Location: New Jersey

Cancerversary: May 2015

Age at diagnosis: 44

Diagnosis: Adenocarcinoma

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: I was working and always tired. I never lost weight, but I never gained it either and I wasn't eating too healthy. That did concern me a little. However, I was getting bleeding in between my periods and that was definitely a concern. For all of my life I've had pretty normal periods. My friends kept telling me it's probably just early menopause, but I know my body pretty well and knew it wasn't. I called the OBGYN and she did a test and sent out some tissue. When it returned, she called me in to tell me I had adenocarcinoma, a type of cervical cancer.

How I felt after diagnosis: Well, I cried of course! You hear the word 'cancer' and you think about your kids growing up without a mom and all of the the things you will miss when you are gone - their first boyfriends, break ups, prom, high school graduation, college graduation. I also felt angry, because I felt I did everything right. I never missed my Pap smear and they never came back bad. My previous OBGYN had never tested me for HPV that I know of - never mentioned the HPV test or that there was a newer pap smear. Sexually, I protected myself by using condoms all of my life. I only didn't use them with my current husband and an ex I dated and was engaged to for five years.

Telling my family and friends: I just remember being asked so many questions. LOTS of my family and friends also weren't aware of HPV. My youngest daughter was the most upset. My husband was definitely worried, but tried to be strong (he recently lost his mom to brain cancer). My oldest, being a teen, didn't say much. I also received so many offers for help and people I hadn't heard from in years came out of the woodwork to help me and offer me prayers.

My treatment: I had 8 weeks of radiation every day but the weekend and 6 weeks of chemo once a week. My appendix burst after my first week of radiation treatment. That put me out of work. (I was trying to work through the cancer treatments). It also delayed my treatments. So instead of being done in early April, I didn't get done until the first week in May. I was in the hospital for 8 days. THE WORST.

How I felt after treatment: The day of chemo I felt ok. But then for the next three days, I would be sick as a dog. The nausea was by far the worst. I would do everything not to get sick. I didn't eat. I'd force 5 or 6 crackers down me just so I had something in my body. I had to drink water due to the chemo so I made sure I always drank that no matter how ill I felt. Tired. I would sleep for three days and have to get up mid-morning to go to radiation. Then I would feel better by the 4th day for a couple of days and then do it all over again.

What was most difficult for me: Knowing my mom was so scared and upset (she had already lost her firstborn to a heart attack) and seeing my youngest always worried. Trying not to think about the cancer spreading or me not living was also very difficult.

What I did to help myself: Xanax, xanax, xanax. LOL And I prayed. A lot. I also gave in and let my friends and family help. At first I was like I can do this on my own, but you just can't. You're just too weak. So I gave in and let my friends and family help. I am so glad I did that.

My life after cancer: I went back to work. I was always a positive person so I was just more positive. I definitely give back more. I try to pay it forward as much as I can. I offer to help anyone with any kind of cancer. I'm still tired. I did gain a lot of weight as I didn't really eat much during so I think I went a little crazy after. I am trying to get back to healthy eating and exercising. I get terrified before every test, doctor's visit, etc. I definitely was left with anxiety.

Where I am today: I'm doing great as a real estate agent and am happy I could jump right back in.

What I want other women to know: Even though I seemed positive and upbeat and always had a smile on my face throughout my treatment and diagnosis, I was so, so scared. Also, please do not ever let me know someone you know died of the same thing I have. Keep it positive with someone who has had cancer. The last thing we want to hear is how someone died from cancer (any kind). We know. Trust me. We know. I want women to make sure they 1) ask about HPV and HPV testing at their doctor's office, 2) ask about the liquid Pap test, 3) use protection even with long term boyfriends, etc., 4) and don't get on the anti-vaccine kick and tell other women not to let their children get the HPV vaccine.

How I will try to help others: I offer help to anyone needing it. I have set up GoFundMe accounts for friends and contributed money. Cook them meals. Pay it forward. Don't just pay it forward to cancer patients or survivors. Pay it forward to anyone. The world is a better place when you pay it forward. I tell people about my journey, remind them to always have trust in god. I pray. I pray for them a lot. I pray for the world and anyone who is sick.