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Stage III vaginal cancer
MightyGrrl
9 Posts
Hi, I'm new here and rather overwhelmed with emotions following the discovery of a vaginal mass that has been confirmed as primary but has apparently spread to my lymph nodes. I feel like I'm in a dream stage and I only know this is real because I'm bleeding (after 5 years of menopause) but otherwise I'm very fit and healthy and enjoying all my usual activities, such as daily hikes with my dogs.

I. Do. Not. Feel. SICK.

It's surreal to think that in a few weeks I'll be very from radiation and chemotherapy and barely able to walk across my yard let alone hike. I've never had a major illness or any health problems in my whole life. My biopsy results are due back in a couple of days, most likely to be squamous cell based on tumour appearance. My MRI is scheduled for May 3 but will likely be moved up when my biopsy results are in and I become an Official Cancer Patient. Then a treatment plan will be developed.

I would love to hear from other vaginal cancer survivors and also anyone who had a stage III gynecological cancer and is alive and well.
8 Replies
Catlover
16 Posts
I was diagnosed in April 2020 with Stage 3C Uterine Cancer which meant I had a cancer tumour in my uterus and the cancer spread to lymph nodes in my pelvis and abdomen. Last month I was told by my oncologist that I was cancer free.
Mia2020
10 Posts
Hi MightyGrrl
I am also a newbie to cancer (in my 40s) but I thought to share my experience. My situation is a bit different and resulted in a complex surgery but all to say that if I can get through it, you can too :)

In October 2020, I was diagnosed with a cancerous mass that the gynaecologist thought originated in my vagina. Post-surgery pathology identified it as Grade 2 because it was fast growing and large. My symptoms included bleeding between my periods. My oncologist can’t say for sure it originated in the vagina or whether it originated in the wall lining between the vagina and rectum. Either way, it was pushing against both organs. I had surgery in December to remove the mass. Because of where the mass was, my uterus and cervix, part of my vagina and part of my rectum had to be removed as well to ensure a ‘clear margin’. My oncologist had brought in two other surgeons. One specializing in colon/rectum cancer who was able to reconnect my rectum and a plastic surgeon who reconstructed the vaginal wall that had been removed (flab surgery using tissues from my thigh). The entire surgery lasted about 7hours. I was in the hospital for 7nights but that was due to the nature of my surgery. You most likely will have a shorter stay. I had 5 weeks of radiation which I finished about 3weeks ago.

In regards to post-surgery mobility, while at the hospital, I had daily visits from the hospital’s physiotherapist who helped me get out of bed and move around. First day I could barely get out of bed. I only stood up for a few seconds. On my 6th day I was walking up and down stairs without any assistance. At home, I forced myself to go for walks everyday. On my first day at home, I walked at snail-speed and only made it half a block with my spouse’s assistance; a week later I made it around the block by myself and my neighbour told me that I had picked up speed, lol! 4 months later, I am now walking 5-6km a day at my pre-surgery speed :) Sounds like you are already an active person so you will recovery quickly and be hiking in no time…and keeping a positive outlook is everything!
Mihu
2 Posts
That is really interesting to read about your surgery as my gynae oncologist didn't want to do the exact same operation you described. The cancer team wanted him to do it, but I had already had one surgery which came back clear and it had returned within 7 months. It's good to hear how successful your surgery is. Yay 😍. Keep on trucking ☺️.
Mihu
2 Posts
I do believe that you have to change your diet. Google Chris Wark and Nathan Crane. I bought Chris Warks program which is eating raw cruciferous vegetables, no sugar, no dairy, no alcohol, and drinking litres of carrots, celery, beet, ginger and garlic juice during the day. All foods mentioned kill cancer cells. As do white button mushrooms cooked. I am cancer free after 16 radiation and 2 brachytherapy treatments. I am currently having immunotherapy as the follow up treatment. We will check again after treatment 4 to make sure everything is sweet and decide from there whether I continue in with the immunotherapy. My preference is to continue as originally planned.
MightyGrrl
9 Posts
Thanks for the replies everyone. Mihu, I am so glad you are doing well and have found a plan that gives you comfort. Such a diet is out of the question for me. I can’t handle the stress of such a restricted diet on top of having cancer! Heck, just knowing I will be sick and nauseous when I’m in treatment is the excuse I need for more wine and cookies now, lol.
Catlover
16 Posts
Many cancer treatments do not include nausea these days.

I was fortunate to have no nausea during chemo or radiation. I could not believe that could be possible.

Your oncologist will let you know.

MightyGrrl
9 Posts
Thanks for the words of support, everyone. My biopsy results were due back today, but unfortunately they are not ready and now I have to wait another 4 - 6 days. Sigh. This all seems to be going so slowly, even though I know that I'm not the only one waiting for important results. I want my MRI so I can have definitive answers to the question of whether my lymph nodes are indeed affected with cancer. Part of me hopes it's just swelling as a response to the bleeding tumour but I think that is wishful thinking.
JustJan
449 Posts
MightyGrrl‍ I am sorry that your results were delayed. Sometimes they like to review the results with others to ensure that they are accurate. It is so important to get the correct diagnosis so that an appropriate treatment plan can be formed. I can certainly appreciate the anxiety that goes along with the extra wait.

In terms of chemotherapy, they have great medications that prevent or significantly reduce nausea. It is certainly important to discuss any side effects during your treatment so they can be minimized as much as possible. I was petrified of chemo and although not pleasant, it turned out to be not as bad as I had imagined.

I do hope you get some answers soon. Know we are here to support you.
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