Location: Nevada

Cancerversary: April 2021

Age at diagnosis: 32

Diagnosis: Endocervical adenocarcinoma

Stage of cancer: I

How my story begins: There's a saying that things come in 3s and this wasn't any different when I finally went back during the pandemic to get irregular periods checked out. My last pap was completed in 2017 (without an HPV co-test) and came back normal. Fast forward to 2021, a husband in COVID isolation, a home renovation due to mold, and a solo trip to a newly establish gynecologist, the third life-changing event happened where I was told I had cervical cancer.

Life before my diagnosis: Thriving Higher Education professional with 3 furbabies at any given time. Life seemed to be going in the right direction and luckily remains in the same direction except for more doctor appointments and days off work.

How I felt after diagnosis: I'm unsure if it was numbness or trying to process my diagnosis or the follow-ups with a gyne-oncologist, but in the office, I had smiled and said thank you, casually strolled to the elevator and pretty much jogged to my car where I proceeded to cry my eyes out to my COVID-ridden husband over the phone. I took a few minutes to compose myself and then begin to drive and decided to call my sister. She graciously offered to call my parents (who live with me) because I couldn't face doing that to them in person.

Telling my family and friends: An ominous social media post was posted, then texts and phone calls came through from family, friends, and coworkers. I drafted a message detailing that I had cancer and next steps were to be determined at my gyne-oncologist consult in a couple of weeks.

My treatment: A LEEP was scheduled immediately for April 2021, then a Hysterectomy with Bilateral Salpingectomy and lymph nodes dissection was scheduled for June 2021. My husband and my indifference to having children pointed to this course of treatment without chemo or radiation considered. Officially declared clinically NED with check-ups every 3 months.

What was most difficult for me: Feeling alone, regardless of having a whole village behind me and my fight. I am hyper-independent and it was difficult to accept help when I needed it (helloooo, walking downstairs to grab myself food post-hysterectomy).

What I did to help myself: I listened to my body and brought up issues post-surgery that were concerning. I had researched cervical cancer after diagnosis and treatment options, read stories on forums, and then I also found Cervivor after scrolling endlessly on Instagram. Knowledge is definitely power, as well as listening and trusting my healthcare providers.

Where I am today: I am coming up on being 2 years clinically NED, with one less ovary too (cysts). I am now trying to spread awareness in my own ways and having the support of Cervivor to continue to do so.

What I want other women to know: It's important for us to also take care of our bodies, while worrying and taking care of others.We should make ourselves a priority and realize we're not alone.

How I will try to help others: Encouraging others to get their check-ups, make sure their insurance is in proper order.