I am new to this forum so please bear with me! I was diagnosed with stage one cervical cancer back in August following a routine smear test. This was the biggest shock of my life. I had no symptoms, in fact I felt perfectly fine so when I was asked back for a colposcopy I was really surprised.
Since being diagnosed it seems my life has been put on hold. My family and friends have been wonderful and when I hit a very low point they are there to bolster me a long. My kids, bless em, have been wonderful. We have tried very hard not to frighten them but I see the look in their eyes and it breaks my heart.
I had a robotic radical hysterectomy in October and although I was told the operation went well, when I went back to see the consultant for the results, I was told the cancer was actually at Stage 2 and that I would need further treatment.
Last week I saw the Dr at New Cross Hospital, Wolverhampton and she said I’m to have five and half weeks of intense radiotherapy (everyday) with chemo (Cisplatin) once a week. Following all of this I have to go back into hospital for 2-3 days for more treatment where a rod will be inserted inside me for 30 hours (Oh my god!!). She told me ‘we have one shot at this and need to make sure we get it.’
I have moods which fluctuate from positive, angry, scared and depressed. I am so, so dreading this treatment which will start this Monday. The side effects scare me. Although the doctor said I would not lose my hair, I have since read cases on the internet where patients did. I know in the grand scheme of things, hair loss it not that important, getting better is paramount, but still, to lose your hair is something which I know will help strip away any self confidence and high spirits, not to mention the sickness, diahorrea and cystitis.
Do any of you find it so hard being and even pretending to be positive for your loved ones? My husband is shattered, he looks at me all the time asking if I am OK. I know the last thing is to give in and I’m determined to beat this for my husband, my parents and my kids, but I am so scared. The thought of what faces me in the next 6-7 weeks is so frightening but I know it’s a case of putting a brave face on and getting on with it but, and I’m sure you have all asked yourselves this a hundred times - WHY ME??!
Starting treatment for stage 2 Cervical cancer in 5 days and scared very, very scared!!!
It's totally natural to be scared, and although people say 'stay positive' you don't have to! You are allowed moments where it all gets too much!
I didnt have chemo/radiation so can't advise on that but there are plenty here who have so I'm sure someone will come along and add their bit. Most chemo for Cervical cancer does not result in hair loss.
It must be doubly difficult for you to have already had surgery thinking that would be the end of it.
My son was 12 when I was diagnosed and it hit him hard. Just keep talking, be open and honest. Kids don't have the life experience we have, for example my son thought if you died from cancer you would just drop dead which left him thinking he would go to school and I would just die. It took a while for that thought to be verbalised.
I feel for you i really do, and I hope that by writing it down you feel just a little better.
Good luck. x
You are right, it does help writing it down and getting it off my chest. It is also a help knowing about others who have or are currently going through the same battle.
I like to be open and honest with my kids but without giving them too much details! My son is 13yrs and is a worrier at the best of times. My daughter is 11 yrs and is so motherly! When I came out of hospital after the operation, she was helping me put my slippers on and combing my hair! They are truelly golden and I feel so bad for putting this worry on them. I am hoping I will not feel too poorly over Christmas because the least they deserve is a good Christmas. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this treatment will not be as bad as I think.
Thank you for you kind words and advice.
Hey Willow! :-)
I was a stage 2b :-) I had a radical hysterectomy :-) I was then devastated to be told I would have to follow that up with 5 weeks of chemo-radiation and then a couple of brachytherapy on top just to make sure. And here I am four years later bouncing around with extremely good health :-)
What can I tell you? The chemo-rads are not such a shock to the system as the radical hysterectomy so if you have already passed that hurdle the next one isn't so bad :-) The Cisplatin will not make your hair fall out and as long as you take your anti-nausea pills it won't make you sick either. The radiotherapy gave me a bit of diarrhoea and triggered my shingles but beyond that, not too rough. The whole escapade is very tiring so don't push yourself too hard. Your kids are old enough to be able to make dinner so this is a great time for them to learn and develop :-)
It's a complete and utter pisser that Christmas is going to fall slap bang in the middle of this. But Christmas happens every year and you are going to have very many more when you can look back and laugh about how weird Christmas 2015 was :-D
Loads of women are terrified about the brachytherapy for dessert. I can promise you that because you have already had the radical hysterectomy, this is not such a big deal. There's no specific point of tumour to line the rods up to so there is no need for wiggly-about alignment :-)
You are going to be just fine!
