Carolé

Cancerversary: December 2018

Age at diagnosis: 37

Diagnosis: Cervical cancer (unspecified)

Stage of cancer: IB2

How my story begins: I was a healthy professional flamenco dancer, actor and stand-up comedian.

I was getting my regular Pap tests and had abnormal cells like some of my friends. I got checked out a year after and was asked to get a colposcopy done. They said that I still had some abnormal cells so I should come back in two years just to see how things were going. I came back in two years and still had abnormal cells, got a colposcopy again and they wanted to get rid of the abnormal cells. So I got a LEEP. They found cervical cancer in the LEEP specimen. I was given a choice between a hysterectomy and a cold knife cone biopsy because I hadn’t had kids. They said that if I wanted kids, they’d do the cold knife cone biopsy and after I had a kid/kids, then they’d do the hysterectomy.

I chose the cold knife cone biopsy because I wanted the option of having kids.

How I felt after diagnosis: In shock, depressed, numb, irritated at some people who didn’t fully understand what cervical cancer was and were minimizing it. I had some quiet moments and many realizations about my life and what’s important to me.

Telling my family and friends: I told my mom and she said, “Don’t joke like that.”

My treatment: I got the cold knife cone biopsy.

How I felt after treatment: Tired and restless because I use my body being a professional flamenco dancer and was asked by my doctor to not move around for two weeks.

What was most difficult for me: Not moving

What I did to help myself: I asked my community for donations to help with medical and recovery expenses and they helped. I was so grateful and got to rest and reflect.

My life after cancer: I have such a sense of deeper clarity with my life and what I truly want.

Where I am today: I am in a brilliant space of giving back through art and activism.

What I want other women to know: You are a strong powerhouse! Every moment is absolutely precious.

How I will try to help others: I would love to help out with Cervivor! I also help with organizations that help with rape/domestic violence and the oceans.

Any additional information you'd like to share: My website
caroleacuna.com