It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Message Board

Cancer: Cervical & Ovarian Board Index

Hi everyone -- I just figured I'd give a quick update, and pass along some interesting info that I've recently learned. I apologize in advance, since this is probably going to be a long post! I'm going to put a break in it so you can just skip to the part about what they do in a trach, and not read about the other stuff :)

First of all, I went for another opinion at the Neag Cancer Center in Farmington, CT, which is part of the University of Connecticut. Dr. M. B. is a most fantastic lady!!! Aside from having a great background in cancer care and being one of the few docs around that does a trachelectomy, she is a very caring, patient and dedicated doctor. If I wasn't already treating with my doc at Yale (whom she highly recommends!) I would have no qualms about treating with her. So anyone in the New England area looking for a second opinion, do not rule out UConn!! I had a much better experience there than I did with Sloan, and although they're not one of the "big" names you hear, their credentials can rival the other guys.

She also gave me some interesting facts/stats about adenocarcinoma, which I had not come across before. First, she told me that most adenos are the result of HPV 18. I have been completely freaked out by reading all of the terrible things that HPV 16 can do (such as throat/oral cancers). So, I intend to have my pathology tested so I can find out exactly which strain(s) of HPV I have, and hopefully I won't also have 16!! (PS - docs don't seem to be much concerned with what strain you have, and consequently I've been told that insurance may not pay for this testing). Since learning about this adeno/HPV 18 connection, I cannot figure out why DNA testing to determine which strain isn't a normal part of the screening, precisely so that those of us with 18 can be checked more thoroughly for adeno, which tends to hide....but that's another lecture for another day.

I've also been told that adenocarcinoma tends to NOT spread to the lymph nodes as quickly as other cervical cancers, especially when caught early. Positive nodes could screw up my whole plan for trachelectomy and children, so this has been a big concern of mine.

There is also a theory out there that surgery (including a cone biopsy) actually helps the body fight off the HPV that caused the problem in the first place with adenos!! Obviously we are all afraid of recurrence, and especially since I'm going to lose most of my cervix with surgery, I am concerned about the HPV then attacking the vaginal wall, et cetera, and my seeming inability to fight off HPV is a concern. So, I am hoping that this theory is true!!


So, at this point I am scheduled for trachelectomy surgery on 2/25. This is how the procedure has been described to me. Since Yale doesn't consider Sentinel node mapping standard of care right now, my doc is agreeing to use the dye and do the mapping to make sure he gets those nodes (since I do believe in it, and I specifically asked for it)...but then he's going to take a few more, as that's his way of doing it. In total he's going to take 15-20 (instead of the usual 40 or so), for a variety of reasons. They will test the nodes while I'm still under, and as long as they are clear, he will continue with the trachelectomy. For a variety of personal reasons, we have agreed that he will do the trach, and not test the margins on that while I'm under (generally they will send a frozen section to pathology to quickly check for a clean margin; if it's clean, they close you up; if not, they proceed to a hysterectomy). So, the downside is I will have to wait about a week after surgery to get the final pathology on my trach...which will be one tough week. But personally, I could not accept going under and not knowing what would happen. I asked why he couldn't still send a frozen section to path so that I'd have an answer when I come to, but he said that if the margin was close, the freezing process would damage the edge of the tissue so making a call on the margin might be I will just have to wait, and hope that my margins are nice and clean and clear. Incidentally, I'd have to wait that long anyway, since they further dissect the nodes after surgery, so you are not really "all clear" until that final report anyway.

I was also told that the surgery should be about 2-2 1/2 hours (Sloan told me 4, but they do it abdominally). My doc is doing is laparoscopically, with a robot assist, so I'll have five scars -- two on each side of the pelvis, about two inches in from the hip bone, and then another between that area and the belly button, and then one inside the belly button (he usually does it about an inch and a half above the BB, but he looked at me and said he'd do it inside to hide it, and would even put it on the under side so my belly button ring would hide it!!). The scars will range from 8 to 15 mm, so they are really small!! It's truly amazing how they can do all this. I'm going in at 7:30 a.m., and should be going home the next day, although he said I'll be on a catheter anywhere from a few days to six weeks...which didn't thrill me. Depending on how I'm doing, I will either have to self cath until I don't need it anymore (which he said should get me off it sooner), or they'll send me home fully catheterized, and they'll recheck me at my two week check up we'll have to see how that goes.

So now I need to stay calm, and stop imagining the worst. I'm so afraid they'll find something else and say I need more surgery, or radiation, or both....I feel like all of this has happened so fast, and things got bad very quickly. So now I'm just hoping that my bad news is over, and this is my road to full recovery -- with uterus and kids in my future!!

Sorry this is such a long post....

Hugs to all, and Happy Valentine's Day!!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:02 PM.

© 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!