Dear Kalle and L, Hope my journey is of help.
To Kalle: In answer to your question about surviving IV cervical cancer, I am a 66-year-old survivor, diagnosed in June, 2005. Because malignancy had spread to my lungs and periabdominal nodes, it was staged at IVb.
There were few statistics on advanced cervical cancer, because most disease is caught earlier through PAP smears; but my oncologist calculated that even with Cisplatin chemotherapy, radiation, and HDR(High Density Radiation) cervical implants, there was only a 40% chance that treatment would partially reduce the cancer.
Astonishingly, however, my first CT in October, 2005 after treatment ended showed significantly-reduced cancer. Miraculously the January scan and subsequent ones showed complete absence of cancer.
I credit the miracle to standard oncology treatment, prayer, family support, and plain good luck. I also engaged in alternative therapies to bolster my immune system, including: meditation, imagery, chi gong, tai chi, and NIA dance movement classes.
To L: To my knowledge, I had no symptoms that cancer had spread to my lungs, although I am sometimes short of breath because of moderate heart disease.
In addition to neglecting my PAP smears for almost three years during my rehabilitation from a critical auto accident, I overlooked two potential cervical cancer symptoms: bleeding and discharge.
For about a year previous to diagnosis, I had slight, intermittent bleeding, which I attributed to a flare-up of my Bartholyn cyst in the same vaginal area. I also had discharge, which I treated with over-the-counter vaginal cream. I didn\^t consult the GYN until bleeding became noticeable.