Location: Florida

Cancerversary: August 2017

Age at diagnosis: 28

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: I

How my story begins: In May 2017 I competed in my first amateur physique show. Riding the competitor’s high, I began making plans for my next show when I received the call that my most recent pap had abnormalities. From there it was a small punch biopsy which showed 1B1 cervical cancer.

Life before my diagnosis: I was very active and training for my first amateur physique show. I always dreamed of stepping on the competitor stage and was working diligently towards that goal.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was crushed. My (then boyfriend, now husband) was in law school and neither one of us had any clue how we’d tackle the diagnosis and treatment. I spiraled and fell into a horribly deep depression.

Telling my family and friends: It was hard telling my Mom and sister. Cancer was never something my family had dealt with at that point. It was a numbing experience for everyone.

My treatment: I was blessed to be treated with fertility-sparing procedures. In July 2017 I underwent two major cone procedures and in August I had clear margins. From there I was on careful surveillance.

How I felt after treatment: Anxious. It took years for me to stop living my life scan to scan, appointment to appointment. I put my energy and focus back into the gym and my mental health.

What was most difficult for me: Losing control. At diagnosis I wasn’t sure if I wanted kids, but to think the option would be taken from me was the most heartbreaking.

What I did to help myself: I focused on things that made me happy and feel good. I exercised diligently and set new goals. I saw a therapist and made more time for friends and family.

Where I am today: Today I am 34 years old a mother to two beautiful boys and a graduate of my cancer treatment facility. In 2020 I had a transabdominal cerclage placed while pregnant with my first and delivered by c-section in October 2020, then delivered my second by c-section in December 2022.

What I want other women to know: The anxiety really never goes away. I get anxious before and after check-ups, although it gets easier each time. I focus on my kids and my health so I can be here to enjoy them and love them for as long as possible. Most days it’s like a distant memory, but sometimes it all comes rushing back and I feel like I did sitting in my oncologist’s office when I got my diagnosis.