Location: Florida

Cancerversary: October 2021

Age at diagnosis: 37

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: I got pregnant in 2020 and I had went in for my initial OBGYN visit and had an abnormal pap. My doctor ran tests and suspected HPV or early stage cancer.
I was unable to do the LEEP procedure to verify until after my son was born so when he was two weeks old, I went in for the LEEP and it was verified that I had cancer.

Life before my diagnosis: I was healthy, hardly ever was even sick.
I loved outdoor activities and spending time with my family.
I didn't worry about death or being faced with health scares.
I have three children and had just gotten pregnant with my fourth.

How I felt after diagnosis: I felt absolutely helpless. I honestly felt caught in a whirlwind. How was this happening to me? And why?

I was postpartum and the word 'cancer' was definitely not in my plans. Here I was supposed to be enjoying my son and I am staring cancer in the face.
I gave myself a week or two in the dark side of the diagnosis; I was scared and worried about the future. Then it came time to prepare a plan for fighting this disease so I had to turn off scared and get ready for that battle.

Telling my family and friends: This was the worst part for me. My mom was with me when they verified that it was cancer and the fear in her eyes hurt my heart. Hearing my husband cry when I came home and told him was something I wish I could forget. We were supposed to be enjoying our newborn son and he was mentally preparing to help me fight a disease and wondering what the future held and if I would be growing old with him.

My treatment: I started treatment in March/April of 2021. I had daily radiation for three months, six weekly chemo treatments and five brachytherapy treatments.
I struggled with treatments, having a newborn at home made them almost unbearable, but I knew pushing through them would give me a chance at life and watching him, along with my other children, grow up. I couldn't have gotten through these without the love and support of my family and close friends.

How I felt after treatment: After treatment I felt like my life had been given back to me.

My life after cancer: I've gotten two NED diagnosis'! Every single time I have heard that I am so very thankful that I have gotten a second chance at living this beautiful life God has given me. I take a lot more joy in the little everyday things in life ❤️

Where I am today: Today I definitely live with a more grateful heart, I find joy in the little things in life. I try my best to appreciate each day I'm given. Life can change any minute and I have experienced that first hand. So actually LIVING each day of mine is so important to me !

What I want other women to know: Regular screenings are so important!!! I ignored an irregular pap years before my diagnosis that would've probably caught the cancer or HPV at a very early stage! I had no symptoms so I thought I was fine!

How I will try to help others: I reach out and try to be uplifting and help empower other women who are facing this. It's a scary path to go down and being there to support can make a world of difference.