Location: Colorado

Cancerversary: July

Age at diagnosis: 51

Diagnosis: Cervical cancer (unspecified)

Stage of cancer: III

How my story begins: Went to the hospital for a UTI and was told that I needed a hysterectomy. 10 days later I was informed by my doctor that surgery was not an option and that I had cervical cancer stage IIIC.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was in shock to say the least. About 3 hours after I left the doctor’s office it hit me and I cried and cried. As I was thinking how my life was going to change, the realization came to me that I was not going to let this thing beat me. I decided I was done crying and I was going to fight this with all I had. I had to, I wasn’t going to leave my children without a mother. When I was 16 I lost my mother. I did not want that for my children.

Telling my family and friends: It was hard to tell my family. I didn’t want to tell them; I didn’t want them to worry about me. I wanted to keep this diagnosis to myself. I felt embarrassed to tell anyone. I thought that if I told anyone that they would treat me different or they would pity me, that is one major thing I didn’t want. I told my family that night and I felt a little better. Their support was what I needed. I told them of my plan and they were very supportive. The hardest part was telling my children. They were upset but kept my spirits up and always had my back.

My treatment: I had 6 weeks of chemotherapy, 35 radiation treatments, and 4 brachytherapy treatments.

How I felt after treatment: My treatments were a breeze for me. I never felt nauseated or weak. I never had any of the side effects. I count my lucky stars that I was well during the whole process.

My life after cancer: I am noticing more side effects now than when I was going thru treatment. I have chemo brain and my lower back is causing me trouble.

Where I am today: I am without cancer and have my 6 month check up in January 2023.