Patient with rare cervical cancer hopes for a cure – Guyana newsroom

By Isanella Patoir

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Despite years of severe symptoms that doctors continually misdiagnosed for kidney stones, hormonal imbalance and urinary tract infections (UTIs), Carol Dabie never imagined the possibility of having cancer.

A CT scan in November 2019 eventually revealed a mass and a biopsy further revealed that the 39-year-old had clear cell carcinoma of the cervix, a rare and incurable type of cancer.

Vaginal bleeding is a common symptom, but due to the rarity of this type of cancer, it is often misdiagnosed.

After completing the majority of chemotherapy and radiotherapy sessions, Dabie was beginning to think everything would be fine, but the COVID-19 pandemic hit and his treatment was put on hold. Trying to find a safe home in these unprecedented times, the cancer spread through her lymphatic system.

“My hospital was overrun with COVID patients and had one of the highest deaths in New York, so they had to protect us and put a hold on all of our treatment,” said Dabie, a former media producer at the newsroom during a recent interview. .

Since his diagnosis, Dabie has received life-saving treatment at various hospitals across the United States.

Unfortunately, Dabie’s kidneys were starting to fail and doctors inserted stents to help them work, but the stents kept getting infected.

This resulted in Dabie being hospitalized in the first year of the pandemic.

“To treat the infections I had to be hospitalized so throughout the pandemic I was hospitalized in the middle of everything.

“Fortunately, I never tested positive,” Dabie said.

Although intended to kill cancer cells, the chemo also affects normal healthy cells and has taken its toll on Dabie.

“…it basically kills my whole body, everything, good cells, bad cells, everything,” Dabie said.

After doing her radiation therapy, Dabie recalled spending months in adult diapers because she had no control over her bladder, bowels and stomach.

“It’s been a struggle because the part of your body that gets irradiated is the pelvic area and I already had bilateral kidney stents inside of me and the cancer spread to my lymph nodes so they were irradiating my chest area, so it caused an effect on my stomach as well,” she explained.

Soon after, her diagnosis also impacted her mental health and therapy was recommended.

COULD HIS CANCER BE HEREDITARY?

Right before his diagnosis, Dabie’s symptoms matched those of his mother. Her mother died in 1992 after suffering similar symptoms, but she was never diagnosed.

“I didn’t know until I got sick my dad started sharing the stories,” Dabie said.

Carol’s mother died in 1992 after suffering similar symptoms, but she was never diagnosed.

At the age of 13, Dabie started having irregular periods. She would spend most of her life on hormone therapy and the doctors had told her that when she got married, everything would be normal.

“Basically saying when I become sexually active I’ll be fine, but I didn’t understand the term at the time, but even in marriage it was more complicated with the symptoms,” Dabie told the Press room.

But even after becoming sexually active, her symptoms worsened and in the midst of it all, Dabie looked forward to the weeks and months when she would miss her period.

“Sometimes I didn’t get my period at all and for me it was fine, because it was good not to bleed for weeks and months, so I didn’t go to the doctor,” Dabie explained. .

Dabie, who is now divorced, also revealed that she had a miscarriage and at the time did not know she was pregnant. She and her ex-husband then tried to conceive, but it was unsuccessful.

Although miles away, her father and brothers continue to be her biggest supporters.

DIAGNOSIS, TREATMENT AND COVID

Her father sent her to the United States where she was officially diagnosed after a urologist at St Joseph Mercy Hospital told him she might not have kidney stones.

“I was already at an advanced stage, the tumor was behind my uterus and spread to my cervix and both ovaries,” Dabie said.

Dabie arrived in the United States just in time. On the plane, she began to bleed and had to be rushed to hospital upon landing.

Her ovaries and fallopian tubes were removed in December 2019. She nearly lost one of her kidneys and had to undergo several surgeries to help her kidneys function properly.

When she arrived in the United States, she initially stayed with her family, but after the pandemic began, one of the family members died of COVID-19 and she was taken out of the house. then kept in the hospital because she had nowhere to go.

The hospital then became high risk and Dabie was transferred to a clinic where she stayed for a few weeks but during her stay she was unable to access her treatment and the doctors made the decision to send her back. to the hospital.

“Cancer was easier to manage than all these external factors and the pandemic was one of the reasons that really made it difficult for me,” said Dabie, who is still adjusting to life with cancer.

Meanwhile, Dabie ran out of money but a friend came to his rescue. She then started living with another family, but the fear and threat of contracting COVID-19 and spreading it was still there.

“It was very difficult for me – I collapsed in the laundromat, I threw up in the supermarket. It was when I lived alone, even when I tried to cook the smell of everything…it was difficult, so the family supported me for a few more months and then I decided to go on my own,” Dabie explained.

Dabie remains hopeful that one day she will be cured of cancer. She has become a pillar of strength for women going through the same disease.

“The cancer I have – clear cell carcinoma – is incurable, but it can be treated as long as my body can take, so they’re just prolonging my life, they’re calling me a medical miracle, so I hope for better results.

“I can see we are getting closer to the end; I am in my third year of treatment – ​​before it was weekly or monthly appointments.

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