Location: Kentucky

Cancerversary: July 2013

Age at diagnosis: 20

Diagnosis: Adenocarcinoma

Stage of cancer: III

How my story begins: I was 20 years old, working as a full-time server with a piece of crap boyfriend and struggling to make ends meet. After I was cheated on for what seemed like the 15th time, I left! When I went to the gynecologist for my Pap and to get tested, is when they found my tumor. They performed the biopsy and sent it to our local hospital for testing. Two weeks later I got a call that they weren’t sure what it was and was sending it off to a women’s specialty clinic in Maine. Another long two weeks go by and I got the call to come into the doctors office. My mother is a provider herself and my doctor is family friend. When she sat down with her, I saw the words "clear cell adenocarcinoma" on her paper and then she grabs my hand and sheds a tear. My cancer had grown to 8cm and was a stage 3 within 4 months. My prognosis wasn’t great but I was determined to fight!

How I felt after diagnosis: I remember hearing the words and kind of not hearing much or anything else. I went to the bathroom by myself because my grandparents and mother were with me at the appointment, and cried in the mirror for about 4 minutes. I fixed my makeup and decided no more tears. This wasn’t going to break me down.

My treatment: My first course of treatment was round #1 of chemo which was 18 weeks of IV sticks every week. After that was unsuccessful, we became more aggressive with round #2 of chemo for another 18 weeks and 45 days of radiation. My tumor had shown signs of slight shrinkage so it was time to cut it out with a complete open hysterectomy performed. Radiation had also caused a perineal fistula so I was left with a colostomy bag for almost two years. A very long and tiring three years of surgeries and treatment’s eventually led me to hear the sentence “There is no evidence of cancer!”

What was most difficult for me: The most difficult part of the whole journey for me was losing my ability to bear children. I have been in remission now for 11 years and I still struggle with the fact that I will never get to experience pregnancy. The woman’s body is such a wonderful beautiful thing and being able to give life is such a miracle that a lot of people take for granted unfortunately.

Where I am today: Today I am 11 years in remission, and living my destiny as a registered nurse. I have dreams and goals to have a family of my own and I have no doubt that God will provide those things for me on his time. I am grateful and feel so blessed to still be here today!

What I want other women to know: I want other women to know that it’s okay to be scared but just to take one day at a time. Rely on your faith whatever that may be!