Cancerversary: January Year

Age at diagnosis: 53

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: It all really started with my boyfriend as I could not have an orgasm for 2 years. He is the one who suggested something must be wrong.

Life before my diagnosis: I was living a good life before the diagnosis. I'd just had a full physical and was in perfect health 6 months before. In Canada, a Pap is now only done every 3 years and I'd never heard of HPV.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was shocked, scared, hurt and alone.

Telling my family and friends: This was hard as they all live 500 miles east, and my brother was diagnosed with cancer one month before I was.

My treatment: I had 35 radiation and 5 chemos.

How I felt after treatment: The hardest part was the last two weeks of treatments and the two months after treatment.

What was most difficult for me: That my family were very far away, and I have no kids.

What I did to help myself: I used to pray every day!

My life after cancer: My life after cancer is different. I appreciate things a lot more now. I also want to make some big career changes - though I'm not sure what in.

Where I am today: I'm doing great...except my weight issues, low sex drive, and pain with sex from the scar tissue.

What I want other women to know: That you can survive this and get better and the little things you worry about won't last. They will go away.

How I will try to help others: I will help in any way I can.