+ Reply
Log in or Register to participate in these discussions
endometrial cancer and the treatments they are offering
KStanwood
7 Posts
Hello,

I am really struggling this morning. I'm 8 weeks post radical hysterectomy, healed really well and feel great. I'm 58, enjoy good health, very fit and have been in the wellness business for 40 years. However, the biopsies have shown spreading of cancer throughout everything they took out and into the lymph nodes. Now, they are prescribing chemo, radiation and some other hormone therapy.

I do not want any of it because I do not believe that these chemicals and burning and whatever else they want me to do can ever bring health.

Can someone tell me their experience and/or can someone show me that any of these treatments are worth the price of the suffering and future cancer coming back?

Today I am supposed to meet with a pharmacist and right now, I am about to blow a gasket with anger and feel that I am going against every single thing I believe in regarding health and enjoying a quality of life.

Need help to sort this out without it being a family member or friend who all have their own opinions and will not be doing the suffering or living with the consequences of the choices. I do realize that they will be impacted no matter what decision I make, but if I die because that is what life dictated or I get cancer again down the road and die anyway after suffering treatments .. I'm feeling like I'm inviting the enemy into my home so everyone else can say 'look how brave she is' ...

Considering going it alone ... but don't want to make a foolish decision. Need help.
14 Replies
ACH2015
2007 Posts
Hi KStanwood

At 56 I was diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Adenocarcinoma of Unknown Primary Cancer. The first oncologist I was basically told me I had 3 - 6 months to live and nothing could be done. Well that was July 2016.

I had chemo prior to surgery, then the major surgery then radiation. Just when I thought I was done, I had a recurrence in 2017. Same cancer, same area. Went through (failed) immunotherapy and then the 4th surgery to date in June 2018.

Lots of recovery, lots of follow ups and lots of living done since then. It is devastating to go through cancer once, but to have recurrent or follow up treatments after discovering the margins weren't clear can be much worse to deal with. Like you, I was very angry, resentful, not up to going through it again, but in the end - glad I did go through the follow up treatments.

Chemotherapy and radiation can and will have their own side effects and will affect each of us differently. Those are issues you can ask your oncologist about and get somewhat prepared for. One thing I will say is that doctors can only deal with cancer(s) they can see today. Any of us going through cancer are unfortunately not immune to developing another cancer down the road. I have been on surveillance since Round II of cancer with CT scans, blood work and self monitoring. My sense is I'd already gone through 3 surgeries, chemo, radiation and immunotherapy. I figured the previous treatments I'd endured meant I should deal with the 2nd round.

It's tough, its disappointing and all else, but take some time to digest what I've said as a two time survivor. Some days are tough, but I can walk and talk and chew gum - as always. Life can be challenging - but overall - I am glad to be here today.

Keep well and consider what I and others will offer you here.

Keep well

ACH2015
Runner Girl
1510 Posts
KStanwood‍ ,

I was training for my 11th half marathon when I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. I was more fit and healthy than I'd ever been in my life, certain that I would break 2 hours this time out. My cancer was invasive ductal carcinoma, Grade 3 (HER2+, aggressive) and estrogen positive. I had a lumpectomy, sentinel node biopsy (no node spread), 6 rounds of chemo, 21 rounds of radiation, 17 rounds of herceptin (for the HER2+), 2 years of tamoxifen and have just started a 3 year program on Anastrozole. By the way, I ran the half 3 weeks after surgery and finished in 2 hours 14 minutes, not an unreasonable time considering.

While all of the treatment was scary and had it's side effects, I worked full time and continued to run throughout treatment. I am currently cancer free.

Only you know what you will be able to live with. Go with an open mind and hear what the doctors have to say, then weigh your options from an open mind/heart standpoint. Take in everything they tell you, do your research and make the best decision for you.

