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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.  A few weeks later I had the pet scan done and I got to have that first thing in the morning which was nice since I couldn't eat or drink anything until that was done. I had the MRI the next week after, and that one was a little hard. I didn't have to prep for it really, but staying still in that tube is hard. I don't usually get claustrophobic, but watching my breathing pattern and trying to not let my chest move too much, I almost hyperventilated. It was weird.

I got the results from the scans on April 1. Unfortunately it wasn't a joke.  We discovered that the tumor was about 3-5 cm and up towards my uterus and also that there had been a spot on one of my lymph nodes that they had suspected was the cancer. So she went over what the next steps would be and also staged me at that point. It was staged as 2b she said almost 3 with the lymph nodes being involved.  The treatment was going to be 6 rounds of chemo, 28 rounds of external radiation and 5 rounds of internal radiation called brachytherapy. I asked about a hysterectomy and she said because of the location of the tumor, and lymph node involvement, it would actually be better to do the treatment instead of surgery. I still have my whole uterus today. although nothing works.

She also asked me if I had wanted to preserve my fertility. She said that they could go in and retreive some eggs before I started treatment as the treatment would kill my ovaries and that I would not be able to have children naturally on my own.  I had decided that I really didn't want to put treatment off, and if there was a chance that treatment didn't work, I didn't want to bring a child into the world only to not be here for most of their life.

I got referred to a radiation oncologist and a medical oncologist that would administer my treatments to me.  I had decided to do my treatment at Cancer Care Northwest and Kootenai Cancer Clinic in Post Falls.

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