Passing the five year mark without cancer reoccurring is a milestone each cancer patient yearns to achieve. This past December, Denise passed that milestone, but only for a few months. Now we are facing the possibility of her being diagnosed with cancer (IT) again. She composed the letter below, which is on her CaringBridge site: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/denisepaine
Here we go again …….Five years ago I went in for that first routine colonoscopy and my doctor who was doing his last colonoscopy prior to his retirement had to tell his last patient that the path report had came back positive for cancer. However no matter how that diagnosis overwhelmed both Rick and I, it was caught fairly early and surgery was done quickly to remove that section of the bowel. Since there were two lymph nodes identified with cancer cells, meant 6 rounds of chemotherapy as well.
I just had my five year follow-up appointment and Rick and I celebrated with dinner out and he sent a plant to my office. I was finally able to say “I am cancer free”.
But this last year I had some post-menopausal bleeding. I want to say – run and do not walk to your GYN provider if you have any bleeding post menopause. My PCP referred me to GYN and I was scheduled for an ultrasound. This showed changes and a D&C procedure was needed with the resulting path report negative for any abnormal cells. We breathed a sigh of relief, but within two months I had another episode so the routine was repeated. Part of the discussion however was with two episodes; we might as well plan to do that hysterectomy. However the second path report came back with complex atypical endometrial hyperplasia. Instead of surgery with my own doctor and local hospital, I needed to have a Gynecologic Cancer referral. This is where both Rick and I said to each other, “here we go again”. Poor Rick, he will be getting his job back as a caregiver. This time around he will have some help, as Kristin and the kids are close by.
So Rick and I traveled to the University of Minnesota and the Gynecologic Cancer Clinic for a surgery referral. Surgery is planned forThursday, April 19th. We were told that 40% of patients with this diagnosis are found to have Stage 1 cancer. With my past history of three C-sections and colon resection, the physician is planning to do an open abdomen procedure. If they find cancer cells that have invaded the wall of the uterus, then they do cancer staging where they will remove the lymph nodes. I am to expecting a 5-7 day hospital stay.
My prayers are that I am not in that 40% and I remain cancerfree, the surgery goes well and he does not have all the difficulties he expecting and I have a good recovery.
And so we begin another journey, with another cross, asking for the Lord’s help and guidance once again. From here on out, I will likely be the one posting updates on the CaringBridge site, as I did five years ago. This time I will compose the posting on my blog, post it, and copy it to CaringBridge. I won’t have any updates the day of surgery until the middle of the afternoon, which is when her surgery should be complete and the doctor will have had a chance to update me on his findings.