendously, it's funny how when you are sleep deprived you cannot think or feel you are in control. Do seek help from a physcologist but also don't be afraid to take a pill if you need it. It's not about trying to be a pillar of strength it's about getting through this process with the ability to be healthy in mind as well as body. 

Treatment is not as bad as you think it will be. Most of us deal with it with only minor issues. The thing to remember is to tell your team about any symptoms or issues no matter how small they are. There are so many things they can do to help. 

We are all here for you!!!!

you are not in this alone....

Hi cpsi. This illness becomes such a roller coaster once the diagnosis has been made, and your feet hardly touch the ground. Really sorry to hear that it has come so suddenly after such a happy event. Congratulations though on the birth. I was a 1B1 but it had spread to 7 lymph nodes in my pelvis. This came as such a shock, not only to me but also the surgeon. I had a RH followed by chemo rads and 2 years 10 months later I am feeling very well. The radiation treatment does seem to be very effective, and they will blast whichever part of you requires it. Stats are usually rather grim, but I try to take little notice of them because we are not just statistics. As others have said, the treatment is doable, if not tiring. Try to get as much practical help as you can so you can rest up and spend time with your baby. It will be over before you know it. All the very best, and stick close to the site for support and advice.