Our Cervivor blog has been full of insights, energy, empathy and advice. If your brain is fried from too many Zoom meetings and screen time, we’ll whet your appetite and fill you in on what you may have missed:
“Treatment was the longest, weirdest dream I’ve ever had,” shared Tash, in her September blog post. When her family accompanied her to the hospital to celebrate her final round of radiation, she thought she was “finally done” and ready to move on forever. “How naive I was to think that! I’ve learned over the past months that even though I’m done with treatment, treatment is not done with me. I’ve dealt with a plethora of side effects: I had what felt like a never-ending UTI. My bowels are a mess. My joints ache.” Read how Tash has come to terms with the long-lasting effects of treatment and discovered a newfound appreciation for her body – aches, pains and all.
“On a regular basis it takes three weeks for me to get my ostomy supplies to my home in Honduras. When COVID-19 made its way to us, Honduras was not ready for anything that came after March. Customs took months in letting them through,” reported Karla, a cervical and thyroid cancer survivor and an ostomate who shares her story openly and educates regularly in her country. Read her blog about the headache of tracking down ostomy supplies during the COVID quarantine. (Also posted in Spanish)
Why is it especially important now to keep up the conversation about HPV vaccination? Because so many routine healthcare visits have been cancelled or postponed, bringing a new level of complications to keeping up with recommended vaccines for individuals, families and clinicians alike. A recent New York Times article reported a 73 percent drop in HPV vaccinations, according to a pre- and post-COVID-19 comparison of electronic health records. Read what we can do to remind parents to not forget about getting their teens/tweens the HPV vaccine and all of the protections it offers.
Dr. Noel Brewer, Chair of the National HPV Vaccination Roundtable, shares why he starts many of his sessions and lectures with Cervivor Story videos. “You are a moral voice on cervical cancer and all of the ways it affects lives. I don’t know anyone who can speak as powerfully.” Read more from Dr. Brewer as he reflects on how personal stories help people grasp the importance of preventing cancer more than scientific data that “doesn’t always connect with people’s feelings and imagination.”
Amid the craziness of the pandemic, the American Cancer Society updated its cervical cancer screening guidelines…and there are significant updates that we as survivors, advocates and educators should be aware of. Read Cervivor’s take on the ACS’ changing screening recommendation and our call to action.