Runner Girl
KStanwood
7 Posts
ACH2015, thank you so much for your response and all the experience you shared. It is very helpful to think it can be worth whatever lies ahead. It was a terrible day for me, having a very inward, dark look at my life and needed to hear from someone with a different perspective. I really appreciate every word and will take it all under advisement. Be well, Karen
KStanwood
7 Posts
Runner Girl,
Thank you for sharing your experience with me to help ease my mind and heart. I will take everything you said in and let it settle in. Tomorrow I'm going to a naturopathic oncologist who is also working with me to help with treatment going forward. Hopefully she can talk some reason so I can make the hardest decision of my life. Thanks for being there today ... Be well, Karen
ACH2015
2007 Posts
KStanwood

Karen, You are most welcome. I am happy to know my post helped you get through that terrible day. I know sincerely how hard those days can be for any of us, and my mind went back to my own days of extreme mental stress. I pay forward like those that helped me in my darkest days and times. I remember meeting a woman while waiting for our CT scans - it was one of my first. We had never laid eyes on one another, and before I knew it we were chatting like old friends. Her experiences and strength turned my thoughts around that day - and I will never forget that. So if I can pay that forward to others like you Karen, the circles become completed.

Have better days, know your thoughts, fears and concerns are not unique, and reach out anytime needed.

Keep well

Andy.

ACH2015
Cynthia Mac
3080 Posts
KStanwood‍ , You’ve already heard from two of the members here who have “walked your walk.”

I agree with Runner Girl‍ ‘S comment about going in with an open mind. Sometimes in life, something comes along to challenge our beliefs, and sometimes it is very important to be open to any possible solution to that challenge.

Choosing a treatment plan is a very personal choice, and I think you are wise to be “skirting around” the influence of family and friends when making it. That, too, is a personal choice, but I can see how easily they could influence you. When my Dad was given the option (at age 78) of having chemo or letting his cancer “run its course,” he asked me what I thought, and my reply was, “Dad, I can’t weigh in on this one: it’s your body, your choice, and you would say the same thing to me if I was pregnant and debating what to do.”

Whatever you decide will be the best choice for you.
KStanwood
7 Posts
Cynthia, I am grateful for the messages back. It is helpful to hear other people’s decisions and the outcomes. I have a back story of being primary caregiver at the end of life for my mother and see that the offering that
the oncologists gave me is the same 30 years later and I am still angry about what was allowed to occur to her. They gave her hope when there was none and the results of that was an horrendous death at 63 years old. She did not have any choices about having any dignity or even a chance of those chemicals actually doing anything but prolonging suffering. So, my doctors are up against it with me because I am not interested in acquiescing or looking to them as God. They have to prove themselves from behind the mask that they actually give a rat about me and the quality of life that they say they are extending. Not easy for any of us. I am terrified of them and of myself making a wrong decision and ending up like my mother with my daughter helplessly witnessing my dismiss. Not an easy place to be or to make an educated decision from. Thanks foe taking the time to talk with me. K
MCM
10 Posts
As you are currently in the process of meeting with professionals and need to make a decision, I will be brief. At age 49 I underwent a radical hysterectomy, debulking, part of my bowels were removed, piece of my liver and diaphragm. Diagnosis Stage 3 Low-Grade Serous ovarian cancer. I chose chemo, wanted to do everything I could. There was a split with the specialists on the advantage of this treatment. I was 'clean' for 5 years until advised Stage 4. Started Letrozole, bought me 3.5 years. Tolerated it very well. Next treatment was Tamoxifen, this I did not tolerate well and did not have success. Currently on a trial chemo, Tramentinib, which I just started. Some side effects but nothing that is severe or that can't be taken care of. I was very active, very fit and healthy. Ten years later, not as fit but if it wasn't for the cancer I would be very healthy. I personally am willing to try anything. Follow your heart! Best of luck.
Cynthia Mac
3080 Posts
KStanwood‍ , thanks for the back story, it is helpful toward understanding your anger.

While there is an adage that “he who ignores history is doomed to repeat it,” it is also good practice to understand that, in the course of 30 years, many things change. Somewhere in there, there could be a balance for you.

You’re using a lot of “fighting words”: “my doctors are up against it with me,” “I’m not acquiescing,” “they have to prove themselves,” and that’s fine, because that’s truly how you feel, as you’ve already shared that you’re angry. Plus, over all, we still talk about “fighting” cancer, so sometimes using “fighting words” is in order.

