How my story begins: My cancer story begins unfortunately after months and years of desperately trying to find answers as to why I had so much pain, bloating, heavy bleeding. You know, the basic warning signs of gynecological cancers.
I was a young, married female with no children in a small college town and was not being taken seriously. It wasn't until I found a specialist out of state and wrote a lengthy email to him pleading my case and begging that he would accept me and agree to see me. Thank God he did. I had my first bad pap in December 2020 after not having a pap for three years. After that abnormal pap, I had a couple of surgeries, including a colposcopy and radical hysterectomy and soon after begin treatment.
That was my first fight.
My recurrence story, begins 364 days from the day of my last treatment. I had awful leg pain and swelling to the point I couldn't walk up the stairs. I went to the ER, they completed a scan which unfortunately showed recurrence and here I am back in treatment.
How I felt after diagnosis: After diagnosis, after the initial shock wore off, I oddly felt some relief. I finally had answers. We finally knew what was going on and now can begin to treat it.
My treatment: For my first occurrence I was given 4 rounds of Cisplatin chemotherapy and 25 radiation treatments to the pelvis with 2 rounds of brachytherapy
For my recurrence battle, I am on 6 rounds of Taxol/Carboplatin and Avastin chemotherapy.
What was most difficult for me: I'm trying to find a new ''normal" - whatever that may be.
What I did to help myself: Lots of praying, lots of meditation, coloring, gardening, walking when I can, support groups and Cervivor podcasts.
Where I am today: Today I have been officially declared NED a second time! Woohoo! However, the fight is never over. I still have 2 more chemotherapy rounds to complete.
What I want other women to know: Get your pap EVERY year. Do NOT wait every three years. Get the HPV vaccine for yourself and your children if you are able to.
How I will try to help others: By being a Cervivor. Spreading awareness and facts is so desperately needed to save other young women!