How my story begins: In 2011, I got my first abnormal pap. They mentioned pre-cancer cells. We did a colposcopy and that was it. Every time I had a pap, I would have another abnormal pap and we would do a colposcopy. No one ever told me what the next moves were until I finally found a gynecologist that found the cancer.
Life before my diagnosis: Active cat lady. Working in the front office for a Minor League Baseball team. Doing craft shows on weekends.
How I felt after diagnosis: I honestly wasn't too surprised. I had all the symptoms I read about in my Google search. But nothing can ever prepare you for the news.
Telling my family and friends: I told the ones closest to me right away. And a few days later, I made a social media post because it was the best way for me to tell everyone else all at once. I didn't want to keep re-telling this horrific story.
My treatment: Consisted of 28 external radiation visits, three brachytherapy, and three chemo cocktails a month from June 2021 through January 2022. Now, I'm currently on Avastin once every three weeks.
How I felt after treatment: I was happy to come through the other side, but it's really just the beginning.
What was most difficult for me: Feeling alone even through I have an amazing support system.
What I did to help myself: Take time for myself. Lay with my cats. When I had the energy, I would get to crafting!
Where I am today: Currently on Avastin once every three weeks. I have been NED since Jan 25, 2022. Still working for my baseball team and slowly getting back in the groove of things.
What I want other women to know: Find a gynecologist that will take your symptoms seriously. Someone who won't just write off your symptoms. Ask a ton of questions!
How I will try to help others: Sharing my story, for starters. But I would also like to get involved in making the HPV vaccine more known.