JoJoisms

I’m a cancer survivor and you’ll never believe how it happened!

Written By: JoJoisms - Aug• 30•16

ribbon-1101997_1280I tell this story because it is the most bizarre tale of God’s divine grace!  It is with enormous thankfulness that I share how I became a cancer survivor before even my doctors knew I even HAD cancer!

So a few years ago, I was told that I had a HUGE fibroid tumor that took up my entire uterus.  My doctor said it wasn’t anything to be concerned about because they are never cancerous and would go away as soon as my hormone levels dropped enough to put me close to full menopause.  I was so close to menopause and I didn’t have any issues with it so I went along my merry way.

When I moved down to the Indy area, I got new doctors and my OBGYN insisted I go in for an ultrasound to confirm that the fibroid was no longer there.  We were all fairly certain it was gone or very nearly so I was a bit unclear why she wanted to search for it with all the modern technology at her disposal, but as luck would have it, the procedure was covered at my age so I went in and let them have a look around at my interior.  They seemed to be focusing in on my left side for an inordinate amount of time, but I just thought they were admiring my vintage upholstery.

The doctor called me in to go over my results. I was fully expecting her to say that it was gone and we could then move on to finding solutions to my several chronic issues where fatigue and pain had become a full time job.  However, what she said was that the results revealed a rather sizable solid cyst on my left ovary.   She said it was the kind of cyst that could become cancerous so it needed to be removed as soon as possible.  Since I was 53 years young, I was no longer really using my ovaries so she said it was easier to remove the entire ovary and that she might want to take the Fallopian Tube as well just in case because “cancer likes to hide.”

Turns out she called an audible during the surgery and did remove the tube and sent everything to biopsy.  The surgery was much easier than I thought it would be and I was in very little pain that it didn’t necessitate ANY pain pills including Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  I was ecstatic thinking it was over and I got away just about scott free.

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The doctor herself called me with the biopsy results.  That’s never a good sign. It’s usually some nurse or office gal who tells you everything is normal.  So when she used the word cancer, my brain kind of went tilt.  I had a hard time wrapping my head around that.  After all, there was no reason to believe I had cancer.  My blood work indicated levels of cancer antibodies below the limit indicating cancer was present.  Nothing they saw indicated any signs of a tumor or cyst or lump or anything they felt was something to worry about.  But the fact remained that I did have cancer cells in my tube and, since this type of cancer is aggressive, I was referred to a Gynecological Oncologist.

After the initial shock wore off (about two hours), I wasn’t really concerned.  I was told that he would probably want to remove my other ovary, tube and lymph nodes just to make sure there was no more cancer in my reproductive system which was now laying dormant having retired some time ago.  I went in to the appointment feeling pretty confident and actually kind of looking forward to having an end to my 17+ years of Peri!

When he first walked in to the room, he asked me why I thought I was there.  He wanted to know just how much I understood.  I told him it really was a miracle.  They went in looking for a huge fibroid tumor that wasn’t there, found a solid ovarian cyst, and only found the microscopic cancer cells in my Fallopian Tube under the microscope after the biopsy.  My OBGYN said that it saved my life and he agreed with her.  They both said that the cancer would never have been found that early.  This type of cancer has no symptoms until it is too late and, since it’s an aggressive cancer, doctors wouldn’t have known it was there until it was too late and I would most likely have died.  So I’m a cancer survivor and I was a cancer survivor long before anyone (including the doctors) knew I even had cancer!

So what’s next?  Well, the Gynecological Oncologist has me scheduled for a total hysterectomy in October.  He wants to remove EVERYTHING reproductive, not just my other ovary and tube and lymph nodes…because they already found cancer and “cancer likes to hide.”  This is a much more involved surgery requiring a 2-3 day hospital stay.  If the biopsy finds no further cancer cells, I’m done!  Both with peri and with cancer.  If they do find more cancer, they’ll probably want to do chemo therapy. But he doesn’t think there is any reason to believe that they will find more cancer. So I’m hanging my hat on that for now.

UPDATE: Got my biopsy back and there is NO MORE CANCER or any other abnormalities anywhere.  I’m CANCER FREE!  

 

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13 Comments

  1. Barbara says:

    I am glad that you were able to have that taken care of before you had more serious problems, and I hope that this will make all of the other health issues go away or at least improve so as to not be so bothersome.
    And what you said kindly worries me because I was told I have fibroids and floating polyps in my uterus and I’ve not been back to the doctor in a long time about that, because they suggested a hysterectomy and didn’t give me any reason other than it’d make the extreme heavy cycle’s I’ve been having go away. (I really hate surgery of any kind, and feel like I’ve had more than my fair share of surgeries. I really don’t want to have surgery again. But lately I’m feeling like I want the painful parts just removed, like my right side for example, my right side, and right hip, both hurt continuously and sometimes it’s just really bad.

    • JoJoisms says:

      Maybe go to get a second opinion. That’s what my oncologist suggested, but we had already had another opinion from my first OBGYN who did the first surgery.

  2. Crystal (Cris) Ortmann says:

    That’s a wonderful example of God’s creative and healing power. He created you with your wonderful way with words and brought humor into an anything but humorous situation. I hope this will bless many, as I’m sure it will. Prayers for total healing for you, my friend and sister-in-Christ. Love you.

    • JoJoisms says:

      Thank you, Cris! I love to make people laugh and it’s easier to laugh at situations like this than the alternative…most of the time. LOL

  3. Praise God, JoJo! Isn’t He good???

  4. Iantraggs says:

    Having read this I thought it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you taking the time andd energy to put tthis shoort article together.
    I once again find myself spending a lott off time both reading and posting comments.
    Buut so what, it was till worth it!

  5. Loralee Sulloway says:

    This has been an extremely wonderful article. Thanks for supplying these details.

  6. I had a hysterectomy in my early 30s. That’s what they did in the early 70s to repair a fallen bladder. My menopause was barely noticeable. No hot flashes to mention while my friend ran around with a towel constantly.

    Hopefully you will sail rght through it like i did

  7. Penelope says:

    The exact same thing happened to me. The doctor saw cancer cells in a pap that weren’t cervical cancer cells. After a uterine biopsy came back negative, he thought I had late stage ovarian cancer. The radical hysterectomy was the worst pain ever!!! (I had an adverse reaction to every pain killer and went cold turkey.) But there was no ovarian cancer — it was very early uterine cancer that was missed in the biopsy!! Praise God for His miracles. Praying your surgery is much less painful yet just as successful as mine.

    • JoJoisms says:

      I’m so glad you are still with us Penelope! It’s amazing how little the drs know yet about early cancer. I don’t really blame them. They do what they can. At least for me. There was no way for them to have known about my cancer until it was biopsied. There is no way for them to know if I still have any unless it’s taken out and biopsied. Since I’m already 54, I’m not using my reproductive organs so I’d rather get them taken out to avoid any further cancer.