Delay in starting treatment

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Hi, everyone!  I am new to this group and so I will give you my cervical cancer history. 
Following an internal in early January, my GP told me I probably have cervical cancer, which is spreading down the vaginal wall. Since then, I have had biopsies taken and had both MRI and CT scans done. My consultant finally got in touch yesterday to confirm the diagnosis of locally spreading squamous cell cervical cancer. I have to wait another week for the team meeting to discuss my case and then probably several weeks after that before my treatment will begin. It will probably be radiotherapy with a small amount of chemo. 
I am finding this long wait unbearable and it is affecting my mental health.  I feel that I am in limbo and have spent days waiting for phone calls or information. Yesterday, I eventually had a diagnosis but I don’t know how I will get through several more weeks of this. I imagine all the little cancer cells spreading throughout my body and the longer the wait, the less chance I have of getting the better of the cancer. 
Please can someone offer a little positivity to get me through this wait? How do I get my head round this?

  • I am just at the start of it all.

  • Pressed return, Didn't know it would send.   I hope you have the chance today to stop and look up.  Even on a grey day looking across the roof tops or trees to the sky is so soothing to me.  Lots of hugs xxx

  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    I’m sorry to hear you’ve had this diagnosis, and you are at one of the worst times-the waiting for things to happen. 

    I had a very similar original diagnosis-locally advanced cervical cancer growing into the vaginal wall, with the only difference being I had adenocarcinoma rather than squamous cell. I was staged at 2b.

    I too had this thought of the cancer spreading as I waited for things to happen, as I’m sure many of us do, but that is rarely the case, and wasn’t for me,  and the waiting does not usually impact on the overall outcome. It sounds like you will be having the standard treatment of chemoradiation-usually around 25 sessions of radiotherapy every weekday with weekends off, and once weekly Cisplatin chemotherapy for around 5 weeks. 

    I waited around 6 weeks from my diagnosis to my treatment starting and I remember it felt like an age-but that was in late September 2018, and I had a complete response to the treatment and had a NED (no evidence of disease) at my scan 3 months after treatment finished. 

    The chemo is low dose and doesn’t make you lose your hair-it is designed to increase the effectiveness of the radiotherapy. The treatment is pretty intense over a relatively short period of time but we’ve had lots of success stories in the group from ladies who have been through it. 

    I know how hard it is to be positive all the time, and in my opinion it’s impossible. I don’t feel we should be putting pressure on ourselves, as anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis will acknowledge that we are scared and dark thoughts can creep in at times. The waiting is something we all hate, but unfortunately it is part and parcel of getting the correct treatment established for you as an individual. 

    I tried to keep busy, distracted and listened to calming apps on my phone, and also had medication for my anxiety which definitely helped. I’d definitely recommend seeing your doctor if you’re finding it difficult to cope with things.

    Please feel free to ask any questions in the group and we’ll try our best to help and support you through this.

    Sarah xx


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  • Hi  and welcome to our group.

    Is there anything we can help you with? If you’d like to share any details of what has brought you to the group it would help us get to know a bit about your situation. You say you are just at the start of it all, so that can be a lot to process and get your head around. There’s always someone to listen and offer support here, and you’re very welcome to be with us. I hope you’ll feel able to post again.

    Sarah xx


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  • Thanks for the words on encouragement. It is particularly helpful to hear of someone who has been through this and come out on top. I am normally a very positive person but am finding the wait so difficult. It is likely to be well over 2 months by the time treatment starts. So much for NHS cancer guidelines.

    Thanks to all who have replied. 

  • Unfortunately targets are getting missed nowadays. I’ve experienced this myself even before covid happened, and seen within my own family how much worse things have become with waiting times. However, my cancer hadn’t spread anywhere in my 6 week wait period, and your own waiting period should not be much longer than that, given that you have had your biopsy and diagnostic scans.

    For radiotherapy you will need another CT scan called a planning scan before treatment can start. This scan is to work out exactly where the radiotherapy needs to be targeted, and you will be given tiny tattoos on your body-I had 3- so that you can be lined up correctly on the radiotherapy table. 

    My actual treatment started very soon after this planning scan was completed. Hopefully after the MDT meeting next week you will find things start to move more quickly.

    Sarah xx


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    Cervical Cancer Forum

    Macmillan Support Line - 0808 808 00 00, 7 days a week between 8am-8pm