Saturday, September 29, 2012

At last: out-angsted

I have been horribly anxious. In fact, developed flu as a result (or so my GP said, when I visited him in a panic on Thursday about whether or not I would be able to have an anaesthetic).
Luckily, now just a mild sinus problem and the GP said I am fine for an anaesthetic.
As reported before, I am on tamoxifen which can make you prone, although the probability is low, to endometrial cancer. Every six months I have this excruciating test in the gynaecologist's rooms, and this latest one came back with "atypical cells". And on Monday I am having a fractional D&C to determine if those cells are pre-cancerous, cancerous, or ok (for now?).
I just did a last - I hope - reading of all the dramas about it all, and now it's up to God/fate/whoever/whatever.
I pray I am ok. That it isn't cancerous or even pre-cancerous. My gynae said that if the D&C shows cancer, I will need a hysterectomy within a week. If it is pre-cancerous, within three weeks. Maybe not needed at all.
"The probability (of cancer) is not great," he said.
I sat there glumly.
"The probability of getting even to this stage was small. Don't talk to me about 'probabalities'," I said.
"You are being so negative," he said. And I was shocked at that. Because during all this cancer shit and trauma in my life, I haven't been at all negative but really, I was told "Oh if it (tamoxifen) does cause anything it is very slow-growing and we will just cut it out" - neglecting to mention "and half your insides too!"
Anyway, I now have to stay calm.
It will take until about Wednesday (so I am expecting it by Thursday) to get the results.
Then I will know.
I cannot worry any more. Hope I stay this calm.
Earlier today thought: Shit, might as well just take up smoking again (haven't smoked for just over a decade but really miss, although not constantly), and gonna just take drugs and give up.......
But now. Now I feel ok. I hope I am ok. Hope. But been reading on The American Cancer Association website and atypical cells can mean it's ok. I hope and pray. Now all know that worst case scenario isn't only a hysterectomy, but also radiation, removal of lymph glands in the pelvic area and so lymphedema is my legs.
Cannot go there. Haven't done lymph massage on my arm for a week, since I got sick, and although am better now, not doing it in case I am still underlyingly ill and it brings it to the fore. Can just wait till after the operation. Then I will deal with that again.
Actually, am smiling now. It is the end of the month and I was getting hassled because two bills which should have been emailed had not arrived. Duh. Checked tonight. Not only had the bills arrived, but I had paid them both. That shows how hassled I have been. Haven't felt the same since the doctor phoned me to say the test results were not good. Now have to wait a few more days to see if I can relax and be happy again. But I have to be happy. Have to relax. If not, I will just ruin my own life.


  1. I will be waiting for the word that you are A-OK and that this was just a nasty scare. I think years ago I had atypical cells and it turned out to be nothing. I wish the same for you. Know that I am pulling for you from afar. (Colorado, USA) You probably have many people thinking positive thoughts for you from far and wide.

  2. Thanks Joanna. I really really appreciate your comments. Have not informed many people and hardly anyone I am friendly with in real, not virtual life, reads my blog. In fact, I I know of only person I know (does that make sense?) who reads my blog, and she phoned me this morning to wish me well. Then have told my sisters and maybe about 5 other people. It is possible that the atypical cells you had were from a pap smear. I had a couple of irregular pap smears like that way in the past and all turned out to be fine. These are atypical cells on the uterus but of course, yes, hoping it all will also turn out to be nothing/something that just needs to be monitored.... sjoe.... dunno....but whatever it is, I will deal with it. Have no choice really.

  3. I'm hoping the D&C is/was easy and the results will show the cells are garden-variety abnormal. Almost everyone I know has had an abnormal pap at some time; maybe the cells have been in the uterus too, but it's just not a place we normally check. I'm sorry you have to go through this procedure, and I know that knowing how normal abnormalities are isn't particularly helpful with the calming of the mind. I know firsthand. I'm on the other side of hysterectomy and all the pelvic drama that seems worrying to you (from 2 improbable bouts with primary cervical cancer), and will be glad to share any information or be of help in any way -- as your blog has been to me -- though I hope my treatment stories remain irrelevant to you.

    *hug* (or not, if you're not that kind of person) good luck out there. ~ Diane

  4. Wow Diane thanks. Thanks for your concern and your willingness to be of help, and for saying that my blog has helped you - Really? Am feeling particularly vulnerable at the moment.This morning was in tears....but must say am feeling fine now. I was just scared for the procedure today, never mind the results. Yes, I have also had irregular pap smears over the years....this felt very different, not least 'cos the tamoxifen has made me very vulnerable to endometrial cancer. Curious to see why your bouts with cervical cancer were "improbable". Going to your blog now to see.

  5. Diane, how do I find your blog? Can see only your profession and which country you live in.....

    1. Good to hear you're on the other side of the procedure, though I know how the waiting period can sometimes feel just as bad. May the "right" results come good and quick.

      Frantic lymphedema searching led me to your blog some time ago, and reading along has made me feel less alone, and like perhaps I'll find a way to control it, and a way to accept it. I too think about the lymph far more than the cancer. I cannot even imagine how much time and energy would be freed up by acceptance or taming.

      I barely maintain my blog at If you want to read a long and wild recap of my last couple years, my boyfriend wrote about it on his blog: His writing skill makes it an enjoyable read.

      I call my cancer improbable for a few reasons: cervical cancer is not particularly common anymore in developed countries, and mine fell in the 15-20% that are adenocarcinomas; then, with a 90-95% cure rate for my stage, I relapsed within the year; and, the location of my recurrence, seemingly confined to one ovary, is unusual enough that it's barely represented in the (dismal) recurrent cervical cancer survival rates.

  6. Thanks. Going to read both your blogs with interest.

  7. I am beyond astounded. Is it ok that I posted your last message to me? Your boyfriend's article on his blog is beyond belief. Was it ever published anywhere other than his blog? Glad you are ok now. Still have to read those links to those other people....

    1. Yes, yes, of course you can post the message. The post has only been published in full on his website, but it's attracted some attention here and there. Sharing it and getting (mostly) very supportive responses, as well as indications that telling the story has really helped some people, is the only satisfaction I think will ever come of the experience. Additionally, that completely unnecessary trip to Hawaii was what triggered my lymphedema. Just reaching a place where I can bear to speak about it in therapy.

  8. So sorry to hear you have lymphedema. Of the legs? I am still borderline but it dominates my life. Longhaul flights are the pits and every time I go what we call "overseas" (abroad), I battle for about 6 weeks or more and on my last two trips have worn a compression sleeve almost my entire holiday.....

    So flying to Cape Town on Thursday but that is only two hours away. Have not been overseas now for 11 months.....