From Crushed to Empowered: One Woman’s Story of Slow Recovery

Did you know that Black women have a higher incidence of cervical cancer and HPV? The road to recovery can be rocky, as Alegra found out. Read her story here to find out how she came to embrace survivorhood. – Tamika 

“At age 36 I was diagnosed with stage 1 cervical cancer. For treatment I underwent surgery and embarked on a slow and lengthy road to recovery.

The life-saving surgery eradicated the cancer but the radical procedure also launched me into full menopause at the age of 36. The relationships with my husband and daughter were altered immediately; I was no longer the same.

Alegra VirginaLearning about the diagnosis crushed me. The idea that I may not have a chance to see my teenage daughter graduate from high school and losing the essence of a woman was shocking. A dark cloud covered my family and took over our existence; for many years I felt paralyzed and unable to understand what was going on. Unaware of what to do and convinced that I could push through on my own, I chose silence and renunciation.

What I want other women to know is that recuperating from the physical aspects of the surgery wasn’t as dramatic as the emotional, psychological, and spiritual uphill battle. Outwardly all seemed the same but the inward devastation turned my world upside down. Nothing prepared our family for the immediate and long lasting effects of a radical hysterectomy.

Today I have a sense of empowerment to tell my story, recognize that I’ve been in denial for many years and I can acknowledge that I am a cervical cancer survivor! I am armed with the determination and the desire to assist other women, family members, and caregivers battle the personal issues related to cervical cancer.”
– Alegra

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