Location: Florida

Cancerversary: January

Age at diagnosis: 35

Diagnosis: Adenosquamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: III

How my story begins: After changing my OBGYN, I found an amazing doctor who wouldn’t stop until he found out what was going on. I went in for my regular pap and it came back abnormal. He repeated this six months later and again, it was abnormal. He decided to do a colposcopy and this is where my cancer battle started.

Life before my diagnosis: For years I had abnormal bleeding and inconsistent periods but my OBGYN at the time didn’t go through all testing to find out the reason behind everything that was going on. Then red flags began to show after losing our baby in 2019. We had been trying to continue growing our family but we were having a hard time getting pregnant.

How I felt after diagnosis: The days that followed my diagnosis are a blur. A mixture of confusion, anger, sadness, feeling terrified, shocked, and extremely overwhelmed. What did this mean? What would happen to me? To my loved ones? To my/our plans... if I died?

Telling my family and friends: I felt heartbreak as I told my parents, my siblings, my grandmother, my husband, and my close friends. We cried… oh man did we cry and after that good cry, I told them that it would be the last time we cried. From that point forward, we would face this terrible disease like we face everything else in life, together. I hugged my only child, Denavi, a little tighter and longer than usual and smiled.

My treatment: We faced a lot of challenges from deciding if we needed a second opinion, to choosing to save my life (instead of trying to preserve my eggs and create embryos to use later on with a surrogate). I had 28 rounds of external radiation, four chemotherapy, and five brachytherapy.

Where I am today: Fast forward to January 2022 - IN REMISSION. Words I thought I would never hear when I was first diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer. What a day! While everyone said I made cancer look easy, I can tell you it was not easy.

28 rounds of external radiation, four chemos (scheduled for six but my body couldn’t take them all), and five internal radiation took my fertility away but it was all worth it for this exact moment. For the next couple of years, I will be getting a PET scan every three months and following up with my oncologist at the Miami Cancer Institute.

I have completely changed my diet and lifestyle. We take one day at a time and plan vacations and weekend getaways - enjoying life to the fullest. Cancer changes the way you see life.

What I want other women to know: Get your yearly exams - life doesn’t stop and we are all always taking care of others but we have to make ourselves a priority.