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Posts (3)

Fri, Feb 22 2:25pm · ASCUS pap one year out in Gynecologic Cancers

My doctor is out on maternity leave, so my 9 million questions are all bottled up.

All I have are several voicemails from the office after I questioned why I would have two normal paps at 6 and 9 months out and, at one year out, an ASCUS pap and shouldn't that be a red flag?

They called me back and left voicemails, the first letting me know that the paps were really not normal but insufficient/no HPV and that they'd follow up. The second voicemail came from the doc's PA, explaining that an insufficient pap with no HPV is considered normal by their office, that a negative HPV is the most important element in worrying about relapse.

And that response would be great, if we knew my cancer was primary cervical, but we don't. My cervix had been gone, due to a hysterectomy (it was a year and a half) before the lime of a squamous cell tumor was found in my colon and the same type of cancer in adjacent lymph nodes and peritoneum. When I told my primary care doctor about the three paps and the cancer center's communication from normal, normal, ASCUS, she said she didn't understand why they would say it was normal instead of being transparent and/or saying "come back in and we'll redo the pap." My primary care doctor straight-up said insufficient specimen does not mean normal. And the fact that the cancer center communicated this not once but twice has made me lose trust. I'm probably going to have to get another cancer doc, because I'll be questioning and nitpicking everything going forward.

So, the above thoughts I have to deal with emotionally, something I didn't need.

But from a purely factual perspective, here is my biggest question: is ASCUS one year out from completion of chemotherapy and radiation (including internal) a warning sign?

Fri, Feb 15 7:39pm · ASCUS pap one year out in Gynecologic Cancers

I just found out that the two paps that I had, 6 and 9 months out were not normal as my doctor relayed, but "insufficient" and with no HPV. Now, one year in remission, the pap is ASCUS with no HPV. But her is the complicating matter: I was Stage IVA colon cancer (squamous cell), but they are not sure if it's primary of colon or metastatic from cervix. The reason for the uncertainty is that I had a hysterectomy a few years before diagnosis. So when I look at my medical records, I see it described as everything from cervical to colon to rectal cancer. So, anyone with this weird diagnosis… and, separate question, anyone ASCUS negative HPV one year out from treatment? I've read it should go in the opposite direction in time, so I'm nervous about recurrence.

Sun, Jan 20 9:26pm · Antidepressants and colorectal cancer in Colorectal Cancer

I am one year out from completing treatment for Stage IV colon cancer and have PET scans every 3 months. I'm also six years out from surviving a head on auto accident in which I was critically injured and hospitalized for more than two months. Single mom of 10-year-old-twins. Just had two tests re: shortness of breath which started last summer. Heart pounding during shortness of breath too, which is mostly exertion around the house-related. Stress test is abnormal and have something called a bochalek hernia. So further testing required. Also have other issues, cervical compression fractures above where my spine is bolted/rodded together, as well as new sacral fractures. Rectal bleeding, for six plus months, both old and new blood.

While I've struggled with being on this list serve (i.e. I really want to just move on), I do have to say I understand the depression and anxiety thing–I am so very depressed. I just want some "time off" from the whole medical scene. But time off is not forthcoming and I'm feeling guilty for not being grateful that it's "just side effects," and I'm just tired of hurting, being short of breath, and not being the marathon runner that I once knew. I think, in Stage IV, you know it's coming back, it's just a matter of when. I felt better going through treatment, because I felt like I was working toward something and that I had a lifeline (chemo, radiation, internal radiation). Right now I'm working with really scary statistics and one set back after another. So I guess I'm just tired. On effexor, seeing an MSW. All I want to do is run away to Europe and wake up in a bungalow in a snow-covered town, home school my kids, and just stop the non-stop, endless hamster wheel that I feel like I'm on. Everything feels wrong…the positive attitude, "hey, you beat the odds, relax and be grateful…" as I sit, doing no maintenance treatment, knowing the 5 year odds are 16% survival. Is it my mental health not working right or is it my intellectual side saying, "don't be dumb, you need to be doing more than exercising and eating well." ??? So sorry for complaining, but I have no one to take care of my kids if I'm gone. I believe in Heaven and am looking forward to it one day, but the pressure of surviving for my kids overwhelms me every day. I have to, but I don't know if passive waiting is the best choice…the weight on all our shoulders is heavy, I know.