Thank you so much, your words fill me with couragement. I hope to be, like you, bouncing around before I know it, happily putting all this behind me :)
It is a relief to hear the chemo-radiation is not as bad as the radical hysterectomy and that you did not suffer hair loss. It's a huge relief that the operation is over but a shock to discover I have yet more hurdles to climb.
I hope to be as strong as you and be able, in a few months time, to be able to help and advise others going through this, as you have me.
Today I feel a lot more positive than I have over the last few days and I am sure discovering this forum has a lot to do with it. I know it is important to stay strong and positive, the last thing is to give in, but some days are so bad and to keep smiling is easier said than done!!
We are hoping to enjoy this Christmas and get those board games out with the kids. Not sure what I can eat or drink whilst having this treatment, but I'm hoping a few christmas drinks will be allowed!
Thanks again Tivoli (sending lots of hugs to you too)
I also had a radical hysterectomy and chemo/rad but not the brachytherapy. Your body has been through a lot already but it is remarkably resilient to deal with the next bit of the treatment. I would agree with all that Tivoli has said. I went through my treatment last Xmas, but made a pretty fast recovery, even at my age, 57, and have had a very good year. This Xmas may not be as glitzy for you as it used. Do lots of shopping on line and just make some allowances for how you are feeling...everyone will understand. Just getting the treatment underway was an important milestone for me, and then it was a countdown each day. I also kept a diary which was very helpful to get down my feelings. At times I couldn't sleep so I'd get up, make myself a tea and write my diary....and read Jo's forums, all really useful.
Wishing you good luck in the next few weeks. We are all with you in spirit
Keeping a diary sounds a really good idea and I think I might do that. I am hoping the side effects will not be too bad, especially over Christmas because I really want to get in the spirit of things with the kids.
I just want these next few weeks over and done with, the waiting is awful and each day I dread it more. Praying that I shall come out of this the other side and when I do I plan to enjoy life and not get so bogged down with miner things which, in the grand scheme of things, really do not matter.
Sometimes I feel that this happening has been a wake up call for me to make changes in my life. Appreciate those that matter, forget those who have let me down and really, really enjoy myself - no more 'wouldn't it be nice to....' instead it shall be: 'let's do this....and let's book that !!'
I am so glad I discovered this forum because now I do not feel so alone. Although my family and friends are fantastic, it is good to hear from others who are or have been through this.
Thank you for your advice Rachel.
Sending big hugs back to you xxxx
You've had great advice already, I just wanted to say that I had chemo, rads and brachy and it wasn't as bad as I expected. I kept my hair, some nausea but take the tablets, I have some bowel issues but it's manageable. The tiredness is hard but sounds like you'll be fully supported. Wishing you well xx
Thank you Sweet pea.
Feeling more and more nervous about starting the treatment on Monday but I shall be taking all the valuable advice I've received from here with me. All this advice has helped calm me because earlier in the week I was starting to freak out (but remembering to hide it well from my kids) Hopefully, and keeping fingerscrossed, the side effects will not be so bad and at the end of it all I shall finally be cc free.
Take care xxxxx
I too was diagnosed with stage 2b cc back in May and have had chemo, radio and brachy. None of it is as bad as it sounds. The tiredness is by far the worst side effect. Still have all my hair. I do have some bowel issues on occasion but completely manageable. I can't comment on a 30hour stretch of brachytherapy as I received 3 seperate short bursts. However I can say that for me it wasn't nearly as bad as it sounds.
