It’s My One Year Cancerversary!

Happy Birthday…it’s your one year cancerversary!
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Happy Birthday Cancer Lady!

It’s my cancerversary.  One year.  The day before my birthday.  Yeah, I remember last year – it’s cancer and happy early birthday!

Well, it wasn’t any kind of a surprise.  I knew going in for the appointment with my brand new gynecologist that it would be positive for cancer.  We did a biopsy that afternoon.  I had one once before, maybe around 5 years earlier, which was negative.  The ultrasound at the time showed hyperplasia, a thickening of the uterine lining, but no cancer.  I had been bleeding which is why I went to the doctor.  Bleeding post menopausal is rarely a good thing.  The solution?  That doctor told me I should lose weight and it should be fine.  I did and she was right; the bleeding stopped. I thought that was the end of it.

Years later when my life got stressful I found myself gaining weight.  I had undergone knee replacement surgery and the regular walking I did was suspended which didn’t help.  I started to bleed.  But this time it was different.  There was this odor, not pleasant.  I told my new gynecologist it was the smell of death, like something inside was dying.  Not good.  So when I got the call from the doctor that Friday, the day before my birthday, I knew what he was going to say.  Nevertheless, when he told me the words – “I’m sorry to tell you, IT’S CANCER” – I still felt the floor drop out from under me.  CANCER.  But I pulled myself together right away.  After all, I had the doc on the phone and needed to ask him some questions, which I did.  

Appointment with the Gynecologist/Oncologist 

Just a couple weeks after that phone call I met Dr S, my gynecologist/oncologist. I liked him right away. I felt in good hands which was really the most important thing about a doctor who holds your life in his hands, right? We discussed everything, he did a quick internal exam and he recommended a hysterectomy which we scheduled for a few weeks later. He assured me that most women with my symptoms were potentially cured with just surgery. I hadn’t been bleeding for any great length of time nor was I bleeding heavily.

I Believed I Could Control This Thing Called Cancer

After getting my pre-op testing done I decided couldn’t go ahead with the surgery prior to trying some alternative approaches first. I met again with Dr S and he didn’t have any issue with waiting for a few months, around six or so. All I needed to do was to take medication that would inhibit how estrogen would respond in my body, hopefully keeping the cancer from growing.

Somehow I knew this was beatable.  After all, I had managed to stop the bleeding once before just by losing some weight so I could do that again, right?  I lost around 20 pounds and sure enough, the bleeding eased up.  It didn’t stop completely but it was much better and the smell of death eased up also.  But I also knew this time was different since I did get a diagnosis of endometrial cancer, FIGO 1, from the biopsy.  I knew I also had to do something that would deal with the cancer directly.

Researching Alternative and Natural Healing for Cancer

I spent a lot of time researching alternative/natural methods of dealing with cancer and found several ways to approach it that made sense to me.   The doctor was comfortable with my taking some time prior to getting a hysterectomy, the normal approach to this type of cancer.  There was actually talk about “cure” but minimally there was a five year survival rate that was something like 97%.  So if you were going to get some kind of cancer, this was the one to get!  I read that sometimes the diagnosis changes when the pathology results come back after the hysterectomy but I wasn’t really concerned about that.  Perhaps I should have been concerned.


It was about six months exactly since that last appointment. I was finding myself feeling a bit less sure about the approach I had been taking and felt it might be wise just to get rid of the issue through surgery. This time, when I surgery was scheduled, I showed up! The surgery was performed and all went well. No real issues.

Pathology Report

I read the pathology report in the portal.  It was a bit confusing, maybe a whole lot of confusing.  What was abundantly clear was that it’s cancer. And it was long!  As I read I had to keep looking up words since so many were new to me.  I saw that I was diagnosed with the expected endometroid adenocarcinoma, low grade, but there was the addition of dedifferentiated endometrial carcinoma which was high grade.  I’m confused…I have two different cancers in my endometrial lining of my uterus?  But it still said FIGO 1, or grade 1.  Yet it is now also high grade. I’m getting the feeling this is not the diagnosis I was expecting or hoping for.

Post Surgery Meeting With the Doctor

The gynecologist oncologist was somber when we met a few days later.  I had a huge list of questions at that meeting.  But the part I really wanted to know was if I was still considered grade 1.  No, it was now a grade 3 and not just any grade 3 but a really bad diagnosis with, some say, an extremely poor prognosis.  Very aggressive and extremely rare. Thankfully the cancer stayed within my uterus lining and none was found in my lymph nodes or in the pelvic washings. Also, the cancer invaded less than 50% which meant I was Stage 1a, something to celebrate!  

I was told that with the change in diagnosis it was necessary for me to start 6 cycles of chemo as well as radiation after that.  I had always vowed I’d never do chemo no matter what since I felt poisoning the body to help it heal made no sense whatsoever.  Still – rare, aggressive, poor prognosis.  Those words kept coming back to me and I decided that I’d best do whatever I could to help me gain control over this thing that had been found in my body.  I made the decision I never expected to have contemplated.

And so my journey into the world of cancer began.  Oddly I didn’t identify in anyway as a person with cancer.  I didn’t know what I didn’t know just yet.  But life would soon be changing. Why? Because it’s cancer.

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