Girlfriend Cancer Survivor September Uterine Cancer MonthAt Girlfriendology, we love and respect women who passionately reach out to help and inspire other women. A year ago, girlfriend Kandi Jaeger shared information about Uterine Cancer and we were thrilled to bring you her story.

Not only is September International Women’s Friendship Month (aka: #FriendshipMonth) it is also Gynocological Cancer Awareness Month. When Kandi offered to update her story, we jumped at the opportunity to share her progress.

Together, we can make the world a better place by sharing important information and strengthening our friendships, our families, and our own health.

Did you know it’s predicted that one in four women will suffer from Uterine Cancer in their lifetime? Yet, breast and ovarian cancers are the women’s cancers we hear most about. There is not a national group for Uterine/Endometrial cancer.

September is Gynecological Cancer Awareness Month, and with that, I’d like to share some information that give you the right questions to ask and some direction to make you aware of what’s happening in your body.

Uterine cancer is the most common gynecologic cancer (i.e., cancer that originates in female reproductive system). It originates in the inner lining of the uterus and accounts for about 90% of uterine cancers. Uterine sarcoma originates in the myometrium and accounts for less than 10% of cases. Uterine cancer usually occurs after menopause. But it may also occur around the time that menopause begins. That’s why it is so important to pay attention to your monthly cycles. Abnormal vaginal bleeding is the most common symptom of uterine cancer. Women should not assume that abnormal vaginal bleeding is part of menopause. In the United States, endometrial cancer is more common in Caucasian women and uterine sarcoma is more common in African American women.

A woman should see her doctor if she has any of the following symptoms: Unusual vaginal bleeding or discharge, difficult or painful urination, pain during intercourse, or pain in the pelvic area.

These symptoms can be caused by cancer or other less serious conditions. Most often they are not cancer, but only a doctor can tell for sure. So be sure that you pay attention to what your body is telling you. You check your breasts monthly in the shower, so take the same precautions and watch what the rest of your body is saying. You will hear that endometrial cancer is probably the “best” if any can be called “best” gyn cancer to get as it is usually can be caught very early and thus often surgery alone may be the cure.

After almost two years into menopause, I had a cycle begin at the end of February. I knew that wasn’t right and called my doctor right away. I had just had my annual exam not 60 days prior, and was really worried. The doctor gave me a typical pelvic exam, and explained that my annual pap test did not screen for nor detect Uterine or Ovarian cancers; it was only for Cervical cancer. I then had a transvaginal ultrasound and an endometrial biopsy in the doctors office, which showed increased thickness in the uterine wall. The cells from the biopsy showed Atypical cells for Uterine Cancer.

This was followed up with a D&C which confirmed the cancer. I was then scheduled for a complete total abdominal hysterectomy with bilateral salpingo-oopherectomy. Also known as TAH-BSO (so much easier to say!). During the surgery, they removed 17 lymph nodes that were all negative, and found that the cancer was Stage 1 Grade B. Three days in the hospital, followed by five weeks of recovery, and I feel great. I didn’t need chemotherapy or radiation, since it was found early. I actually have more energy than I did in the past, and knowing that I paid attention to my body gave me a new outlook on life.

So in this month of Gynecological Cancer awareness, I urge you to think about all of the parts of your body, and watch, think and learn. Your family and loved ones will be happy that you did. Join us on Facebook (My fight Against Uterine Cancer) if you need support for yourself or a Girlfriend, you’ll be happy you did.

Post Script – One year later:  Over the past year I’ve seen my Ob/GYN as well as my Oncologist every three months.  To date, I am still CANCER FREE – but that doesn’t mean I’m letting up on creating more awareness nationally for Uterine Cancer.

I have been working with women in the United States, in England, and in Australia to help all women who have been diagnosed, those that have gone thru treatments, and especially over the counter drugs for aciphex those who have no one who understands, to discuss their thought processes with someone.  Without a national organization dedicated to Uterine Cancer, awareness for ALL Gynecological cancers has been, and will be, on the back burner.  I have created a group within a group to support women and have open and honest discussions on what to expect from family and friends, sexual health, doctors, and post surgical treatments.  In addition, this support group has also become a sounding board for our PEACH SISTERS who have just been diagnosed and need the encouragement to move forward with treatment options, knowing actual facts from those of us that have been there.  I am very proud of the group that I’ve inherited to lead.  Our founder is suffering and we have to support her while keeping the word out there for all women to become more aware of ALL parts of their bodies. If you’re interested in joining us, please show your support during the month of September by wearing PEACH, TEAL or PURPLE – the colors of Female Cancers during our awareness month. Join in on our awareness event on Facebook = Uterine Cancer Awareness – Gyno Cancer Awarness Month in September – In addition, September 20, 2011 is being Proclaimed Uterine Cancer Awareness Day in the City of Harrison Ohio.  We would like to thank Mayor Joel McGuire and the Harrison City Council for this support to recognize our efforts.

KANDI JAEGER has spent 25 years working in the Commercial Real Estate industry in Cincinnati Ohio. She is the mother of two sons, and has been married to Steve for 32 years. Kandi is involved in many civic and philanthropic activities in her community. Currently Kandi holds the position of Senior Brokerage Administrator and Office Manager of Equity Inc. In her spare time, she enjoys kayaking on the Whitewater River, Ham Radio, and spending quality time with her family. Check out her blog post from last year on girlfriend advice on uterine cancer.

Share this information with your girlfriends. We all need to learn from Kandi and take care of each other. Thanks Kandi for sharing this great girlfriend advice!

By the way, we LOVE guest blogs here at Girlfriendology. Have a great girlfriend story to tell? Want to celebrate your fabulous female friends? SHARE! (And, we also have Girlfriend Gurus – check that out to be featured on Girlfriendology!)

Note: It’s September – International Women’s Friendship Month (#Friendship Month) and we’re celebrating all month long! From this interview and guest blog by Miss America, to a month of women’s wisdom and 30 guest blogs, to our Newsletter Sign-up Contest and Facebook fun, and more! Don’t miss out on any of it! SIGN UP for our Newsletter and ‘Like’ us on Facebook to stay up to date with all the fun friendship festivities and more!

Our September Friendship Month Guest Blogs so far …