How my story begins: I had been experiencing heavier periods for numerous years, but thought nothing of it until in 2017 when the bleeding turned into flowing out like a water fountain and giant blood clots that would randomly fall out.
I had gotten to the point of having to wear Depends. I was pale and weak. I kept advocating for myself by asking questions to my OBGYN and my advocating and questioning was ignored and minimized. I was told it may be hormonal and I might be going through menopause. Even though I had been with the same OBGYN for over ten years, who knew my history of abnormal paps and who had performed two LEEPs on me which supposedly burned off the precancerous cells, had never checked for cervical cancer.
Instead they told me to eat rare steak and liver to raise my iron levels, shot me up with hormones, and conducted an ablation on me going straight through my cervix. During my ablation the OBGYN talked about how she had not seen anyone bleed so much during this procedure but when I questioned her she stated how much experience she had and how she had done 100’s of these. As I bleed I was sent home with no answers. I continued to basically hemorrhage for months. I couldn’t work because large blood clots would just fall out randomly and the Depends could not even hold them. The doctor kept trying to force me back to work and kept suggesting a hysterectomy with no real diagnosis other than the heavy bleeding. I was so weak and tired of wearing Depends so I decided to go along with the hysterectomy.
I had labs done and my numbers were so low I had to have a blood transfusion before I could have surgery. Not once did my OBGYN say "let’s check for cancer"; even knowing my history, as if I were an experiment (much like the Mothers of gynecology Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey).
I had my transfusion and off to surgery in March 2018. The surgeon contacted me and stated she would be sending my cervix and uterus to pathology because it was “torn up”. After that, I got the 'you have cancer' call. My entire cervix was a tumor and I had stage 2B cervical cancer that had moved into my uterus.
How I felt after diagnosis: Numb. Lost. Betrayed. Unheard. Like an experiment.
Telling my family and friends: I waited. I told my sister and brother and then my friends. I had a granddaughter on the way so I did not tell my children. I wanted my oldest son and his wife to get all of the attention around the birth. I didn’t want to make this time about me.
My treatment: Intense. Daily external radiation and weekly chemo for four hours for over six weeks. Once that completed, I had internal radiation for two weeks.
How I felt after treatment: Exhausted.
What was most difficult for me: Loosing my granddaughter while I was still going through treatment and watching my son endure all of this pain.
What I did to help myself: I prayed, had faith, showed gratitude and journaled. I rested.
My life after cancer: Sad. Upset. Grateful. Non stop.
Where I am today: Living unapologetically. Doing what I have to do and what I want. Grateful.
What I want other women to know: To show gratitude daily.
Eat to live.
Have faith in healing.
We are here to support you.
How I will try to help others: I am in the middle of writing a book that I will share with others. I will do speaking engagements. I will advocate. I will help where needed. Health Coaching.
Any additional information you'd like to share: I am excited to have been led to this group and cannot wait to be of service!!!