Uterine Cancer

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Uterine Cancer
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    Community Voices
    Community Voices
    Community Voices

    Sadness on an anniversary of an amazing HUMAN AUNTIE

    <p>Sadness on an anniversary of an amazing HUMAN AUNTIE</p>
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    Community Voices

    Another TV show that I love that I want to shine the light on the illnesses they took their lives #bewitched

    <p>Another TV show that I love that I want to shine the light on the illnesses they took their lives #bewitched</p>
    Community Voices

    Not sure I care anymore.

    Since I was a teenager I battled with thoughts of suicide. But I knew I would leave my family in deep pain. Now I can uterine cancer. I simply no longer care if I live or die. I thought is everyone dies. I am 72 it's time to let me go.

    Community Voices

    The Art of Letting Go When You Have Cancer

    I was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in September 2015. The news came out of nowhere — I had no symptoms, no family history, just a funky pap smear. I made it through surgery and six months of chemo feeling isolated, scared and overwhelmed, before realizing that I was not alone, that much of what I experienced is typical for cancer patients, and that I had so much to give by sharing. So I volunteer with patients, helping to comfort them through the treatment experience. And I write and try to spread the word that cancer is an emotional diagnosis along with a physical one. Once, when I wandered into the chemo suite at Mount Sinai Cancer Center where (in pre-COVID days), I volunteer once a week, Marika was working with a patient, saying, “You just have to let it go.” It sounded so profound, but this wasn’t some deep psychological conversation I was interrupting, this was a lesson in watercolor painting. Marika comes to the chemo suite a couple of times a week with various arts and crafts projects to help those receiving treatment pass the time. There are beads to be strung and origami to fold, but the most popular pastime is watercolor painting. As I watched, she demonstrated the technique to Zoraida, who was awaiting her infusion. First, she wet the area to be colored. Next, she dipped the brush into a deep magenta and just tapped the brush to release a drop of color on the wet surface. The paint spread within the dampened area, flowing in unexpected ways, leaving some parts saturated with the deep pink, infusing others with a translucent glaze. As she layered on a second color, some areas turned to a brilliant purple, others, overlapping with yellow already on the page, turned muddy and deep. It seemed like the perfect metaphor for being a cancer patient. There is so much we can’t control — the cancer we have, the treatment, the timing, how our bodies will respond — but, we can wet the paper and choose the color, be it ice blue or golden yellow. Sometimes we muddy the waters, sometimes we find surprising beauty and grace. Zoraida knows a little about letting go of control. Not just because of her participation in Marika’s art projects, but because she’s had plenty of opportunity to practice. For more than a year she’s been receiving treatment for her current diagnosis, a recurrence, with cancer in her ovary, colon and appendix. She desperately wants to be done with treatment. She wants to focus on her garden and taking care of others in her community, and most of all, she wants to visit her family in Florida and her home in Puerto Rico to soak in the warmth. But every time she asks her doctor if she can take a few weeks off to travel, the answer is, “Let’s give it a little more time.” While she waits, she’s become a better artist, and a more resilient patient. “I know I’ll get there,” she says. “I feel good, it’s bound to happen.” So, she takes her finished paintings back to her apartment complex in Brooklyn and shares what she’s learned with the kids and housebound elderly in her building. But she has more to share than watercolor skills. Many of us have a hard time letting go of control. It’s just one of numerous insults the diagnosis brings. Having worked for myself for 30 years and raised a family and managed a household, I knew a little bit about control. My life was always tightly scheduled, the days, weeks, months planned out in advance. While I struggled with the existential questions raised by my uterine cancer, I found the need to relinquish control equally challenging. How would I feel on the day of and days after treatment? When would I begin to feel like myself again? Would I be able to receive treatment as scheduled or would delays creep in as my body failed to bounce back? When would I lose my hair and when would it grow back? When would I start to feel like myself again and when could I put this whole ordeal behind me? I couldn’t plan even one day in advance, and life was totally out of control. Now, five years after diagnosis, my doctor tells me there is no evidence of disease, and I no longer feel the same urge to control the uncontrollable. Friend running late for lunch? I’ll have a cup of coffee and catch up on my email. Traffic moving too slowly? I’ll just find some good music to listen to while I wait. Too many items on the To Do list to get done this week? I’ll reprioritize. That doesn’t mean I don’t make plans. And I certainly haven’t changed my list-making habit. But I’ve learned a little about letting go. I recognize when my paper is wet, when I have to just let it flow. And most days, I’m ready to dab on a little color and see what happens. (Note: Art programs at Mount Sinai are provided by The Creative Center, which gives free art programs to patients with cancer and chronic disease in all stages of recovery. In addition to programs on-site at more than 30 medical facilities, it offers free workshops at locations throughout New York City. To learn more and to enroll, go to The Creative Center).

