Linda K.

Uterine Cancer - Stage I

Linda-K-Uterine
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The level of care I received at CTCA was extremely high. My care was compassionate, personalized and attentive. I was so glad that I was able to quickly address my cancer, complete treatment and return to my life.

In 2015, I was just starting to feel like my husband Walt and I were getting our lives back to normal after his prostate cancer diagnosis in 2012. Through every step of his cancer experience, I was there by his side. Walt went to Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) for a second opinion, due in large part because our son had recently started working there. Once inside the hospital doors, we knew that CTCA® was the right place for his cancer treatment.

After a minimally invasive robotic surgery to remove his prostate and supportive therapies to manage his side effects, Walt had scans that no longer showed signs of disease. Soon, he only needed to return to the hospital yearly for follow-up visits. So, at age 63, I had more free time and I was enjoying spending quality time with my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Walt and I were discussing the real possibility of retirement.

Then, in June 2015, I began experiencing vaginal bleeding after already having gone through menopause. I knew something wasn’t right, so I made an appointment with a local gynecologist. After an exam and biopsy was performed, the results came back positive for early-stage uterine cancer.

Knowing next steps

After telling me my diagnosis, my local gynecologist started to discuss cancer treatment options with me. Respectfully, I shared with her what we experienced at CTCA when Walt was diagnosed. I let her know that my first choice was to go to CTCA to discuss my treatment options. The doctor was very supportive, and she helped coordinate sending CTCA all my medical records.

While a cancer diagnosis is scary, knowing my next steps helped ease my worries. When I learned I had cancer, I was most concerned about our life and the future we had been planning. My biggest concern was about how my diagnosis and cancer treatment were going to affect our plans, including retirement. I knew I wanted to move forward quickly and start treatment as soon as possible.

So after leaving the doctor’s office with the diagnosis, I called CTCA immediately for an appointment. In less than four days, I was at the hospital in Zion, Illinois, for my evaluation and care team meeting.I knew I would be in good hands coming to CTCA because I witnessed firsthand how well Walt was treated and the patient-centered care he received.

Speed to care

At my evaluation, I met with a team of physicians, nurses, registered dietitians, clinicians and other care providers. All my care team members work together under one roof, making it easier for me to get to all my appointments. After completing tests and imaging scans, I met with my gynecologic oncologist to go over my options. Together, we discussed the treatment that was best for me.

Based on my cancer type and stage, I chose to have a hysterectomy. I completed the surgery on June 30, 2015, which also happened to be the same day my eighth grandchild was born. Three days later, I left the hospital and headed home to continue my recovery.

At a follow-up appointment, I addressed some concerns. I did need to have a follow-up procedure to have some excess fluid drained. I give credit to my doctors for identifying the issue and handling it immediately.

Since the surgery and procedure, I haven’t required additional treatments. I return to see my gynecologic oncologist yearly for follow-up visits. The level of care I received at CTCA was extremely high. My care was compassionate, personalized and attentive. I was so glad that I was able to quickly address my cancer, complete treatment and return to my life.

Looking ahead

Despite the hurdles we faced, I am thrilled that Walt was able to retire on schedule. Together, we are enjoying traveling the United States and have recently visited Alaska, Savannah, Georgia and Nashville. More places and adventures are on the horizon.

In 2017, Walt celebrated his five-year survivorship by attending the Celebrate Life® event at the hospital. We were able to enjoy that day with our three sons. Walt joined other five-year survivors for a ceremony involving a walk down a red carpet, speeches from CTCA founders and the planting of trees to symbolize growth and life. The event was such a great way to celebrate what Walt has been through and what we have to look forward to in the years ahead. In fact, I am already anticipating 2020, when I will celebrate my five years of survivorship, and we will both have our names on the Tree of Life.

Our family continues to grow, and as of April 2018, our family included eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. I know we are both blessed to be here, and I am so glad to have Walt by my side. Together we can face any challenges, and we are making the most of every step of our journey.

Walt’s story

I met Linda on a blind date. From the moment we started dating, we realized that together we made things fun. Throughout our marriage, we have continued to incorporate humor and laughter, and we try not to focus on the heavy stuff. So, when I went through my cancer treatment, I relied heavily on Linda, who pushed me and kept me optimistic. When you go through a cancer journey, there are times when you have doubts and fears, and having a good caregiver helps puts those worries at ease.

When Linda was diagnosed with cancer, I knew I had big shoes to fill. Linda needed me to get through this illness, and it's always better to have somebody by your side. A cancer diagnosis is never easy, but knowing where Linda was going to go for cancer treatment helped relieve some of our stress. After the compassion, kindness and expert care that I received at CTCA for my cancer treatment, there was no doubt in our minds that Linda would go there as well, We fully trusted them.

I was there by her side as she completed her hysterectomy. The roles were reversed, and now it was my time to make sure she did not overdo it and that she followed the doctor’s restrictions. She wanted to get right back into things, but I was able to slow her down and make sure she took time to heal and recover.

I’m so relieved that our son encouraged us to seek a second opinion at CTCA years prior. Linda has been doing great since completing her treatment. We have returned to life as usual and are making the most of our days. We travel and, most importantly, spend time with our growing family.

I feel that going through both of our cancer journeys has made us look at things more positively. We view the whole remainder of our life differently. I think the biggest lesson that we've learned in our cancer experience is to appreciate the small things in life, the beauty of it all. Every day is a gift, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, so we're going to have fun today.

Diagnosed:
2015
Treatement at: