Location: Illinois

Age at diagnosis: 34

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: III

How my story begins: I had abnormal bleeding and UTI symptoms. My nurse practitioner (my sister) made me get a pap. I had not had one for like 10 years. Results came back abnormal and was sent to an ob-gyn.

Life before my diagnosis: Mom. Wife. Lunch Lady. Band Manager. Very active.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was in shock, I felt like my world had stopped.

Telling my family and friends: This was hard as I have 2 teenagers. But everyone handled it well.

My treatment: 30 external radiation, 6 chemo, and 4 brachys

How I felt after treatment: Exhausted, weak and fragile.

What was most difficult for me: Trying to get back to my normal life. I have now accepted it will never be what it was.

What I did to help myself: Staying on top of my medical needs and I started counseling.

My life after cancer: Built better and stronger relationships with my family.

Where I am today: I have my struggles but I am going on 1 year cancer free and happy. I have a lot of life left to live.

What I want other women to know: That positive things can happen. Cancer changed my life but did not defeat me.

How I will try to help others: Be honest about the embarrassing parts of my journey. Being 34 and having to wear diapers is not fun.

Any additional information you'd like to share: I had a bowel resection because of radiation damage this past year but I'm still fighting.