How my story begins: I was working in a hotel, had 3 children and just had been in a fresh relationship. LIFE was good. I tended to get tired more easily, but my periods were getting heavier.
I began bleeding at my son's birthday party and ended up in the emergency room. After a few hours, a doctor came in and told me he knew it was cancer. I had a vaginal tumor that blocked sight of my cervix. I was staged on my 31st birthday.
How I felt after diagnosis: My world shattered. I lost my job and things were hard to deal with. I just was blind-sided.
Telling my family and friends: I told my boyfriend first. We then had a family meeting and told everyone. There were tears and anger. I lost a lot of friends because of my diagnosis. It was even hard for my mother.
My treatment: I had a combined treatment of chemo and external radiation therapy. Then after all of those were done, I had 7 outpatient internal radiation sessions.
How I felt after treatment: I lost my hair and some weight. But I was hopeful.
What was most difficult for me: All the complications from surgeries.
My life after cancer: In all honesty, it's a daily struggle to get out of bed in the morning and dealing with PTSD, anxiety, and deep depression.
Where I am today: Awaiting yet another surgery. I'm mentally broken and physically as well. I also have a urostomy due to kidney and ureter damage from radiation.
What I want other women to know: Get your cervical cancer screening! Trust that 5 minutes of uncomfortable prodding can save you from a lifetime of life altering things.
How I will try to help others: I am a counselor for Immerman Angels. I have helped a few girls so far.