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I don't know what to expect

I don't know what to expect

Posted by Hollyl on Aug 19, 2020 12:45 am

i was diagnosed yesterday with Cc2b and am booked to start treatments a week today. I'm terrified and don't know what to expect. I'm 33 and worried about early menopause, long term side effects, sex after and bowel movement issues. I asked my oncologist lots of questions but have only seen her once and I feel like everything is happening so fast. I would be helpful knowing what some other people experienced so I can prepare myself and know what to ask about. 
Thanks :) 

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Brighty on Aug 19, 2020 10:01 am

Hollyl‍  welcome to cancer connection!  I found a few people on the site who may be able to help you. morningglory88‍  maxygirl0912‍  .    @ib2  and @bert -flo. You may also want to call our  cancer info line for more information  on what type of questions to ask at your next appointment.   1 888 939 3333.      Keep us updated on how you are doing.  
Help is out there. All you have to do is reach out.

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Faith1 on Aug 21, 2020 5:42 am

Welcome! I also had cervical cancer at age 33, and decided to have the hysterectomy as I also had an ectopic pregnancy and died on the table but they revived me. I was told I had a 50/50 chance of having more ectopic pregnancies and so I decided to have the hysterectomy. I have one daughter who is now turning 30, conceived her just before the cancer, I was lucky. I am now 60 years old, but have been diagnosed with stage 3 Invasive Lobular Breast cancer but am positive as the chemo is helping to shrink things. Because they left my ovaries my menopause started I say in my late 40's, it was great to not have painful periods anymore and I did not worry about the cancer returning. You must do what you feel is right for you. One thought is you could have your eggs taken and saved just in case? Having the hysterectomy was not bad at all, it made sex less painful as well. If you have any other questions I can answer, just ask. Have a great day! Faith1

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Cynthia Mac on Aug 26, 2020 10:27 am

Hi, Hollyl‍ , welcome to Cancer Connection (even if I’m a bit late in doing so).

I had HPV many years ago (my disease only got to the pre-cancerous stage) and my surgery never got to the hysterectomy stage. I suspect that by now, any information I could give you about the surgery would be really old (😏) and, I’m childless by choice, so I can’t advise you there, either. (Kind of makes me wonder why I’m even trying to reply, really.)

I’m here on Cancer Connection because of my late father. I joined when I became his caregiver. Dad had lung cancer, but passed away from another cause.

You mention an oncologist and treatments, so I’m thinking you are perhaps starting chemo. Dad had a fair bit of chemo, and, since you mention bowel problems, I can tell you he did experience constipation, so you might want to stock up on whatever laxative your oncologist recommends. The primary long-term side effects Dad experienced were fatigue and a sore mouth. Lots of patients complain of tingling in their feet and hands. I believe your oncologist can discuss these and other symptoms with you.

Every cancer treatment regimen is different. The drugs to treat lung cancer are different than the ones for breast cancers. Some of them overlap, but even within one type of cancer, the drugs might vary (for example, Dad was on cisplatin and pemetrexed, but other lung patients had veneralbine.) 

Given the nature of your cancer, you might want to join Ladies Retreat here on the site, where you can talk more openly about your disease and your concerns. (There’s also a “men only” group called Man Cave.)
“When the root is deep, there is no reason to fear the wind.” - Japanese saying

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Maya on Aug 26, 2020 11:27 am

Hi Hollyl‍ 

I was diagnosed with stage 2b cervical cancer back in 2011 when I was 38.  I underwent chemoradiation (5 weeks daily radiation, chemo once a week) followed by 3 days inpatient brachytherapy. It's been over 9 years now and I'm doing very well. What is your planned course of treatment? 

There is a pill I took before and after chemo that helped with side effects. I chewed on sour candy to help with the nausea.
Your docs will provide a list of foods to eat. Diarrhea kicked in after the 2nd week of radiation. I lost about 7lbs by the end of the treatment.
 Let me know if brachytherapy is part of your treatment (and what type) so I can give you tips that will help with your hospital stay.

Before I started chemoradiation, I underwent ovarian transposition where my surgeon moved my ovaries up to protect them from radiation injury. It was a successful procedure as I still have my period. It is expected though that I will experience early menopause but at 47, I'm still getting it. 

As for long terms effects, the only issue I have is a mild case of urinary incontinence. As soon as I have the urge, I go as soon as I can to avoid accidents but it's not bad enough yet that I need to wear a pad.  No damper on the sex but lubrication is key 😉.  No bowel issues but if you need help after treatment, prunes can be your best friend. 

Good luck!


Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Hollyl on Aug 26, 2020 1:07 pm

Hey Maya‍ 
my treatment is exactly like yours except for I get 4 internal treatments. I'm really scared of those. I started my chemo radiation yesterday. They couldn't do anything about my ovaries but I guess I start hormone replacement once I start experiencing menopause. 
I'm so happy to hear you are doing well! They told me treatment has come a long way in the last few years and the long term effects aren't so bad. 
Thank you for sharing, it definitely helps to know there's light at the end 🧡

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Hollyl on Aug 26, 2020 1:12 pm

Hey Cynthia Mac‍  Thanks for the welcome! Hearing other people's experiences helps me feel less alone for sure! I won't be undergoing surgery, just chemo radiation.
I'm sorry about your dad, I think being a support person is just as hard at treatment itself, just differently. 
Thanks for the warm welcome ❤️

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Lacey_Moderator on Aug 27, 2020 10:20 am


I hope you and Maya‍ can continue to connect. Talking to someone who has been there can be so helpful!

How are you feeling a couple days post chemo and rad?

Thinking of you,

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by ErinAidan on Sep 1, 2020 9:31 pm

Hi! I was in a very similar situation a few years ago. Diagnosed at 32 with stage 2B so it had spread into some lymph nodes in my abdomen and outside the cervix. Did the everyday radiation with chemo Monday for 5 weeks then 5 Brachytherapy. Nobody ever discussed doing anything to preserve my fertility but luckily I had a son. I went into menopause during my later weeks of treatment and was referred to Dr. Jennifer Blake at the riverside. She was amazing, like the best! I will be on a hormone replacement for years but it’s just a birth control so no big deal. I will say the hot flashes started first and they are no joke, lol! Anyways I am more than happy to go into detail on anything. I found my nausea debilitating And that was the worst. The Brachytherapy is manageable and the nurses were amazing. Take care and huge hugs!! Xo Erin

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by Anne2 on Sep 11, 2020 8:44 am

Dear Holly,
I hope you are managing your treatment well. My heart goes out to you. I am 46 and had the same diagnosis, the same treatments as you.  My last Brachytherapy was on January 21st.  I found out that the tumour was gone on April 7th, thank God!!  I can't imagine facing cancer and treatments during a pandemic.  Cancer and everything needed to fight it is hard and scary.  It really is one day, one treatment at a time and you'll find yourself on the other side of this.  I am happy to connect with you as someone a little further along.  Please know I am thinking of you and wishing you well. 

Re: I don't know what to expect

Posted by IamJay on Sep 12, 2020 6:38 am

Hi Maya‍ 
I have vaginal malignant melanoma and will be going into hospital for 3 days to have Brachytherapy. You mentioned you have some tips for how to get through this.....could you please share this with me?
Also was your external beam radiation pointed at your perineum while you were in stirrups?