So first off, I want to start off by saying thank you to every single person who has reached out to me, called, sent a card, said a prayer, anything since my surgery and subsequent diagnosis. My family and I feel really, really lucky to have such amazing support around us during this bizarre time of life.
Secondly, I wanted to write this to answer questions that I’ve gotten during this process. I think a lot of people are shy to ask questions or don’t want to intrude, but by all means, ask your questions! I’m happy to answer anything and I’m glad to be using this as a platform to spread awareness of this sickness and general health overall. So, if you don’t want the nitty gritty details of endometrial cancer, maybe skip this post, but if you’re curious and want to learn more, read on. ❤
Q: What is Endometrial Cancer?
A: Endometrial cancer starts when cells in the inner lining of the uterus (endometrium) begin to grow out of control. Basically, because I wasn’t have a regular menstrual cycle every month, the lining of my uterus didn’t shed. It built up, and that allowed an environment for the cancer cells to grow.
Q: Did you have any symptoms? How did you know something was up and go to the doctor?
A: Basically, I had symptoms that were really similar to PMS. I also had irregular cycles. But I wasn’t headed to the doctor for any of that. I actually originally made my appointment in November of 2017 to talk to my gynecologist about my fertility, have my egg reserve checked, and just make sure I was good to go to start a family at some point. We talked about my irregular cycles and she started me on a 7-day medicine to jumpstart my cycle. When that failed, she suggested an ultrasound to check for PCOS. I was SO sure what I had was PCOS, y’all. I never in a million years expected the ultrasound to come back negative, but it did. After that, my doctor suggested a biopsy. Which, is honestly one of the most unpleasant things I’ve ever had done. The biopsy was done in February 2018. It came back positive for pre-cancerous cells, which was an incredibly daunting phone call to get.
After the pre-cancerous cells were detected, my doctor scheduled me for a D&C surgery to remove all the cells built up in my endometrium. My D&C took place on April 27, 2018 along with a Hysteroscopy to check for any unusual cells. Before I went back for surgery, my doctor told me that she thought it doubtful that she’d discover any cancer. I felt really relaxed and wasn’t worried about it. I was looking forward to having the cells removed and restoring a more regular menstrual cycle and getting back on the path to health.
On May 1, 2018, my doctor called me at 4:17pm and told me I have Endometrial Cancer. It’s not in my nature to forget about big things like getting the results of a medical test, but y’all, I had honestly forgotten that she would be calling me with the results. It hit me like a ton of bricks.
Q: What’s the next steps?
A: Fortunately, this cancer is not typically treated with chemotherapy or radiation, so I won’t be having to go through that. Unfortunately though, the most common type of treatment for this cancer is a full hysterectomy. At 27, that’s just not something I’m interested in. As I said in my last blog post, I’m fortunate that my cancer is only at a Grade 2, so I do have options. I’ll be treating my cancer with hormone therapy administered through an IUD, weight loss (weight loss can actually make the cancer cells regress!), the horrible pill I’m currently taking, Provera (Which is good for the cancer, but comes with some annoying side effects), and the unpleasant biopsies every 3 months. I know that it’s going to be a long, sometimes painful road, but I know that it will be worth it in the end.
Again, thank you so much for reading. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask! This cancer isn’t talked about very often, so I’m doing everything I can to spread awareness. To learn more, visit http://www.cancer.org/cancer/endometrial-cancer