I’m new, diagnosed end of July, PET-CT scan in early August confirmed no lymph involvement/spread, staged at 3b so contained within the pelvis. Squamous cell. Kidney function was “fine” but beginning to decline as the tumour was pressing on the left ureter so have had a stent fitted on the left side to be safe.
I’m having a PICC line fitted this Friday and start treatment on Monday - initially 3 rounds (3 weeks per round) of chemo, with cisplatin on day 1 and then a pump infusion of 5FU (fluorouracil) from days 1-4. The plan is to rescan after round 3 to see if the mass has shrunk enough to start radiotherapy, and if not then some more chemo or possibly a combination of the two.
The oncologist is very clear that we are treating to cure, and says that squamous cell responds very well to treatment so he is very positive/optimistic, particularly given my age and general health (32, fit, healthy, active). He also seems very positive about the fact everything is still contained/localised to the pelvis.
But my god, I’m terrified. Stage 3 isn’t exactly “early”. I’m terrified the treatment won’t work. I’m terrified of the side effects. I’m terrified of the practicalities of living with the PICC line.
I’ve read that the survival rate for women under 39 is around 90% which should be very reassuring, but I’m struggling to quell this tide of terror and sadness. I’m hoping it will improve one I actually start treatment as this waiting period has been horrendous.
I’m trying to focus on the things going in my favour - youth, health, no spread, common type of cancer that responds well, the confidence of the oncologist. But none of it seems to help right now and I feel like I’m sinking.
If anyone has any experience of this particular treatment plan, or any helpful advice or encouragement, I would be enormously grateful to hear it.