I became suspicious that there was more to my D&C and biopsy than I was expecting. My GYN Doc called me in to her office a week early to discuss my biopsy results. It was also her day for surgery. She came up from the OR suite just to talk to me. Bad signs.
I like her. She is a petite woman of Asian heritage. Friendly. Personable. Professional. She quickly arrived carrying pictures she had taken during the D&C and a copy of the pathology report. She handed it to me. I read serous cancer. Reconfirmed. No doubt about it. She said she wasn’t familiar with this type of cancer, but I suspect she was playing the discussion forward to the next doctor. I have an appointment with an experienced GYN oncology surgeon on Monday.
Uterine papillary serous cancer, UPSC for short, is also called uterine serous cancer and uterine serous adenocarcinoma. Docs and Google will understand if you just say serous cancer. It is a rare subset of endometrial cancer. It is relentlessly aggressive and accounts for a high number of endometrial cancer deaths. It is in the same class of seriousness as ovarian cancer. The treatment is brutal, and the cancer is still relentless. Scared the Dickins out of me.
Once the treatment process starts, it will change my life forever. I will lose much of the progress I have made after my hip replacement. I will be sick. I will have no energy and no hair. After a comprehensive surgery, chemotherapy is next. Radiation may be added. The cancer keeps coming back and as long as chemo can be an option, it is repeated.
The five-year survival rate is 27% when other types of endometrial cancers are eliminated from the statistics. Not good.
Serous cancer was separated out from endometrial cancer about 20 years ago. I have a GYN nurse friend who never heard of it. She stopped working about 25 years ago.
This week-end I am working in my yard, my favorite. Like many other cancer patients, I am also starting to clear the decks and to plan for treatment. My son says he will miss my cooking but will be happy to take on the duties he had when I had my hip replacement problems. He will take me to my appointment Monday.
With past cancers, I was told, “You are lucky we caught it early”. I wish that is what I heard this time. Just like everyone else, I will do what I need to do. The medical community requires that a cancer patient have a good attitude. To do otherwise is like being unpatriotic. I think that places an additional burden on a patient. I’ve seen too many incredibly optimistic cancer patients die. I sometimes think that it is a symptom of cancer mortality. I don’t want to be too optimistic. I just want to live to 95.