Cancerversary: May 2006

Age at diagnosis: 29

Diagnosis: Cervical cancer (unspecified)

Stage of cancer: IV

How my story begins: My life before my diagnosis was very simple and easy to maintain. I was a wife and mother of three small children. My life was filled with being a PTA Mom and going to church.

I started experiencing bleeding and painful intercourse. I was 29 years of age and I decided to get a well woman exam. The doctor did an instant biopsy of my cervix and a week later he called me and said that it was urgent. When he called me into his office, he said that the original diagnosis was Stage 1B, but it was moving very aggressively and turned to stage 4.

How I felt after diagnosis: When the doctor told me, I just smiled at him which threw him off because it was not a laughing matter. I was convinced that God was in control and that if I was going through this it was for a reason. I was determined to allow God to be glorified through my life, because it is not my own.

Telling my family and friends: My children were very distraught, but they knew that I was a fighter and that I was going to be alright. My family members were shocked but they didn't think that I was as sick as I was because I never showed it.

My treatment: I had to do radiation five days a week for 6 months coupled with chemotherapy every other Monday for 5 hours. At the end of the six months I had to do 72 hours of internal radiation because I was not eligible for a hysterectomy. I was told that with the hysterectomy, I would die on the table due to the positioning of my cervix.

How I felt after treatment: After treatment, I had my days of feeling up and sometimes down. I was very excited to ring the bell once I completed my radiation even though I still had the 72 hour internal radiation. Each day was interesting, especially after being told that most women live up to 5 years. Once I passed the five year mark, I was very excited and grateful.

What was most difficult for me: The most difficult part for me was that during the 72 hour internal radiation, my eight year old was rushed to the hospital and placed in ICU. When I dropped her off at my grannie',s house for my procedure she was in perfect health. It was very difficult being hooked up to the machines and not being able to go to my baby. But I had to trust that God was going to take care of her and He did.

Another difficult part for me was the aftereffects of the radiation. I experienced so much diarrhea, which kept me in the house a lot until I learned how to take medication before I ate. It took me some years to master this. The numbness and tingling in my feet can be uncomfortable at times as well.

What I did to help myself: No matter what, I kept a positive attitude. I never looked at my diagnosis as a death sentence, but as a way to encourage others. I made sure that each time that I walked into MD Anderson that I had a smile on my face. I am so grateful because through the entire process, I never lost my hair and I never lost any weight.

My life after cancer: My life after cancer has been great and I have taken one day at a time. Sometimes it is difficult because there are so many aftereffects that they don't tell you about and you have to learn for yourself.

Where I am today: Today I am recovering from Stage two endometrium cancer that I was diagnosed with on February 1, 2016. I had to undergo the hysterectomy anyway because that was the only option. And to the glory of God, I am 100% cancer free again.

What I want other women to know: I want other women to know the importance of taking care of themselves. My motto is Answer2Cancer...Jesus Heals!

How I will try to help others: I want to encourage people to know that when life presents challenges, it doesn't mean we have to accept what life says. We have a choice to believe in a greater good and to know that no weapon that is formed will prosper if we believe.