Location: Florida

Age at diagnosis: 38

Diagnosis: Squamous cell carcinoma

Stage of cancer: II

How my story begins: My story begins on the evening of December 12, 2020. I was in my girl's room, talking with them and goofing around when all of a sudden I felt a "gush" feeling from down there. I have endometriosis, so I thought nothing serious at the time.

I got up to go to the bathroom to just check and I had began to bleed out very heavily. It didn't hurt, however it raised concern when it didn't stop and was soaking through three heavy duty pads I had caked together. Nothing was stopping it and after day three, I went to the ER.

I was given a pelvic exam, but because of how much clotting I had going on down there, I had to be vacuumed out in order for them to see anything. I was terrified. Beyond terrified. The clots I was passing were the size of about my fist to the size of plums.

After I had gotten all that done, they decided an internal sonogram would get to the root of why I was bleeding so heavily from my uterus. At first, they thought I was miscarrying. "There's no way though" I thought to myself.

After about a 45 minute internal sonogram, and numerous scanning and prodding around the ER doctor came back in and sat down and held my hand. I knew it before he said anything.

He didn't say outright "You have Cancer" but he said, "We found something concerning on that sonogram so I am going to send a referral to have you seen by (my now gyn oncologist) Dr. John Bomalaski."

On January 5th, 2021 I was seen for the first time by my oncologist team. All he had to do was look and he saw it. But I knew it was cancer that night in the ER.

I had a biopsy taken, and it came back positive for cervical cancer.

Life before my diagnosis: Life before cancer was just as wonderful as it is now. Except with a few minor set backs of course. I was a very energetic person, hard working, a mom and a wife. I'm still these things, I just have to take things much more slowly these days as to not overdo myself.

When I was a young girl, I thought nothing bad ever happened to anyone; no one died or got sick. We all just lived forever. Sadly, that reality hit when my goldfish died when I was seven years old and I remember my mom having that discussion about life and death. Fast forward to now, I am still the same person I've always been. Just a much stronger and vigilant one.

How I felt after diagnosis: Numb. Is the best way I can describe it. It's as if everything around me became a blur, and I heard nothing for a few minutes but my own thoughts. I didn't know what or how to feel in that moment.

I cried. A lot. After I came back to reality, my first thought was "How do we kill this? How can I fight this?" Immediately I was thinking of my two girls and husband and I knew I had no other choice but to fight. It was go time. I was ready and anxious to get this journey started as soon as possible.

Telling my family and friends: It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I have a wonderful support system, and without them I'd certainly have been much weaker in this battle.

My treatment: My treatments began March 3, 2021. Which were six weeks of Cisplatin chemotherapy once a week, along with Dexamethasone (Steroid) and many other fluids for nausea and hydration as Cisplatin wreaks havoc on your kidneys.

30 External Rounds of Radiation treatments to my Pelvis, that was everyday (Monday-Friday's) for 6 weeks and four internal (Brachytherapy) sessions.

How I felt after treatment: After treatment was done, I felt a huge monster lifted off my shoulders. I was extremely tired, achy and sick. But I felt good in my soul knowing that I made it through it all and I found my strength.

What was most difficult for me: The after effects of all treatments is the most difficult. I was out of work for four months due to treatment. Brachytherapy made me very sick and I developed a condition called Radiation Enteritis/Ileus, which is a severe irritation of my intestines. I ended up in the hospital 3-4 separate times due to the flare ups it would cause. It was very painful, to the point I'd vomit and become dehydrated very quickly so I had to go to the hospital.

I have never been a very big gal to begin with but after treatments I weighed only 88 pounds. I am up to 94-95 now. My Mom (RIP) always said I was small but mighty.

What I did to help myself: I would force myself to get up and walk around or find something to distract myself from my thoughts. I have anxiety very bad so it's difficult sometimes for me to concentrate on things sometimes without thinking the worst all the time.

I began to pray, and read more of God and became closer to Him. Praying has helped me immensely and losing my Mom in August to extensive small cell lung cancer was the icing on this crap year.

My life after cancer: I am still the same person, just a lot stronger than before. I speak my mind more so now than I ever did before. I don't take anything for granted and while I do still get spells of depression and such sad feelings, I don't let them stay for long.

Where I am today: I am back working and I feel much better. I do have days where I am reminded I have cancer still, however that doesn't stop me from living my life and enjoying my family and time. Sometimes it's hard to believe I have cancer, but here I am.

How I will try to help others: Cervical cancer needs more awareness I believe. I have made it a mission of mine to become involved with raising awareness and potentially saving a lot of young women from having to go through this awful disease. All cancers are awful. Some just don't have enough awareness as they should.