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Showing posts from April, 2020

My radiation experience

My radiation experience was, at first, easier than the chemo.  I had both external and internal radiation. I did the external radiation 5 days a week. The first week  Dr. Wagner had me set up where I was laying on my back with molds of my legs in a certain position so I wouldn't move while the machine went around me. While I had this done, I had to have a full bladder and I also had to pull down my pants and put a sheet over my pelvis so the machine could get a better shot at locating the tumor.  I also had three very small tattoos that helped the machine line up to where they needed it to be. The tattoos are just tiny dots and I got them the day I had the simulation.

I didn't stay on my back for very long. Dr. Wagner decided to have me move on my belly because he was worried that laying on my back with the machine for too long would eventually burn a whole through my vaginal wall into my colon and that would not be good. If that were to happen, I would probably end up with a …

My Chemotherapy experience

I had six rounds of chemotherapy. The chemo that I was on was called Cisplatin. I was told that this chemo I would not lose my hair. That seems like such a trivial thing, but it's a big deal. When you think of chemotherapy, most people lose their hair, to learn that there are different kinds out there and not all of them make your hair fall out was something I didn't know.

The first one was relaxing kind of.  I just went and everyone was great. The Medical Assistant Dan was super nice. He was the one that called everyone back for their treatment. So he called me back and set me up at the chair I would be sitting in. It was pretty comfortable and also big. I felt like a little kid in the chair.

As I was getting comfortable waiting for my turn to be hooked up, I was just enjoying the view. I wish I had taken a picture of the landscape we got to look at. It was pretty. They had two small waterfalls and it was pretty relaxing to look at.

The nurse came and explained to me how the …

The first day of treatment

My first treatment day was April 22, 2019.  I had to get my blood drawn first, then go downstairs and do my radiation then go back upstairs and get hooked up for chemo.  It was all surreal. Before this all started I was asked if I wanted to get a port put in before I started treatment. I decided not to because I thought that I would only be getting 6 rounds of chemo so that should only mean 6 IV's done. But I never accounted for needing an IV every time I had brachytherapy. If I had to do it over again I probably would have gotten the port.  My veins were not happy with me towards the end of treatment.

The radiation went fast. I had to have a full bladder every time I had radiation to hopefully prevent a hole from being burnt through my vaginal wall to my colon. Most of the time that wasn't too bad, but I had a few times when holding it was very tough.  The first week of radiation I got to lay on my back while the machine went around me. Toward the end of the week though Dr. W…

Meeting with the radiation and chemotherapy doctors

I met with my radiation doctor first. His name is Dr. Aaron Wagner. He is also very kind and compassionate and is very thorough when he is explaining the details of treatment and what to expect. Josh couldn't go with me to this appointment, so I video chatted him in.  Most of the information I was given at this time I don't really remember. Everything is kind of like trying to remember a dream. What I do remember is him going over what to expect with the radiation. I was going to be scheduled to do a simulation where they take a ct scan of where the tumor is and they also took a mold of my legs that I would later use during radiation to help hold my body still while the machine went around me.

He also explained to me how the internal radiation was going to go.  The first one would be after my fourth week of treatment and I would have to be put under anesthesia and also would need a spinal epidural to put my legs asleep. The reason for all this was because they had to stitch in…

The scary "C" word

The next two months were a whirlwind to say the least. I'm still wrapping my head around the fact that I went through cancer. It's so weird.

I met very briefly with Dr. Kim before I went to meet with the oncologist. He wished me luck and answered any questions I had and was still very compassionate. My new doctor was Dr. Elizabeth Grosen at Spokane Gynecologic Oncology. She is very different than Dr. Kim, but very real in how she explains things. I felt very comfortable with her. She explained all the different options I had and what would happen depending on what they find on my scans.  She had ordered me to have a pet scan and an MRI so see a more detailed scan of what was going on with the tumor. At this point, we only knew I had a tumor and it was cancerous, I still hadn't been scanned.

The month of March 2019 was full of scans.  I had the ct scan done first, which probably didn't show much detail since I still had quite a bit of inflammation from the cone biopsy. …

The follow up appointment

Six months later, well seven months actually, I scheduled my follow up appointment. It was January 23,2019. I had my check up and Dr. Kim said everything was looking good, but they still did a pap smear to make sure.  This still came back as abnormal so he decided the next step would be to do a cone biopsy.

This was to be more invasive than the leep. I would have to be put under anesthesia to do this. I still wanted to be able to have babies, so the goal was to remove the bad cells and also keep as much of my cervix as we could. We scheduled the surgery for February 26, 2019.

That day was a normal surgery prep day. No eating or drinking anything after midnight. The usual stuff. My surgery wasn't scheduled until 1pm, so it felt like a long day. I had Josh with me that day and also his mom was there.  I got called back to be prepped almost immediately after I checked in. And got to relax a little bit and watch some TV until they were ready for me.

The procedure went well, however, w…

The Leep

LEEP stands for Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure. It's a treatment that prevents cervical cancer. A small electrical wire loop is used to remove abnormal cells from your cervix.

June 20, 2018 is the day I had my leep done. It was definitely a different experience that is for sure. So I arrived at my scheduled time. I didn't really prepare myself for what was to come. I should have taken some ibuprofen before I got there, but I didn't think I would need it. I thought it would be like the biopsy, just a small pinch that didn't really hurt. But I was really wrong. When I went back, the nurse took me to the room where they do this procedure. She explained to me what it was they would be doing. They were going to numb me before they got started.

I didn't get to see Jessica this time around. I had Dr. John Kim. It was the first time I met him, but he was so kind and compassionate. He made me feel as comfortable as I could in that moment. The nurse gave me a injectio…

The first doctors appointment

When I finally decided to go see a doctor, I did a little research and asked my friends where the best place to go would be. I decided on Coeur Obgyn. They were great there. I was completely comfortable. I did not feel judged at all. I saw Jessica Brown in the office. She is a Nurse Practitioner. She was kind and friendly and made me comfortable.

This appointment was in April 2018. It was normal just like any other well woman check. She said everything looked good and I was sent on my way. I got a call a few days later that my pap results had come in and they were abnormal so they wanted to see me again for a colposcopy. A colposcopy is a procedure to closely examine your cervix. While she was looking at my cervix, she took a small biopsy to have a better idea of what was actually going on.

I got the results from that biopsy a few days later and they came back as CIN 3. Which is also classified as high risk cervical dysplasia, or pre-cancerous cells. She recommended me get a Leep done t…

Introduction

Hi, my name is Amanda and I started this blog to share my journey through cervical cancer. I wanted to share my journey because when I was first diagnosed, I couldn't find hardly any information or any other blogs of other women that have been through cervical cancer. There is a lot more information out there on breast cancer, as there should be, because it is serious. But there isn't very much information on cervical cancer.

Let me tell you a little bit about myself.  I was born and raised in Spokane, Washington. I had a pretty happy childhood. I was born in the 80's and lived my childhood in the 90's. I'm thankful for everything I have and have learned in life. I was carefree in my early twenties and just enjoyed life. I am in a long-term relationship with my fiance Josh. We met while working at Walmart in 2009 and have enjoyed life and had adventures ever since.

What prompted me to finally go to the gynecologist and get check out was that I was having abnormal b…