How my story begins: My symptoms began 1 year before I was diagnosed. I had spotting between periods, heavy periods, large clots, watery/foul discharge, and lower back pain. I was diagnosed with stage 3 Cervical Cancer in January 2011.
Life before my diagnosis: I was married, mom of 5, healthy, active, with no health problems.
How I felt after diagnosis: I was shocked, terrified, and depressed. But I was ready to fight.
Telling my family and friends: My husband told everyone, I stayed in denial for a while. But telling our children was the worst experience.
My treatment: I had external radiation, internal radiation, chemotherapy, kidney stints, and over a dozen blood transfusions.
How I felt after treatment: I was exhausted, drained, and depressed.
What was most difficult for me: Not being able to care for my children.
What I did to help myself: I went through treatment, and then I went to a psychiatrist for treatment for depression and anxiety.
My life after cancer: It is SO much better than before. Little things mean so much to me, I take nothing for granted, and I make every day count. Physically I have many side effects from treatment, but I am thankful to be here.
Where I am today: I am 5 years Cancer free!!!
What I want other women to know: Don't ignore any symptoms, don't skip your Pap tests, and trust your gut. Take care of yourself!
How I will try to help others: I am constantly trying to bring awareness about cervical cancer, and answer any questions about my journey to help others.