Wendy S.

Endometrial Cancer - Stage IIIB, Grade 3

Wendy-S-Endometrial
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Throughout my treatment, I took advantage of the supportive care therapies available, including nutritional support, naturopathic support, pastoral care, massage therapy and other services. Any side effects I faced were addressed. This was important to me because I felt like my beliefs in whole-person care were valued at CTCA.

Preparing for my daughter’s wedding, which was taking place in October 2017, was supposed to be a joyous time. We were all so excited. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I knew I could help make her day special, and offered to cater the event. As the day drew closer, I was feeling stressed and the symptoms I had been experiencing for two years began to worsen. From about 2015 to 2017, I had been experiencing random bleeding several times throughout the month and feeling extremely fatigued and tired.

Two months prior to the wedding, in August 2017, I went in to see my general practitioner. The random bleeding and fatigue continued, and I wanted desperately to feel better for my daughter’s special day. The doctor treated me for adrenal fatigue and a hormonal imbalance. Still, the condition worsened. Thankfully, I made it through the wedding, but the following day, I was thoroughly exhausted. In November, before Thanksgiving, I went in to see a local gynecologist and completed a Pap smear, biopsy and ultrasound. Several days later the results came back—I was diagnosed with stage IIB, grade 3 endometrial cancer. I was in shock.

My gynecologic oncologist recommended a radical hysterectomy, which I completed on December 22, 2017. The surgery was successful, and the doctor then wanted me to complete radiation therapy. I was really hesitant to undergo radiation, since I had heard stories from friends and acquaintances that gave me pause. I also did not want to put my life on hold for cancer. I was hesitant to rush into a decision about my treatment. I was hoping there might be a way to treat the cancer without stopping my active life.

Seeking out alternatives

Initially, I sought out natural health and wellness approaches to manage my cancer. I decided to improve my diet instead, removing processed foods, eating grass-fed meat and centering my diet on whole fruits, vegetables and grains. I was determined to be healthy.

During this time, my doctor encouraged me to see a radiation oncologist for further treatment, but I was still very unsure. I continued to evaluate next steps and would eventually speak with a friend from church who had treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA). My friend urged me to think about my eight children and grandchildren. My friend told me to at least go to CTCA® and get a second opinion because my kids needed me.

In January 2018, I called CTCA and spoke to an Oncology Information Specialist.  I scheduled an appointment at the Chicago hospital, but then I had a moment of panic and I cancelled it. I decided to fully immerse myself in healthy living, and I began juicing and making continued dietary efforts.

In February 2018, I went to my post-op visit back home, and my bloodwork showed elevated levels of CA125, a common cancer marker. That was the wake-up call that I needed. I knew I wanted a second opinion to find out if radiation was the best option for me. I rescheduled my appointment at CTCA.

Treatment personalized for me

From the moment I walked through the door of the hospital in February 2018, I knew that’s where I wanted to be. I met with a gynecologic oncologist, a radiation oncologist and other doctors and clinicians. Everyone I met with wanted to know what I thought and how I felt. It was so nice to be asked, and to know that I had a say in my treatment.

The gynecologic oncologist listened to my concerns about radiation. He then told me the risk factors for my cancer. He explained that radiation was beneficial for me because of the size, location and the aggressive nature of my cancer. I knew I wanted to do everything and anything necessary to beat my cancer. Realizing that radiation therapy was my best option, I met with a radiation oncologist to formulate my treatment plan.  Six weeks from the time I arrived at the hospital, I completed my radiation therapy, and capped it off by ringing a ceremonial closing bell.

Throughout my treatment, I took advantage of the supportive care therapies available, including nutritional support, naturopathic support, pastoral care, massage therapy and other services. Any side effects I faced were addressed. This was important to me because I felt like my beliefs in whole-person care were valued at CTCA.

I was surrounded by cancer patients who were going through cancer journeys, too. I found strength in hearing stories from other patients and sharing my own. During the time I spent at the hospital, I embraced courage in my faith in God, my family and the support system at CTCA.

I am back home and continue to return to CTCA to monitor blood work and complete testing to ensure I remain on track. I know I am blessed because I found CTCA. I can’t say enough great things about CTCA, and I share my story with people I meet.

Today, I am back at home supporting my family, which includes home schooling my six adopted children. I am working on understanding the value in keeping God and family first. I cherish the time I have with my friends and family because I have learned how precious this life is. I search for ways to live richer, deeper and find meaning in all I do. I strive to look at the wonder of life instead of the small, inconsequential things. I was always trying to keep a clean house, but now I realize that my children’s happiness is more important than the dust bunnies on the floor. Each day I have is a gift, and I am thankful for all that life has to offer.

Diagnosed:
2017
Treatment at: