Cancerversary: July 2016

Age at diagnosis: 50

Diagnosis: Recurrent metastatic cancer

Stage of cancer: IB2

How my story begins: Before I was diagnosed, I was overweight, trying unsuccessfully to lose it, but I was feeling fine. I went for my annual lady exam and I was told I had abnormal cells. I was later diagnosed with IB2 cervical cancer.

How I felt after diagnosis: I was stunned, no this could not be happening to me!

Telling my family and friends: I cried telling my family, but I vowed I would not fear. God has my back!

My treatment: I had a radical hysterectomy on June 10th, 2016. It was an overnight stay. I was back in the hospital a week later with a urinary tract infection and a bowel blockage. I had to have an nasogastric tube in for two days until I could finally have a bowel movement. They sent me home. I was back 2 days later with bilateral pulmonary embolisms and a torn ureter and 3 liters of urine in my abdomen. I spent most of June in the hospital and went home on July 4.

How I felt after treatment: It was a long recovery. I spent most of the summer looking out the window.

What was most difficult for me: I had a big setback. This past November,I found out my kidney wasn’t working right - hydronephrosis. They did a ureteral reimplant in February, and the urologist took a piece of it out because it was full of scar tissue. The biopsy came back with microscopic cervical cancer in my ureter. Not what I wanted to hear! I had 25 sessions of radiation and 5 chemotherapy sessions. That was rough! I was exhausted! The side effects were awful. But again, God never left me! The Pet scan in July was clear! Praise the Lord!

What I did to help myself: I stand on the Word of God, by His stripes I was healed!

My life after cancer: I am going to the gym. I will be fit and trim!

Where I am today: Feeling great!

What I want other women to know: Get your cervical cancer screening!

How I will try to help others: I would like to encourage others that they are not alone. I would love to pray with them, even offer to go with them to appointments if they don’t have support.

Any additional information you'd like to share: The stuff they don’t tell you about is how your body doesn’t work the same after treatment. After radiation, sex became painful. Thank God for my very patient husband, who is working through this with me. I also was able to discuss this with the oncologist and get a dilator, so eventually it won’t hurt!