Survivors

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  • I am a 39 year old mother of two (ages 6 and 9)recently diagnosed with Stage IV Cervical cancer. I had irregular bleeding about 3 years ago while on vacation. I called my GYN who said it was most likely due to the time difference/travel exhaustion. Once I returned home, I visited my GYN who performed a PAP. It came back (+). He then said I should have another one done in three months. I returned and the 2nd PAP came by (-). I had a feeling something may be wrong and asked my Dr. if there was anything further we should do. He said no. At the time I was a healthy, 36 year old female. Fast forward to 2 1/2 months from now.....I was experiencing pain on my right rib area. I immediatley visited my doctor and explained my complaint. He ran blood work (which came back with slighly elevated lipase levels) and sent me for a cat scan. Results were negative. Then I followd up again saying my pain was getting worse. He then sends me to a Gastrointerologist. The gastro doctor ran an additional CAT scan - this time with contrast, and a sonogram. All were negative. Around this time, I had just finished my regular mentstrual cycle. Two days after, I started bleeding again. I called my GYN and set up an appt (a new GYN). I went in, she performed a sonogram (which she said looked like I had a few cysts that may have ruptured, hence the bleeding). Had me come in to perform a biopsy and a PAP test the following week. In the meantime, I was feeling so much rib pain that I drove myself to the nearest hospital. I explained ALL my symptoms to them, irregular bleeding, pain on my right side, cysts the dr. mentioned I had. I actually took the doctors hand and held it on the exact location of my rib pain (as I had done with all the doctors I had visited). The E.R. doctor ran a CAT scan with contrast (again), an x-ray and took blood. In conclusion they were sending me home saying that most likely I had a rib fracture (which was so tiny didnt show up on the x-ray) and cysts and to follow up with my GYN. I left knowing in my gut that there was something there and EVERYONE was missing it. Two days later I get a call from my GYN saying that the biopsy came back positive for cancerous cells. I immediately went to MSKCC where they scheduled me for a complete hysterectomy and have me have an addt\^l cat scan there. The cat scan found a mass (about 2 cm) by my right rib and spotting on my right lung. Hysterectomy was then cancelled and I was sent for a PET scan. The results were heart breaking: cancer had made a metastasis to my lymph nodes, abdomen, right lung and right rib. The plan is chemo for five months and then a hysterctemy. Please everyone follow your gut and get a biopsy when you have an irregular PAP. God knows how much further this would have spread if I wasn\^t persistent. I pray to God every day that I will beat this and be around to watch my children grow. I cannot bear the thought of thinking otherwise. Anyone out there that has beat Stage IV? I could use your support!
  • 08-10 -2009
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