47 yr old, diagnosed in March 2022 with stage 3B cervical cancer.
Underwent 4 treatments of chemo, 25 external beam radiation, 2 treatments brachytherapy completed June 2022.
Returned to work late July until mid November when the return of extreme pain made working impossible again.
Outcome - Persistent cancer, Oct MRI and CT scans show 4 tumours localized to pelvis, 1 cm each.
My doctor has referred me to a surgeon in London, ON for a pelvic exenteration.
The pelvic exenteration appears to be the “hail mary” for recurrent/persistent cervical cancer. There is also a possibility of immunotherapy in the event that I do not qualify for the surgery, however this treatment would not be curative.
Has anyone on this forum undergone this surgery?
If so please let me know of your experience. How long did it take to recover? What is your quality of life like after? Were you cured? Do you still experience pain?
Any insights would be greatly appreciated.
I am sorry to hear about your new diagnosis situation.
I did a search on the site and @Elsa.K talks about having that procedure. Elsa are you able to share your experience?
There is also a discussion here: https://cancerconnection.ca/discussions/viewtopic/12221/67278?post_id=341539#p341539 where @IamJay asked a similar question. Perhaps they can update on their status.
I had a posterior pelvic exenteration in January and have recovered quite well. I have no pain.
I have dealt with malignant melanoma in my vulva and then vagina since 2007 and have many types of interventions. The radiation seems to have caused the biggest issues for me and I may be going back for more surgery to have my bladder removed leaving me with a colostomy and a urostomy. I've come accept my colostomy and haven't had any trouble dealing with it. My bladder is a mess so just had nephrostomy tubes inserted which is a tube in each kidney to drain the urine into bags on my legs. I think I'd rather have the urostomy at this point.
There is a really good Facebook page for women who have had or might be having a pelvic exenteration. You might find that helpful.
Feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions or want to chat.
Do you have a surgery date?
All the best
Thanks for your reply.
I am so happy to hear that you have recovered well and are pain-free, I have read many horror stories of the complications from this extensive a surgery.
I have had a neph tube in my left kidney since April because the cancer blocked my left ureter. It has taken some getting used to but I have now accepted it as likely permanent.
I am quite scared of the colostomy but I simply cannot imagine living with this pain for the rest of my days.
I will certainly reach out to you and thank you for your offer :)
I don't have a date yet for surgery, I still need to have more testing done to make sure I am a suitable candidate. I hope that I qualify as the operation seems to be the only chance of a cure the pain.