Sandra

Location: California

Cancerversary: February 2016

Age at diagnosis: 37

Diagnosis: Cervical cancer (unspecified)

Stage of cancer: No stage specified

Cervivor School Graduation: 2016

How my story begins: I was a very happy person. One day, I went to my GYN to get a Pap and I told my doctor I had been bleeding after intercourse. She told me, "Don't worry. We will check it out to see what is causing it." When she was doing my Pap, she told me "I think it's cancer, so let me do a biopsy and we will go from there. The result will take about 3 days and as soon as I know I will call you." My doctor called me on a Friday to tell me I had cervical cancer. I remembered that I sat on the stairs and just cried and cried while she talked to me. The first thing that came to my mind was that I was going to die.

How I felt after diagnosis: I wanted to die. I would cry all the time and ask God, "Why me?"

Telling my family and friends: I didn't tell any friends. The only people that knew were my husband, my mom, my dad and my sister.

My treatment: I went to chemo starting on September 18, 2016 every Tuesday for the next two months for 6 hours each time and to radiation for the next 6 weeks everyday. Then the first week of December, I went to chemo every three weeks for 4 sessions for a clinical trial, which is when I lost my hair. I also went through 3 sessions of internal radiation and had a sleeve installed.

How I felt after treatment: After each treatment, I felt horrible. There where times I didn't want to go anymore. I just wanted to let myself die, but I would think of my 7 year old daughter. So I asked God to give me the strength I needed to support what I was going through.

What was most difficult for me: Support. My husband would take me to chemo, but I would drive myself everyday to radiation, which was about a 30 minute drive each way. I didn't feel good, but I would never tell my husband. I would always lie to him, telling him I felt fine. My parents supported me on the phone, because they live in Los Angeles and my sister would also support me on the phone because she lives in Texas. I was depressed all the time. All I did was cry all the time and keep it to myself. I would never tell anyone.

What I did to help myself: I would look at my daughter. She was my biggest support, even though she didn't know I was sick until after I lost my hair.

My life after cancer: My life has changed a lot. I wish I could help woman that feel alone and are going through what I went through.

Where I am today: I am healthy and have been back at work since one year ago.

What I want other women to know: Women's health is always important.

How I will try to help others: I want women to know how important it is to have their cervical cancer screening done. If you feel something is not normal, go see your doctor right away. Don't wait.

Any additional information you'd like to share: I want to help in my area, the Bay area.