Age at diagnosis: 34

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: III

How my story begins: Before my diagnosis, life was good.

I started experiencing heavy menstrual periods. I had ultrasounds done and they diagnosed fibroids as the cause. I had two sons, with my youngest being 1 year old. I was told heavy periods can happen after children. Fast forward to October 3rd, 2016...we took our boys to the fair in our town and I felt very sluggish and looked awful, but never imagined it would be cancer. That night, I almost fainted at home and was so weak, we knew I needed to go to the emergency room. On my 34th birthday, October 4th, 2016, I was diagnosed with stage 3b cervical cancer.

How I felt after diagnosis: I thought I was going to die. I was overwhelmed with thoughts of how to prepare my family.

Telling my family and friends: I’ve never experienced that level of support and love. It was totally mindblowing and life-changing to feel that level of support from family and friends. It was indescribable!

My treatment: I had chemo, radiation, and brachytherapy. The brachytherapy came with some difficulty. My uterus was perforated during the insertion of the Smit sleeve used to administer internal radiation. I was inoperable so they wouldn’t remove my uterus and cervix, which I couldn't understand until much later. They explained that advanced cervical cancer (in my case) was inoperable and technically classified me as palliative.

How I felt after treatment: I felt depressed and tired and I became really dependent on my family and friends.

What was most difficult for me: Not knowing if I would survive.

What I did to help myself: I feel like I wasn’t very good at helping myself, but I stayed positive for my children. They were so young.

My life after cancer: I think it has taken me a while to get used to not having all the attention. And I’m happy about that...I think (haha)!
I feel lucky and I came out not having the same stress in life. It’s true - I won’t ever sweat the small stuff again.

Where I am today: I started working in September 2017 again. I am happy and healthy and with my family and friends, I want for nothing. I am a very lucky woman.

What I want other women to know: It’s a speed bump in your life and you will be fine no matter what the outcome. You will be fine.

How I will try to help others: I would want others to pray for each other. I would want others to know that advanced stage cancer can be curable.

Any additional information you'd like to share: I hope we can find a cure.