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Wendy's Story - Uterine Cancer

My cancers were accidentally discovered. I had a vein stent in my left leg and they gave me a drug that was supposed to prevent blood clotting. It gave me such heavy bleeding that I had to change overnight pads every hour. I quit taking it and theĀ bleeding stopped. I was mentioning it to my wound care nurses and they were concerned that I was 62 and still had a regular period. I didn't think anything of it because my grandmother had my Dad when she was 48 and a great auntie who had her last baby at 52. Everyone finished their period by 65 although most in their early 50s, so I was not concerned. The only thing I knew about menopause was that you wouldn't get your period for a year and you would get hot flashes for a year after that. I did notice my period was getting lighter and lighter but still regular.

My wound care nurses chatted up my doctor/surgeon and he insisted I get an ultrasound because he considered it very abnormal. Better safe than sorry he said. So the next day I was getting scanned. I knew she found something but she wouldn't say. I went back for wound care 2 days later and the doc told me I had a tumor and they set me up with Dr. Greenwade at the Hulston Cancer Center in Springfield the following week. Dr. Greenwade set up a total hysterectomy the next week and told me I would need chemo and radiation. I had ovarian stage 1 and endometrial stage 2. The hysterectomy was pretty easy and quick recovery. Robot surgery was great. they took out a 10inch long 4 lb tumor. got a few weeks of recovery.

I started chemo Sept 2023. Every 21 days for 6 months with [Kristen Heydt, FNP]. Tiredness and constipation were challenges. I was having transportation and support problems at home. The patient advocate contacted GYNCA and they gave me a gas card. I live an hour and a half away from Springfield, so that helped with some of the stress at home. My Dad would drop me off in the morning and pick me up around 4 or 5.

After that came radiation with Dr. Madden. He told me I would need radiation treatment 5 days a week for 5 weeks. They said I would need to stay in Springfield. I told them I couldn't afford a hotel; I would have to drive. They told me I would be too weak. I had no relatives in Missouri. The patient advocate said she would take care of me and be there Monday. That was on Tuesday. I cried all the way home because my Dad said he wasn't driving me everyday (he is 86). I knew I didn't want to die.

I finally decided I would drive there on Monday and live in my car in the Huston Center parking lot until I could drive home after treatment Friday mornings. I knew it would be ugly with diarrhea, cold food and clean up in the restrooms. But I was determined to live. I cried every day from the stress. But on Friday afternoon the patient advocate called me and told me GYNCA was picking up my hotel stay for whole 5 weeks! My Dad agreed to drop me off on Mondays and pick me up on Fridays. I cried happy tears then.

The hotel was on hospital grounds. I don't think I could have survived treatment living in the car. I was so grateful for GYNCA! I was so weak I could barely walk to my room. There was a fridge and a microwave in there! I made it thru the 5 weeks.

Then I had 3 weeks of internal radiation once a week. We drove in for that. I rang the bell on Jan 4th, 2024. So far I am all clear. My 6 month is in July. Hope to be all clear then too.

I have to say I had no real idea how my female parts were supposed to function. I think more education needs to be made public. I am glad for all docs and nurses on this journey.

I am grateful for the Hulston patient advocate and GYNCA for the most amazing support. I'm pretty sure I wouldn't be here.
Thank you all.