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Maris S., New York

"I have been followed for endometriosis for the past 15 years. My ob/gyn always does an abdominal ultrasound when I have my yearly pap smear. This year, I had some abnormal bleeding, and he was concerned about uterine hyperplasia. That biopsy was negative; then my pap came back abnormal, but the repeat pap was ok. THEN we did the ultrasound, and, oops! 'something' was there that wasn't there last year.

I went for an MRI, and the 'thing' was a part-cyst/part-mass, so it was off to the gyn/oncologist for a consult. We decided on a hysterectomy and I was very busy denying any chance of it being actual cancer because I just don't do cancer, don't you know?

[The day of my surgery,] I went under at 8am and woke at 3:30PM. One look at the clock and I knew the big C had reared its head... at least I was prepared for that hysterectomy! Well, after much crying and freaking out, I got the news that it was stage 2, and it was out of me. Still, I had 6 cycles of chemo, (carbo/taxol cocktails anyone?) which I did not handle that well. But it's over now, and I'm recuperating. I still have some neuropathies...and lots of anger that this happened.

I have a husband and a 10-year-old daughter who were wonderful, but now as I'm ready to take part in the family again I still find my feet hurt, or my energy is just gone, or I can't look at food, or whatever. However, I'm very busy visualizing my way thru this (I really found that visualization has helped me the most)."

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