    How My Mom's Cancer Surgery Helped Bring Us Closer Together

    The rain immediately soaked us in all its cold glory the second we stepped outside our front door. It was 5:45 on a chilly and wet December morning. As I drove Noelle, my husband, and I to the hospital in my red Mazda, all I could think was how much the weather reflected our woeful moods. My mother was due to have a hysterectomy to remove her cancerous tumor in just a few short hours. The date had been planned months in advance to coincide her recovery with the winter holidays so she wouldn’t miss too much work. Having to wait since the fall for her surgery, knowing full well that the cancer was slowly growing within her, was agonizing. It took a few anxiety-producing minutes to find parking at the outpatient lot. I remembered just how much I hated hospitals and doctors’ offices as soon as we stepped into the sterile-feeling foyer, the fluorescent lights half blinding us. A few minutes later we were outside a small room where my mom had already been prepped for surgery. As soon as I walked in, I was taken aback by the sterilized nature of it all. My mom’s short brown hair complemented with blonde highlights was tucked neatly in a cap similar to what my grandma used to wear to the shower. Instead of the usual white blanket, my mom was covered in an aluminum foil-type space blanket. Her predictable tight blue jeans and colorful blouse were replaced by a bland hospital gown. My mom has always been a grounding source in my life. Both of my parents actually. I am not exaggerating when I call my mom the strongest woman I know. No matter what was happening, whether it was me busting my face on a waterfall and having to get stitches or my sister falling down a ladder and spraining her wrist, my mom always remained the same: Calm and cool. It wasn’t until very recently on a humid spring hike I learned that during many of those scary times that inevitably happen when you have two hyperactive kids, my mom was terrified on the inside. She only kept her cool on the outside to help us believe that we weren’t gushing blood or that our limbs weren’t hanging off at odd angles. It was no surprise as we made awkward conversation while she waited for surgery that she chuckled and joked and quietly rambled about anything and everything that wasn’t the present. I could respect her need to keep a strong face. Despite her honorable efforts, however, it wasn’t hard to look into her eyes and see how she truly felt. Terrified. I couldn’t knock her for that either. Anyone in her position would be scared. It may have been a simple surgery, but as I stood there, we were both silently reminded of the unfavorable outcomes, and the reason I was there to begin with. I had begged my mom for months to let me be there during her surgery, or at the very least drive her. I felt the need to help in any way I could. She declined, I’m sure due mostly to pride, until she didn’t have a choice. Geographically, I was her closest next of kin and since she would be put under, I had to be there. I was the one, at 22, who had to make life-or-death decisions for my mother if the occasion arrived. I was proud to be of such use and to hold so much responsibility, but at the same time quietly prayed I wouldn’t have to exercise my new title. My mom and I are very similar in all the ways that a mother and child shouldn’t be and not alike in so many ways that a mother and child should be. Sure, we are both creative and love to exercise to unwind and destress. We both like rock music and driving fast. We are also both stubborn, passionate, overly sensitive, short tempered and scattered. We don’t see eye to eye on many issues and the last time we lived together, when I was 18, fought constantly. We argued more like siblings. The disagreements would be anything from cleaning the kitchen to the volume of the TV. As I grew up and matured into my own life and set ways, my mother dug deeper into hers. Our stubbornness and preoccupation with arguing drove a wedge between us that only loosened slightly because of her cancer diagnosis. I was there for her because she was my mother, not because I wanted to be. I didn’t want to regret anything or feel guilty if anything went south, as selfish as that is. So as my eyes darted between my mother’s anxious eyes and the clock on the wall that seemed to be moving too fast, I started to really feel sorry for her. I started to think about all the times I was to blame for our fighting. I thought of all the times I went weeks without seeing her, despite her living only 20 minutes away. I would make up excuses, too much school, too much work, too tired, etc. I instantly regretted all the times I had not been there for her after my parents’ separation. She had no one. Maybe I was more to blame for the hostile space between us more than her. Even though I was standing by her side, I now regretted all the times I hadn’t been. She was my mother after all. A short while later, the nurse assistants and surgeon came to do a final check. My mom stayed calm. They went over last checklists and made her recite her birthday and name. They released the brakes on her bed and positioned her toward the door. This was it. This is the last time I would see her pre-op. I went to gently pat her hand, a simple gesture to say you can do this. Instead, she grabbed me forcefully and pulled me in close to her face. She wrapped her other arm around me and hugged tight. I smelled the clean yet nauseating smell of her pillow as I rested my head next to hers. She kissed me on the cheek, and in a voice I have never once heard her use whispered “I love you” into my ear. As she let me go, I stood up to notice just a few tears gliding down her cheeks. As we watched her get wheeled into the elevator, I felt something I hadn’t felt since before I was a teenager. It was only then that I realized just how much anger and resentment I had been holding toward her for the better part of a decade. The surgery went fine, and we were relieved to hear that most likely all of her cancer was removed. It took hours before she was strong enough for us to go up and see her. Finally, once the nurses felt she was well enough, we were escorted back to another small, sterile room. As I pulled back the curtain partition, I was surprised my mom was asleep. When I walked closer, I was more surprised in the low light to discover dark marks under my mom’s eyelids, and a tiredness in her face I had never seen. I couldn’t help but think that her rest didn’t look so restful. Along with her friend, my husband and I tried to wake her together. It wasn’t working. Whatever painkiller they had put her on post-op had knocked her out cold. As the minutes progressed and our futile efforts were not working, her friend had a new idea. She suggested I try by myself to wake her. I was her kin after all. Still feeling a bit awkward being so close to my mom, I gently coaxed her to wake up. I lightly shook her shoulder. It wasn’t working. As a last attempt, I grabbed her left hand, holding it between both of mine, I rubbed it and said “Mom, it’s time to wake up.” Her eyes burst open and with a confused yet suddenly comforted look, examined her visitors. We talked to her for a few minutes, again just making small talk. Then my mother stopped and looked directly at me. It was then that I realized I had been holding her hand the entire time. It was also then that I realized I had let go of my pride. I looked into the eyes of a scared, tired woman who had only been strong for her kids and immediately knew. If she could survive cancer and I could stand by her side, then no matter what happened, no matter what resentments or grudges threatened our bond in that room or anywhere, I could let go of my anger, and be there, waiting by her side, always.

