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  • I am a cancer survivor
  • Hello, my name is Kim. I am now 47 years old and a 2 year stage 3b cervical cancer survivor. I had always had normal pap smears thoughout my life, so at age 30 when i had my last child i figured i didnt need those tests anymore. Needless to say that wasnt a very smart move on my part. In my late thirties I began having very heavy periods...they were on time but very heavy. I just thought maybe I was going through an early menapause. Eventually tho, I think I was becomming aniemic from the heavy periods which by the time I was about 42 were comming every two weeks...and by my 45 birthday were almost none stop. Then one day in February I had the worst period ever. I know this sounds gross, but it was as if chunks of liver were falling out of me...this scared me to death. The next week I made an appointment to see my gyno...whom I had not seen in 14 years. He did an ultrasound of my cevix there in the office. He kept commenting on how many fiberoid tumors I had..and that they are usually not cancerous..and that the lining of my uterus was thin and that was also a good sign. Of course I didnt mention the sluffing off I had had a week before. In my mind I had already made up that I probably had cancer. The very next day I recieved a call on my cell at work, and my fears were confirmed, it was squamous cell carcenoma. Now the work began. I new I had to do something NOW! I wasnt going to wait around and get opinions because I knew I was advanced. My gyno set me up with a very respected oncono gyno, and a team of doctors that consisted of a chemo doctor and a radiologist. I had 6 weekly treatments of cisplatin chemotherapy, 35 sessions of external beam radiation, and 5 bracey therapy treaments (internal radiation). I endured it all with the hopes of beating and killing the cancer. After about 2 weeks of the treatment the tumor which was 7 centimeters was shrinking visibly...and after all treatments were finished it had vanished. I have since had 2 pet scans which are showing the \"all clear\". I still think about it daily..a reaccurance, or it showing up somewhere else in my body eventually. But so far all my checkups have been really very optimistic. I am on my two year anniversary right now, and have already gotten the \"one year\" checkup approval from the radiologist, and am approaching the same with the medical oncolgist. I think I will be seeing the oncologist gynocoligist for at least 5 years. Maybe if the all clear comes up again at the next exam (pap) they will make it 6 months, but that I dont know. The stories I have seen on this site seem like relativly new ones. I know that I needed to be agressive. I have had no surgery thoughout this experience, because my tumor was so extensive. I really dont know if thats a good thing or not? If the cancer should return I am informed that I will have radical surgery and would end up with a colostomy and a..dont remember the name for it but it would be a bag for urine because my bladder would be removed during surgery. Anyway like I mentioned before it is my 2 year anniversary of finding I had the cancer, so I feel lucky to have made it this far being in the all clear mode. But what I went through was radical and I survived and I plan on living many more years. This is just one story among millions and if it helps someone get information they are searching for, then Ive done my job. Good luck to all who are dealing with this, its not easy, but only you can take charge, its your body.
  • 05-15 -2008
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