Keep your chin up, we are all here to support you through it. This site has been and continues to be a God send.
Wishing you lots of luck for tomorrow. I'm hoping to get my results after radical hysterectomy so I'll be thinking of you too. It might not be half as bad as you think fingers crossed x
My mum is 62 ans was diagnosed in july with stage 2b SCC. She had a bleed which is how we found it.
She had 28 Radio externally and 5 four hour chemo and 3 brachy. It's not been easy but she didnt lose her hair although it went a little thin and she wasnt sick because the tablets they give you are great. She had steroids which carried her through the treatment but this meant she was up and down with her moods which was hell.
She had her last treatment 3 weeks ago and shes doing ok. She's tired and breathless when she's exerted herself (like today she mopped the floor and she was knackered)... but she's getting there.
She has a review with the consultant on the 18th.
Although im not the one suffering with this, i found this site an amazing help. The likes of Tivoli and Carmel made me feel so much better about things. I had no one to really turn to and although i still get scared and wonder "what if" i know someone on here will be able to make me see sense.
Your not alone. There are loads of 2b ladies on here all telling their tales so please take something positive from this. x
Its hell to go through and although it just doesnt affect you, it affects everyone that loves you, it will help you and everyone else to put things into perspective. Good things will come from it x
It will get better x
Good luck :) your message ment the world to me this morning knowing that somebody going though the same was thinking about me.
All the best and iv got my fingers firmly crossed for you I really have :)xxx
Just wanted to wish you all the luck in the world. :)
I am booked next fri for my hystermectomy and may need radiotherpy after op pending on what they find ( node side of things) so I can't offer help at the mo but I will defiantly be thinking off you on Monday and please come on here if u need to let off steam. We are all in this together and will help each other get through
Thank you everyone for your kind messages of support. Sorry I have not been on here for the last few weeks but I have been suffering with the treatment (tiredness, sickness, diahorrea, indigestion..) Glad to say I start my final week tomorrow, then I will have a week off, during which I have an appointment with the consultant and an mri ready for a three night stay in hospital for braccy.
The sickness followed my first radiotherapy which really surprised me because I was expecting the sickness to come from the chemo. Once given anti sickness tablets, the being sick ended, although, unfortunately, the feeling sick has never left me :( The big problem I have is drinks. Just the thought of a drink makes me retch. Before every radiotherapy I have to drink so it's a case of literally throwing it down my throat and heaving lots afterwards!
Christmas came and went in a blurr, I spent most of it, when not at hospital, asleep, but inbetween these moments my kids having fun over the festive period brought smiles to the household!!
I had a bit of a meltdown last weekend, the thought of two more weeks of treatment felt like such a huge mountain to climb when I have absolutely no energy left. Feelings of anger, depression and fright took over, which I am not proud of. Yet, here I am, only one week to go, feeling so so tired, queazy yet relieved to know I have not got much further to go.
Thanks again everyone, take care.
Willow Y xxx
I hope you are feeling well.
I just wondered how your brachytherapy went? You had such a long session.
I'm having 2 lots, both lasting between 14 and 19 hours.
Most people seem to have much shorter sessions
Sorry for the delay in replying. I'm feeling stronger each day, but still feeling really tired and my body aches all over!!
I was told the brachytherapy wouldn't hurt but unfortunately it did! The nurses couldn't understand why until the rods and padding were taken out. The Dr who performed the procedure had caught me and apparantly I was red raw. I had to have daily baths in salt water and now it is all ok - thank goodness. I'm thinking if it hadn't been for that then the whole thing would not have been so bad. The nurses were wonderful and I was far from bored considering I was laid up in bed from Monday to 7pm Wednesday. I had my kindle for company and watched a bit of tv.
I hope your two sessions went by OK and your recovery is a speedy one. I am seeing the doctor again on the 14th and seeing the consultant on the 24th. Fingers crossed they will be happy with everything. Just trying to get used to the dipilator now!!
Take care xxx