By The Way, I Am 70
My story begins in September 2012 with a chest x-ray at Alexian Brothers Immediate Care because of reoccurring bronchitis. It showed activity on my lungs -- cancer was presumed.
I was referred to a lung specialist who ordered several tests which all proved inconclusive. In November he ordered a pet scan which showed cervical cancer.
I was referred to an oncologist who put me in touch with gynecologist Dr. Laverne Mensah. She did a biopsy -- the diagnosis was Stage 4 Cervical Cancer which spread to the lungs. This news was devastating but I knew "I was not going to die" because she set up a follow-up appointment in 3 months!
So, in December 2012, I was put on grueling 6-month chemotherapy schedule using 2 very strong drugs. The week of chemo I was completely "out of it" but then bounced back to normal the next 2 weeks. Luckily, my blood counts remained good, but my shoulder-length hair fell out in 3 days.
In April 2013 I had a PET scan which showed I was cancer free! So, in June, I went on a trip to Michigan where I fell, broke my right leg, had 2 surgeries and much physical therapy rehabilitation. Oh well, "just another set-back in my life."
In September 2013 I had a follow-up PET scan which showed the cancer returned. I am currently on a 6-month chemotherapy schedule of only one drug and I have "no down time" whatsoever! Everyone at Alexian Brothers Ambulatory Care, where I receive my chemo treatments, has been so great and friendly. Maybe that's why "I keep going back there."
In December 2013, halfway through my treatments, my PET scan showed most of the lung activity has vanished and what's left is shrinking. And, all is gone on the cervix!
I am currently going to Alexian Brothers Outpatient Rehabilitation Center for therapy for neuropathy in my hands due to my chemo treatments. My therapists, Michelle and Vicky, are great.
I am extremely grateful to my oncologist, his physician assistant, and my gynecologist. They have been wonderful, compassionate and truly dedicated to getting me well!
Since beginning this "journey" I have remained upbeat with a positive attitude because I was determined to "see my granddaughter be born."
I also owe a lot to my family. Their love, support and care-giving when needed overwhelms me!
By the way, I just turned 70 in December 2013.