    Community Voices

    Too many health issues at the same time. #overwhelmed

    I have myotonic dystrophy. It's systemic, affects everything in the body but it's unusual that one person has all symptoms.  I have several though.  I have gone to a gyno who diagnosed me with the thickening of the uterine lining.  In MD, there is twice the likelihood of developing uterine cancer, so I am dealing with that.  Because I have a weak respiratory system, I have to get clearance from my pulmonary doctor and also my cardiologist.  My ECG came back abnormal saying I could have possibly had a heart attack in the recent past.  The past week, I have been walking barely able to keep it together until I get home from work, then I just cry.  Don't know what I really need.

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    Community Voices

    Looking for some help... #Diagnosis

    I know it’s more of a book than a post, but I NEED SOME HELP!

    Can anybody relate or have input to theses symptoms/issues? I’m so frustrated that I just want to cry. I feel like all I’m doing is treating symptoms & yet never really getting to the bottom of what is really going on. I did have a bad head injury, and yes some of the cognitive issues started then. (CT/MRIs come back inconclusive or unremarkable) I feel like Drs hear head injury and use that as a way to explain ALL symptoms. I’ve been dealing with more of the symptoms prior to the head injury than the ones that came after. I’m looking for any thoughts or suggestions. I’m ready to live my life again. Sorry it’s a bit long, but I’m desperate for help.

    Here is a list of symptoms that have been going on and getting worse for 5+ years...

    -Extreme fatigue (some days are really bad others manageable.
    -Cronic pain in joints/muscles (especially joints in from core down, behind my knees, hands and large muscles)
    -Multiple types of seizures
    -Stomach/Digestion issues
    -Memory loss / retention
    -Amnesias /Blackouts
    -Lack of coordination
    -Speech issues
    -Trouble with fine motor skills
    -Pins & needles
    -Numbness in lower limbs and sometimes hands and face
    -Difficulty walking/Gait abnormalities (to the extent of having to use crutches or chair)
    -Constant muscle spasms -Tremors
    -Sensitive to over stimulation
    -Vit D & Iron deficiency

    Mental health battles
    (I do have a great therapist)
    -Major depression
    -Complex PTSD
    -Anorexia (remission)

    History of
    -Asult/Abuse starting in childhood, repeated traumas abuse/trauma as adult
    -Sleep issues
    -Major Kidney infection (about the same time some of symptoms started)
    -Head injuries
    -One major head trauma (some symptoms started from that, but not all)
    -MTHFR genetic mutation
    -Uterine cancer _Historectomy
    -Unexplained & complete gallbladder failure
    -I build up a tolerance to medications, vitamins, OTC meds and anesthesia abnormally fast. I have woken up during multiple surgeries (NOT COOL 😬😧)

    That’s all I can think of right now, and I’m just exhausted thinking about it all.
    Like I said, I’m open to any of your thoughts, questions and suggestions. (or even just a little encouragement. I could really use it right now)

    Thank you for taking your time to read my post and letting me get real with you. You have been such a amazing support group and I am so blessed by it!


    #Diagnosis #MentalHealth #HeadInjury #symptoms #help #AnxietyDisorders #neurology #Disorder

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