Location: North Carolina

Cancerversary: July 2018

Age at diagnosis: 44

Diagnosis: Cervical cancer (unspecified)

Stage of cancer: IB2

How my story begins: My husband and I had just moved back to Charlotte from Florida. I'd been experiencing some abnormal bleeding between periods. I called my doctor's office to schedule an appointment. It took me a while to get in because I kept rescheduling due to have my period all the time, it seemed. When I finally saw my doctor in February 2018, I talked to her about having blood clots, heavy bleeding and bad cramps. My doctor did a Pap test and a uterine biopsy. They came back positive for cervical cancer. A hysterectomy was quickly scheduled for me in March 2018. After, I went automatically into menopause.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was devastated. Sad. I didn’t want to believe it was true. I cried.

Telling my family and friends: My husband, who was upset and sad as well, was by my side the whole time.

My treatment: I had 30 rounds of radiation and 6 rounds of chemotherapy (cisplatin).

How I felt after treatment: I was glad it was over, but had to continue to deal with some of the side effects. I felt very fatigued.

What was most difficult for me: I was admitted to the hospital during my treatment for a high temperature. It ended up being an infection due to my white blood cells being so low. The doctors also needed to check me for sepsis. That was really difficult and scary.

What I did to help myself: I would pray, write in my journal, exercise and eat healthy.

My life after cancer: I eat better. I exercise and I feel better than I did before I was diagnosed.

Where I am today: I am 46 and am thankful for life. I am so thankful that God has healed me from cancer and has given me a new group of friends.

What I want other women to know: Have an annual Pap test, and get checked if you have irregular bleeding!

How I will try to help others: I will let others know about getting the HPV immunization. It's so important.

Any additional information you'd like to share: I will continue seeing my oncologist for regular visits every 3 months for two years, and then every 6 months for 3 years. So the journey continues.