Gently, very gently, I remind you that your mother’s experience will not necessarily be YOUR experience, because, as is said here on the site all the time, “every case of cancer is different, and has different treatment plans.”

Even a year after his passing, I am so, so grateful for my Dad’s oncologist, just as I was for his surgeon. Those men (and the who team of staff at our local cancer centre) worked with us in a most caring way, and I hope you will ultimately have a similar rapport with your health care team.

How did things go for you yesterday?
I am 68 years old and was in the best shape of my life allowing for the age factor. Always ate healthy and exercised a lot. What a blow to have the endometrial cancer diagnosis last year. Following the hysterectomy the lab showed spreading of the cancer through the lining and well into the uterine wall. Chemo and radiation was recommended although the doctor said I could choose to do nothing and would have a 75% chance of being cancer free. It was a hard choice but I wanted better odds so went for the treatments. None of it was too difficult but now that I am 9 months post chemo and really having a hard time with chemo neuropathy there are times I wish I had turned down the chemo. It is really hard on your body. You do not bounce back like you thought you would. The radiation is not bad...still minor bowel issues and sex is a challenge as your vagina is shorter. I am nervous having intercourse about damage to the tissue. After just surgery it was totally fine but with radiation it’s a bit of a challenge but just another new normal.
i think BC Cancer downplays the side effects when they council you on your options. I suppose they don’t want to scare you off what they feel is the best plan. You have to weigh the odds of reoccurrence against the beating your body will take. I chose to not have to worry about reoccurrence. I hope to feel good about my decisions in time.
Still Waiting
cinderella1
24 Posts
KStanwood‍ I understand your treatment plan struggle and the influence of family or previous cancer experiences. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. My husband lost 2 family members(mother and sister)to lung cancer within a year of each other, prior to my diagnosis. He is angry to this day at oncologists, the medical system and the lack of a cure for cancers.
I am an RN and chose to be treated with chemo, lumpectomy with lymph node removal and radiation.Hormonal therapy starting soon. I don’t regret my choices right now. I believe knowledge is power and “quality research” is essential prior to any medical treatment.
You are very fortunate to have a naturalpathic oncologist at your disposal. I utilized complimentary therapies throughout my treatments(okayed by my oncologist) but I had to suggest them.
Your decision will be right for you and your family will be okay with it.
Blessings on your journey. Cindy
KStanwood
7 Posts
Thanks so much for your reply to my outreach ... I started the chemo 2 days ago. Feeling pretty good. My family and friends have settled down and so have I. I am working with a therapist, nutritionist, walking a lot and staying occupied. I do feel blessed to have medical coverage and some extras to help me through this. Groups like this one is one of those blessings to know I'm not alone and can ask questions that will make a difference for others going through the same thing. Be well and enjoy the day. xoKaren
KStanwood
7 Posts
Cynthia, thank you for your thoughtful response. Making this decision was very difficult. I'm really not a fighter and don't really feel that I'm fighting cancer ... that would be fighting my body too. So, when I made the decision it came as a practical issue that this cancer must be killed, immediately. I don't want to fight with it, I want it gone. More of a hunter/gatherer position. Gathering all the information I can, knowing what is available to me right where I am and how can I best mitigate all the side effects and permanent effects from taking chemo drugs that can cause a lot of "other' damage. A friend suggested I look to native ways of 'prescribed burns' for future seasons to harvest more and give room for the healthy cells to grow. I choose the path of naturopathic IV's and the Chemo. It's Day 3 after and I feel pretty good. No real issues, except the constipation which was solved with food and fiber and lots of water and walking. Now, it will be 5 more treatments every 21 days.

Thanks for checking in with me. Really appreciate the support :) xoK
KStanwood
7 Posts
Oh wow, you've had a real go at it. I am doing the chemo and lots of natural things. Feeling pretty good. so far so good. Just taking it one day at a time right now. Thanks for sharing your story and helping me to get through the decision making and the actually going forward with a plan that still scares me, but has promise. xoK
+ Reply