Arthur, Ontario, Canada
May 22
I'm an old, short, fat, unsightly, grouchy, reformed troll with a bad attitude and a cricket bat. ---------------------------------------------------- I need to state clearly that English is not my first language. There are upwards of 600,000 words in the English language. In my native language there are a mere 11,000 and most of those are entire concepts (kind of like the theory of relativity) rather than words which translate individually. ----------------------------------------------------- Free advice: Don't.

MrsRaptor's Links
MAY 9, 2012 8:23PM

14 years on the Cancer roller coaster from Hell

Rate: 5 Flag

20 years ago come August I learned I had cervical cancer.  I was three months pregnant.  For twins.  It was a roller coaster ride from Hell I would not wish on my worst enemy. 

My doctor, a man who normally had a wonderful bedside manner, gave me the weekend to make a decision.   Abort the twins and treat the cancer OR take my life into my own hands by waiting to treat the cancer until after the twins were born.   For ME (and this is NOT a decision anyone else CAN make) the decision was to wait until after the twins were born to do anything about the cancer.  

Doctor Moon, a positively wonderful man from South Korea, told me he would rather I had chosen an abortion.  I explained to him that I firmly believe abortion should be a "last resort" and since he had already assured me it had been "caught early" I was pretty sure I could handle 6 or 7 months of worry more easily than I could a lifetime of "what if" and self-recriminations. 

6 weeks after the twins were born I had about half the thickness of my cervix removed.  A few days later I started chemotherapy.   My babies were 6 weeks old and until the day I started chemo I was breastfeeding them.   That stopped when the poison of chemo entered my body.   

The underlying cause of my cancer was HPV.   A few years and several more pap smears, several more biopsies ("just to be sure") and I started thinking "We seem to have this licked" - more fool me. 

14 years later, a different doctor looked at me following a cervical biopsy, one of more than a dozen I had in the time since the first diagnosis, and informed me I had cervical cancer.   You know, it is no easier to hear those words the second time than it was to hear them the first.   

On the other hand, *I* had changed.  I had grown tired of pap smears every 6 months.  I had grown tired of having to have a biopsy EVERY time there was any abnormality in my pap smear results.  I had also gotten old enough so that I had no more desire for children and was tired of the old "monthly visits" from hormones.  

I looked at the doctor that afternoon and said "Take the damn thing out!"  

On October 8, 2008 I had a hysterectomy.  

 I have never taken artificial hormones.   Equally, I have never suffered a "hot flash" - on the other hand OMG have I ever suffered through COLD flashes.  Imagine it being 90+ outside and wearing longjohns, sweatshirts, heavy socks, etc... whilst huddling under blankets because you are absolutely FREEZING.   I don't have to imagine it.   I've been that woman dressed like a visitor to Antarctica in the winter whilst shivering under several layers of blankets.  

All kidding aside, I'd rather deal with the side effects of screwed up hormones due to a hysterectomy than I would hear the words "I'm sorry, you have cervical cancer" again.   

That roller coaster ride from Hell is a bitch and I am very glad to be OFF that ride.  That I would do whatever was necessary to lower the chances my daughters might get on that roller coaster from Hell goes without saying.  

YES!  My girls HAVE had the vaccine.  

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women's health, cervical, hpv, cancer

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MrsR ~ what a terrible ordeal you have had to say the least! The decision your doctor gave you to abort or face the consequences was a nightmarish situation all by itself. I'm happy that you were able to overcome so many obstacles and are here with us this today!!
One day I will find the answer to this: Why do bad things happen--in bunches-- to good people? You are one of the strongest and wisest people I know, Mrs. Raptor. R
I know a lot of people who had hysterectomies for reasons that had nothing to do with cancer, and I have cousins who have had them because my aunt, their Mom, and one of their sisters got ovarian cancer that killed them. Hysterectomies are a personal choice.

If I had a daughter, she would get the vaccine, though my niece chose not to. Good to know we don't have to worry about losing you to that cancer anymore.

I've had some of the cold spells. Br-r-r.
You're a wise & strong woman, Mrs. (Wouldn't you sometimes rather you just didn't have to be so strong?)
Designator, in all honesty, the worst part of the entire experience was having to argue with my insurance company over WHY they were paying for me to have girly exams twice a year. I inevitably wound up with someone male on the other end of the phone and a whole lot of them were really easy to embarrass so the irritation was almost worth it. Yes, I AM that mean and evil when my insurance company decides their bottom line is more important than my life or my children's lives.

Thoth... the answer is simple.... "Inshallah"

phyllis... the cold spells are HORRIBLE. I'm just thankful they never alternated with hot flashes.

Nerd... as I told Thoth... "Inshallah" I figure Wakan Tanka has GREAT plans for my children since they have had some lessons in handling adversity which just plain aren't a "normal" part of growing up.