Trust Again, Hope Again, Believe Again…Life After Cancer Treatment

I faced a life-challenging situation at 40. And then, my life begins at 41. My journey after cancer treatment started in California.

Our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world, but being able to remake ourselves. – Mahatma Gandhi

After my last follow-up visit with my OB-Gyne Oncologist in November 15, 2018. I moved to Los Angeles, California by the end of November 2018. What made me chose to live in California? It has been my longtime goal to live in California, with the right timing and with all the reasons that I had to make that leap of faith. I chose to start my new life at a place where I can connect with people, access health and wellness, enjoy the beach and weather, express my heart’s desire and most of all to be closer with the love of my life, my boyfriend, who’s a part of this journey and who’ve been pushing me to see a doctor, which how I discovered my cancer condition.

California offers a variety of healthy food options, it made it easier for me to maintain the type of diet that I am currently in. Vegan or vegetarian restaurants and cafes are not hard to find in the city.

During my transition to California, in January 2019, I got a new OB-Gyne Oncologist who was referred by my doctor in Chicago, Dr. Nikki Neubauer. Dr. BJ Rimel of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center is a very pleasant person like Dr. Nikki Neubauer. She is a Gynecologic Oncologist, Associate Director for Gynecologic Oncology Clinical Trials at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, West Hollywood California. She’s been practicing for 16 years, she’s also active in social media where she can share her opinions and updates on healthcare

When I went to see Dr. BJ Rimel in February, I had to undergo another set of tests like PET Scan, pap smear with biopsy to clarify the last pap smear result that I had in Chicago in November 2018. My last pap smear in Chicago showed a suspicious result which required re-testing to verify if it was just radiologic changes or something else. The results of the tests were unremarkable, the same result that I received in October 2019 when I had my follow-up pap smear. As Dr. BJ Rimel had said, my cervix appeared to look normal again.

Aside from my gynecologic issues, I also have co-morbidities that I had to take care of. The gynecologic issues that I have been dealing with were not easily resolved. Aside from my doctors’ advice, I also do my own research and trials on how to resolve the issue. After completing my chemotherapy and brachytherapy, I started taking hormonal pills. My doctor prescribed this to me to protect my uterus and prevent pregnancy. After cancer treatment, my menstruation had become scant. This pill will protect me and provide me the hormones that I need until I reach the age of menopause at 50.

The common issues that I had were, hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, anxiety, vaginal dryness, a shrunken vaginal canal which made it painful during sexual intercourse, and spotting. These were not resolved overnight. I had to go through the process of discovering which works for me best. This subject will be in my next article.

On the other hand, I have co-morbidities issues such as hypertension, hypothyroidism, and frequent urinary tract infections. I also had to see a hematologist oncologist do further testing because of my elevated platelets. While going through my frequent urinary tract infection issues, I had to see a nephrologist and a urologist to rule out a condition. These co-morbidities issues which made me visit my doctors frequently in a year. More of these explanations as another topic.

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