First scan of three for staging cancer

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Had my MRI today, wasn’t too bad this time as I knew what to expect.  Still sounded like a  rave party.  2 more scans to go.  CT and chest.  Feeling very overwhelmed and my head is just going round in circles.  Just feel numb and so out of my body.  Like it is happening to someone else and I am watching.  Just tired and exhausted.  My mum and elder son are arriving from NZ next week.  Just want the final answers about the stage and my treatment plan.  Over the past 3 months I have had so many diagnosis, precancerous cells in womb possible cancerous, large cyst on ovaries, anaemia and now cervical cancer.  How do you process this.  

  • Hi  

    It’s so hard to process, isn’t it? Especially with everything else you’ve had going on health wise. It was my first thought every day when I woke up…I was saying in my head “I’ve got cancer” and the thoughts were going round and round-I imagined it like a pinball machine with my diagnosis bouncing round my skull hitting off the sides.

    I followed that initial thought every day by saying out loud my own personal mantra “I will be well” and tried to hold onto that. Once you hear the words you’ve have cancer, you can never un hear them, and really things were never the same again for me-they still aren’t, and I don’t expect that to change.

    You just have to take things one day at a time, even an hour at a time if that helps. I tried very hard not to think too far ahead and concentrate on what I knew at that moment rather than any “what ifs”. 

    Things became easier when I knew my plan and could focus on getting through it, with the goal being a successful outcome. I appreciate how very hard this is however when you are still waiting for staging etc. Do you have dates for your next scans? 

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sarah,

    Thank you for your reply. Yeah that’s exactly what I think every morning.  Those words are just there all the time.  No haven’t had anymore dates as yet for the other scans.  My Doc wants them all done by end of the week so he can discuss me at their next meeting.  I am a big over thinker.  I do find it helps to talk and not bottle it all up.  
    my life has been a roller coaster and been put on hold over past 3 months.  My anxiety is really bad.  

  • Do you think it might help to see your doctor about your anxiety? I was put on medication for my anxiety just before the bombshell of my diagnosis, so my anxiety was there before I knew I had cancer. Once I was diagnosed, my doctor suggested I stay on the meds, which were a low dose, and I did for about 18 months until I was through surgery for my recurrence. It actually really helped me, and took the edge off my anxiety which helped me cope better. You do have a lot to cope with, and it might help.

    MacMillan have joined with BUPA to offer up to 6 sessions of free counselling for people living with cancer, and I was also able to take advantage of this. I found it very useful. If you are interested in this, you can phone the support line (number is in my signature) and the adviser would tell you how you can access this service. 

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi Sarah,

    I have counselling through my school 12 sessions.  That has definitely been helping. I was able to let my anger and frustration out.  I have my CT scan today.  Then they will have the answers to see the stage and spread.  I am having so many emotions and so much going through my head.  My thoughts are just wondering how long I have had those invaders inside me and what are they doing while I am sitting here waiting.  I am getting excited as my mum and eldest son arrive from Christchurch on Tuesday.  
    You never think in a million years you would ever be saying the words IHave cancer!! Tying to stay positive.  Had a pamper yesterday mobile hairstylist came and cut my hair and put some highlights in it.  Was great I didn’t have to go out.  Anxiety pretty bad.  
    have a lovely day and thank you for listening. 

  • Hi  

    I ignored my symptoms for a long time-probably more than a year-which was really stupid of me, but my point would be that my cancer still hadn’t spread. While I was waiting for my CT scan I assumed it would have spread everywhere, but it was in fact still contained to the tumour in my cervix. Too advanced for surgery so straight to chemoradiation, but it wasn’t anywhere else. 

    Our minds naturally fear the worst at the start I think, and we assume cancer grows and spreads quickly but that is not always the case and a few weeks of waiting does not generally change the overall outcome. 

    You have your visitors coming in a couple of days, you’ve had your hair done, and these positive things will help you feel better. It is hard though when you don’t have all the info you need, so the best thing to do is try and concentrate on the facts that you know for the moment and do your best not to think too far ahead. Definitely avoid Google, for your own sanity! 

    I hope you have a lovely reunion with your mum and son-that will be very special since they are so far away. I’m always around to listen and help if I can-I’ve been through this cancer twice so I’ve learned a lot of lessons about coping along the way. Positivity is not possible all the time but it helps hugely. I’ve had doctors tell me they see better results in treatment and recovery for patients who maintain a positive outlook. 

    Sarah xx


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  • Doc has just informed me that my imaging is back and he will discuss my case tomorrow.  He said they have enough for a clinical staging but may need to do surgical staging.  What does he mean by this? 

  • Hi  

    Clinical staging is the stage determined from the results of scans and biopsies. I’m not certain what he could mean by surgical staging, so it would be best to ask him that question, or you could ask the question of the nurses in the community by clicking on this link-

    Ask The Expert

    It seems to suggest some sort of surgery to remove something for testing, perhaps lymphnodes, but I only had the typical clinical staging for my original diagnosis, so it would be best to check. I’m surprised he didn't explain it to you, but sometimes the medical professionals expect us to have knowledge of all their jargon when it’s actually all new to us!

    Sarah xx


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