Tina

Cancerversary: July 2010

Age at diagnosis: 26

Diagnosis: Adenocarcinoma in situ

How my story begins: For months, I was experiencing horrible pain especially during my menstrual week. I was unable to get out of bed without pain medication. I had regular Pap tests, which were all normal.

Finally, I saw my doctor and told him I felt something was not right. I had also battled severe endometriosis years prior but the pain increased.

I convinced my doctor that I wanted a hysterectomy because something was not right. I knew the consequences of having the surgery so young. Post surgery, my gynecologist revealed that my pathology report showed stage 0-1 cervical cancer that had gone undetected. Had I not underwent the hysterectomy, the cancer would have spread and possible been stage 4 within 6-9 months.

What was most difficult for me: I suffer from survivor guilt often as I didn't battle with treatments other than the hysterectomy. The hysterectomy made it difficult to accept i would not have more children.

Where I am today: Today I am 6 years cancer free. I am now able to go for my cancer checkup once a year.

What I want other women to know: I was very fortunate and try to educate woman on the importance of annual gynecological exams. No one knows your body better than you. So if you feel something is not right, please see your doctor. It's always better to check and find nothing.

How I will try to help others: I want to share information on HPV, cervical cancer and the importance of annual gynecological exams.

Any additional information you'd like to share: When my doctor shared the pathology results, he told me that he was actually glad we did the hysterectomy even though I was so young. He said that surgery saved my life.