Anngie hampton

Anngie's Story - Uterine Cancer

Women, know your bodies and advocate for your health. Document when you can and speak up to your medical professionals when something unusual happens, especially if it lasts more than 2 weeks.

I was having heavy bleeding, bleeding between periods, discharge (from egg white texture to watery discharge), and I didn't know if this was part of pre-Menopause, peri-menopause, or menopause but for me, it was starting to be "different." I mentioned it to my doctor, who said to me, "Women 'our age' typically start wearing pantiliners." (I felt dismissed.)

A year later (at my annual Women's Wellness Exam), I brought it up again, informing her things had gotten increasingly worse. I was not only wearing liners or pads during that time of the month, but a heavy absorbent pad daily (even in between periods), sometimes changing it multiple times per day because it wasn't absorbing the watery discharge fast enough that it would sit on the surface of the pad. My doctor (rather hesitantly) suggested that we MIGHT want to do an endometrial biopsy. It was at that point that I pulled out my cell phone and showed her said documentation (a photo of a large blood clot). I believe this embarrassing photo saved my life!! I heard the tone in her voice change when she said to me, "We need to do an endometrial biopsy." The results came back a week later, the same day I had a Transvaginal Ultrasound performed, in addition to the endometrial biopsy I had a week earlier.

I was taken to a room following the Transvaginal Ultrasound and told I had Grade 1 Endometrioid adenocarcinoma (Uterine Cancer). I was referred to a Gynecologic Oncologist, who I saw two weeks later, she confirmed the diagnosis and scheduled me for surgery two months later. She said I needed a Radical Total Laparoscopic Hysterectomy. They also tested the lymph nodes. This process was said to me to expect a 6-week downtime.
During surgery, a tumor was found on my cervix and a cyst on my right ovary. When the pathology report returned, it labeled the findings as Stage 2 Endometrioid adenocarcinoma (Uterine Cancer), Grade 2 with Endocervical Stromal Involvement, a more serious diagnosis than originally thought. I was told I would need Radiation Therapy following surgery, and referred to a Radiation Oncologist.

About 2 months later (after healing from surgery), I began my radiation journey. I completed 25 External (EBRT) treatments, followed by 3 Internal/VBT/HDR/Brachytherapy Radiation treatments, ringing the bell on July 27, 2022. I was lucky to have little to no side effects from the radiation, however, my body was still fragile from this past year, even if the external presentation showed otherwise.

Ladies, advocation is so important. It can save your life, it can minimize your diagnosis and side effects of your treatments. Some women have no signs, but if you do, speak up loudly if the medical community doesn't listen the first time or two, for it can make all the difference.

On August 23, 2022, I had my 3-month surveillance appointment with my Gynecologic Oncologist who performed a abdomen and pelvic exam, labeling me NED (No Evidence of Disease), and I'm scheduled to meet with my Radiation Oncologist in late-November for the next 3-month surveillance exam.

Going forward, I will be rotating between my Gynecologic Oncologist and my Radiation Oncologist every 3 months for the next 2 years, then every 6 months for up to the 5 year point. At 5 years, once a year for the rest of my life.

Also, ASK QUESTIONS!! My medical team said I asked a lot of good questions and that most of their patients don't ask; they just come and do their time for the recommended treatment plan.

Also, find a good support system to walk you on the journey. If you don't have one, I'm here with life experience.